It’s amazing how much stress the LinkedIn Profile Photo causes! One of the first questions I’m asked when reviewing someone’s profile is how to have the perfect picture. Everyone wants it to be just right; and it’s a refreshing change because I remember the good ol’ days (which were just a few years ago) when I had to spend all my time just trying to convince people that it actually was important to have a profile photo.
If you want to get some ideas about what makes for a great LinkedIn Profile photo, check out Jason Seiden’s article on the LinkedIn Talent Blog. But once you know the shot you want, how can you get it without having someone take a poorly-lit headshot with their iPhone against the white wall in your office?
(Yes, I’ve seen that one a lot, and everyone who sees that photo knows exactly where it was taken. And yes, your profile visitors are judging you because of that. It’s almost as common as the “I have this nice picture of me at a wedding so I just cropped out my significant other and the glass of wine I was holding” picture. These types of photos are sending a brand message that you just don’t want to send!)
How can you get a photo that looks great? Try one of these ideas instead:
- Pay a professional to take a great shot. This is a good investment for anyone; but it’s especially important if you interact with your prospects or clients online. You’ll be able to use your photo on LinkedIn, and also on your website and other social media platforms. Many photographers have packages specifically for social media headshots. Even in an expensive city like Chicago, you can get a good, professional-looking photo for under $200. To find someone near you, do a Google search on ” professional headshot social media (your city)”.
- Look for networking events in your area that feature a photographer. For example, in Chicago there is a huge LinkedIn group, Linked N Chicago, that regularly organizes offline networking events. At many of the events they have a photographer set up in the corner taking headshots. So for the price of admission, you can get a professional headshot. Look around to see if you have a local networking group that offers something similar.
- If you work in an office, talk to your marketing department about hiring a photographer to come in and take photos of the entire team. This has the added bonus of creating consistency among all of your colleagues. When your LinkedIn visitors see that everyone in your firm has a similar style and quality to their headshots, it reinforces your brand message – both on a company level and an individual level.
These are just a few of the ways you can get a professional, high-quality photo. The most important thing you can do, though, is act! Someone could be on your LinkedIn profile right now, deciding whether or not to do business with you. Make sure that your photo is helping your cause, not hurting it!