Your social media marketing strategy depends greatly on first impressions and you truly need to put your best foot forward. You need to really impress potential prospects with a headshot that exudes professionalism.
Creating a professional, friendly presence starts with a great picture. Here are the 5 elements of a successful profile picture to ensure you are leaving the right impression:
1. The background should be clean and either monotone in color or blurred (that out-of-focus effect). Great photographers bring focus to their photo subjects by making the details of their subject come to life with simple tricks like allowing the background to fade or blur
A great profile picture is a simple one where the background isn’t too busy or complex so that the focus of the picture is on you.
2. Your Profile Should Exclusively Feature You. It’s great to have pictures with family and friends, but when we’re talking about your profile picture, it should only feature you.
Cropping someone out of a picture you look really good in is not really as fabulous of an idea as it seems. No matter how good you looked in that picture from Cuba, you will always look more professional with a real solo headshot taken by a photographer with reasonably good
lighting. Hire someone, if necessary. It’s worth it!
3. Keep it to a nice headshot. Fight the urge to use pictures in your social media marketing campaign of you doing intriguing and active things, like attending political rallies and biking through the mountains.
While it is noble to embrace this type of variety in your complete profile, your profile picture needs to make a first impression that draws attention to your face and eyes. You can’t undervalue the importance of seeing someone’s face when assessing whether they are approachable or not. It’s truly the same online as it is offline. If your picture makes you seem unapproachable, it could affect your online social engagement.
4. Wear bright colors. Don’t worry, you can leave the neon track suit in the closet. Just spice up your wardrobe with a splash of color rather than going with plain old black and white.
There is decade’s worth of research proving that colors do affect the way people respond to you. It might not be surprising that red conveys a sense of power, while hot pink can stimulate affection.
5. Smile! Don’t ever be fearful of smiling making you seem unprofessional. For those of you that feel more serious or conservative, a smile can go a long way in making you more approachable. Smiling is a great form of positive, non-verbal communication so don’t underestimate the value of it when creating your profile picture!
How important do you think a great profile picture is in social media marketing? Post your comments and questions below.
Melonie Dodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, helps business owners and professionals to use social media marketing to attract more customers and increase their sales. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, Melonie is a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. Download her free LinkedIn checklist to ensure a professional presence.