Show your face and increase your credibility

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Are you happy to show your face online? Or would you rather show a photo of yourself with a baby, or a pet, or obliquely, so people can’t really see your face? Or do you prefer a lovely view of your garden or a default avatar?

anonymous avatars versus faces on twitter

Who would you trust?

Sometimes resistance to showing your face is a privacy thing – why is my face relevant? Sometimes it’s a security thing: you don’t want the wrong sort of attention for your children, or something like that. Or maybe you’re just a bit shy. Nothing strange or wrong with that.

The thing about the social web is that being honest and open carries enormous weight. Anyone who appears particularly reluctant to show their real face can seem suspect. At the very least, you might suffer a loss of credibility if you present yourself in a homely way. By that I mean that unless babies, pets or gardens are relevant to what you write about professionally then you may not be creating a great impression.

Taking a photo is not a big deal these days – you (or someone you know) must own a smart phone with a camera. Take a ‘selfie’ headshot. Send it to your computer with Bluetooth or whatever means you use. If you don’t have any good image editing software, no worries – go to Pixlr  free online editing software and you can crop, edit and save your image when you’re happy with it. Save several sizes of your headshot (different sites will want different sizes) and use the same image across your social profiles. That way you’ll start to be instantly recognisable wherever you go, including when you comment on blogs.

Showing your face is one of the quickest ways to gain credibility and recognisability on the social web.

Writer & fledgling poet. Social comms mentor & trainer. RSA Fellow. Walked the online talk for 15yrs with the blisters to prove it. Author 'Blogging for Writers' (Ilex, 2014)

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