Stay Away from the Gray on LinkedIn

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Would you walk into a networking event with a bag over your head? Or pay for a billboard only to leave it reading “Your Ad Here”? Well, when you leave the visual components of your LinkedIn profile blank, that is basically what you are doing.

Let’s talk about the three places this happens too often, why it is a problem and what you can do about it.


Your profile picture is often the first impression you make with potential connections on LinkedIn. Many people are hesitant to connect with someone whose photo is not visible because there is a perception that they are not an engaged user or worse, not a real person.

Often someone may have a photo but not realize it is set to be visible only to their connections. It is really important to check this setting to ensure your photo is set to PUBLIC…otherwise, you may be a gray silhouette to 2nd and 3rd degree connections.

Here’s how you check (on desktop):

▫️ Click on your photo on your profile
▫️ Choose “View or Edit Profile Photo”
▫️ You should see a screen like in the image below and make sure the button says PUBLIC. If not, change it and hit SAVE.

Now there are a few exceptions to this rule, but for 99.9% of LinkedIn users, your photo should be visible to everyone.


Think of the banner image on your profile as a billboard. It is prime real estate to highlight your brand, company, expertise and personality. Yet too often it is left blank – a sad sea of gray that makes a profile look incomplete.

What should you put here?

  • If you are an employee, add an image with your company branding. Chances are the marketing department can send you some options and would be thrilled to have you share an image with the company logo.
  • If you are a small business owner or solopreneur, create a branded image using something like Canva. They have templates you can use to create an image and it is extremely user-friendly. If you have a website, this should match your visual brand.
  • If you are unsure of what to use (or a job seeker), an image of your city’s skyline or a graphic that showcases your industry can be used as a default.


This is for the small business owners and solopreneurs – you need a LinkedIn company page. Even if you are a business of one, having a company page is important for several reasons.

  1. It creates brand awareness on your profile by linking to your logo
  2. It makes it easy for people to find your website
  3. Just because you are a small business today does not mean that will be the case in 1, 5, or 10 years. It’s never too early to build your brand, and a company page is a great tool to get started.

If you are thinking, “How am I supposed to manage a company page? I can’t take on one more thing right now!” Don’t worry…just get it set up. It is pretty simple and when you are ready to start posting content, it will be there, waiting for you to get started.

So, are you ready to ditch the grey today? Fixing these three pieces of your profile will help support your LinkedIn goals and position you for success.

Does your LinkedIn profile need a renovation, but you don’t know where to start? We make the process quick and painless. Contact us for a free 15-minute consult to discuss how to improve and update your profile!