A snapshot of your personal brand

Online profiles are a great way to get your personal brand out there, with one of the most popular sites being LinkedIn.  But just because you’re not selling your brand face-to-face doesn’t mean you can take your eye off the ball when it comes to getting the message right.

And a big part of that message is your photo – they don’t say a picture paints a thousand words for nothing!  But have you got yours right?  Here are some suggestions to make yours work with some pointers about what doesn’t work (to see what I mean, check out the photos of your connections and consider what personal brand messages they convey to you):

A brand opportunity – Your photo is a chance to get across something about your personal brand, so use it.  Do not waste the chance by leaving it blank or using your logo instead – it’s impersonal.

Reflect your personality – Always have a smile (unless your personal brand is that you’re uber serious) and try to reflect an aspect of your brand eg lean against a wall to show you’re relaxed, look off to the side if you’re a bit cheeky, have the photo in black and white if you want to add gravitas.  Do not be so unapproachable that you look like a photofit on Crimewatch.

Appropriateness – If your online profile is used as a business tool, make sure your photo sends a business message.  Do not use a social snap ie that one of you out with your mates (even if you have tried to crop them out of the photo) or you on your wedding day or you stood next to that cool car or you on your holiday (I’ve seen them all).

Sizing – Make sure I can distinguish what you look like from your photo using the cropping option when you upload it, so that your face takes up most of the picture area.  Do not have your face so small that it would be impossible to recognise you in a crowded room.

Background – Have a plain, contrasting background to the photo to make it easier to focus on your face.  Do not have a plant growing out of your head or a pile of messy papers in front of you.

Quality – If you can afford it, get a professional photo taken – it really makes a difference (it may be you can barter your services for those of a photographer you know).  Do not use a snap that looks like it was taken in the booth at the railway station.

Do all that and you’ll be sending out positive messages about your personal brand that put you ahead of the competition and make you stand out from the crowd.

If you’ve enjoyed these musings, don’t be shy…leave a comment!  And please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at jennifer.holloway@sparkexec.co.uk.  Thank you!

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for PEOPLE, helping clients to market themselves so they stand out from the crowd, building a reputation that enables them to be even more successful just by being themselves.   Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford, Wakefield and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a service unlike any other. 

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