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Your profile picture is the foremost thing that will draw the attention when someone visits your page. And it should give a lasting impression, thus your job is to make it wittingly striking and familiar.

First of all, unless you’re promoting a brand with a logo always use a face for your profile. Why choose a face? Humans are hardwired to remember faces, we have a special part in our brain whose only purpose is to analyze and recognize faces and it does that since birth. Might as well take advantage of it.

You might like dogs or cats and have the cutest snapshots with them, but still, your face will stand out more. Other people won’t see many differences between animals, cars, nature shots and so on. They will remember your face though!

So here’s what to do:

    1. If you have a logo for your business – use it, just make sure it looks nice in a round form as Instagram will automatically remove the corners.

use your logo if you have one

  1. In any other case – use your face. It’s that simple

Using your face sounds simple enough, here are a few pointers to make that profile picture perfect though:

  • You need to show your face, people have to see your features. Don’t hide behind a camera, don’t have your back turned or anything “smart” like that. If you’re going to show your face go full in and actually do it!
  • Pick a cool outfit – it’s definitely a good idea to personalize your picture with a nice outfit to match your niche.
  • Choose the right background for your image. The perfect background should not distract the eye from your face, rather compliment it. Keep it simple and neutral and ideally it should go well with your outfit.
  • Make the light source work for you. Don’t take the photo in direct sunlight at noon or during the night. Backlights and flash should be avoided unless used by a professional photographer.
  • If you can afford it hire a professional to take your photo. In most cases it will definitely be a lot better than what you can achieve!
  • Smile! This is a simple one – just make sure it doesn’t look fake, unnatural or too exaggerated. Positive vibes attract so try to go for that.
  • Play around with the angles. Everyone has a “better side”. As long as you don’t hide your face you can definitely try an angle pic of yourself.
  • Crop the image till you get it right. The Instagram profile pic is small, if you show too much of your body your face will become too small and hard to recognize. Crop the picture in such a way that only a small portion of your body is visible and make sure the focus is on your face.
  • Use props. This is an easy way to make sure the picture fits your business. You can wear something on your head, around your neck, stand next to it or make it visible in any such way while also making sure it doesn’t stand out more than your face.

Now, if you get all the above right, you’ll have the perfect profile picture that will leave an imprint on anyone who sees it. This is a great thing on a platform like Instagram. Combine this with great content and your account will grow way faster.

To finish this off, I’ll leave you with two examples, one bad and one good – see if you can figure out which is which.

Here’s the first one :

instagram no no

And the second:

instagram yes yes

Yes, you’re right! The first one shows a person’s back and an oven – nothing too special or memorable. DO NOT DO THAT. The second one is what you’re aiming for.