If you are using social media to disseminate information rather than garner affirmation, use a picture that says you've been to the rodeo before.
Great entrepreneurs are great networkers, whether they are connectors, mavens, or sales people. As everyone knows who is reading this post, your LinkedIn picture says more than a thousand words. It should transmit authority, credibility, and trust (ethos, pathos, and logos) and should set the stage for what you want to say.
Unfortunately, some people did not get the memo. LinkedIn pictures generally come in several styles:
1. Professionals. These are professionally take photos that indicate professionalism with a touch of personality. Props include lab coats, pin stripes, hard hats, or other tools of the trade
2. Daters. These are photos of people in various stages of dress in flirtatious poses who seem to be more interested in dating than networking.
3. Introverts. They don't even post a picture of themselves, but rather display an avatar, a cartoon or an object to represent them.
4. Hobbyists. Their pictures show everything from them catching a trout in Montana to playing survivalist games in the woods.
5. Patriots. These are generally people dressed in military uniforms, camouflage, or helmets, often holding lethal weapons.
6. Advocates. The photos typically infer they are supporting a political cause or social action group. Sometimes, they are confusing. I recently saw a photo of a person holding a Martini glass while her profile indicated she was working for a group helping alcoholics.
7. Creatives. Their pictures are all about how cool, hip, and edgy they are. The further out, the better.
8. Costumers. Telling you they are a surgeon is not good enough. They need to have a picture in their scrub suits where all you can see is the back of their heads while operating.
9. Bosses. Stern, steely, passive, cold, hard. My way or the highway.
10. Pet lovers. The photos include everything from Charlotte the dog to a funny looking, but loveable iguana.
Most people use LinkedIn to connect with like-minded people who can exchange value. Some have more nefarious motivations. If you are using social media to disseminate information rather than garner affirmation, use a picture that says you've been to the rodeo before.