5 Clever Ways To Market Yourself Visually On LinkedIn

People prefer pictures over text. Have you noticed the explosion of info-graphics over the last couple of years? We have an abundance of data to make sense of and share. Mobile devices are most useful when they make our interaction with them simple, intuitive and pleasing to look at. We prefer our information in easily-digestible, graphic-rich, text-lite bites. LinkedIn understands the power of images and the trend towards visualization. Here are 5 clever (and cool) ways to effectively leverage visuals on LinkedIn. How many are you using?


Let’s start with what people notice first on your LinkedIn Profile. Your photo is arguably the most important catalyst of Profile traffic (Profiles with photos are 11x more likely to be viewed than Profiles without photos when viewed in list format), followed closely by your Headline. People can only see your Photo, Name  and your Headline when browsing in LinkedIn Groups, using LinkedIn search or glancing at ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’. If your Headline is doing its job but you don’t have a photo – that’s usually a deal-breaker, not cool, not clever. People will assume that the rest of your Profile is unfinished/incomplete and not worth the click. Not having a photo also sends a universally understood negative message: “I don’t want you to see me”. Look at this example:

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 9.44.38 AM Who would you not click on?

Look at the following 2 examples of a Profile page: Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 9.52.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 6.10.28 AM

Jourdan could teach Matthew a thing or two about LinkedIn presence. What makes a good LinkedIn photo? Smile, look at ease, look confident by ‘Squinching’ your eyes (it’s an old photographer’s trick). Don’t have anything distracting behind or next to you (that means no one else in the shot; no kids, no wife, no friends, no pets etc.). If you can afford one, get a professional headshot taken, ask for a white or black background (white blends in with the LinkedIn Profile scheme, black focuses the eye on your face). A professional photographer can work wonders with lighting. Bring him/her examples of LinkedIn photos you like or want to emulate. Have a look at the following real life examples of some of the strangest, funniest and odd Photo choices, you’re ever likely to see on LinkedIn.


The next visual marketing opportunity on your Profile is your Skills & Endorsements section. It’s a big, bold, hard-to-ignore visual cue. Endorsements have divided all LinkedIn users into proponents and laggards, everyone can see where you stand. If you’re still on the fence, you should know that you now have all the right tools to weave your Tapestry. LinkedIn recently made some smart and welcome changes to Skills when it comes to managing your Endorsements. They’ve essentially put you in the driving seat – you can move Skills up or down, hide/add new Skills and you can even hide specific Endorsements. Now that you have full control of your Endorsement Tapestry, you can (and should) influence how others perceive your strengths/skill set. Here are 2 examples:

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 8.19.44 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 8.20.20 AM

Which one impresses you less? Why? I bet it has something to do with the single digits on the left, the lack of a completed square-shaped Tapestry and the proliferation of ghosts (folks without photos). People who quickly browse your Profile will check out your Endorsements, they’ll make a snap judgement. It’s in your best professional interests to present well on Skills. There are three ways to get Endorsed: (1) ask your network for them (2) endorse others and hope they return the favor or (3) sit back and wait for your connections to recognize your professional abilities. I’m not a fan of (3).


Many LinkedIn users are not making the most of their employer brand nexus. Corporate Logos are expensive to create, worth a lot of money, cherished and instantly recognizable. So why aren’t you leveraging them? Here are (wait for it) 2 examples:

  Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.23.27 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.22.05 AM

The first example is missing out on the “CBI” brand. The second one leverages it. The most common reasons why LinkedIn users don’t have logos on their Profile? They’ve added their Employer incorrectly or they added them before their Employer had a LinkedIn Company Page. It’s a really simple fix – just go back into your role, click edit and update/re-enter the Employer info. If your Employer has a Company Page, the Corporate Logo will be pulled over to your Profile when you click save.


Last year, LinkedIn gave all of its users the opportunity to place Rich Media on their Profile. Many LinkedIn users are not taking advantage of this feature either because they don’t understand what it is or how to add Rich Media. Have you got a presentation, video/audio file that makes you (your organization or your boss) look good? Impresses the heck out of everyone who has seen/heard it? Put it on your LinkedIn Profile (directly beneath your Summary, for maximum goodness). No technical ability/knowledge is required; if you can click, copy and paste, you’re able to add Rich Media to your Profile. Don’t just add the presentation and hope for the best though – think carefully about that crucial first slide, if it has tiny text, you should change it for something more visually appealing and click-worthy. 2 examples:

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.23.56 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.24.19 AM

Which one would you not click?

Rich Media is good but being able to publish directly on LinkedIn is great. When your readers click on Rich Media, they only get a remnant and if they want to see the full article/presentation/video they need to click again to be taken to the external site where the Rich Media is stored. If you’re one of the 220m English speaking LinkedIn users to have been granted Publisher rights recently on LinkedIn, you can and should start to publish your thoughts, perspective and knowledge. LinkedIn Publisher is a terrific opportunity to blog without the usual hassles (setting up a domain, administering a site etc. etc.) and LinkedIn Publishers get another opportunity to engage their Profile browsers intellectually and visually.

