More and more, social media is becoming a bigger part of business and prospecting. For a lot of my clients, LinkedIn is the most widely used social site, and a genuine, engaging, top-notch profile is essential to making quality connections. There are many helpful resources offering advice on social media, but I recently found this video by Kevin Nichols of The Oechsli Institute to be a good, straightforward guide for LinkedIn. What was THE MOST important item on his do’s and dont’s of LinkedIn branding? Your headshot, of course. Hey, it’s the first thing prospects see, and as the video points out, so many LinkedIn members don’t have this straight.
Some business coaches are still advising a smartphone photo, even though most are against it, and for good reason. When you pay for a quality headshot, you’re getting the experience of the photographer along with several proofs, various angles, lighting, post-process, etc., to make that perfect shot happen. Think about it — your presentation counts in everything you do, and no matter your line of work, you want prospects to know YOU deliver a quality service, quality advice, and a quality product, right? As Nichols points out, a good headshot is not that expensive (given its ROI). While many of my clients have headshots done specifically for LinkedIn, headshots are used for a variety of applications, so the value multiplies, making impressions and solidifying your professional brand to everyone who sees it.
Getting Real with Prospects
Another important tip is writing your bio in first person. As Nichols points out, it’s more genuine and personable. But really, who has someone write their LinkedIn summary for them anyway, which is what third person indicates? Social media is YOUR chance to engage your connections, so make it genuine. Also, don’t stuff your profile with keywords or jargon, and keep your grammar and spelling sharp. Make it natural and readable.
I’d encourage both newcomers and advanced users of social media to check out Nichols’ webinar. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is giving you the return you’d like to see, and if you need a new headshot or just have questions about LinkedIn, I’d be glad to help.