Your LinkedIn Profile Photo is a Vital Part of Building Rapport with Your Audience
The first goal of your LinkedIn profile is to build a connection with your visitor. Getting your photo right will mean you quickly build rapport and establish trust.
Below I’ve provided three before and after examples of how, by cropping a headshot, you can dramatically improve your connection with your network.
I first discovered just how powerful a LinkedIn profile photo is when building a connection while providing LinkedIn Profile Reviews as part of a sales strategy when I was selling LinkedIn training for a company in partnership with LinkedIn.
Each week I would deliver between 10-20 LinkedIn profile reviews to business owners, CEOs and thought-leaders. It was during this time that I wrote my book What to Put on Your LinkedIn Profile (now revised for 2018), as I found I was continually repeating myself.
One day I was providing a LinkedIn profile review for a lady in the USA and I was struggling to build a connection with her and get a feel for who she was. Trying to resolve this by asking more questions I started browsing her website. As soon as I landed on her biography page and saw her photo the conversation completely changed. I suddenly felt very differently towards her and could feel a connection.
She didn’t have a photo on her LinkedIn profile and this was stopping me from getting a full picture of who she was.
It was at this point I realised just how important the photo was. As time went on I tested this theory and again and again, and I discovered that seeing a person’s picture made all the difference in how we build relationships with people online whom we have never met.
LinkedIn statistics tell us that a profile with a good headshot is 14x more likely to get viewed
LinkedIn statistics tell us that a profile with a good headshot is 14x more likely to get viewed, however, just like most of the general advice out there about LinkedIn, there is always more too it. After all, as I always say, LinkedIn is a science and an art.
How we upload our LinkedIn Profile Photo is important
Along with a professional headshot, or at least a shot that shows us doing the thing we want to be known for like speaking (or milking cows), we also need to consider how the photo is positioned.
With LinkedIn’s 2017 update, the photo frame became a lot smaller and became round.
The size had a big impact on how effective people’s headshots were since. With a full head and shoulders, a person’s face is now at distance and less prominent making it hard to make out their features and ‘grasp’ that all important ‘essence’ that helps us to create out interpersonal connections.
Here are some examples:
The screenshot doesn’t provide the greatest final graphic, but you can see that by cropping Lynn’s face we see more of her features. I’ve cropped it to keep the microphone, as this is an important part of Lynn’s work as a speaker developing the conversation on Water Conservation in the USA.
This photo has become lighter just from cropping it. I’m not really sure why it also became brighter, but I am not complaining. Poppy feels more prominent and authoritative, confirming her position as a global leader in the conversation on Mental Health.
The closeness also helps Poppy to feel tangible and someone we’d want to know. The first photo is a good photo – in fact, it is still the same photo – but can you see just how different they feel?
I meet Paul at a networking event and followed, up afterwards with him via LinkedIn. My first question was to ask if his profile was the same person that I’d met that morning.
In his original photo, he is dress in a business trendy/casual. However to networking events he wears a suit. Both styles are great, but keeping consistent is important. Aim to wear the same style of clothes in your photo as you do in your business environment.
However, my first piece of off the cuff advise for him was actually not about his attire, but about how the photo was cropped. In the first photo, Paul’s face is difficult to see. It’s too small. This makes it hard to build a connection with him. It also makes it hard to recognise him in person because we don’t have enough detail of the facial features.
After messaging Paul with this advice, Paul updated his photo to one with him in a suit. This was is more in keeping with the person I met (and met again the next week), but he could also have used his first photo by using the zoom feature within LinkedIn.
The Zoom feature is an excellent additional feature that will help you Zoom in on your favourite photo (and hint, if you have a favourite photo that isn’t in a business style, you can now use it as the crop is so tight no one will notice). Although staged to be a professional photo, you can’t actually tell with my photo (below) that I was standing outside a log cabin in Sweden.
For more insights about your LinkedIn photo and how to upload and perfect your photo, visit our tutorial pages by clicking here.