From a designer who loves designing logos you'd probably think I'd say "Yes", but I love designing brands even more. Your profile image, like your logo is simply one element of your brand in its entirety.
Like all elements of your brand it needs to work hard for you. We like to think of social media graphics as a tool in your brand tool kit, which also contains, at a minimum: your brand promise, mission statement, colour scheme, typography/photography style, brand language and graphic devices.
Therefore this tiny little square is part of a much bigger picture and needs to be thought about in terms of your business, marketing and brand strategies. It would be wrong to assume it should be a logo or a head shot without thinking about how you can make that free advertising space useful for you. If you had to pay fifty bucks for that ad space you'd think more about what you wanted it to communicate.
Founder of Amazon and now millionaire Jeff Bezos said that,"brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room". At One Line we say it's also what people see when you're not there.
Use your brand as a tool, a visual sales person when you're not there. You'll save a lot of time and be able to fall in love with the things you like doing in your business on a day to day basis.
So when it comes to profile images, how can you use it as a tool? Well the obvious answer is if you have your headshot on social media then those awkward networking events become a lot less awkward. People you've been tweeting on the run up to it know what you look like, so no more fumbled first interactions over cheap wine - hoorah!
Seriously though, people buy from people. Think of your brand as a person and design a logo with that in mind. Give it it's own voice and story and your customers will be able to resonate with it on an emotional level.
As the digital landscape grows consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with trust. If they can't see the person behind your brand how can you expect them to engage.
A head shot is the perfect way to start building that personality behind your brand (and no Sarah didn't pay me to say this.) I can speak from experience. In 2013 when we changed the One Line profile images to my face rather than our logo the engagement and follower levels jumped right up within moments.
For businesses who are trying to reach a wider audience and make themselves more visible and recognisable online a headshot will resonate far better with people who don't know you than a brand logo that they've never heard of. It's a great way to build your profile.
You could even do both at the same time. We did this with The Little Fair Trade Shop's social media graphics. Sabeena was well recognised online and had built a great following using a headshot. Working with us on a rebrand she wanted to push the brand identity a bit more. This was all part of a bigger strategy because the logo was about to be the single visual used on packaging - we needed to connect her packaging with what people also saw online without losing the personal touch. So that company mug does come in handy after all.
Of course if your logo is everything about your brand then yes for sure use it as your profile image. If you're Nike or FedEx we're probably not going to want to see a photo of your CEO but actually a shot of real life people on your team would be quite interesting and it lets us know you're not a team of robots. Don't forget you have that huge banner behind your profile image to use as free advertising space. So if your strategy dictates that you have your logo in the square, then have a team shot in the banner. If it's a headshot in the square then use your logo in the banner. Think about combinations of photography and logo or key messages that will work hard for what you're trying to achieve with your digital marketing.
Like, follow, connect and check out my ugly mug at http://www.onelinestudio.co.uk/
As a Personal Style Coach I’m often asked to collaborate on photo shoots from vintage to business. One of the key question I’m often get asked before the shoot “what should I wear?” Firstly, it differs from shoot to shoot, it also depends on the location, if It’s in a studio or on location, whatever the location this will have an influence on your photo shoot wardrobe.
Here are a few simple tips to help with the “what should I wear?” question on photo shoots.
If you work in a corporate environment, or serve corporate clients, conservative classic outfits are usually the way to go. But remember corporate looks don’t have to be boring or simply black or grey in colour palettes. It’s ok to add a pop of colour, which can help to brighten up your face and make your picture stand out of all the right reasons.
I like to pull a few key pieces from the client’s wardrobe’s then build core outfits based on the client’s style requirements for their photo shoot. It’s important leading up to the shoot to have run through of all the outfits chosen, so you feel confident on the day with your chosen outfits, as it will show on the images. If you’re thinking about necklines and what to opt for go for a V-neck which is very flattering on all you ladies, because it helps to lengthen your neck and displays your beautiful feminine décolleté. If you choose to wear a jacket, team it with a collarless top, keeps it looking modern and the neckline simple and chic.
MAKE COLOUR YOUR FRIEND
Choose light soft, bright, sparkling and jewel tones for your photos. Colours are a great way to express your emotions visually in a picture. But unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Please stay clear of neon or fluorescent colour’s they really don’t get on well with the camera. If the very thought of colour sends you in a panic, just add a pop of colour with your accessories.
PATTERNS AND PRINTS
I love mixing up plain sold colours with patterns/prints on client’s shoot’s, they really do look good on camera. However, do try to use one pattern/print that will match the colour palette of the rest of your outfit. Don’t be afraid to go with fabulous florals which are soft, feminine and never go out of fashion.
ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Say yes to accessories! The term accessories cover’s a multitude of items form necklaces, earrings, watches, brooches, hats (I love hat’s my favorite one is a fedora style hat) and scarfs. Accessories are so your best friend, as they can take your outfit from drape to fab, they also add an individuality and style in such a way that nothing else can. They can easily make you look like you’re wearing a whole different outfit by simply adding accessories.
Makeup can make a big difference in terms of getting a fabulous professional look. A photograph isn’t just about great arrangement, colours, or even the outfit, but having amazing makeup can bring the most out of your own natural looks. If natural and basic is your own style then stick to that look or if you wear a lot of make-up, or sparkles then go for it If you find makeup isn’t your thing, then get a professional make-up artist on board. I work with a few make-up artists and it really pulls everything together from the outfit to the hair to create the perfect photo shoot.
Think of your hair as another element of your wardrobe as it represents femininity and your style, which should be updated, and styled depending on your mood and outfit. Experiment with scarfs, clips, head pieces and even clip-ins (always make sure you have a colour match with clip-in hair extensions as you want them to look as natural as possible with your own hair). If you’ve decided to be brave before the shoot and opting for a new style or cut always remember it should play up to your best features.
Finally, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable, happy, sexy and confident. How you feel during the shoot reflects in the photos, so make sure to wear something that reflects you……..