Twitter Success – Making Your Photo Work

This is probably the most important part of the Twitter set-up process as it’s the first thing that people gravitate towards when they see you on Twitter. You may have heard the phrase ‘People buy people first’. It’s the same in social networking.

I regularly hear people say that they’re not in sales so they don’t need a photo that sells them well. Nothing could be more wrong.

Even if you’re only using Twitter to meet new people socially, your image is what people look at first to determine what sort of a person you are. This is a human instinct that dates back millions of years. We look at someone’s face to see if they’re approachable and to assess their emotions and feelings towards us. We make this assessment hundreds of times per day and it’s as vital on Twitter as it is in real life. Your photo must therefore be a snapshot of what you want people to see, which in most cases is a friendly, bright person who looks like they are open to being contacted. If you are using Twitter for business, this becomes a vital part of your interaction with potential followers.

There are a few little ‘rules’ that I personally think apply to your photo on Twitter or indeed, any social media site. Here’s the lowdown!

Actually upload a photo – This might seem really obvious, but the number of Tweeters who don’t put a photo on their profile is incredible to me. As one of my colleagues in social networking says: ‘You wouldn’t go networking with a paper bag on your head’, so why would you prevent people seeing you when that situation is transferred to the online world?

Looking Good – If you met somebody at a networking event and they’d decided to turn up wearing a grubby t-shirt, three quarter length trousers, old trainers and had a week’s growth of stubble, you’d think ‘Wow, she’s really let herself go’! Seriously though, whether male or female, the way you look is important as people will assess you on it, whether you like it or not. If you look business-like, they’re likely to do business with you. So, find a good picture of yourself that puts across the image that you want potential followers to have of you. Simple really. Even if this just means wearing a shirt or blouse instead of a T-shirt, it will change people’s perception of you.

Logo No Go – A surprising number of business people who run small to medium enterprises have a logo as their Twitter profile picture. Often, their thinking behind this choice is that they want to appear like a larger company to attract more respect and credibility from potential followers. Quite simply, I believe this is an error. Think about it: Unless you are a large multi-national company, they will be dealing with you personally when they do business with you. So start the relationship by showing them who you are and what a lovely friendly individual you are. Don’t hide behind a logo, no matter how pretty it is. Like I said, people buy people first.

Sunny Side Up – For many of the same reasons as having a friendly photo, don’t wear sunglasses. They act as a barrier between you and the outside world. We’re programmed to look into someone’s eyes first when we talk to them and to keep looking back at them as we chat. If I can’t see your eyes, I won’t feel a connection to you. The same applies to social media sites like Twitter.

All Change – Try not to change your photo too much. If you change your look (say, with a vastly different hairstyle) then change your photo. But don’t keep putting up a new photo every week if you still look roughly the same. Having a photo that people identify easily means that they’re actually recognizing you personally, as well as what you stand for and what you twitter about. Changing it is disconcerting for people and can get in the way of you building a rapport with them.

Sensitive Information – It might sound odd, but make sure that your photo doesn’t contain sensitive information about you. For example, a colleague told me that he’d seen a girl’s profile picture (the daughter of a friend) which had been taken outside her house, clearly showing the location and house number. If you click a photo on someone’s profile, it will increase the size of it to nearly full screen size. If anything that shouldn’t be there actually is, it will be seen by people.
I’d now like to invite you to get free access to my exclusive Twitter webinar on How to Twitter Effectively at BuildYourFollowers.com.

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