LinkedIn Headshot adventure and lipstick in strange places

LinkedIn Headshot adventure and lipstick in strange places

First impressions are made in seconds. On LinkedIn it is your LinkedIn Profile Picture, your name and your headline that create this first impression. I was pretty happy with my head-shot for years, but there you go: YEARS! it was nearly 5 years old and although I still look stunning as, it was time for an update.


  • The hilarious adventures we had doing the photo-shoot
  • My top three tips in regard to a LinkedIn Profile Picture
  • The top three tips from the photographer I worked with


We decided on an outdoor picture, with a background that somehow helps strengthen the message that I work with clients worldwide. This meant I did NOT want to have your very recognisable Amsterdam city-scape. We met at a train station with an abundance of office buildings surrounding it.

I got told off for not having put on a little make up. I quickly popped into the pharmacy at the station to buy some. I’ve seen people put on make-up on public transport heaps of times. See it happen at the ferry daily. I’ve not seen people do their thing in a passageway of a busy train station yet. I just figured it was best to use as much natural light as possible. Now if you thought the place to apply the lipstick was a little funny, how about this? When I was done the photographer took the lipstick off me and applied it to my cheeks! Strange places for lipstick all around.

linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (1)linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (3)linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (17)linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (19)linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (6)


linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (15)I find fault in every picture. My smile is too big, my eyes too closed. I look insecure, I stare too much. My posture is an inch out of whack. Oh and I just CANNOT pull of facial expressions (such as a natural smile) on cue. When I did more or less get everything right a gust of wind would blow my hair straight up in the air. We weren’t really getting results, but we had great fun. Especially when noticing the commuters walk past, wondering what kind of photo shoot this was.

linkedin-profile-picture-photo shoot-petra-fisher-linkedin-trainer-consultant-expert (16)After a while we decided to move to the other side of the train station. Little did we know the background was much better there, it was more sheltered from the wind and even the sunlight seemed to catch me at a better angle.
At the end of the day I have to say, Vanessa Lam, from Lam Studios DID manage to get some great images of me. The one I like best are not suitable for LinkedIn though. Now I have just one tiny little problem. Picture #10 has captured me in the best possible way. I look just like I should look for a LinkedIn Profile Picture. Friendly, approachable, confident and businesslike all in one.


I now have 1 pic in which I look absolutely stunning! Yet I have another picture with the best background, making me stand out. Dilemma, dilemma, I don’t know which one to use. I’ll show both options at the end of this post, hopefully you can help me make up my mind.


  • Picture needs to support and strengthen your written message. In my headline you read that I work with international professionals; I won’t use tulips and windmills as my backdrop.
  • Look directly into the camera. Looking at your profile means I am asking you: “What do you do?” When you answer me, it is nice to have eye contact.
  • Head and shoulders. The more of you in the picture, the smaller you become. Networking is about engaging and building relationships so it is important that you are easily recognisable.


  • Be yourself. Wear clothing that reflects your personality and that you feel comfortable and confident in. If you’re not happy with your clothing, it will show in your face and in the photos.
  • Plan on wearing make-up. The camera absorbs a lot of it, so plan to wear some if you never wear any, or about 20% more than you normally wear if you wear some regularly.
  • Relax and let the photographer guide you. The majority of people are not comfortable posing in front of a camera or even looking natural on cue.
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Please help me out here. Which headshot should be my LinkedIn Profile Picture? In the comments below give me your option on WHY you be believe the left or right picture is the best fit for my LinkedIn Profile.

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Are personalised LinkedIn Invites even visible?

Are personalised LinkedIn Invites even visible?

Is it any use to send personalised LinkedIn Invites these days? With the majority of people using LinkedIn on their phone, no-one sees it anymore, right? WRONG! LinkedIn now does show you the personalised invitation on your phone and tablet. Both in Android and Apple. You don’t even have to look THAT hard to find it.

Let me show you how it goes!

Illustrated guide below for your convenience. Screenshots from Android, but not that different on Apple I noticed when testing on my iPad (the things I do for you :-)).

