Are You Playing at Guess Who?
Are you playing a game of Guess Who with your potential clients?
I loved that game when I was a kid. I can’t remember if I was good at it or not, but I do remember that sometimes you could ask one question and knock over most of the faces on your board, or you could be stuck asking heaps of questions and knocking over one or two at at time.
When you are lost in a sea of faces on social media like LinkedIn, how will someone remember you? Will they ask someone else, “was he the one with the moustache?”, “did she have glasses or red hair?”
What does your profile picture say about you?
Did you know that it only takes 3 seconds for someone to form an opinion based on their first impressions of a person?
I was so surprised to hear that fact that I couldn’t believe it an had to look that up, and I found this report from 2006, - psychologists were able to measure that it took 1/10th of a second to form an opinion about someone on their first impression! And what about the other 2.9 seconds? Well, that is how long you have to concrete that impression, after that it makes very little difference….
So, how do you stand out in a game of faces? How do you make a connection with someone in that short a time, particularly when you exist on a page that can be scrolled so quickly? Can you communicate your values in one picture?
If you put up a picture that is just an afterthought (perhaps it was the best one your grandmother ever took of you) or, even worse, no photo at all (*Oh no!*), it tells your potential customer that you don’t really care that much. Would you engage with someone that looked like they didn’t care? LinkedIn surveys have shown that someone is more likely (14 times, apparently) to engage with someone with a professional photo as opposed to an smartphone “quickie”.
So, you need to stand out! If you want someone to see you as valuable, as someone worth investing in, you need to be fully aware of your own value. If you don’t back yourself, why should anyone else?
You need to emotionally connect with your audience - 87% of consumers will choose brands that match their own personal values and 71% will avoid those that don’t.
So what can you do to win the game of “Guess Who”?
Stop doing what everyone else is doing!
Be creative, flex your boundries. Bring some energy to your headshot - excitement, joy, determination. Make it about you, afterall, you are the one behind the profile.
To smile or not to smile? That is the question
Why not be playful - if that is who you are, and within reason of your job role (afterall, I don’t really want to see my potential barrister swinging from the chaneliers, at least not until after they win my case *wink*). Life is not supposed to be serious all the time.
Choose clothing that reflects your message - not just what you wear to the office everyday.
Choose a suitable background - you don’t want clutter, just a complimentary background - or even the colour of your brand. Remember, we all associated red with Coke and Christmas - what is your colour.
Commit fully to the process of FULL self-expression, otherwise you can put yourself back on the Guess Who board.