Below is an excerpt from my upcoming book, How To Be A Social Networking Schmoozer, where I discuss the important of the Facebook profile photo. For those interested in reading the book, sign up for the newsletter for upcoming information about when and where the book will be available.

The old adage that a photo is worth a 1000 words has never been truer than through social networking sites, such as Facebook. While a number of people prefer the more traditional picture in a suit, I believe that you need to represent what you do as a business in a picture subtly and with personality.

For example, when I was a mortgage broker I used to have the pictures of me in a suit to maintain the image of being the trusted financial advisor. It worked fine for the profession I was in at the time. Now that I am a social networking schmoozer I want to convey a different image. In the picture that you see on my Facebook profile, you will see me as you will see me at most networking events. I am wearing a black polo shirt that I have probably worn a hundred times (don’t worry I have a few black polo shirts, so I do wash the shirts).

Additionally, this picture is a conversation starter, since people always ask me where I was when the picture was taken. That is what I call my Facebook profile picture a a relationship builder. Show a picture of you in an exotic locale and wait for the response. In this particular case I am in Key West, and this picture was taken roughly 15 minutes before I proposed to my now wife. You can check on my profile that I am married, but to see a picture of the day it happened right before I popped the big question is a great way to show some of my values and also provide a great conversation starter. People respond with stories of their own on how they proposed or where it happened.

Additionally, having a picture of me in an exotic locale describes something else. That I believe business, especially social networking can be conducted anywhere and allow you the freedom to do as you please with your business.

That is why your Facebook profile picture is such a valuable tool and the first thing that we are discussing here. I know that most people already have great photos of themselves all shinnied up. Now look for an appropriate picture that conveys the message of what you are selling as well and put that up as your profile picture to convey your message.

With that in mind I would like to add that this section actually took me a little over 425 words to describe. I guess a picture might not be worth exactly 1000 words, but it sure is a time saver.