Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear – George Addair
Many entrepreneurs and professionals are intimidated by LinkedIn and lack confidence in how to connect and put their best foot forward. In my experience a lot of it stems from the fact that most people quickly set up a social media profile; they create their login, password and bio and that’s it, they’re done and they never fully investigate the security and privacy settings in the back end or the potential functionality on offer. This can consequently lead to fear and overwhelm.
In 2014, I decided to bite the bullet and I completed my first proper course on LinkedIn for Business. Learning the ins and outs of the platform gave me a much needed confidence boost. It helped me to not over think things and to get in the flow and truly be myself when I’m online.
If I can advise you all of one thing to do today that will change how you engage and present yourself on LinkedIn it will be to invest in a professional headshot. Firstly, and most importantly, if you haven’t already got a profile photo please load one up straight away! After all you wouldn’t go to a face to face networking event looking less than your best so just because you’re online there is no excuse.
LinkedIn is a social networking platform and a hugely valuable business tool so if you’re not showing up, it’s like turning up at a face to face meeting with a paper bag over your head – it hardly counts towards building that all essential know, like and trust factor eh? By investing in a professional headshot you are telling the world that you mean business whether you are a professional or a business owner.
I remember getting my first headshot done – I was shy and nervous and didn’t really consider my posture. The results were still good and I immediately raised my personal brand online and the way people treated me changed almost instantly.
They noticed me, they listened to me, they respected me, and they collaborated with me. What’s not to love? That new headshot gave me confidence and the power to be the real me online. I showed up in a new way. I didn’t hide in the side-lines. I engaged, I commented, I liked, I shared, and I gave back to my network. I started to build an online community versus a collection of ‘contacts’.
Humans are innately wired to make snap judgements based on appearance.
What do you want your headshot to say about you? A picture really does say a thousand words.
Be honest with yourself, what is yours saying about you?
- Is it a selfie?
- Is it well-lit and professional looking?
- Is it current?
- Does it look like you?
- Do you look approachable?
- Are you dressed suitably for the profession / business you’re representing?
- Do the colours you’ve chosen reflect your brand and give you confidence?
- Would you want to do business with the person in the photo?
If you’re not sure about your photo check out Photo Feeler.
This site allows you to upload a photo for free where it will be ranked by your peers in terms of likeability, credibility and influence. I tried several stances when I did mine and looking head on to the camera always scores the highest.
What is the one thing which gave you confidence on LinkedIn?
I’m a LinkedIn Consultant / Trainer and the founder of My Super Connector.
For me ‘connection’ is why we are here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. We are all connected and in order for authentic and engaging connection to happen, we need to allow ourselves to be seen.
In a nutshell, I help entrepreneurs and professionals to polish up their LinkedIn profiles and connect with finesse in order to achieve career and business success. I believe that you don’t need to be the loudest in the room to make an impact, you simply need to be effective which is where I come in to help you polish up your existing online profile and help you to shine online.
If you want to fully optimise your LinkedIn profile check out my course LinkedIn Profile Success
This blog first appeared in online magazine BrandMe!