tips for your next business profile photo

Answering some client questions + sharing tips to up your profile photo game!

Sep 2, 2019


A client recently asked my for some profile photo tips.
Which kinds of photo’s should you chose, does it make sense to go for a “smiley” pic, or not… and a few other questions.
So I answered them below for you… Here’s the gist:
// know your audience
// what should you wear?
// to smile or not to smile?
// what about eye contact?
// remember to respect the platform

1. know your audience

You’re creating this profile photo to attract a specific type of audience, so keep that in mind when choosing which image you want to use. If you’re wanting to work with laid back entrepreneurs – a stiff corporate look [with suit and tie] aren’t going to pull them in. If you want to work with women, then strong intimidating poses probably wont get you the gig. Think about the person on the other side, first + foremost.

2. what should you wear?

I suggest something that hints at your personality [and the kind of service you offer] – are you high end luxe, top end profesh, or laid back? Also think about the colour of your clothing – is it “on brand” – you don’t want a jarring red top – when your brand is a soft pink [as a rather silly example]. For my business profile shots – the suit jacket I used, was a neutral beige – for a “not so formal” feel [and most of the shots I love] I had pics in a light sage jersey – the texture + look of it sends the message that this brand agency isn’t stuffy, rather that it’s a safe space, where you get to connect with a friend.

3. to smile, or not to smile?

That’s entirely up to you. but I feel like I connect with people who smile. Just avoid a cheesy grin – that makes you look like some “creepy fake”… make sure that the smile is genuine. But if you’re wondering if a smile makes you look any less professional – it doesn’t – it just makes you look human and relatable 😉

4. what about eye contact?

I think that eye contact is great, and it helps the person on the other side really connect with you.

That being said, I think that if your brand personality is more fun, tongue in cheek, or has personality… then you may want to play with this concept a bit more.

like this profile pic ☟

In this profile pic, I’m not making use of the eye contact rule, but as you can see – the image shares a warm personable feel that works for my brand.

I’ve also seen some high end fashion profiles that don’t make use of “face pics” at all… giving an abstract, high fashion feel.

5. remember, respect the platform

Depending on the platform you’re in, you may want to showcase a different feel.

What does your brand look like on Facebook? Is it different to how you would show up …on Linkedin? What about twitter, …or instagram, …or YouTube?

Take a look at this great example from Gary Vaynerchuck… he’s going for a very casual “this is me” shot for his insta, and a more “buttoned-up, yet still casual” feel for his Linkedin:

So it really does depend on the kind of image you want to project, the industry you’re in, and the overall feel, voice + tone you want your brand to portray.

Now take a look at your Social media app of choice…What is your profile pic saying about your brand?

Drop your insights into the comments below.

Whilst you’re at it… which of these tips were most helpful for you?

About the Author

Emma is the Chief Coffee Drinker here at FreshSage. With over a decade in branding + another decade in corporate business - she's always balancing the creative with business strategy + goals. She believes everyone has a purpose + calling, and secretly loves helping her clients find theirs. When she's not building brand experiences, she's spending time with her High-school sweetheart + kidlet, tinkering in her veg garden, painting an abstract, and enjoying vino with friends.

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