Wednesday, August 31, 2016

No Picture, No Profile. Why Are You Here?

Yea, you've probably heard me talk about this before. I make no apologies for it. 

Sadly, every day my eyes are assaulted by people's profiles. These aren't just Facebook or Twitter profiles, which may be (biting my tongue) a forgivable offense. Nope. I'm talking about BUSINESS communities, where the purpose of being there is to a) look for business or b) showcase your business. 

In both a and b scenarios, when you have a name, a picture like the one above, and nothing that tells the viewer what the hell you do or are there for, well, you look like a troll. It's why your follower count still sits at 17. Okay, that's better than three, but still.

I am probably not alone in this, but when I get a connection request and this is the photo I see, or a dog, or a flower, or any kind of stock photography image, I'm not surprised when I look at the profile and it might say, "independent businessman" or something as equally obscure, with no history. I'm going to deny the request to connect. 

If I know the person, I may revisit it several days later and still struggle to decide if I want to connect. Why? There is no value in my feed if the person isn't interested in providing any. It's like trying to drum up a conversation with someone who invited you for coffee and all they do is grunt and shrug. 

Don't make it so hard for people to talk to you.

This post idea wouldn't leave me alone after sifting through LinkedIn today and checking out the suggested connections. My goodness, if this is a business site, why do you have a picture of yourself drinking wine in the backyard if you're not a wine store owner? If there is more than one person in the photo, which one is you? You couldn't take a quick selfie with your smartphone or computer webcam? Don't post pictures of you sitting in the park with your kids, either, unless you're looking for a babysitter. While there may very well be babysitters on LinkedIn, you're not going to catch many corporate executives with that picture.

There is a whole host of reasons why social media doesn't work for people. The first thing you can fix is your profile picture, and make sure it echoes who you are, and/or the business you are in. But most importantly, make sure it is of you. Go ahead and use the background cover photo for the other stuff. The profile picture is the first decider on whether or not someone wants to trust you in their feeds.