Your company information is great, your qualifications are impressive, you’ve added social links and all your people – yet clients aren’t flooding in. Why?
It could be because you’ve neglected the only part of your profile which shows who you are: your photo.
A Thousand Words
They say a picture paints a thousand words - and it’s true. From your photo, potential clients are making a number of micro-decisions in a split second.
They’re seeing the human behind your brand. Are you trustworthy, friendly, professional, intelligent?
Do you epitomise the lifestyle they hope to achieve with your advice? Are you smartly dressed, well turned out, not too corporate, and above all – happy?
Your photo must centre around your face – so be sure not to use your logo instead.
Facial recognition is one of the first skills humans develop, and we’re hard wired to make snap judgements based on it. So it’s vital your face is clear, and communicates a friendly, trustworthy, and professional message.
A good way to do this is to look directly at the camera, but make sure you look straight ahead. Looking up to the camera makes you appear subordinate, while looking down on the camera implies arrogance.
But don’t have the photo taken too close up. If your face fills the majority of the image, subconsciously this can come across as threatening and invasive.
You need to balance professionalism with approachability, looking smart without looking bland, and being happy while being serious. It’s a surprisingly hard task to pull off.
Dress smartly, but try not to appear too ‘high finance’. Politicians on the campaign trail are a good example. A suit with no tie, or a smart dress that’s not bland – a flash of colour works well to get some personality across and catch your client’s eye.
The setting follows the same rules. Take the photo in your place of work, but don’t sit behind your desk.
The desk acts as a barrier to approachability. It’s more ‘meeting with the headteacher’ than ‘help from the school nurse’. Instead, sit casually on the desk, or on the sofas in your office’s waiting area.
Make sure your image is at least 125X90 pixels. You don’t know how big your potential client’s screen is, and if your image is enlarged too much it’ll appear blurry.
Now you’ve got the guidelines to a great profile image, try out a few options and express yourself. Your image is quite literally the human face of the company, so don’t settle for one that doesn’t paint your business in its best light.