How to Use Your iPhone to Take a Professional LinkedIn Headshot
The average individual decides whether to trust you or not within 100 milliseconds of seeing your face. As a result, paying attention to the way that you present yourself online can make a lasting impression.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you know how networking and making important connections can positively impact your business. You’re most likely utilizing LinkedIn to grow your contact list, but are you paying enough attention to how your profile, specifically your headshot, presents you to potential contacts? Poor and unprofessional headshots can not only negatively affect your reputation, but they can negatively impact what you do professionally. However, a professional headshot sells you before you sell yourself.
Getting a professional photo can cost you a few bucks, but what if you could get one without dipping into your marketing budget? Read on as we walk you through using LinkedIn for sales and network growth and how to get your profile photo up to par with nothing but your iPhone.
Investing In Your LinkedIn Profile: Crucial for Your Small Business
Investing in your LinkedIn profile can do more than just make you look like a legit professional. It can actually put more dollars into your company. Here are some specific reasons you should consider investing more time into your LinkedIn profile:
1. It Will Expand Your Network
As a sales professional and small business owner, who you know is very important. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry, including colleagues, customers, and potential clients.
Use it to bulk up on the number of professional connections you have while building meaningful relationships and engagement that can eventually lead to sales. By making more connections, you can expand your network of potential clients by creating a hearty email list of interested parties looking to hear more from you. With a larger network of engaged contacts, you’ll have more leads to nurture with email marketing campaigns, moving them through your inbound marketing funnel.
2. It Can Provide Audience Research and Discovery
With LinkedIn, you get insights into the relationships of clients and potential leads. You can see who they’re engaging with, connected to, groups they belong to, and events they’re attending.
Review the profiles of connections for mutual interests. Are they already in groups you’d be interested in? Join such groups to increase your audience base of possible connections with similar interests.
Reviewing profiles helps you discover lead opportunities, and from their activities, you can deduce how best to engage with these connections and build stronger relationships.
3. It Can Inform the Content You Create
On LinkedIn, people share what works and what doesn’t, ask questions, get feedback, and generally provide information about the problems they’re experiencing in their professional environments and journeys. Having access to these valuable insights will provide you with intel that can fuel your sales and marketing efforts.
When you’re able to better understand your target audience, you can provide them with more valuable content during your lead nurturing process. Knowing their struggles means you know exactly what kind of content to create that will resolve those struggles. You’re then able to present your brand as a trusted, reliable resource that they can count on in the future.
4. You’ll Gain Brand Visibility
Putting content on LinkedIn goes beyond engaging with your potential clients and customers. It is a great way to establish yourself and your small business as industry experts and go-to professionals, boosting your brand visibility.
Position yourself and other team members as experts by sharing targeted and valuable content and contributing to thought-provoking industry-related conversations. These engagements help you build a relationship with your target audience while increasing brand visibility.
How to Take a Professional Headshot for LinkedIn
Now that we have you sold on the importance of going all-in on your LinkedIn profile let’s address one of the most important components of your LinkedIn profile: your headshot.
Tools/Supplies You’ll Need
Before taking the corporate photo you need for your LinkedIn page, what are the things you need to prepare? You’ll need to get the following ready.
- Your iPhone.
- A tripod, a place to balance your phone, or someone to hold the phone for you.
- A lighting source (natural is best).
- A simple/plain wall.
Tips That Will Help You Take Great Headshot Photos
Once you have everything you need, make sure you follow the following tips that will help you take the best picture possible.
- Set your iPhone’s camera to shoot in high resolution. The higher the resolution, the better the picture quality.
- Aim for using natural light. Artificial light sources can be unflattering, leading to squinting and shadows in your photo. Face a window or go outside and look for a well-lit spot.
- While the sun is a light source, direct sunlight is too powerful for your portrait and can wash out your photos. Target the early hours in the morning or late afternoon hours for best results.
- Use a simple background that’s devoid of distractions. This is a professional photo, and you’re the focus. A crowded environment can take away the focus from you. Aim for walls with simple textures. In the absence of that, use a simple and plain colored cloth as your background to create the similitude of a bare wall. If you can’t find any of the above, you can take the shot and blur out the background.
- Take your photos in color. Avoid black and white and sepia.
- Consider smiling with your teeth showing. Showing teeth when you smile can make you appear friendly and approachable.
- Prepare yourself for the actual shot. The first few shots can appear cold and awkward, but after a few poses and clicks, you’ll get in the mood and act more naturally.
- Experiment with different smiles, body angles, and facial expressions. When you’re done, you can select the picture you like best from the collection.
Step-By-Step Process for Taking Your Professional Linkedin Headshot
Okay, it’s time to get that picture taken! Here’s your simple, foolproof, step-by-step guide:
- Get dressed for the shot. Aim for simplicity. Your clothing choices should align with what’s typical in your industry, but professional-casual usually works best.
- Pick and prepare the spot for taking the shot. Whether using natural or artificial lighting, ensure the area is well-lit.
- Set up a tripod or place to stabilize your iPhone if you’ll be taking the picture yourself.
- Strike a pose. If someone is helping you, have the person take multiple shots of you in different positions and facial expressions. If not, go to the next step.
- Set up your phone to face your picture spot on the tripod. Choose the self-timer option. Make sure you provide yourself with enough time to get in position before the camera clicks.
- Take your photos! Try multiple positions and smiles so you have a variety to choose from.
- Go through your photo collection and choose the one that appeals best to you. Or, continue to take more photos if you don’t like the ones you’ve already taken.
- Edit your picture to put some finishing touches. You can use your iPhone’s native app to crop the photo into a square size to keep the widths uniform and Canva for some basic edits. For more advanced editing, you can use Camera+ or Lightroom to apply filters that give your picture a professional feel.
- Save the photo of your choice and upload it to your LinkedIn profile.
By using the outlined tips above, you can take a high-quality, professional photo using nothing but your iPhone (and a photo app, if you so choose). This photo can help boost your LinkedIn profile and increase your success by using the platform to build your contact list and lead pool. Good luck!