Looking at the images above from left to right these are the steps to take:

  1. When noticing an invite on your phone, the first few words (if personalised) are visible. Click the actual invites tab.
  2. Oh dear, now you see LESS of the invite. Click “see more”
  3. Here you can see the whole invite, read it, ENJOY IT, then accept it!
  4. Now that you are connected, you can send a message to start engaging.


The actual text of the invite is VISIBLE in the chatscreen! (first image below) That was missing for the longest time. Same applies if you were the one to send out the invitation

You can also SEND personalised LinkedIn Invites from your phone!

This is still well hidden by LinkedIn. Gotta have some fun playing hide and seek. Just check the 2nd, 3rd and 4th image above (slightly more advanced instructions then with first series of illustrations in this post).

  1. Forget 1, that still goes with the explanation above, we are going to start with image 2.
  2. DO NOT hit the connect button. Instead click the 3 dots above. Apple did an even better job at hiding those 3 dots. Go all the way to the top, and spot them lying down (lazy things) next to the search bar.
  3. Click on “personalise invite”
  4. Write your own snazzy invitation, you’ve got 300 characters to do so!

The Facebook Group mentioned in the invite is where I share all stuff LinkedIn including live recorded video tips.


>>> Now tell me… do you still think it is utter nonsense to bother with personalised LinkedIn Invites? <<<

How to actually engage on LinkedIn before you connect!

How to actually engage on LinkedIn before you connect!

You know how you sometimes find yourself talking to a person you’ve never met before. When you are really engaged in an interesting conversation, you often forget to ask to swap contact details. Or might not feel the need. It was just an interesting talk. You might bump into each other again in a few weeks, relate back to your first meeting and find yourself fully engaged in a fun conversation again. By the time you decide to swap contact details, maybe even plan to meet for a coffee, it comes natural, as you already know each other.


Fancy you could actually engage with people on LinkedIn, without being connected? Talk off taking the cold out off cold calling! Heck, they might even make the first move and invite you to connect!



  1. Make a list of people you’d really like to get to know.
  2. Visit their profile and view recent activity.
  3. If there is something you can add a meaningful comment to: go for it!
  4. Repeat weekly.
  5. Delete the people from your list who are not actively using LinkedIn.
  6. Narrow it down to a shortlist of 10-15 people.
  7. Evenly divide them over the weekdays.
  8. Now it just takes you 10 minutes a day to engage with 10-15 important people.


Remember you want to add value though your comments. You don’t want to be noticed as that pesky little stalker, but as the friendly professional that I know you are. Few things to keep in mind:

  • Show your natural curiosity for what they talk about, don’t move away from their topic, but ask a question to keep the conversation going.
  • Touch on something your are both interested in, that is not just an easy, but also a genuine way to build rapport.
  • Connect people. Draw others into the conversation by tagging them.
How to use LinkedIn Messaging without getting stuck

How to use LinkedIn Messaging without getting stuck

Have you gotten used to the new LinkedIn messaging options yet? I kinda like that it is now a chat functionality rather than an email look-a-like. Makes it easier and less stuffy to reach out to someone. However, there is a but… A BIG BUT

Never – EVER- use LinkedIn Messaging to multiple recipients at once.

linkedin-messaging-hell-hotel-california-petra-fisherI am not even talking ethics about cold calling, mass mailing and other stuff most people agree we should not do. No I am simply talking about a big, fat pain in the butt with the new LinkedIn messaging functionality.
When sending a message to multiple recipients, you create a group-chat that no one can leave. Honest, it is like “Hotel California” by The Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. That would be a great one for my friends Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff who wrote a whole LinkedIn book using analogies from rock lyrics to explain LinkedIn.

What is the problem with LinkedIn Messaging?

Well, it goes like this: you write a message, add multiple recipients and send. So far so good. Now someone replies. This is a REPLY ALL. Not optional. So the next person replies like: “Hey, what is this? Who are you?”, or something along those lines. Whatever happens, you are STUCK FOREVER in this group chat.

linkedin-messaging-chat-horror-petra-fisher-trainer-expert-03What are the LinkedIn Messaging options to escape?

