Your Profile Photo as Your Personal Brand

Image by Christopher S. Penn via Flickr
I am so sick of hearing the phrase "knowledge economy," all right?

The truth is it's all about relationships. Like always. Who you know, how you know them, who knows your name.

Whether someone picks up the phone when you call.

In the social media sphere, you've got to start that personal brand from somewhere. And so nothing is as important, especially when you are starting out, as your profile picture (or avatar, etc.)

You may be thinking it has something to do with looks. Not so!

It's about getting your USP (unique selling proposition), your positioning, across just right.

If you want to approach it strategically, consider these 5 things before you launch:
  1. Exaggerate one quality rather than trying to be "all things to all people"
  2. Be yourself in the sense that you are conveying a unique brand - but then again, keep it relatable.
  3. Pull back a bit - those facial close-ups are frightening. (And no cutouts of your left eye!)
  4. There are some moments for which Photoshop is made - the profile photo is one of them.
  5. Animated images or cartoons are best left to graphic designers or gifted technical professionals.
Finally keep in mind one rule of thumb: Whatever your profile photo is in the rest of the social-media-sphere, on LinkedIn it's got to be banker-professional. It's exactly like you're going on a job interview, except this one is perpetual.

Take it seriously but make it fun, put time and care into the image, and don't be afraid to change it up if it's not working.

Have a good evening everyone, and good luck!
Enhanced by Zemanta


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.