🤳 Profile Picture Can Make or Break Your Entrepreneurship


Written by: Razvan

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, profile photos are critical on social networking websites where you’ll build your brand and image, and where you’ll also engage with potential or existing clients & partners.

With the right photo, everything should go smoothly and as expected. However, with the wrong picture, you could be putting your own business in a bad light or even embarrass yourself. You’ll be attracting the wrong audience, risking to lose potential clients, as well as not being able to convert existing clients into regulars or partners.

So let’s first start with the basics of what makes a photo look great and professional:

  • Smile : this is the most noticeable part of a photograph, and you should smile like you really mean it. However, don’t just smile with your mouth as that can easily be faked; smile with your eyes, too (that means no sunglasses!) Think of a smile like a people magnet — it’s in our instincts to choose someone who smiles over everyone else;

  • Clothing : choose either business or casual apparel as long as you seem approachable, inviting and professional. Just make sure you don’t overdress nor underdress, and don’t wear clothes that make your eyes hurt;

  • Lighting : make sure your photo is well-lit, or hire a professional photographer to take the right shots. If your picture looks terrible or hard to decipher, that’s the image you’re projecting of your work’s quality;

  • Updates : people grow old and change every year, some more drastically than others, which is why you should be updating your profile photo at least yearly. However, please don’t ever use someone else’s picture, it’s a sure way to ruin your profile and your business;

  • Background : this one should be relatively simple — who is more important, you or the backdrop? Now go find a simple background and even defocus it if your camera has focus support;

  • Quality : the quality of a photo can be a deal-breaker, so make sure you use a high-quality photograph to represent the quality and value of your work.

Now let’s see what makes a photo break everything you’ve worked so hard to build:

  • sexy clothing or poses : these will only help you sell your looks, and you want to sell your knowledge, skills, talent, and experience. You definitely don’t want to give the impression of not being confident in your abilities, or not having what it takes for the job;

  • cleavage display : this is not a way to land a client or a job, on the contrary. You’ll show that you’re willing to do everything & anything to get what you want, which will only bring you trouble in the long run. Think of it this way: the more cleavage you show, the less power you have;

  • the troublesome breast : avoid displaying half a breast if you don’t want your business to turn into an adult dating business, or if you don’t want to attract all sorts of people who will make it their job to harass you sexually;

  • unshaven men, or messy & tangled women’s hair : if you don’t take care of how you look, you’ll give people the impression that you are careless in your work as well, and that you tend to do things in a rush and don’t care much about details;

  • men wearing tank tops : unless you have a sports-related business where you have to show some muscle, avoid this as it makes you look like a bad boy who should be disregarded;

  • wearing shorts : keep your shorts at home or use them in your vacation photos. Otherwise, you’ll risk making potential clients think you’re either too comfortable to be bothered, or that you’re all for the money;

  • that party : avoid showing a picture of you at a party as it tells that you’re neither reliable nor mature enough yet;

  • pouting, frowning, or other unfriendly expressions : if you want to look like someone who is hard to please, you’ll find yourself alone in the whole wild web; you want people to see you as friendly, accessible and pleasant to communicate with, and overall down to earth;

  • kissing selfie, duck lips, or goofy poses : even though you enjoy them, these trends have become tiresome and will only render your profile invisible, making people skip it. These photos have been overused, and now they’re just childish, so do yourself a favor and keep them to yourself;

  • your pet : now this is a big no-no. It’s you who works with a client, not your pet. So why would you even consider showing them your pet instead of yourself? OK, you can have a photo of you with your pet if you really have to, as it can make you appear warm, friendly and easy-going (as long as you’re the focus of the picture), but a photo of your pet alone won’t help, period;

  • no photo : this is a no-brainer, people will merely imagine you either don’t want to connect with them, you’re not available, or you only have something to hide.

Don’t neglect your profile photo but instead invest in it, because it’s the first thing that people notice, and first impressions are not a myth! Use your photo as a means to communicate with potential clients or partners, and to convey trustworthiness.

Finally, follow as many of the above-tried & tested rules, and even ask yourself: would you engage in a business relationship or partnership with the person you see in your photo?