My wife watches a show called “The X-Factor” that some of you may have heard of. One of the remaining contestants is a young teen going by the name of Astro. Although he seemed to be a talented contestant, my wife was not sold on him “because of his attitude”.

I asked my wife exactly what she meant by “his attitude”. She explained that Astro was always straight-faced, and seemed to have a too much of a chip on his shoulder. On a show where voting is conducted, this could be an issue for Astro.

Over the last few episodes I noticed that my wife’s commentary regarding Astro was growing more positive. I asked her if his music was growing on her. Her answer was that his music was not the reason at all. She told me that, “his smile makes him seem like a nice, young man that I want to pull for”.

How To Win Friends And Influence People

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote the book “How To Win Friends And Influence People”. In the book, he outlined six specific ways to get people to like you. Sure enough, the second rule out of the six is to smile.

I must admit, I am not the smiley, happy go lucky type. I have had a hard time smiling for pictures. For most of my life, I have been a pretty serious guy. Thus, I had a hard time with this rule when I read it although I knew it made sense. I was always afraid of the cheese factor in smiling.

To give me some solace, I took a look at Carnegie’s first rule in getting someone to like you. The first rule is to “become genuinely interested in other people”. That makes complete sense to me as it seems more natural. When I keep that in mind, the cheese factor goes away for me.

Linkedin Profiles With A Photo Are Seven Times More Likely To Be Clicked

As the age of social media matures, you can likely be found within an internet search or two. If you plan to use social media in a way that will exert influence, you’ll want to compose your online strategy carefully.

The current leader in online professional networking is Linkedin. The site has done a masterful job at getting people to share their workplace information online. Linkedin’s blog reports that Linkedin profiles with a photo are seven times more likely to be clicked.

The reality of the market today is that recruiters dominate Linkedin in many ways. They use Linkedin to search for people to lure them away from their current jobs. You will see other entities such as investors, entrepreneurs, and customers checking you out on Linkedin as well.

The point is, you need to have a photo on your Linkedin profile to increase your chances of being clicked. The point right behind that is, take the opportunity to invite people into your world by having a smile in your photo…not a cheesy one, but a natural one!

Why Is This Important?

Some folks likely could care less about what people think of them. That is certainly understandable. However, people looking to grow their influence in society and business should see this as a big opportunity. Smiling opens the door for a conversation.

Think of social functions like meetups, happy hours, trade shows, weddings, parties, and various other functions where you meet new people. There are people from all walks of life that each present a unique perspective. Be sure to smile, but leave the cheese at home!

Jason Webster

Jason Webster is a social recruiting enthusiast and co-founder of Ongig, a platform that creates shareable, visually-appealing job descriptions. He has spoken at multiple social recruiting events, where his passion for candidate experience is the primary topic. Connect with Jason and Ongig on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

by in Networking