Top 10 Tips to Create your Best Profile Picture

Are you ready to learn some tips for how to create the best social media pics? Think of all the social media pictures you see every day. Each time, you immediately make snap judgment and form an impression of the person – solely from that tiny social media avatar. Well, everyone else is doing the same with your own profile picture. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, your profile picture thing people will see and decide whether or not they want to connect with you. After all, humans are extremely visual creatures. Particularly if your career is in social media marketing or content marketing, you need to have a great profile picture! So, let’s talk about some tips and profile picture ideas you can utilize to create the best social media photos.

profile picture tips

How to Take a Good Social Media Profile Picture

Let’s discuss some ways you can improve or create the best avatar for your social media pages. The best social media pictures all have a few common traits. Here are our best profile picture tips and ideas to help you create the best social media pictures.

Show Your Face

This first tip sounds obvious, right? But make sure to show your face in your profile picture. While a photo of you from behind staring out at a beach might be artsy and cool, it isn’t effective. In fact, photos with faces attract more likes and comments on Instagram. (Think about it. What’s the name of the most popular social networking site? Facebook! It’s right there in the name.) That’s why your avatar should include your face, rather than a character from your favorite show or your silhouette.

Utilize Framing

Make sure to utilize framing so that your face fills most of the image. You don’t want your headshot to be too close or too far away from the camera. Ideally, people looking at the photo should see your face and a bit of the background. If you need to, you can showcase your left side or right side, but make sure the framing is perfect.

Say Cheese!

We hear a lot about body language and what it communicates to others, but the same principles apply to your face, too. That’s why it’s important to smile in the headshot you use for your social media photo. You want to convey openness, so open up that mouth! A laughing smile or a closed mouth smile is fine. However, a no-smile photo is reminiscent of a mugshot, which is the last thing you want to remind people of on a professional networking website. So make sure to smile in your profile picture!

profile pictures

Use Contrasting Colors to Stand Out

If you want to grab attention away from all the millions of other profile pics out there, or want to make sure you can stop someone’s scrolling momentarily for them to look at your photo, then it’s important to choose contrasting colors to stand out. Think about it: what color are most social media sites? For some reason, many are blue (think of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.) Orange is a color that complements blue and has the added benefit of standing out, too. So, you might want to consider using an orange background in your photo. Or, even throw on an orange shirt or sweater before taking your pics!

Keep Your Background Simple

As we mentioned earlier, the most important part of your profile photo is your face. You don’t want any other part of the photo to distract too much from your face. So, keep your background as simple as possible. Never use a busy background. Your best bet is a simple or basic colored background. You can use this opportunity to use more contrasting colors, too! You can try wearing a basic colored shirt in your photo, and try varying background colors. Warm colors tend to get the best results on social media.

Use a Photo Testing Tool to Choose Your Photo

If you really want to take your photo skills to the next level, try testing your profile photo with a focus group. You can use a website like PhotoFeeler to get some real, unbiased opinions from strangers. For example, you can use the site to pick a LinkedIn profile picture by having people vote for the best option. There is a fee involved, but it can be worth it to get feedback for which photo will be the best profile photo.

profile pics

Add Your Branding to Your Photo

Do you want to represent your brand or company in your photo? There are a few ways you can accomplish this. First, you could wear your brand colors. (Do you work for Target? Wear a bright red shirt!) Or, put the brand color in the background of your photo. You could also try adding a small logo to the corner of your image, or a larger logo in the background of your image. Lastly, represent yourself and your career or interests! For example, if you’re a writer, sit at your desk. Or, if you’re a photographer, hold your favorite camera.

Keep it Consistent By Using the Same Photo Across Platforms

While you may want to use different photos for Facebook and LinkedIn, it actually isn’t a good idea, especially if you have a common name. If you want to be found easily, it’s important to keep your profile photo consistent across each social media network and platform. For example, let’s say you are emailing with someone, and you have one photo on your Google account. That person decides to connect with you on LinkedIn, but you have an extremely common name and they can’t find you there because you have a different avatar. That results in a lost connection that potentially could have helped you down the road. Choose the best profile picture and stick with it across the board. It can be hard to find one photo that will work for each platform, but you can do it.

Have a Professional Take Your Photos

If you want to appear as professional as possible in your social media photos, have a professional take your headshot for you. Yes, you might have to spend a little bit of money on a photo shoot, but the investment will be worth it. The difference in a professional photo vs. an amateur one is pretty major and obvious. A professional will take high quality pictures that can go on all your social media platforms.

Plus, a professional photographer will take the photos in natural light, edit the photos for you, and give you several types of images to use. They might even help you size your social media images appropriately for each platform! If you are serious about networking or building your personal brand online, this step is a no-brainer.

social media profile pictures

Get Help with Social Media Pics from SEO Design Chicago

Now you know everything you need to know to create the perfect profile picture for all of your social media platforms. If you need help with your social media photos or any other kind of visual content, contact SEO Design Chicago today! We can help you create social media content, come up with creative profile picture ideas, and more.

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