At NADA GLOBAL we’ve noticed the digital marketing world has been reaching farther and getting more personal with social media than ever before. Because of this, people are going to great lengths to be professional and create beautiful social media pages for different types of businesses, platforms and situations–including professional social media profile pics.
Statistically more people are working from home and/or starting their own businesses and self-marketing is becoming more of a necessity. Marketing within these social media platforms requires both personal and business profiles to have professional photos. Social media profiles without photos send a message that the person or products are out-of-date, unprofessional, or worse: totally clueless.
Strategically speaking, people who do not include professional social media profile pics on their social media pages are severely hurting their chances for future business. In fact, LinkedIn—the world’s largest professional networking platform—recently shared data stating that profiles with photos receive 14 times more views then profiles without.
How this translates for people across the board, whether you are marketing for a small business, looking for work or establishing a personal brand, is that you must provide a photo because it fosters a sense of trust, and more importantly, allows for a human connection.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all profile photos are created equally; there’s a day and night difference between a professionally shot profile photograph and one that your cousin took with their iPhone. Saving a few dollars by taking your own iPhone picture will cost you way more in the long run!
How Can Professional Social Media Profile Pics Help You?
A professional photographer will help you create a successful profile photo that shows you looking yourself—on your best day. You have got to have a solid professional profile photo that you consistently use across all platforms in order to create your brand. To have the most impact you will want a photo shot with a thumbnail view in mind that looks sharp, clean, flattering and approachable.
At NADA GLOBAL, our marketing research shows that this approachability factor that a professional profile photo provides is not the only benefit, there are other ways it can help you:
- Establishes Credibility: We’re all unfortunately familiar with those “spam” social profiles that exist. Fake profiles usually either have no photo or an obviously inconceivable looking photo. There is really no situation where someone wants to waste his or her time with a fictional person or business. Therefore, not only does providing a top-notch professional photo mean you are real, but it also establishes credibility in what you are representing.
- Networking/ Recognition: Our NADA GLOBAL clients represent a diverse array of businesses, however they all have one thing in common: networking. The Internet provides the mainframe for a globally vast networking arena for recognition. Facebook, for example, has united and integrated groups of people from our past, within our common field or from other social media platforms. This can really only be achieved by having a recognizable photo.
- Consistency/ Brand: As a product, business or a professional, you are a brand, and consistency is of paramount importance in branding. If you have followers in one social media platform, they will probably follow you in new social networks. The reach of your visibility will be expanded and connected, and your social proof brand will be strengthened. It is a good idea to use the same photo for all your professional and social networking profile pictures to develop that consistency.
- Personal Appeal: Bringing it back to approachability, a profile with a face attached to it is simply more appealing. Your personal appeal is greatly amplified by using a photo with a relaxed and friendly vibe, and without pets or children or other distractions in the photo. Appealing photos make the right impression, maximize the number of people who view your profile, and are more likely to be clicked than profiles without photos.
NADA GLOBAL got the low down on what makes successful profile photos from our Orange County photographer Taylor Herron. A passionate photographer who has been involved in the art industry for 10 years, Taylor shoots professional profile photos out of his tricked-out workspace studio in Costa Mesa.
We asked Taylor about the newest trend in social media profile photos and what he thinks makes a successful one: “Today it seems even our personal lives are being marketed daily between status updates and personal updates, we’re now inviting people into our own homes, almost as if we are marketing ourselves. We’re just so oversaturated with things on the Internet now, we’re overloaded every single day, we wake up and check the phone, all day long info and photos are thrown at us ..There’s so much information when looking on social media. We’re scrolling and scrolling and with so many people, how are you going to separate yourself? We are in a constant state of information overload and you have to separate yourself in a positive way. You have to get a nice clean impactful image into a thumbnail to create the click and the interest.”
Even though Taylor has done a lot of live music and ecommerce photography he is adapting and evolving with social media needs: “I have my own little studio with a three-light set-up for nice, clean lighting. Lighting can say so much in a photograph. If I’m shooting a LinkedIn photo I have “LinkedIn lighting:” clean, even lighting. I shoot to a computer, it’s a “capture process” so basically the photographs go right to the computer and clients can see them live on the monitor-so we build the photographs while in the session…as it goes on, we know how to shape it.. until we find the one that’s really ‘The One.’”
Taylor suggests several key things to make a successful profile picture:
- Have your picture taken with a professional photographer with whom you have a personal connection. Taylor talks to clients beforehand about what they want, inspirational photographs that they like and would like to emulate and asks for previous photos. Music is a huge part too…whatever makes somebody feel comfortable. “If somebody’s not comfortable in front of my camera I can definitely see it. The person has to look nice, relaxed, comfortable so the final product is definitely more inviting.”
- Pick a 3/4 headshot because profile photos appear as small thumbnails on social media. Only use photos from the waist up—nothing below the belt. If you include your entire body, your head will appear too small, and viewers may not be able to recognize you.
- Dress Professionally. Just make sure your photo depicts you in a manner that’s appropriate for your field. Clean and simple, without too much makeup, or anything distracting.
- Avoid busy backgrounds as well—standing against a solid-colored, light background is best.
Although Taylor can shoot differently for each platform, and works on location all over Los Angeles, if you’re an OC resident you don’t have to drive up to LA for a professional photo shoot!
For a local, in-studio profile, the average photo session really only takes about 35 minutes! Take a sneak peek at Taylor’s portfolio on Behance.
NADA GLOBAL offers web design and digital marketing with a human touch. These days that means photographs of actual people for our clients. We can help you reach more customers, more often! Stay current with premium photos by a professional photographer.
As your design, development, SEO, SEM, PPC, and Facebook advertising specialists we will help you find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and happy. Contact us today to find out more about how NADA GLOBAL can help you with social media marketing and professional social media profile pics.