The world we live in has shrunk at the same time as it has expanded. We can connect with people around the globe through social media networks. In order to connect well you should show your smiling face.
Use A Photograph – Not A Cartoon Or Logo
You need to create trust and credibility in order for people to believe you or purchase from you. You can’t do that with a cartoon for a profile picture.
Companies can use logos, but it’s good to have a first name in the bio section. It’s still better to connect the social media account with one person if that’s possible. It is referred to as social media for a reason.
No excuses that you don’t look good in pictures. Get someone to take some nice pictures of you or go to a studio and get some taken. Customers, clients, consumers, potential friends aren’t looking for super modes – they are looking for real people.
When you are getting ready for your photo don’t go crazy with how you look. Don’t pull an outfit out that you never wear and dig out the special makeup from the bottom drawer in the bathroom. Don’t go to the other extreme either and not bother with even brushing your hair or teeth. Yes, I know we won’t smell your breath, but feeling good will give you confidence and the confidence will show in your pictures.
How should you dress? Think about what you want to portray. Is your image all about being a mom? Maybe you should include your children in the picture. Are you in a niche that is known for a certain look, like nursing or military? It would be good to dress in the common uniform for your niche and have the picture visually support your expertise.
If your niche doesn’t have a typical look, dress as you would for a nice conference or business event. Chances are that you will attend one of them sooner or later and it’s a good thing for people to recognize you from your profile pictures.
After you get some nice pictures taken use them everywhere! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Gravatar for comments and any other place you are active online. People will remember a face quicker than a name. If your face shows up beside your comments and updates they will connect the dots much faster and remember you more.
Bonus tip: If you are going to change your Twitter name make sure you keep the same photo so people remember who you are.
You hit it off with a wonderful picture of yourself dressed nice and smiling confidently so you posted it everywhere – 5 years ago. If someone does meet you at a conference they don’t know that your hair changed colors. Get the point? Sadly, this is not a once and done thing.
I must mention the flip side once again. If you change your profile picture every week it can hurt you because – again – it’s easier for people to remember a face than a name.
Check how your picture looks on each site before leaving it. You might need to resize it in a photo editing software and upload it again. That’s a bit easier than attempting to get all the social networks to use the same size images. Also, if you have to choose – cut off your chin instead of the top of your head. Just looks better that way.
Believe it or not – it’s not as hard as it sounds to have nice profile pictures that are consistent throughout your social networks – or at least the top 3 you use. If you have used good photos previously and haven’t done anything drastic with your nose or hair most people will still recognize you.
P.S. If you are going to BlogHer12 in NYC I know that Jenn Hethcoat will be there and is willing to set up an appointment to shoot some awesome pics of you. I personally plan to spend some time with her and her camera.
Photo © WONG SZE FEI – Fotolia.com