I have a confession to make: I'm no oil painting (as any of you who've met me would confirm :0) That goes double right now, as I am sporting a magnificent black eye, for reasons which are too complex to explain here...
However I do post my photo on profiles all around the web. Not vanity, just sanity. I want people to know I'm a real person, warm, approachable - in fact, as Ecademy founder Thomas Power puts it in his testimonial on my Ecad profile: 'Solid, likeable, loveable'. Whoa there Thomas - solid in what sense, exactly? OK, we'll leave that for now!
Back to my point: It's vitally important to display your mugshot online because cyberspace is intrinsically 'inhuman'. At a networking meeting you can smile, share a joke, look people in the eye, shake their hand. Online, you're invisible, intangible and impersonal.
Sure, you can cultivate a personality through how and what you write - in fact as a copywriter, I do it for brands and products all the time, albeit almost always with the help of images (still or moving) and/or sound.
But 'a picture is worth a thousand words' - dreadful old cliché, as a writer I take issue with it, but there's a lot of truth in it too. Critically, posting your picture lets people identify you when they meet you face-to-face at a networking event having seen your cheery mush online - or recognise you online as somebody they've met in person.
And if you have a choice of connecting with an anonymous silhouette (or 'Awaiting Photo' graphic) and a smiling human face (even mine!), who you gonna call?
So if you haven't already done so, PLEASE get a decent photo taken (even if it costs you £100) because it will be a fantastic investment in your business and brand. And then if you haven't yet done so, please post it here and wherever else you appear online. You'll make friends and influence people much more easily when you do.
C'mon, let's face up to it... all of us!
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