A key part of any personal brand strategy is the consistent creation, curation, and production of content, especially if you are on a 'Story Selling' journey 'e.g. sharing knowledge, not advertising.

In the online space you need to be able to express not just your expertise, advice, thoughts, and occasionally your vulnerability, you need to be seen to be authentic, and this authenticity comes through how you express your personality, often this is conveyed in your subject matter and writing style.

When you meet someone for the first time it's a lot easier for us to work out in a very short time if we 'like' that persona or not, sometimes we don't know why we like or dislike someone but its a fairly quick assumption level we jump to, and when we're online being 'social' the same thing happens, only it takes slightly longer for us to arrive at our assumptions.

At DLA Ignite we talk about how easy it is for all of us to jump to conclusions online when our first impression is formed by the picture we see of someone.

I'm not really one for having the standard black and white corporate head shot because it's not really who I am, I'm not a corporate guy, but i do an awful lot of business in the corporate space, so if I'm trying to do business with others that are then it simply helps to put them at ease, and there is nothing scarier than me in an Hawaii beach shirt.

So if your picture shows you on the first Tee at Gleneagles, or in your best dress and Tuxedo from the last 'awards' event, I'm told that would be good enough for people to start their biased assumption of you.

But what if its a picture of you in your beach shorts or a Bikini, looking suntanned and healthy whilst on holiday, what might look like a great picture to you, for others you could be sending out all the wrong signals.

The worse ones ever are the ones where all we see is the silhouette because you uploaded your picture, but didn't adjust your settings to make it visible to everyone, so now no one can see who you are.

My biggest bug bear on personal social profiles are those that use a company logo, emoji, or worse still an avatar of themselves, I've even seen someone using the LinkedIn QR Code of their profile as their image WTF?

My final point on this (link below) is that the same thinking needs to be applied to the images you use when promoting your blog, or article, because that one image can make all the difference between catching someones eye, and getting them to engage in the effort you put into your story, or them just scrolling on by.