What’s the most important part of your profile? Your profile picture, of course! Your profile picture is critical to having an effective LinkedIn profile.
If your picture is professional, friendly and appropriate, then potential prospects will take you seriously and want to work with you.
You only have 8 seconds to make a good first impression on your prospect – and your photo is the first thing they will look at and take in. That’s why it’s crucial that your profile picture is spot-on.
One of the most common problems is that people don’t put a picture at all. You don’t want to be faceless – viewers will typically ignore profiles which don’t have portraits.
By having a profile picture, you show that you care about yourself. Why should other people care about you, if you don’t!?
Some people use cartoon drawings as their profile picture, but this is impersonal. Your prospects want to see who they’ll be working with if they contact your business. Make sure you show a real face!
Your picture can be used to provide a friendly, approachable face to your company.
Your profile picture can be used on your:
- Social media
- Marketing collateral
So, if you want to know how to take the perfect profile picture… read on!
Sometimes people use a cartoon as their profile picture – but this is impersonal. Make sure you show a real face!
Make yourself presentable
You want prospects to take you seriously. That’s why you need to dress as though you’re about to meet your most important client. Remember to:
- Wear something appropriate to your line of work
- Ensure your hair isn’t sticking everywhere (comb it)
- Remove fashion-based headwear or sunglasses
- Put on a tie (this is optional for women)
- Clean your face (remove specks of dirt or face cream)
- Wear make-up (to heighten your good points)
- If you’re a man, shave!
Some people wear sunglasses in their photo because they think it looks cool. Actually, all it does is make people think that you have something to hide.
When shaving before your profile picture, remember to do it enough in advance that you don’t have a pink rash across your face. This is hard to remove in Photoshop!
If your team of staff are taking profile photos at different times, ensure that you maintain consistency in dress code throughout all pictures. Agree on a set style / colour of outfit for all members of the team. That way, they will look more impressive when on your website.
Get what you need
Your profile picture needs to be high-quality – and that’s not going to happen unless you have the right equipment!
It’s possible to do this without spending much (or any) money. You might have most of these items anyway.
You will need a:
- Chair to sit on
- Naturally-lit room
- Smartphone or camera
If you don’t have someone to take your picture, you can set up your camera on a timer to take it for you. Just don’t take your profile picture as a ‘selfie’ – it looks unprofessional and messy.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional photographer to take your picture for you. They will have a better understanding of the best lighting and camera angles.
If you can’t afford a photographer, just make sure to take the picture in-focus with a high resolution.
Find someone to take your profile picture for you. Selfies look unprofessional!
Find a plain background
Your profile picture needs to be taken in front of a plain background. The focus should be on you, not what’s going on behind you. A plain, light, background helps to:
- Draw attention to your face
- Compliment darker clothing colours
- Avoid unwanted distractions
- Prevent a blurred background
- Makes it easier to have a consistent style for your team (especially as new people join)
If you don’t want a plain background, ensure that everyone in your team has the same thing behind them.
When putting profile pictures up on your website, it looks far better if all team members have the same background behind them.
Remember, when new people join your team, you will need to replicate the background!
Complicated vignettes are difficult to reproduce – and you want everyone to have the same background, even if the photos are taken at different times.
Avoid unwanted distractions, such as images in your background. These are a distraction from you!
Show off your smile
We are all born with an instant liking for smiling people – and this stay with us all our lives. We are psychologically hard-wired to prefer happy, fully smiling people. You need to use this knowledge to create a warm impression from the off!
By making sure that your profile picture features a huge smile, you tell your prospects that you’re friend, good-spirited and approachable.
You need to:
- Show your teeth
- Smile through your eyes
- Face the camera with your shoulders slightly shifted to the left or right
People are often worried about what their teeth out – but studies show that others don’t notice this.
In reality, others are far more likely to notice an uncomfortable grimace. That’s why you need a big smile that carries through to your eyes.
Give it a go!
Knowing how to take the perfect profile picture is crucial to you making a great first impression on prospects. If you follow all the tips and tricks above, you’ll come across as friendly, hard-working and approachable.
That way, people will want to work with you.
If you need any more advice on how to take the perfect profile picture, or if you want an expert photographer to take your picture for you, then get in touch.