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Social Media Profile Pictures

What does your social media profile picture say about you?

First impressions mean a great deal. As such, your profile image should portray the image of you (and by extension your business), that you want showcased to potential clients. As a small business owner/entrepreneur, social media is one of the most effective and affordable ways to tell the world about your business. Yes it does take some time and effort, but the costs really can be minimal. Don’t sabotage yourself with a poor first impression.

It is certainly not the case that all social media headshots should be the same – no smile, vertical orientation, on a white background. Simply stated, they should be appropriate. A lawyer or accountant, for example, will want a photo that exudes trust and professionalism. This could either be a traditional studio shot or an environmental portrait for a little less formal look. Designers, and others in a creative field, may want a photo that is a little more edgy depending on the target clientele. Again, presenting an appropriate image is the key.

While it is not necessary to spend a fortune, a properly exposed, well lit, and correctly sized headshot will be well worth your small investment. Unless you are a travel agent, save the exotic beach vacation shots for your personal page. Don’t even think about using a selfie. Remember, this is business.

Take a look through your contacts on social media or better yet, look at profiles of strangers. What is your first impression based on their photo? Does the image portray qualities that would make you want to do business with this person or does the image tell you to run the opposite direction?

And lastly, make sure the photo you are using is reasonably recent. That glamour shot you had taken 15 years ago is probably not a good representation of who you are today. The goal with social media (for business) is to eventually do business with those whom you build connections. When you meet in person that first time, if the face across the table is not similar to your online persona, there is a break in the trust before you even open your mouth.

As Robert Langdon said in the DaVinci Code “A picture says a thousand words. The question is which words?”

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