One of my LinkedIn connections, Anton Brookes, sports a photo on his profile that prompts me to say to my LinkedIn workshop attendees, “Now this is a kick ass photo.” They give pause and nod in approval. Previously I told my folks that there are acceptable photos for a LinkedIn profile and there are others that are not.
Acceptable photos, I’d tell them, are ones that are highly professional or business casual; after all, LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network.” Unacceptable photos are everything else.
Anton’s photo is neither highly professional or business casual, but it proves as an excellent example of how the photo can catapult your personal branding.
I’m not the photo Czar–never claimed to be–but I feel strongly about how one should display his/her image on their LinkedIn profile. And I certainly believe that a profile without a photo is like a car without wheels.
Your photo serves to make you memorable and can reveal a lot about your personality. Further, it has been quoted that people trust photos and are seven times more likely to open a profile that has a photo. I agree with this statement, as I rarely open profiles that lack a photo.
The photo in question says a lot about this photographer whose branding headline reads: Owner | Fashion/Lifestyle and Street Photographer at Mock Turtle Moon. It describes what he does, while his photo supports more of the street photographer side of his business.
Anton’s photo speaks volumes about his expertise as a street photographer. It tells us that he’s for real and living his job, comfortable in his setting. It’s gritty and by no means pretty. It transports us to the streets of New York City. But most important, we get the sense that this photographer is knowledgeable of his trade.
A suit and tie or a button-down shirt wouldn’t have the same effect; it wouldn’t brand him nearly as well as the one he sports on his profile. Not by a mile.
I’ve told Anton that his photo helps me point out to my LinkedIn workshop attendees the importance of having a photo that brands a person, and for selfish reasons I hope he doesn’t change it. But if he decides he needs to portray himself as some one else, I’m sure he’d know how to do that.
If you’d like to see a short documentary on Anton Brookes filmed by Aljazeera America, click this link.