Professional Presence & Building your LinkedIn Network

Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017

With the growing trend towards social media networking and online profiles it’s important to convey your professional presence in the most authentic and professional way. GABC’s Young Professional Group was delighted to partner with Kaplan International English to present this interactive session with Nicole Connolly, from Photo Fabulous You, a company that provides professional image and photography services.  The event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 6:00PM-9:30PM.

Today, it’s more likely your first impression with potential clients, employers, recruiters and co-workers will be virtual and then personal.  What is “Professional Presence”?  Why should image and first impressions matter to business professionals? Research shows you only have 3 seconds to make a good first impression.

In this information packed session we learned:

  • The total number of LinkedIn users today is about 500 million — that’s about 130 million in the US and 9 million in Germany
  • Adding a professional photo to your profile make you 14 times more likely to be found and 36 times more likely to be messaged
  • There are currently about 40 million students and grads on LinkedIn
  • 44% of LinkedIn users earn about $75,000 per year
  • There are roughly the same number of males and females that use LinkedIn, but slightly more males (57%)
  • “Motivated” is the most over-used profile word on LinkedIn.  Be creative!  Instead use words like “achieved”, “improved” and “mentored”

(Source: – released November 12, 2017)

Nicole’s Tips:

  • Your LInkedIn Headline: Don’t make the mistake of simply listing your job title.  Instead, tell viewers a unique thing you do which adds value
  • Connect with at least 500 contacts (the average CEO has about 930 connections). Being a social media “ninja”, Nicole has over 3000!
  • Join LinkedIn Groups. Participate in the discussions, raise your awareness and get noticed
  • Add your website title and URL under your LInkedin contact info
  • Add visual content like documents, photos, videos and presentations
  • Organize your endorsements so that you only show the ones that are relevant and important to you
  • Personalize all “Invitations to Connect” on LinkedIn.
  • Publish amazing posts
  • Use LinkeIn status updates to highlight some of your recent work, share an article or book you’ve read, promote your presence at a conference or event, or offer inspiration through a quote or saying
  • Ask for recommendations!

The presentation was followed by a Networking Reception with light refreshments.

Optional Photo Session with Nicole:  Several of the guest opted to get their photo taken after the presentation in a pop-up studio set up expressly for this purpose. 
Nicole offered this service to participants for a deeply reduced price of just $30.00 (regular studio session price: $245) .  Missed it?  You can contact Nicole Connolly at Photo Fabulous You to set up your personal photo session. Email: or Tel: 508-873-6387

The event was held at:
Kaplan International English – Boston Fenway
540 Commonwealth Ave, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA

More photos:

Click to view photo gallery

About our Presenter and Photographer Nicole Connolly:

Nicole Connolly of Photo Fabulous You  ( ) provides Professional Style & Photography Services for time-strapped professionals who wish to gain a winning presence in the workplace and through LinkedIn. Photo Fabulous You stays clear of over-processed, stiff and awkwardly posed photos. They place emphasis on environmental, in-house or on-location sessions that helps put clients at ease in front of the camera allowing them to capture their natural qualities and true personality.  The result is to bring forth authentic photos that communicate professionalism along with qualities such as friendliness, likability and trust.

“Nicole is an expert photographer and has great people skills. Very caring about her clients’ needs and really listens to you. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking to improve their image with a great professional photo” 

“Nicole is a joy to work with and clearly loves her work. More importantly, she strives to delight the customer, which was the end result in my case. I highly recommend her high quality services”

Photo credit: Photo Fabulous You

Thanks to our host and sponsor: Kaplan International English


Kaplan International has 75+ years’ experience teaching English to international students and foreign business leaders. From corporate education to TOEFL, GRE and GMAT preparation courses, Kaplan International is the industry’s most trusted English language provider. 98% of students say they would recommend Kaplan to friends and family.