This is a blog about my experience post-social media marketing intervention.  Lorrie Thomas Ross (aka The Marketing Therapist) was teaching a Social Media Marketing class at UC Berkeley Extension in San Francisco and during her class she typically pulls up our agency’s social media pages to demonstrate best practices for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. When she pulled up Web Marketing Therapy’s company page, the class saw my LinkedIn profile and there was NO PROFILE PICTURE-gasp!  While this may sound trivial, pictures online speak a thousand words and my lack of photo made our company profile look incomplete.

The intervention was peaceful.  I didn’t cry, we had a virtual group hug and I agreed to do the work to update my LinkedIn profile. After a healthy talk with Lorrie on the marketing therapy couch, we broke down the reason that I didn’t do this simple personal branding tactic (which also impacts corporate branding).

For some, choosing a profile picture might be a simple task.  But for me-it is STRESSFUL!

I have been a part of the Web Marketing Therapy team for just shy of 6 years.  I also have a 6 year old son.  So for those of you that are great at math, you have probably figured out by now that I have been a mom for as long as I have worked at WMT.  I have a few things working against me in finding a professional profile “headshot”.

  1. We are a virtual agency-This means I don’t interact in person with ANY of our clients or the rest of my team on a daily basis (Perhaps we meet for a random business dinner or conference run in, but it is RARE!)  My office is my wonderful desk that overlooks my front yard OR my favorite recliner.  This means I really wouldn’t have to get dressed…ever…I could stay in my PJ’s all day!
  2. As a mom, I grab every spare second of kid-free moments to work.   See #1 – Combine these two things and it means that I am in my favorite Athleta workout gear pretty much 24/7, hair up in a pony tail, little to no make-up, in the hopes that between work and being a mom, I’ll fit in my marathon training runs.
  3. My husband works – a lot!  He is a veterinarian, doing a residency at a busy hospital.  Nights out on the town (either for just the two of us or for girl’s night out) are rare.  Refer back to #1 and #2-and you’ll find I’m STILL in my workout gear – pretty much 24/7.
  4. I take most of our family pictures-therefore I am rarely in any of our family shots (okay, this may be by choice!)
  5. I’m more like Sporty Spice than Posh Spice – I’m most comfortable in, you guessed it, workout gear.

Combine all the above and it’s probably easy to understand why my LinkedIn profile picture is blank and why finding an appropriate selfie is a very difficult task!

Just to give you some idea of what a battle this was, here are some of the pictures I had to choose from (after searching “Photos of You” on my Facebook page) which has tons of photos-but again, nothing that even comes close to “professional headshot” status and most have someone else in the picture with me.  Here we go:

Jungle Apocalypse (the theme for my husband’s vet school end of year bash)

Jungle Apocolypse

Mom – (with my wonderful son attached to my hip)Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.12.42 AM Hat shotsScreen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.11.53 AMScreen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.10.21 AM

Too few and far between meetings with my WMT Team

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.13.05 AM

SO, for those of you that are fretting about finding the perfect professional shot for your social media pages-you are not alone!

Your social media profile is part of your personal brand.  Your personal brand also reflects your company’s brand.  What I learned was to not overthink the photo.  The photo needs to look like you and be professional (no baseball caps, etc.).