I know lots of small business owner aren’t concerned with their social profile pictures or headshots. If you don’t want to pay a photographer ($30 or so), than at least find somebody you know to take a decent picture you can use. People on social media expect to see what you look like, it bugs me when even people I know don’t have a photo linked to profile. I just assume they want to be anonymous with the default silhouette (what does that say when you want to connect?). LinkedIn says that profiles are seven times more likely to get views if the user has a profile picture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does your profile photo say about you? On professional networking sites like LinkedIn, your picture may have a huge impact on the opportunities that come your way — especially if you have never met. You want to see a credible, confident, and professional person that you want to business with. We’ve all looked up people we have a meeting with – just to see what they look like.
7 tips for your social profile picture
Pick a Head Shot. Because profile pictures appear as small thumbnails on LinkedIn, your photo should be of just your head, neck, and maybe a bit of shoulders. If you include your whole body, your head will be so small viewers may not be able to recognize you.
Dress Professionally. Make sure that your photo depicts you in a manner appropriate for your business. Usually a dress shirt or blouse, a shirt and tie, or even a suit if you want to look more corporate. Stick to basic patterns.
Keep it Simple. Your photo should be of you, and only you. Don’t include objects, pets, or children. Avoid busy backgrounds as well – stand against a solid-colored, light background.
Select a Current Photo. Do not include a dated photo from 20 years ago. Use a current picture so people aren’t shocked when they meet you in person.
Be Consistent. When developing your online brand, consistency is key. It is a good idea to use the same photo for all your professional and social networking pictures, this will make you more recognizable.
Smile. Even if you’re serious about your work, a photo where you look friendly is much more likely to resonate with your profile viewers.
Use your logo. There is some debate when it comes to profile photos on social networks on your company profile pages– should you go with your brand logo or your face. Brands or businesses with a well-recognized logo, should use a logo. If you’re building a personal brand – like a blogger, politician, musician, or artist, then probably go with a personal picture. People are more likely to want to engage with a person than a logo. Another thing that helps in SEO is naming your photo appropriately before uploading it, name it yourbusiness.jpg – do the same for alt text.
A little effort will make you look a lot better on social media
Getting a professional looking profile picture doesn’t need to be costly or time consuming; all you need is a good smartphone camera, a friend with a steady hand, and a little bit of natural light. I know it’s easier to just ignore or use a not s0 good photo that you already have – does it represent who you are today, and how you want to be seen. It’s an easy fix.