Get the Attention You Deserve With Your Profile Photographs

Andrea Palmer

Published Tue 09 Sep by Andrea Palmer in Marketing More Effectively

This article gives practical tips about why you need good profile photographs on your website, and how it can enhance your public profile

Is your profile photo giving a good first impression or is it stunting your growth on-line?

It has been proven that including a colour profile photograph of yourself on social media platforms, and on your website / blog articles can significantly improve click-throughs to your website. 

But can you just put any old photograph on there?

Or do you have to be discerning about it?

in this article, I'm going to talk you through how having an effective profile photo on your website can benefit the growth of your business, and give you some practical guidance about how to achieve a winning profile photograph that will enhance your online presence.

What is a Profile Photograph Good For?

  • Recognition - it helps people who know you to connect with you. This is especially true on social media platforms such as Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. If someone is searching for you by name, the database may generate dozens of people across the globe who share your name (or similar). Instead of making them trawl through a whole list of unknowns, if you include an easily recognisable photograph of yourself on your profile, they can instantly hone in on you and connect with you
  • It humanises you - on social media platforms, the default image on newly-created profiles is the dreaded 'egg-head.' If at this stage you do not have time to write a fully-detailed profile with all your achievements, qualifications and distinctions, at least spare the time to upload a decent image of yourself. Staying an egg-head could give the impression that you have not spent the time creating your profile fully, that you do not value attention to detail, or worse, that you have something to hide. Be open and honest about who you are. This is more likely to gain people's trust. We are all human, and we are hard-wired to search for other human faces: it's in our DNA! So cash in on this innate tendency by including a photograph. On your website, visitors who are there for the first time will want to see who they're dealing with, and if you have a good quality photograph of yourself and / or your staff, new customers can start engaging with you straight away. You will seem more approachable, accessible and friendly
  • Trust and loyalty - It's been proven that online customers trust something more if it's accompanied by a human face. And the more people see your image, the more they will feel they 'know' you. You become less anonymous. Use the same image on all of your social media profiles can strengthen recognition and therefore help loyalty grow among your customers and potential customers
  •  Claim your kudos - using your image on social media platforms and on your blog posts and website articles gives you the credit you deserve

Practical Guidance

So what advice could I give you about how to optimise your profile image to enhance your online presence?

These practical tips could mean the difference between engagement and disappointment! Remember, it's all in your face!

  • Smile in a natural way - a warm friendly smile makes you more accessible and you will be more likely to get engagement
  • Go professional - you may feel tempted to take your profile picture yourself. While 'selfies' are popular, and appropriate, on personal social media profile pages that just your friends and family will see it, they don't really cut the mustard on more business-orientated platforms such as Facebook business pages, LinkedIn and Google+. If you have a low budget for marketing or are just starting up, you may feel that your photographs are an area in which you can make savings by Doing It Yourself. But this could be a false economy. Using a mobile phone or handheld camera to take photographs of yourself does not project a professional image. The angle of the shots are not easy to control in 'selfies': your shoulders will look twisted and your face upturned, neither of which are flattering looks. It is also much easier to hold a relaxed pose when someone else is taking the shot
  •  Close-up and personal - Profile photographs appear as small thumbnails on social platforms such as Google +, LinkedIn and Facebook so always go for a head shot
  • Consider every angle - Keep your head straight to the camera and look into the lens. Avoid dropping the chin too much as this gives a double chin appearance.
    Consider a professional photographer: Book a professional photographer or use someone you know is good at taking portraits. Look at their work before you decide. Either way, making the right impression can maximise the amount of people who view your profile
  • Dress to impress - But keep it professional. If you’re wearing a dress make sure it is not strapless as this will make you appear naked (definitely not professional!) If you’re wearing a shirt and jacket, choose a smart plain style, preferably with a tie
  • Dress to complement your business - Your profile photo needs to depict you in a manner appropriate to your field. Consider make-up, jewellery and hair style and cover up body art.
  • Keep it simple - Your photo should be of you and only you. Cluttered backgrounds, other faces, pets will not impress so choose a plain simple background. People who are looking you up will want you to be instantly recognisable so keeping background clutter to an absolute minimum can really help you to stand out

Effective professional and good quality profile photographs are something that can really help optimise your online presence. Many people neglect them but they are an important way of projecting yourself to your potential customers. In the absence of a face to face meeting, or even prior to a face to face meeting, profile pictures can be your customers' way of making a connection with you and your business. 

What do you think? We would love to hear your comments on this article in the comments section below.

Got a question or query you would like me to answer, on this topic or any other web-related issue? Visit our ask an expert page!

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