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 me for some profile photo tips.

I usually recommend investing in a well taken brand photo, as it really is a game changer for how you position yourself [and your business].


Whether you take your business profile photo yourself, or have someone take it for you, there are a couple of aspects you need to consider.

Here’s what I shared with her [and now you]:

// 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 thinking about your profile photo,

because you know that it’s the first thing that people judge.

So who are the people you should care about?

Who are the specific people you want your business profile photo to attract? A potential client? new boss? Your peers?

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.

How would you describe your look?

2. What should you wear?

What you wear, impacts how you’re perceived, so let’s make sure that the outfit aligns with who you are + hints at your personality.

How would you describe your style? Are you:

    • high end luxe,
    • More Smart Casual
    • Perhaps “top end professional” is your look?
    • Or are you laid back?

What you wear is an extension of your personality and should positions you – giving others an idea as to who you are + your work ethic / style.

Also think about the colour of your clothing.

There is a lot of conversation around colour psychology + how we associate different colours with different emotions.

Whilst that is definitely something you should consider when thinking through your overall brand, in this case we want you to consider your colour choice in relation to your overall brand colours.

For Example:

ou 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?

Should you smile? That’s entirely up to you.

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.

Ps…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?

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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