You heard the expression, a picture is worth a 1,000 words, right? That said, what does it say, loud and clear, if you don’t have one?
- Don’t be bashful. I get it. You don’t like your picture being taken. However, studies show that people want to know you before they give you business or refer business to you. A written bio only tells a little part of your story. A good photo acts like icing on a cake for your bio.
- Be professional. I can tell, you went on vacation and have some great pictures. Cropping your photo at the shoulders, where obviously you had your arms around a couple of friends on either side, might not say a lot for the way you might do business in a professional setting. (Even worse, part of your friend is still in your photo.) Have a friend take a clear picture of you with your cell phone against a relatively neutral background. Upload and use that, or hire a professional photographer.
- Dress like you mean it. Sure a faded tee shirt and ripped jeans may be what you wear to work these days. However, dressing as if you’re on the way to meet an important client carries a lot of weight.
- Be authentic. Be yourself. Remember, the photo is meant to represent you to the business public. Men: if you normally shave, be clean shaven. If you wear a beard or facial hair, give it a trim before your photo. Women: Wear whatever make-up you feel is appropriate, and again, wear a relatively conservative blouse or dress.
- In general: Men: If you would never ever wear a tie for business, consider wearing one just for the picture. Even if you choose not to wear a tie, definitely wear a collared shirt, and I strongly suggest a sports coat. Women: In the past, “Glamour” shots were the rage. They aren’t now. Conservative will win over “nightclub” attire every time.
In our business networking meetings at Gold Star Clubs, we encourage the members to dress “as if.” As if, they’ll meet a fantastic connection that could be a strategic alliance to gain more business for their business. As if, they could leave the meeting and go on an impromptu meet and greet with a lucrative prospect. As if, they could sit down with the president of a major company without having to run home and change…first.
The Networking Fool