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Poll: Do you think a professional-looking profile photo helps in attracting clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:46
SITE STAFF
Jan 6, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think a professional-looking profile photo helps in attracting clients?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
To an extent Jan 6, 2015

I've mentioned this before, but way back when I first joined, I had a cartoon dancing elephant as my profile picture. While it was very cute and I got lots of comments that people loved it, I got very few work enquiries. When I changed it to a picture of me, the number of e-mails I got from potential customers increased dramatically.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:46
Member (2006)
German to English
No, not really Jan 6, 2015

I cannot imagine that a photo is that important as it does not express competence, or all of the other experience that the person translating can.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 21:46
Turkish to English
+ ...
No, definitely not Jan 6, 2015

Why should it? I am not a photomodel. You can't tell anything about a person's translation skills from their physical appearance. That is why I do not display a photo. If, despite this, the answer to this question is indeed yes, it would only show what a crassly superficial era we live in.

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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Absolutely right! Jan 6, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:

Why should it? I am not a photomodel. You can't tell anything about a person's translation skills from their physical appearance. That is why I do not display a photo. If, despite this, the answer to this question is indeed yes, it would only show what a crassly superficial era we live in.

I couldn't have put it better myself!


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
Professional-looking Jan 6, 2015

I think that a profile photo can look professional without being an airbrushed studio shot. It can be a company logo or a reasonable headshot. But perhaps a picture with a glass of beer in hand or one of your children or pet cat might not be deemed so professional.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:46
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not necessarily, but... Jan 6, 2015

I don't think a photo attracts custom. However, I do firmly believe that a dancing elephant, photo of a pet or a kid, or a selfie from a party will send potential clients a sufficiently poor message that they'll avoid you. A logo is absolutely fine, I would have thought. I wish we could have both here.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, definitely Jan 6, 2015

It's Marketing 101. The question was about *attracting* clients, not keeping them. In an ideal world, it wouldn't matter, but we can't escape the rules of marketing any more. IMHO, every professional should have a decent headshot.

If you were looking for a doctor on the Internet, What would you think of a photo of him/her on a ski slope?


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:46
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A professional-looking something, not necessarily a portrait Jan 6, 2015

I remember Mary's elephant and was a bit sorry to see it go. Still, I have to admit that I thought it too cute as well. A great balancing act, which translation is, but somehow just off the point.

A good logo that stands out in that sea of faces can be most effective.
Tim Drayton's map of Cyprus tells you something unique that a portrait does not. If you can come up with an image linked with your USP - preferably not mobile for my taste - or even initials in flag colours, but in a good, memorable design, that is likely to be highly effective too.

As others have mentioned, translation is not a beauty contest, and what really matters is your skill in the field and the languages the client requires. A logo can make you easier to find or drop if you cannot offer what the client wants.

I usually have lots of work, but clients refer to my postings here and elsewhere or say they found me through KudoZ, so I am not sure the portrait makes much difference in my case.

[Edited at 2015-01-06 17:07 GMT]


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Ben Harrison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:46
Member (2013)
German to English
Depends on the subject area perhaps Jan 6, 2015

I had somebody contact me last year asking if I wanted to do some sports-related translations even though there is nothing about sport in my profile. I suspect that having a profile picture taken in a stadium which you can clearly see in the background had something to do with their decision to choose me above somebody in a suit!

I wouldn't want to have too casual or too formal a photo, but something that gives an idea of the man behind the mask would be ideal.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
Just for you Shiela Jan 6, 2015

For old time's sake! Although he seems to have stopped dancing ...

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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 20:46
French to English
+ ...
Not mine Jan 6, 2015

My photo would be more suitable for repelling cockroaches than attracting clients

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:46
English to Polish
No, not really Jan 6, 2015

Thinking about my own photo - a laughing me, taken at one of Proz powwows, no less - as not very professional, but I still occasionally receive an email through Proz from a potential client.

I guess a cute kitten would not be the best option for a profile picture, but apparently a serious, passport-or-such photo is not necessary.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Well there's only one way to find out... Jan 6, 2015

Let's see if I now get inundated with offers of work from serious, high-paying customers rather than the usual jokers that come through ProZ.

I never had a single sensible offer of work on here without a photo, so maybe this could be my big break.


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:46
Member (2013)
English to Russian
Yes Jan 6, 2015

As an outsourcer, I have never hired and will never hire a person whose profile picture is a cute cat, baby, airplane or anything of the sort. I need to know who I am working with.

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