Well, there are no options to escape. Easy as that. What you can do is click the 3 dots in the top right corner of the chat.
Let’s look at the two options that seem to help you get out of this scary place:

  • Mute conversation. I wish! All this does is stop email notifications. As soon as any of the recipients of the original message replies, you will get a little red speech bubble with your LinkedIn notifications and the chat is back in your messages.
  • Report as spam. This can be helpful if this is the first thing you do. If you DELETE the whole group-chat, later find yourself still in as someone replies, you are too late! This only marks ONE message in the chat as spam. So if you’ve deleted the original start of the conversation, this option becomes quite useless.

So now what?

Use the LinkedIn Messaging for 1-on-1 conversations or help people use it wisely. I got introduced by a valuable connection to one of her connections. My reply (which went to both parties) was this: “Thank you Nancy to introducing met to Cristina. I will send you a private message to catch up with you. Christina, I will message you as well, so our future conversations don’t bore Nancy”. Overall I am a fan of the new messaging, just not with multiple recipients.

>>>What is your experience with the ‘new’ LinkedIn Messaging?<<<

Turn any party into a networking event + LinkedIn tips to follow!

Turn any party into a networking event + LinkedIn tips to follow!

turn-party-into-networking-linkedin-petra-fisher-trainerHow do you feel about this “holiday season”? Love to go to all the parties? Or crawl under a rock till everyone has stopped saying: “Happy New Year”? Like it or not, this is a great time for some serious networking. Offline, but online as well!

Networking in 3 simple steps.

  1. Go out with a purpose
  2. Hit the bottle!
  3. Truly connect

Let’s have a look at each of the steps. How do you use them to turn the next social into a networking event? How to incorporate these steps in your LinkedIn use?

Go out with a purpose

Is it a work function where you know most people? Chances are you’ll have a good time and party-hardy. Think about it though… If you want to network, who do you want to talk to? Is there a colleague who has a great relationship with someone you’d like to be introduced to in the New Year? Or even better, have you got connections that will really benefit a certain colleague? Who will be there that you can genuinely complement on an achievement in the past year?

Work out who you want to talk to and why. Also be prepared for questions about yourself. What is most important to you for people to know? How can you tell it so they can remember and repeat it?

LinkedIn Tips:

  • Introduce the people you spoke with at the party, through LinkedIn with useful contact afterwards.
  • Write a brief LinkedIn recommendation to the person you paid a compliment to at the party. Make sure to start with a bold statement about what the recipient did for you. Only the first line or so is visible, make it count.
  • Once you have figured out what people really need to know and remember about you, update your LinkedIn Headline accordingly.

Hit the bottle!

Make yourself useful at a party. Poor people a drink, go round with some of the nibblies. This greatly increases your visibility. It shows people your helpful and caring side. It is easy to get near the person you’d otherwise be shy to walk up to. Don’t forget to smile while you offer people a drink or a snack and stay reasonably sober yourself so you don’t say silly stuff. It doesn’t take long for you to find out who is hiding in which corner and where the conversations are you’d like to join in.

LinkedIn Tips

  • Look up the people you met and see if they posted anything on LinkedIn (check recent activity on their profile). Add a like and an interesting comment. Like pouring drinks this helps your visibility and likeability.
  • Did you make eye contact with the people at the party? How about making eye contact with the visitors of your LinkedIn Profile. Make sure you have a picture with a nice smile.

Truly Connect

It’s a party so don’t be shy to use as much LSD as you can handle! Listen Summarise Dig deeper (really show an interest). People love a person that really listens to them and shows this by asking more questions. People are sooner to remember the person that cared and listened than the person that talked endlessly.

LinkedIn Tips:

  • Connect with them the following day, mention something specific from your conversation in the invite.
  • When you invite is accepted, send a thank you message. In this message add some useful information. A link to an interesting article following your conversation, an offer to put them in touch with so and so…
  • Check their recent activity on LinkedIn and contribute positively with a comment that both adds value to the reader and compliments your new connection.

There! Not only have the holiday parties become useful networking events, you’ve undertaken some positive, honest and meaningful networking activity through LinkedIn. I bet you it did wonders for your visibility as well!

>>>What LinkedIn follow up action did you take after one a recent party you attended?<<<