I’ve been working recently with my photographer friend John Cassidy, mainly to get some proper portraits done of me, and to get a better understanding of how important it is to present yourself professionally to the outside world.
One idea we explored together was the idea of putting a photograph of yourself on your business card. Now if you had a series of pictures you were truly proud of, that showed you in your best light, wouldn’t you be pleased to put one on your networking material?
Why should you adorn your business cards with your face? It’s not to show off or try and get into the limelight. It’s because so many cards I receive fail to represent whom they came from.
When you’ve got home from a networking event and you take a look at the cards you’ve collected, how many of them can you remember who the owner was or what they did? Sometimes the information on the card doesn’t give you any clues, as so many descriptions are ambiguous and are full of jargon, and unless you were really efficient and wrote down on the back of the card they can become an enigma.
Now if there was a photograph it could jog your memory and you’d be more likely to retain the card for future reference, and should you meet up again at another meeting the possibility of recognition is more likely.
Therefore it is important to get a true representation for your networking material. It’s no good hiding behind another persona; you don’t want to give the wrong impression so that the reader forms an incorrect opinion of you, either good or bad.
Seth Godin’s blog post “The power of a tiny picture (how to improve your social network brand)” confirms how important it is to create the right kind of picture about yourself. He makes a number of very valid points to consider, such as backgrounds, true likeness, accessories, cropping, etc, plus loads more relevant to social networking. Don’t muddy the waters with fancy gimmicks, keep it clear and simple so that people can truly understand who you are.