They don't look like that

Two things never fail when it comes to making connections and acquiring new customers: Integrity and transparency. In simple terms, “walk the walk, talk the talk.” It’s not that difficult if you stop chasing hacks and shortcuts and just “be yourself.”

So much has been written about the value of having a robust profile - on LinkedIn, other social media channels and the About Me section on your website. However, while they are different strategies on how to write that profile, there is unanimous agreement about your profile photo - it needs to be professional and current.

Why then, are so many profile photos out of date? The other day a professional coach visited my networking group - she circulated a business card that features a headshot. She looked nothing like the photo which was easily ten years old. Interestingly, she was quite capable and had a perfect pitch, but I couldn't help but wonder:

  • Why would you hand a card with an outdated photo?

  • Why create doubt about your intentions?

  • Are you insecure about your age?

Is there anything else I need to worry about?

This practice backfires when it comes to online dating where a profile photo is critical for physical attraction. It fails the first test of honesty which regardless of well you're matched, creates lingering doubt. If your profile photo is outdated, or missing (shocking but true, there are still quite a few LinkedIn profiles without photos) - update it, be yourself, smile.

Likability has nothing to do with business credentials, but "you had me at hello" often accompanies passing the photo test as well. Remember, this is not about good looks or physical attractiveness - it's how you come across before we meet (or if we ever meet) personally. Not everyone is going to like your photo or how you come across intuitively, but far fewer people are going to pay attention if you don't have one, or if it is years old.

Are selfies ok? Absolutely not. They are not complementary, and the distance from the lens distorts your face. If you're proud of your business or what you stand for, invest in a photo and eliminate future doubts or questions about your integrity or motives.

Say ‘cheese’ and go get’em.

Zev Asch