Think about it: In person, if you were going to a business meeting to meet a new contact for the first time, would you show up with your dog and your kids? Would you shake a plant or a picture of a sunset in their face? Show up with a pack of your very best friends doing the can-can? Of course not! You would dress well, comb your hair, look someone in the eye, and put your best face forward. After all, this is the first impression, and you want to make a good one.
Your profile photo on your social networks is the same thing. It’s what you lead with in a business relationship, and the photo you select says a lot about you, and may determine whether or not the people you connect with will even consider doing business with you.
So what should you consider when selecting your profile photo? Here are some tips:
- The photo should be YOU. Not your kids, not your dog, not your car, not your logo. People do business with people, and direct sales is about relationships between people.
- The photo should be up close and lit well. People should be able to see your face, and look into your eyes. In fact, they should be able to see “the whites of your eyes.” Avoid photos where you are standing off in the distance or looking the other way.
- The photo should be only you. Don’t make new contacts try to guess who you are in a group of people in your photo. Guessing games are not a good way to start and build a relationship.
- The ideal photo shows your head and shoulders, and you’re looking at the camera. This is the equivalent of looking someone in the eye when we do business with them.
- The photo should reflect how you really look. Don’t dig up that photo from 20 years ago when you were young and skinny. People should be able to recognize you when they meet you in person. Otherwise they’ll feel slightly deceived, which can undermine the trust you’ve built in a relationship.
- The same photo should be used across all of your social networks. That way, no matter where someone meets you online, they’ll always know it’s you.
By taking some time to thoughtfully select your profile photo, you begin the process of building valuable business relationships through your social networks that are built on trust. Even though we connect through technology, we still have the fundamental need to look someone in the eye, and come to know, like, and trust them, before we do business with them. Your photo is the first step. Choose well!
Now it’s your turn. Does your profile photo represent you well? How could it be improved? What advice do you have for others when they select their profile photo? Looking forward to reading your comments below!