You are connected with a large number of people online. Of that large number, there are several whom you have never met face to face. Is that enough for you and for them?
Why a photograph online is so important
Having a business relationship with someone whom you have never seen in person is very different than having business relationships with people with whom you have telephone relationships. You don’t need to see them because you interact with another human quality—voice. In the social media world, connecting a face with a name (as well as whatever else you learn about the person) is essential for the success of your business.
With the ever-increasing popularity of social networking and social media sites, there are more and more people who don’t complete their profiles and who don’t understand how important it is in business for them to share more of themselves than just a name, where they went to school and where they are currently working. A little education goes a long way in this situation.
Not only are the details of your various profiles important to other people with whom you share a business relationship but your photo is also of utmost importance. You don’t display your photo as part of your social media profiles because of how good looking you are, you display your photo so that others are able to relate to you on a more human level. That is an essential part of developing and deepening your relationships with them.
Giving the entire picture
Your photo gives others a comprehensive and complete profile of you. When people have relationships with others online, they want to be able to see who is engaging them. This builds a deeper trust in the relationship, it builds more credibility and, perhaps most importantly, it makes you more human to them. The foundation of social media is engagement, valuable conversations and exchange of information and trust.
You should use the same photo in all of your online profiles because this will create stronger branding for you and your business and people will start to remember your photo and connect it with what you are offering.
With that in mind, it is very easy to see why a photo of you is so critical when it comes to interacting with other people online. Another very important thing to remember is to use your own photo and name in your online profiles. It is not a good idea to use your company name, company logo, or other impersonal images. You are trying to bring in the human factor, not remove it.
Your company brand is extremely important but in your business relationships with other business people online, people want to interact with you, the person, not your company, even though you represent your company and brand. If you make your profile personal, it will help to build the credibility of your business as well.
How to choose a photograph
You might ask how you should choose your photo. When it comes to actually choosing your photo, you should use a close-up shot or head shot. That way, you will also be recognizable in a thumbnail version of the photograph. Your photo should be professional looking (no silly faces, etc). Remember to choose a professional photo for a professional profile.
If you have a photo that you would like to display but it might need some updating, Photoshop is an excellent tool. It will enable you to make your photo as perfect as possible in your eyes. The end result will be that you will have a photo that you have been able to update and one that you will be proud to display to everyone online.
Your online presence is made up of many components. Some of them are connected to your “voice” and some of them are connected to your “image.” Since the main goal and the heart of your online relationships in social media has an extremely human basis, having a photograph that allows others to see you as well as to hear you rounds out the relationship. People are not interested in doing business with corporations. They want to do business with people. The relationships will always be on a one-to-one basis.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).