To many times we all see that profile picture that has the grey silhouette image of head and shoulders, also know as the "Mystery Man". A great way to collect more followers, create new fans and build more trust is to have a create profile image on your social media sites!
Don't be the mystery man, (or even an egg)! There are a few fantastic sites that are easy to use and some things you should keep mind before your begin.
Create That Perfect Creative and/or Funny Profile Image
We have all likely seen some very creative profile pictures. You may have seen them on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. You can create some fancy or funny profile images pretty easily from several online sites and use them where you feel appropriate.
Keep in mind though, that any image you use will be a "first impression" and a reflection of you. Where creativity for profile pictures apply, have fun and use them.
These sites will allow you to create some pretty creative and impressive effects. (A long time ago we had 3 here, now only 1 is left).
When creating your images for profile sites, here are a few types and rules of thumb that you can go by.
Creating a Professional Profile Image
You may be required to post a more "professional" profile image of the head and shoulder variety. Social sites that are B2B (Business to Business), like Linkedin are social sites you would want one of these. Some article sites will not allow logos or "creative" images and require a head and shoulders image or they will simply remove it.
You will want to look real, human, and approachable. The photo must be of very good quality as it is the first and most important impression you will make on the internet.
Shoot a sharp picture, or sharpen it using a photo shop program if you have one. A good quality digital camera is essential. If you don’t have one, borrow one or ask a friend that has one if he or she will shoot a profile picture of you. Pay attention to the lighting to reduce back-light shadows and it will help your image to be sharp and clear.
Once you have a great photo, post it in your profile and leave it there. There is a tendency to change profile pictures, sometimes often, but that’s not the best way to be noticed. Stick with the first and best one you have, as people will be looking for your picture as they know it.
Changing your professional profile often will only confuses the issue and makes it necessary for people to keep trying to remember who you are. Consistency is what you will be seeking. Think of your photo as your logo or brand. You want to be easily and quickly recognized.
Creating a Logo Profile Image
Your company or business logo can also be used on several sites. A business profile on Linkedin or on Facebook is a great place to start branding your image.
No matter what site you post your profile to, your profile picture should reflect a professional, yet upbeat and friendly image.
Every social network site seems to have its own formatting rules for pictures. Check to see what those rules are before you shoot and edit the photo. Find out what picture dimensions work best. The dimensions will count, as will the file size. Most have a maximum size that can be uploaded. If it’s too big you’ll have to go back and change the size of the file, then try again. Save time and frustration by knowing the details when you edit the picture.
Rule of Thumb for Image Profile Image Sizes
Your best to have saved several different sizes of your profile image on your hard drive that are easy to find. The one most commonly used however will be a square. Save a 400px x 400px and you will be pretty safe with that. Most, if not 99% of the newer sites that allow a profile picture will allow you to crop it. This way if the site requires a rectangle profile image, you can crop it accordingly.
Happy profile image creating!
About the Author:
The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.
I hope you find the information and tools presented here useful and something worth sharing with others.
If there is anything else about online marketing or any online advertising strategy you think would be helpful, please let me know.