Your profile picture is one of the most important elements of your online presence.
There may be plenty of photos of you floating around, but your profile picture is the one that’s going to get the most views. It’s the one that most people see first—and most often.
What does it say about you? Does it reflect your brand? Does it inspire confidence in prospective clients?
When I interviewed digital marketing expert Davina Frederick, J.D., founder of D. Frederick Media & Marketing, LLC, for Put Your Website to Work (a Conversations ebook), we talked about the importance of having an attractive, professional photo for your profile picture. She offered some advice on how to get a great profile picture that didn’t make it into the book, but I’m sharing with you here:
- Avoid selfies and snapshots. Your profile picture needs to look professional, and that means hiring a professional photographer to do it.
- Choose the right photographer. “You want a photographer who understands that he’s trying to capture your personality, not just doing a bland headshot,” Davina says. You also want a photographer who puts you at ease.
- Prepare for the photo shoot. Davina’s advice: “Get your hair done, arrange to have a make-up artist to help you look your best, put some thought and effort into your wardrobe selection, ask a stylish friend for help, ask a friend you enjoy being around to go with you, arrive early so you have time to chat with the photographer—first just shooting the breeze, then about what you want from the experience.”
- Have fun during the shoot. Get comfortable. Try some different poses that might capture your personality in a way you hadn’t thought of before. Most important, laugh. People often think they need to look serious in a business photo, but Davina says, “A natural, genuine smile lets your personality shine through. It makes a huge difference.”
- Get help choosing the best photos. Most of us don’t like the way we look in pictures, so get someone you trust to help you select the shots that will work for you.
- Be realistic when it comes to editing your pictures. “Photographers can edit out blemishes and whiten your smile a bit, but they can’t make you a Heidi Klum or David Beckham,” Davina says. “That’s okay. They can’t make Heidi Klum or David Beckham you, either.” Don’t let the photographer edit your picture to the point that you’re unrecognizable.
Once you get a fabulous profile picture, update it every few years.
A great profile picture is not a “one and done forever” thing. You don’t want people to be shocked when they see you in person because you’ve changed significantly since your profile picture was taken. If your picture is two or three years old, it’s probably time for a new one.
Do you have a tip for how to get a great profile picture? Share it below.
She is the author of Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs and Finding Joy in the Morning: You can make it through the night. She is also the co-creator of several coloring books for adults.