Six simple ways to enhance your LinkedIn profile image
A common phrase you’ve probably heard a thousand times is “Clothes don’t make the man.”
Yes, it’s true that appearances don’t necessarily correlate to who a person is on the inside, but the way we present ourselves has a huge impact on the way people perceive us, especially if this is the first time they’re seeing us.
Unfortunately, first impressions tend to last, and they can be completely arbitrary — and often biased.
There are psychological biases that help create a first impression and make it resistant to change, for example, the Anchoring bias. As the name suggests, it anchors us to the first impression we have of a person, and we use it as a starting point for any future judgment.
So, considering that bad LinkedIn profile photos can hinder someone’s chances of doing business, I’m puzzled when I see profiles without photos, or with unprofessional photos, on LinkedIn.
Whether you like it or not, your LinkedIn profile photo is your business card since it is the first thing a user sees when arriving on your profile and that it helps to establish your personal brand.
There are different ways to get a good profile photo, from hiring a professional photographer to DIY.
So let’s examine what are the elements that contribute to the creation of a good LinkedIn photo.
1) An authentic smile
To put it in the words of Louis Armstrong: “When you smile …. keep smiling … The whole world smiles with you”.
So when we see someone who smiles at us, the mirror neurons ignite, and that makes us feel good and well-disposed towards that person.
But it must be a real smile. People can quickly recognize when a smile is false — like the one we give to that colleague we don’t like. This happens because we use more facial muscles when we smile for real than when we don’t.
When we have a real smile, we use both the jaw muscle, the zygomatic major muscle and the muscles around the eyes, the orbicularis oculi muscle. But when we pretend to smile, we use the jaw muscle, which is how people can tell from our face that we’re faking.
2) Crop your image
Do you have a photo of yourself at an event in which you think you look good? You can use it! But be sure to crop it to not include other people.
3) Avoid selfies
Use a tripod and set a timer or ask a friend or colleague to take a picture of you.
4) Use a high-resolution camera.
The latest generation of phones are equipped with very good cameras, at least good enough to take a headshot. Make sure the result isn’t blurry, noisy or pixelated, and you’re ready to go.
5) Avoid busy backgrounds
Try to use a homogeneous background. Avoid a background that could distract the viewer from you.
6) Light well
This is the hardest part of all and where experience makes the difference. But as a general rule, make sure that there are no bizarre shadows on your face and that you are not overexposed either.
Download a banner that promotes your business and is easy to understand. Unless you’re a conceptual artist, avoid conceptual banners that don’t directly communicate your value proposition. Be direct and concise; the user should be able to understand what you are doing at a glance.
Now everything’s ready! Amaze your audience with a fantastic profile photo!