Profile Photos: Best Face Forward


If You’re A Mystery, You Could Be History!

silhouette_question_markI spent some time recently on Twitter® and LinkedIn® looking at profiles of Virtual Assistants. Sometimes I’m approached about projects that I don’t have time in my schedule to do, or requirements that are outside my area of expertise. In these instances, it’s good to have a name or two I can give to a potential client, and feel confident that the people I recommend have the experience and professionalism to get the job done right.

Frankly, I was appalled at the number of people who have no profile photo. This doesn’t apply only to Virtual Assistants, either. I’ve seen lots of social media profiles with no photo.  Someone can have the best résumé in the universe, but I’ll never know. When all I see is a silhouette on LinkedIn or an egg on Twitter, I keep scrolling. I wonder how many potential clients do the same.

Put Your Best Face Forward

Your profile photo is the first thing people look at to determine whether or not they want to interact with you and your business. Whatever social media network you use, if you want your business to be taken seriously, a good profile photo is a must.

If you have held off uploading a profile photo because you weren’t sure whether a photo you have is the “right” one for you, Top Dog Social Media lists five elements of a social media profile picture.

1. The background should be clean and either monotone in color or blurred. You want people to see you, not be distracted by the background.

2. You should always present yourself at your best. Photos of you with other people are confusing and won’t show up well. Photos of you with your pet may work if your business is pet-related. Otherwise, it’s not a good idea. Don’t crop other people out of a photo and post it on your profile. It may look good to you, but you run the chance of having someone else’s shoulder or hair showing. Don’t use photos of anything other than yourself, especially on LinkedIn. A long time ago, I used a computer keyboard as my profile photo. In those days, when people were extremely wary of revealing themselves online, it worked. I wouldn’t count on it working today. Who wants to hire a computer keyboard?

3. Keep it to a nice head shot. Let people see your eyes. It’s amazing what people perceive from a photo — kindness, honesty, sense of humor, intelligence.

4. Wear bright colors. You don’t have to dress in a clown suit, but you don’t want to blend into the wall, either. Keep reading for some clothing tips below.

5. Smile! A genuine smile attracts people. Yes, you’re serious about your business, but you don’t have to frown or be stone-faced. Think of it as meeting a potential client in person for the first time. What do you do? You smile and shake hands.

Dress for Success

Whether your profile photo is a selfie, a snapshot taken by a friend, or a photo done in a studio by a professional photographer, how you dress is important. Here are some tips from Deutsch Photography:

  • Wear solid colors. Patterns and prints are too busy. Big buttons can be distracting.
  • Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean.
  • No white shirts if you are Caucasian or have very light skin.
  • No bright red clothing. If you have fair skin and blue eyes, blue, pink, or gray work.  Browns, greens and oranges work well for people with green eyes. If you have medium or dark skin and brown eyes, most colors will work, but don’t wear clothes that match your skin too closely. Contrast is key.

You are Beautiful!

If you haven’t put up a profile photo on all your social media networks because you don’t think you’re photogenic, I understand. There are many of us who feel that way. If you can’t seem to get a photo you like well enough to share with the world, do some research on photographers in your area, and have a professional head shot done. They will bring out the best in you! Don’t believe me? Read this, from a professional photographer. Everyone is Photogenic.




No more silhouettes or eggs, OK?




Until later …


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