We recently spoke with Yumi Wilson, Corporate Communications Manager at LinkedIn. In our interview Yumi answered questions about creating a successful profile on LinkedIn and using LinkedIn for business. She also gave us some thoughts on how to use your headshot as an identity photo for your LinkedIn profile. (Note: Photos here are headshots I have done recently and are cropped for LinkedIn.)
As a former journalist, you have a unique perspective for corporate communications people. Tell me what you are doing to help them get their message across on LinkedIn.
I was contractor for a year and went full time at LinkedIn four months ago. I will still be supporting journalists, but I will now be doing LinkedIn for the corporate communications group. (6000+ members as of today.) We will have webinars and other programs of interest for communications professionals.
It seems LinkedIn has gone from a resume/job search site to a B2B site. What are your thoughts on how that change is being embraced by members?
LinkedIn offers so much more than just a place for your resume. This has been going on for a long time. It is a great place for reaching out to customers too. We think it is a business to consumer site as well. There are more than 3.3 million company pages on LinkedIn.
Why is it important for businesses to have a separate business page from their individual pages?
You can tailor your message direct to your customers. A company page can have followers. These are not connections. Companies can directly reach out to customers. They can get recommendations.
Seph Paul a certified professional organizer at Absolute Control.
How is this different from Facebook?
People invest time on LinkedIn instead of spending time. They are looking for advice and networking. It’s professional. You can be unapologetically about business. LinkedIn is a better platform to share business stories.
What about company pages for small businesses and individual professionals?
Small business owners should also have a company page. When people are doing key word business searches they are more likely to find the business. Also they should join a group and participate. Share questions. Those people have the most success. But always start with a great personal profile. (Note: A company page is automatically generated for any company with more than five people.)
Executive Peter Gillespie photographed on a blue background.
For individuals in larger companies, how important is their profile photo?
The photo is incredibly important. People with a photo are eleven times more likely to be viewed. LinkedIn recommends that you choose a professional cropped photo. This means cropping at the shoulder or above.
What are some tips for a profile photo that make it most effective on LinkedIn?
My personal opinion is that if I see a really great black and white it really catches my eye. For an artist or someone more creatively focused, sometimes an action shot or something not standard might work, but for most business people the shoulder up profile photo is best.
I see your background color is blue. Why did you pick that? Is there any specific colors or backgrounds to avoid? Which work best?
I had not thought of it, but a lot of LinkedIn employees have blue. We have a choice of blue or white background. The professional photographer who takes our pictures offered different colors and I picked blue.
Any final advice?
I would recommend someone hiring a professional to get their head shot.
Christine Hueber Marketing Consultant and LinkedIn Expert at ChristineHueber.com