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 7.19.29 PM

Last point: having a visually compelling presence is important on LinkedIn but there are 21 other Sections on your Profile that you need to understand and decide whether/how to use. LinkedIn wants you to share as much professional data as possible, it’s the main reason they can charge Recruiters big bucks. If you don’t share data, by completing your LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn can make you invisible in search. I’ve written an article which explains how to complete your Profile: “Why You Should COMPLETE Your LinkedIn PROFILE”.


If you liked this article, you’ll love my LinkedIn consulting advice and coaching. I’ve helped many professionals with their LinkedIn Summaries, Profiles and LinkedIn strategies. Whether it’s getting more traffic/views on your Profile, engaging with a ‘Stunningly Good’ Summary or refreshing your LinkedIn presence and brand – share your goals with me and I’ll help you to achieve all of them via LinkedIn.


Contact me now: linkedinsights@gmail.com / 773.469.6600 to get started.

By Andy Foote

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28 Responses

  1. Good advice all around, Andy.

    But whose blue face is that on top? That would certainly stand out as a profile photo on LinkedIn!

    The Other Andy

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Other Andy. The mean-looking, blue frosty dude is a ‘Winter Walker’ from the Game of Thrones. (credit: Winter is Coming by Blake’s Vision).

  2. Slawek Gargas says:

    Really interesting and well-written article. To the point, good examples and thought-provoking topic.

  3. Allen Hunt says:

    Great article! Thanks for the insights.

  4. Carrie Beeson says:

    Thanks for the good information Andy.

    In case you or your followers aren’t aware of this service, check out photofeeler where you can upload a photograph and random people will rate it in three categories: competent, likeable & influential. You only have to rate other photos to get yours rated – no monetary expense involved. Log in with LinkedIn, FB, or create an account.

    I submitted my LinkedIn photo this week and although it scored fairly high, I got back helpful comments like: “use a different background” and “photo could be closer up” – I will retake that photo.

    I hope this helps those who follow your above advice!

  5. Kaboom J. Schneider says:

    And for goodness sake, proofread your profile!

    • Andy Foote says:

      Kaboom – makes a good point. LinkedIn does not have a built-in spellchecker, so many people type away and save, thinking that any spelling errors will have been caught. It only takes one misspelt word to signal to your reader that you are not a detail-oriented person. Quick tip: type your Summary in another program (with spellcheck) to ensure there are no errors, then copy and paste into LinkedIn.

  6. Mohammed Soliman says:

    Good work Andy, nice articles you have here! I’m one of those LinkedIn passions. I have read your posts and liked them.

    For spell checking, any other browser rather IE will have a built in spell check.

    Doesn’t use “I do logistic better than UPS” makes UPS angry? 🙂 It distract people’s attention, but I’m still curious to know the reaction of someone from UPS!

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Mohammed. Your raise a good point about spelling and other typographical errors on LinkedIn – people usually rely on a spell-check program to catch typos, LinkedIn doesn’t have one, so either use a browser like Internet Explorer (as you advise) or copy and paste the text into another program to check for typos, before publishing it on LinkedIn.

  7. Mohammed Soliman says:

    Both Chrome & Firefox have spell-check built in feature. I always use Firefox and never had a spell problem. IE come with no spell-check.


  8. Fantastic helpful article. Though for an image background I would aim for colours that connect with emotion. Gaining any edge over your competitors, even if it is subliminal, can only be a plus. White connects to (amongst others) to knowledge, Blue to Trust and so on. In this case a blue to white gradient….

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Ben! You’re absolutely correct about the subliminal effect of colors, there are reams of scientific studies to back this up. And it looks like LinkedIn know and use this to good effect (strong use of white & blue).

  9. Hi Andy,
    I love this article! You see I’m one of the few oddball people that feel’s facebook is truly the “Beast”. I will never ever have a facebook account and have never trusted it from the start. That being said, I love linkedin! I WANT to grow my profile and see the real worth to business’s social connections. Your article just solidifies my beliefs in this platform. I will continue to grow my profile wisely as you have suggested.
    Thanks again for the great tips!

  10. Kate McCreeryCarr says:

    Great article, simple and logical

    Thanks Kate

  11. Miriam McBride says:

    A wealth of information! Thanks so much.

  12. Saskia says:

    This article was great, thanks Andy! Some really good tips to take into consideration.

  1. May 25, 2014

    […] This article provides concrete actions to maximise the impact of your LinkedIn visual profile. Read more here – maximise your LinkedIn visual profile […]

  2. May 29, 2014

    […] Here are 5 clever and cool ways to effectively leverage visuals on LinkedIn. Read More: https://www.linkedinsights.com/5-clever-ways-to-market-yourself-visually-on-linkedin/ […]

  3. October 19, 2014
  4. October 20, 2014

    […] Foote, 5 Clever Ways To Market Yourself Visually on LinkedIn. Retrieved 17th October, 2014 from : https://www.linkedinsights.com/5-clever-ways-to-market-yourself-visually-on-linkedin/ [4] Sima Dahl, 5 Steps to Market Yourself on LinkedIn. Retrieved 17th October, 2014 from : […]

  5. November 5, 2014
  6. November 5, 2014

    […] Foote, A. (2014, May 22). 5 Clever Ways To Market Yourself Visually On LinkedIn | linkedinsights. Retrieved October 18, 2014, from https://www.linkedinsights.com/5-clever-ways-to-market-yourself-visually-on-linkedin/ […]

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