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Why You Should ALWAYS Put Your Best Face Forward!

by Alina Vincent

It happens all the time: somebody needs a picture of you. Maybe it’s a journalist looking for a headshot for your media appearance, maybe it’s an event organizer looking for a photo to include with your bio, or maybe it’s a blogger quoting you and looking for a face to go with the statement.

Why You Should ALWAYS Put Your Best Face Forward

When time allows, they might send you a request for a photo. But let’s be honest, who has time nowadays? In this era of technology, if they can “Google” you and grab a picture from the internet with one click, why would they waste time to email you and wait for your reply?

So the question is where are they looking and what are they finding?

A majority of the time, people will look for you under your name, not the name of your business, and one of the first places they look is Facebook—on your personal profile. Yes, everybody knows that LinkedIn is a better place to look for a professional headshot, but Facebook is the largest and most popular social platform, so chances are very good you have an account there. Remember, it’s all about efficiency and easy access. They don’t even have to be your “friend”; your main profile picture is always public, and it only takes a few seconds to download your image.

Herein lies the problem. What are you using for your profile picture? Most small business owners and entrepreneurs post a nice professional headshot for their business fan page, but often have a cell phone selfie on their personal profile. It’s not that people can’t tell the difference between a professional image and a casual snapshot, but it takes more effort to look for additional pictures or to find your business page. So you have to ask yourself, if someone used your current Facebook profile picture in a press release, is that how you’d want to be seen?

Another way people could look for your pictures is by performing a web search of your name and switching to the “images” tab. Have you ever tried that? You should. You might be surprised by what comes up. Anything and everything that you have ever used as profile pictures, uploaded to your website, or posted on social media networks (even deleted and removed images) can come up. It might not be pretty. Did you know, for example, that images you were “tagged in” on Facebook (the ones posted by your friends from an after party 3 years ago) could have stronger association with your name than images you have posted on your business website (unless you used proper SEO techniques in naming your files). Add to that the fact that media people are almost always on a short deadline, most likely have never met you in person, and don’t have time to be discerning about the image they choose as long as it “works,” and you might end up with an image that you would never choose to represent yourself with professionally.

The bottom line is that if you have a career, own a business, or want to create an impression of a professional brand, it matters what you put online. People, businesses, and organizations will need photos of you, and they won’t always ask you for them directly.  You can do your part by submitting yourprofessional images with press releases, articles, bios, etc., and making media kits and publicity images available on your website, but keep in mind that you will ALWAYS look good if you ALWAYS use current, professional high-quality images for all of your online accounts, personal or not.
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Find out how you can protect your online image with Alina Vincent in her online workshop on eWomenSuccessInstitute!

About Alina Vincent