LinkedIn – Photo or Logo?
Photo or logo?
Should one put a photo or logo on their LinkedIn profile?
I usually don’t accept connection requests from people who do not put a real photo of themselves on their LinkedIn Profile. I believe in the concept so strongly that when I do corporate training I encourage others to follow the same practice. LinkedIn themselves recently put out new rules and they have stated they may remove the profiles of people who do not put up a picture of themselves. The spot that they created to fill asks for your photo, not your logo. That should settle the dispute shouldn’t it?
Social media is social and technology together. One needs to consider there is more than just straight technology at work here. People spend hours a day on social media because of the way it makes them feel. It is a social tool.
Yet I get requests from strangers daily (another practice some don’t recommend) from personal profiles that use a logo instead of a picture of themselves beside their name. I have asked some of them why they would do that and the response is usually that they want to brand their business and not themselves. About that time I check to see how many connections they have. The number is 9 times out of 10 far less than the 500+ where one would no longer be able to see it. So how effective could the branding be anyway? The room they talk into is almost empty. If I looked further to see their Twitter and Facebook numbers, usually it is lower yet. Hmmmm… More emptiness to talk into. So next thing to look at is “What are they saying as a brand?” So out of curiosity I look and find out there is no consistent posting.
However, some of these folks do try to then send me sales related material to my inbox on LinkedIn if I accept the connection. Interesting…
Everything that I described so far is really ineffective marketing for LinkedIn. It is unprofessional, it makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing, and the bottom line is – it doesn’t work. Wasting time is wasting money, so try doing a little at a time the right way and see your connections and your profits grow!
Use your photo. Take a nice photo of your face so people can see it. LinkedIn will work well as a social networking tool combined with your live networking if people can recognize you in public. Brand your face to your company as the owner. If you are a sales person brand your face to your company so you can sell more. If you are admin, brand your face to your company so people know who they are talking to when they call the 1-800 number. If you are looking for a job, brand your face to your profile so people can see who you are. If you are meeting a new client for coffee and they want to know what you look like so they can find you in the coffee shop a photo on LinkedIn would be really helpful.
Your business is about you. So accept that and stop running from your face. It is the one that God gave you and it is just fine. Other people like and they want to see it. Use it.
You are a business owner and a professional. Don’t be shy. That is just fear and fear will keep you broke! You need to have confidence promoting yourself and realize that means getting up in front of others and displaying your face on things. Small to medium sized business owners have no choice if they want to be successful. Perhaps a corporation can stay away from this but consider Apple… who do you think of when I say Apple? Is there not a picture of Steven Jobs that comes to mind? Facebook? Does that make a picture of someone come to mind? This works and it is for your profitability.
Another quick tip for you – Name your photo on your computer and when downloading it to the channel you are going to add it to be sure that your name is on it in the ALT or Tags because… If one Googles your name, they now will find a real photo of you to connect your name to. It is a great way to use your social media real estate!
You could get really brilliant and somehow put your photo on the top of your logo, but it is difficult to get most of those designs into the space provided and still show a good sized picture of your face. That is important for recognition of who you are and people do business with people they know and trust.
Also use a photo that fits with the genre of people you are trying to reach. Facebook can have a more casual photo on your personal page. LinkedIn should have a professional photo. Twitter should probably be professional but it could be changed for a special event like Christmas. Promotions featuring your company attending or being involved with a rock concert may reflect that to that specific audience. Let people see who you are but think it through. How do you want it be found on the internet later?
There should be no question about whether or not one puts a photo or logo on their LinkedIn profile – PHOTO every time.
Kerry George is the founder of Loyal2U Communications & Marketing but is also the CEO of the Calgary Business Network and the CIBN. Kerry writes for a variety of blogs, magazines and publications about networking, social media, marketing, and entrepreneurial tips for business owners. We hope that her article today will give you some ideas about how you can use your photos in your marketing endeavours.