Have you thought about your Instagram profile at all recently? Today, we’re going to discuss the Instagram profile picture. There are some out there that are amazing, and there are some out there that aren’t so great.
The thing is, when it comes to your profile picture, you never get another chance to make a first impression. You have most likely heard this saying before, and it is worth thinking about when you are deciding what to put as your profile picture.
It is pretty amazing to think that one small, circular profile picture can make or break someone’s impression of your entire Instagram profile. However, that’s how Instagram works these days, and you’ve only got a few seconds of someone’s time to convince them to check out the rest of your videos and images.
So, with this in mind, we’re going to talk about how you can make sure that your Instagram profile picture is a hero, not a zero. Let’s do it.
1. Your Face Should be the Main Subject
This might seem like nothing more than common sense, but you would be amazed how many people forget to include a picture of themselves when they are sharing content on a personal Instagram page. If it is your personal Instagram account, why wouldn’t you make the most of your face to encourage people to follow you? Don’t worry, there is a science behind it.
People connect more deeply with faces, as opposed to inanimate objects, or animals. So, if you are the face of the brand, then you need to make sure that you have it featured in your profile picture, and preferably center stage.
2. Be as Professional as You Can
So, if you’re just starting out on your Instagram journey, you might not have all that much in the bank to spend on professional photos for your profile picture. However, the more clear, crisp and professional you can make your profile picture look, the better.
If you can get on the Internet and find someone to take professional photo of you for a little bit less, then this could end up making all the difference.
If you really don’t have anything to spend on your profile picture right now, then you could also consider recruiting the help of friends and family to capture your likeness in an image. Worst-case scenario, you can put your smartphone on self-timer, and snap a pic yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t use your yearbook photo, and don’t choose a random picture from that vacation you took with your family five years ago. Make sure that you are putting your best foot forward with your audience, and make sure that you are spending a bit of time coming up with the ideal profile picture.
3. Get up Close and Personal
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about invading someone else’s bubble. We are talking about it being wise to not bite off more than you can chew when it comes to your profile picture. Think about how big your profile picture is, especially when compared to the rest of your Instagram feed. It’s pretty small right? This means that you can’t really fit too much into it.
Aside from your face, there shouldn’t really be too much else going on. If you have a picture of yourself standing in front of an historical monument, then nobody is going to be able to see what you look like and make that first connection with you.
We recommend that you crop your profile picture to include your head, and a bit of your shoulders. Anything more than this is going to be hard to judge, and people will continue scrolling through their feed rather than deciding to follow your Instagram profile.
4. Be True to Yourself
In the perfectly curated world of Instagram, it can be tempting to emulate someone else in order to be successful. You see what everyone else is doing, and you take note of specific strategies that they are applying to their pictures. However, if these strategies aren’t incorporating being true to yourself, then we don’t suggest that you take them on board.
At the end of the day, your Instagram profile is all about you. This is why it’s important to present your true self and be personable. Even if you are trying to use Instagram to promote your brand, you need to remember that most people out there want to do business with people that they enjoy, know, and trust.
So, while smiling might not come easily to you, we suggest that if you can force it, your followers are going to really appreciate. At the end of the day, they want to get to know the real you, and this starts with your profile picture. So, make sure you share your personality, whether this is through a professional outfit, a goofy face, or something else completely.
5. Size Does Matter Here
Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about Instagram. Again, like we’ve mentioned already in this article, your Instagram profile picture is tiny. With this in mind, you need to make sure that it is as cropped as possible. Your potential followers and followers want to clearly be able to make out your face in your profile picture and recognize and associate your profile picture with your brand.
We cannot emphasize enough the need for you to make the most of this small space and fill it up as much as you can with your face, your brand’s logo, or something else that your potential followers are going to be able to quickly resonate with.
6. Use Your Logo
Let’s expand on that brand logo idea for a second. If you are running a business profile on Instagram, then we highly recommend that you use your brand’s logo as your profile picture. This is going to help with the consistency of your branding, because it will match up with your website, as well as any other social media channels you’ve got your brand on.
Using your logo also makes it easier for you to come across as professional, especially if the brand incorporates more than just you.
For business owners and influencers who are running a personal brand that they are the face of, we still think that it is a good idea to use one of your own photos. This is going to help your community connect with you and know who they are following from the very beginning.
Brands that use their logo as their profile picture can still include personal images in their Instagram stories or feed, so that their audience can get to know them a bit better.
7. Don’t be Off Center with Your Photo
If you plan on using a bigger photo for your profile picture, then you might be tempted to use the rule of thirds and put the subject of the photo off to the side. However, we don’t think that this rule should apply to profile pictures.
Your profile picture is everything but remember that it is also tiny. If you use an image that is off-center, then your face is going to become even smaller. It’s going to make it even harder for people to recognize you inside that little circle.
It might be more difficult, but we suggest that you find a nice photo of you where you are in the center. This is going to make it easier for your followers to see you and connect with you, and then ultimately make that decision about whether to follow your Instagram profile or not.
8. Don’t Update Your Image Frequently
We don’t suggest that you use a profile picture image that you are going to have to update frequently. The thing about your profile picture is that it is a key component to your branding, so you want your audience to be able to easily recognize that it is you, even though it is a small circle.
If you are constantly changing what your profile picture is, then your audience is likely to get really confused, or may even scroll past your posts without realizing that it is you. Remember that your Instagram profile picture is your cover for Instagram stories, which means that if someone doesn’t recognize your image, they might not click and view on your stories.
So, instead of using an image that you are going to need to switch out often, try to choose one that you really like, and relates to your brand closely. Don’t go for something seasonal, like an image of you in a Santa hat. Choose a neutral, classic background, and a photo that is going to be able to age well.
9. Get the Sizing Right
We think that we have said it enough at this point that profile pictures are very, very small. However, if you want to upload a high-quality photo, the last thing that you want to do is upload a photo that is so small that it becomes low quality when Instagram applies it to your profile picture.
Of course, this isn’t a good luck for your brand, but it also makes it more difficult for people to recognize you in the already tiny photo. Make sure that you have adjusted the photo size so that it fits in with Instagram’s profile picture dimensions.
10. Keep it On Brand
If your brand is always full of happy, bright colors, then don’t use a moody, dark image for your profile picture. This is going to feel disingenuous, and your audience is likely to become confused. Instead, choose an image that closely relates to your brand. Of course, this goes beyond just matching colors, although this aspect is really important.
You also want to try to capture the essence of your brand, whether it is quiet and serious, or playful and fun. Of course, there is no wrong answer here, you just need to be able to have an eye for matching your profile picture’s mood with the rest of your brand.
Living Your Best Life with Your Profile Picture
At the end of the day, we don’t want to take any of this too seriously, but the bottom line is that your Instagram profile picture needs to be up to snuff, otherwise you won’t entice potential followers to check out your Instagram feed, and you could lose out on multiple opportunities to expand your followers.
All you’ve got to do is apply a few of the tips that we have discussed above, and we can see your profile picture going from zero to hero in no time.
Once you have chosen one that perfectly fits in with your brand’s ethos and captures the timelessness of an Instagram page’s growth, then you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and not even have to think about it for a long time to come. Good luck!