How to Choose The Best Profile Picture for Your Personal Brand.
By Stacy Ketiku
Do profile pictures even matter that much? Well, you’ll find out soon enough. One of the numerous uses of social media platforms is to communicate and network. But how terrible will it be if you are trying to get to know someone without having an idea of how they look like, their gender, or even age group? On virtually every social media platform, among the first set of information you are expected to supply is your display picture. In a subtle manner, this tells you how important a perfect profile image is to your success on any platform, especially when creating a personal brand. With the popularity of social media platforms, the assessment of a person’s social media pages is now a part of the recruitment process for openings. This leaves you no other choice than to learn how to select the best profile picture that projects your personal brand and values.
Tips for Choosing The Best Profile Picture
Remember the saying, “first impression lasts the longest” right? On social media, the first impression people have of you is obviously the one they get from checking your display picture. They immediately conclude that you are an introvert, extrovert, approachable, friendly, cool, trendy, or even a snobbish person. Although you may say its wrong to make an assumption about a person without getting to know them, newsflash, that doesn’t work on social media. Let’s help you make better display picture decisions.
Use A Recent Picture
You might have set up a social media account for the purpose of building a personal brand, sharing your thoughts, career growth, dating, or just to get social. Whatever your reason might be, you shouldn’t get people confused with your looks. Today you mustn’t upload a picture you took about 5 years ago as your profile picture just because it still looks good or brings back memories. It might not be so obvious, but you have grown physically and in other areas of your life, let your picture reflect that.
Pictures come in different sizes depending on how it was shot. The best profile picture for your social media account is one that meets the required dimension of such a platform. This is nothing difficult. Also, check if the picture still looks perfect when the borders are cropped out. Some personal branding experts are of the opinion that the same picture should be used across all your social media platforms. This might work for people who are quite popular as some fans or scammers could try to clone your accounts. However, if you have several nice images that meet the standard of a good profile picture you can use them on your separate accounts if you desire.
Always Use A Personal Picture
Since this is your personal brand, you should never use a picture where several other people are also featuring. A group/team picture will work fine if the social media account belongs to a corporate body or an association. However, a profile picture for your personal account must show only you and no one else. Also, the focus of such a picture should be on your face and nowhere else. This means that a full-length picture or one where your face doesn’t show is not appropriate for this purpose. Your face shouldn’t be too close either; no, a selfie won’t do justice. It is always preferable to choose a bust image.
Background and Lighting
A secret to taking nice pictures that are suitable as profile pictures is to use a background that contrasts with the colour of your outfit. This makes you stand out as you are the main focus in the picture. Plain backgrounds are also nice because they have little or no distracting element. If you are putting on a light outfit, use a dark background and the other way around. Furthermore, you shouldn’t put up a dark image just because it looks good to you; the lights and angles must be perfect.
Put On A Smile
Take a moment to compare two of your pictures, one with a nice smile and another with a blank face. The one with a smile will definitely look a lot better. Moreover, everyone looks great with a smile and it projects you as an approachable and friendly individual.
Although they tell us not to judge a book by its cover. However, on social media no one can really help it; especially when someone comes across your profile for the very first time. They hold on to whatever assumptions they are able to get from your expressions which are either good or bad for your personal brand. Apart from selecting the best profile picture for your social media accounts, ensure you optimise your bio properly to capture all that you stand for. Finally, just do what works for you. As much as you are trying to create a personal brand, don’t forget to be social on social media.