How long has it been since you’ve updated your avatar,
social media profile or headshot?
Too long, I am guessing!
This is where Shock and Ah! Comes into play.
It is time to update your avatar. It is time to update your social media profile portraits. It is time to update your headshot! Why, you might ask? The primary reason is, in most cases I encounter, that the picture you’ve previously posted is simply too old. Have you changed much since your last picture was plastered on the web site profile? When my team sets up our Social Media Profile Photo booth at your event, one of the things I try to ask is “How old is your current LinkedIn profile picture?” It gives me a good gauge as to the state of truth, accuracy, vanity and laziness of the general public. The current record is 14 years…
Consider the following:
Each of these have appeared, at one time or another, as my profile picture somewhere. Have I changed in 15 years? You bet! I look different day-to-day and year to year. We all grow older. Our bodies also change. We put on weight. We take weight off. We tan and we become pale. We continue to a-g-e! That is where the Shock and Ah! comes in…
Further consider the following:
What a difference only 2 years (and 55 pounds) make. A different pose and different lighting help too. Not to mention removing that conference name badge is a big win. Importantly, the picture on the left is a snap/test shot of me. The picture on the right is a no-fooling headshot attempt with combed hair and everything! Even thought only two years old, the photo on the left is not representative of who I am today!
I keep talking about Shock and Ah! Ah! is that anguished cry of despair, regret or contempt that comes from seeing your abrupt transformation from your younger self into the more mature person you are today. When you let old avatars linger on social media, it seems easier to let them remain than to risk the exposure of an new portrait to a wider world. Remember, you watch yourself change in the mirror daily and very subtly, When gaps of several years or even decades intervene in your appearance, as when you update an ancient avatar, you change more drastically. That isn’t even the worst part: the longer you wait, the worse it will get. If you don’t take action now, it becomes even harder to update your look and the change will be much more obvious.
A good New Year’s resolution is to update your profile picture – at least on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your friends know what you look like so that youthful ancient version of yourself suddenly transforming into that up-to-date version of you won’t shock them as much as it does you. The same is true on LinkedIn. If you are applying for work, you want to look like your profile picture – not like the person who didn’t update their profile recently.
One of my missions in life is to take pictures of people and make them look good. My team and I photograph about 2000 people a year both individually and at large industry conferences. We work to give you the best up-to-date avatar of yourself so that you can share it with the world. Will it compete with that great shot of you at sunset in Hawaii 7 years ago after a couple of cocktails? How could it? But that person is gone – let’s get the best shot of you – today! After that, all you have to do is find all those profile artifacts and update them…. not a small task! Then you will go from Shock and Ah! to just plain aww.
Rikk Flohr © 2018
Rikk Flohr operates Social Media Headshot services at many conferences a year. Contact him for your corporations next event.
(Disclaimer: LinkedIn occasionally sponsors our booth at some events)