Why do you need a good profile photo?
Because first impressions count! And your profile picture – whether it’s on your blog or website, Instagram, facebook or LinkedIn page – is often your first contact point with future colleagues and customers and you want to make a good first impression. Right?
If your profile picture is blurry, or busy, or badly cropped, or just you looking awkward in front of the camera – then its not doing you, your product, brand or service any favours.
Also, people are on social media to connect with other people – the clue is in the name! And it’s much easier to connect with people when you can put a face to a name, especially when it’s a nice clear, smiley face!
It’s also very handy to have a suite of professional headshots ready when needed. Maybe you’ve been asked to speak at an event or collaborate on a project and you need to send a recent profile photo of yourself. Or a magazine or newspaper is mentioning you in a story and needs a photo to go with it. You want (NEED) to have something decent to pass on and in a timely fashion.
How do you get a great profile photo?
The easiest way would be to book a spot to one of the workshops I’m running this November with photographer Clancy Paine and stylist Jemima Aldridge!!!
Photo booth and social media workshops; Join us for a very special workshop and photo booth event with photographer Clancy Job, stylist Jemima Aldridge and writer and social media and content marketer educator Sophie Hansen.
What’s involved? Every participant gets a 15 minute ‘photo booth session’ styled by Jemima and shot by Clancy; You will walk away with one or two beautiful new headshots and at least one vignette or flat lay shot of your product/service/thing (which in itself pays for the day when you think about what you’d have to front up to book a head shot and product styling session with a professional photographer and stylist). And, while the photo booth sessions are happening, Sophie will run a ‘social media and content marketing 101’ – how to write a ‘who/what/why’ statement that will underpin your messaging and tell people in just one paragraph, who you are, why you do what you do and what value you are offering up. I’ll also give an overview of how to craft a content plan that will help you tell your story in a way that builds communities, starts conversations and most of all grows your business.
Over a ‘working lunch’; Clancy, Jemima and Sophie will run a panel discussion – sharing insights and answering questions on everything from social media to photography, styling, starting and growing your own business from home and collaborating to build community. You will go away with;- At least 2 new, professional head shots to use on your socials/anywhere you need to show your face (and if Sophie has her way, that will be waaay more often in your social media feeds – because guys, it’s called social media and we need to show up every now and then and put a face to our feed…but we digress).
So to re-cap, you will walk away with
- at least one professionally styled and photographed product shot (flat lay or vignette/still life) of your thing (product/service/passion).
- A brand new, to the point and powerful ‘who/what/why’ statement for your social media bios/website/anywhere you need to tell people who you are, what you do, why you do it and why people should care.-
- The beginnings of a content plan that will have you consistently sharing valuable content that your people will LOVE you for.
- Loads of new local connections and hopefully, collaboration ideas. – Inspiration, ideas and tips for using social media to really grow a community around what you do.
Cost $475 and includes the photo booth and product styling session, three hour social media and content marketing session, morning tea and lunch. Plus of course, lots of inspiration, new connections and skills.
Book for the Dubbo workshop on November 22 – click here
How often should you show up in your social media feeds?
I think it’s a good idea to show up in your feed regularly – but not all the time! Around every 8-10 posts seems to work pretty well, just a nice, ‘hey this is me’ but not too much. More than that can be tricky to pull off – but that’s just my opinion – it’s your feed and you do what feels right to you!
In any case – lets go with a minimum of showing up every 10 posts! And I don’t mean you need to be right up in the camera filling the frame with your face every time, it could be you doing what you love, get someone to take a pic of you at work, it could be your feet, or legs or the side of your face, just you.
Logo or face?
This really depends on the type and size of your business. Obviously if you are Coca-Cola or Dyson or a massive brand, you’d want to have your Social Media profile photos as your logo to keep brand recognition etc. And I understand that government bodies and corporations need to use a logo. But, if you are the face of your brand, if this is your business and you are running this feed, if it’s your voice and story, then I think it absolutely needs to be your face in that little circle there. Remember our Seth Godin quote; ‘people like us do things like this’ – it’s much easier to create a connection with someone if you can see their face. MUCH EASIER. And maybe you have a small team, perhaps you could get headshots of everyone taken together – on the same day, with the same background, maybe everyone wearing their team t-shirt or whatever. and light etc to keep consistency – and rotate them every month. Every time you chance the profile photo you could introduce that team member with a ‘5 things you didn’t know about Geoff’ so you are giving value, reinforcing your values and building connection all at the same time.
Tips for nailing your profile photo (on your blog/social media/
- Keep it on brand; your photo has to be consistent with the look and feel of the rest of your branding. So if you are a friendly, informal tone – then your image needs to be you looking friendly and informal. Make sure your profile photo (the clothes you are wearing, the background, the general tone) fits with your overall aesthetic – if you edit photos yourself, use the same filters as the photos in your feed/blog/newsletter.
- Just like your profile bio, your picture needs to convey both your personality and your brand/business so needs some thought to get it right. I believe that booking in a photographer to come and take a suite of proper profile pics of you is a worthwhile investment. And you might want to consider having a prop or two as well; so if you are a fun, informal wedding photographer, you could be holding a camera and laughing into the camera. If you are a florist, you could be holding out a bunch of flowers, if you are a hairdresser, a hairdryer in one hand? There’s a fine line between using these props well and making them look cute and fun and a bit try-hard…you’ll know what feels right after a few different takes.
- Smile! People respond to smiling faces much more than they do serious or scowling ones – d’uh. It’s human nature. So front up to the camera with your shoulders down and back and your chest out and a confident, professional smile on that gorgeous face of yours.
- Choose your background carefully; it should be timeless ie you don’t want to have to change your profile photo every few months (and you shouldn’t!) so make sure your background isn’t specific to a certain time of year or moment in time; for example, no Christmas trees in the background and no wedding dresses! And also think about a background colour that will help you really stand out. A busy background of trees, buildings or a crowded beach etc isn’t ideal as the image will look confused and busy. Choose a simple, clean background with beautiful natural light.
- If you are shooting this yourself or asking a friend to help you out, make sure you stand next to a window and let that natural light work it’s magic – so so flattering! Also, don’t stand too far backwards, those profile photos on Instagram especially are tiny so you need to make your face as clear and easy to see as possible!
- Size the images properly for social media. Here is a guide to the different profile picture sizes you need to adhere to for each platform. If you don’t stick to these, they might resize your pics for you and that would be a shame.
- Save your profile photo in a few different sizes (low res for digital, high resolution for magazines and print media) in a Dropbox file, then, when that journalist or event organiser or colleague contacts you for a profile image (which they probably need yesterday) you can, ever so coolly, just send them the link to your Dropbox folder and they’ll think, ‘wow, what a smooth operator.’
#selfiesforintroverts this hashtag is full of great ideas for taking photos of yourself when you hate taking photos of yourself
And if you do want to show up in your feed doing what you do or maybe demonstrating recipes or other DIYS, consider investing in a tripod with a Bluetooth clicker so you can set yourself up and press record or take the photo when you are comfortable, this is much easier than having someone stand around watching you while you get ready (this makes me sooo self conscious). This little tripod with Bluetooth shutter button is what I use, it’s super useful especially as I’m already awkward in front of the camera so I can set myself up without anyone else around, try a few different angles/props/positions before taking the photo without feeling like such a loser!
This is a great podcast about why headshots are so important, via the always helpful Janet Murray.