In our increasingly digital world a good profile picture is becoming a necessity for more and more people.
Think about all the social networks you belong to. If you’re reading this it’s a given that you are on LinkedIn. However, it’s probably safe to assume that you’d at least be on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest in a personal capacity, if not a professional one.
All of these channels are getting more and more visual in nature, and your profile picture is always going to be your first impression. To ensure you’re putting your best foot forward here are five tips that you’ll want to follow.
1. Know which social sites need a profile picture
Before you do anything, know which of your social media sites need a good quality profile picture.
It’s easy enough to say “all of them” however, if some are business accounts it might make more sense to use your company logo if that is what your customers are more familiar with.
On the other hand if people do business with you (ie you’re a solopreneur) then stick with the picture of you. One place where you’d absolutely want to have a good, professional, headshot would be your LinkedIn profile.
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2. Know the rules (formal or not)
Make sure that you know the rules of any social media website before you upload a profile picture.
This probably goes without saying, but all networks have got some sort of policy that bans offensive and explicit images (however if you’re planning on using something like that its probably lucky you’re still on LinkedIn). Equally, check what sort of rules the networks have in terms of copyright ownership once the image has been uploaded.
In terms of informal rules, think about the style of the network you’re posting your profile picture to. For example, LinkedIn is a professional network – so no pictures of you with your friends, with your pets or on your wedding day. On the other side of the coin you do want to appear yourself, so if you don’t wear a tie to work don’t wear one in your picture.
3. Know the specifications
One of the most important rules to know about profile pictures is that every single site has a different specification in terms of size for the image that you want to upload.
Should you be in any doubt as to the size of the images that you need I’ve used this really helpful infographic before to ensure that the images I’m uploading are the right size (note – this covers timeline photos as well as profile ones too, so it is doubly useful to check out).
There are plenty of online tools that will allow you to resize images, but sometimes when you do it yourself things can end up not being the optimum size or resolution. A really good professional photographer will be able to give you images in all of the sizes that you need.
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4. Figure out what you want to achieve with your image
Now that you’ve figured out what sites and what specifications are appropriate for your profile picture, it’s time to think about what you want to achieve with the image.
As I mentioned previously, your profile picture is the first impression that a lot of people will have of you and your business – so are you representing your brand?
If you’re not the typical “grey suit” type, make sure you aren’t dressed like it. Make sure that the personality of both you, and your business, are shown in the photo. If you do this well it will give people a great idea of who you are and what you’re about before they even pick up the phone to you.
5. Get a professional to help you out
If any of this fills you with dread then its time to think about how a professional can help you out.
You’re an expert in what you do and the last thing you need is to think about is “is this the right size for LinkedIn?” or “is this an appropriate shirt to wear in my profile picture?”
Any professional photographer worth their salt will be able to set you at ease, help you get a fantastic looking profile picture that really sells you and your business – and you won’t have to worry about all the fiddly bits of resizing yourself.
Are you in the London area and think you need to work on your profile pictures? I’d love to help you out. You can find out more about my professional headshot days on my website.
Kim Rix Photography
Making Memories Precious