Because of social media, we are so connected with the world, and whatever pictures we put out there have a huge impact on how people perceive us.
What is the first thing they see? Your Profile Picture.
So online profile pictures are extremely important. If you have a business or career, and want to be viewed as a professional, first impressions are HUGELY important. Your profile picture provides branding and recognition, so you need it to be good.
You can create your own profile picture or have it professionally done. If you are doing it yourself, the perfect profile picture size for Facebook is 160 x 160 pixels.
So What are the Elements of a Perfect Profile Picture?
- Head shot which doesn’t go down below a small portion of your shoulders.
- Don’t use a logo. You want to brand yourself. You want that face recognition. Logos may also be prohibited.
- Make it just you, no accessories, animals, hats, sunglasses. . . unless one of those is a specific symbol of your brand. For example, if you are a dog breeder, holding a cute puppy or prize winning adult dog may be a good add, but make sure you are the prominent part of the picture.
- Have your shoulders covered. This is about face recognition. Not having your shoulders covered can suggest skimpy or no clothes which completely ruins the whole objective.
- Use the same or very similar shots (from the same photo shoot) for ALL your online profiles. It makes it easier for viewers to connect the dots as to who you are.
- Don’t frequently change your profile picture, for the same reason, easy recognition. You have probably noticed that you can easily recognize the profile picture of someone you know even in very small newsfeed or comments pictures.
The Science & Psychology (who would have thought!) of Perfect Profile Pictures
Did you know there is a science and psychology behind the perfect profile picture? You need to choose the right one because attracting followers and influencing your audience depends on it. Data analysis by the dating website OKCupid revealed that between the profile picture and the bio, the text is less than 10% of what people think of you. So your picture is pretty powerful stuff.
Scientifically Proven Elements of the Perfect Profile Picture Poses:
- Smile with teeth (doubles likability and good as well for competence and influence) – A neutral or negative expression really brings down the scores. And no laughing smiles.
- Formal dress: Dark-colored suits (with tie for men), light-colored button downs
- Defined jawline with a shadow all the way around helps with likability, competence and influence.
- Head and shoulders, or head to waist photo (headshot closeup’s and full body both bring down scores)
- Faces only – no family, friends, dogs, logos, etc.
- Squinch (a slight squint) – Wide eyes are fearful, vulnerable & uncertain.
- Asymmetrical composition – Use the Rule of Thirds: Place key elements along the intersections on a tic-tac-toe grid, never in the center
- Unobstructed eyes including hair, glare and shadows
- Face the light – You want light to be coming from in front of you.
- At least 600 pixels wide – It will look great in many locations.
- Use a bright colored background.
Other Interesting Tidbits:
- Smiling is the key component to approachability.
- Eyes (especially large) are key to youthful-attractiveness.
- Numerous features are considered when considering dominance (can this person help or harm me?)
- REALLY Serious about your profile picture, have it analyzed scientifically by PhotoFeeler.
So there is a lot more to perfect profiles pictures than you might have thought. Hope this has helped you get started on the road to branding yourself for success!
To Your Success!
Home Business & Social Media Marketing Professional
P.S. [Caught on Tape] Watch this Waiter Fire his Boss so that he could go Full Time in his Home Business (awesome)! Watch the Short Video Here.
If you got value from my post on How to Choose Perfect Profile Pictures, please Share and give me a Shout Out in the Comments.
My main sources for this article are the following:
Post by Irene Koehler: http://www.almostsavvy.com/2011/04/06/8-tips-how-to-choose-the-right-profile-photo-linkedin
Post by Kevan Lee: https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-profile-picture-science-research-psychology