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9 Best Instagram Profile Photo Tips

Julia Thompson | October 24, 2018

One of the first things a potential follower sees on your Instagram profile is your photo. This means that your profile pic needs to be top quality in order to make a good first impression. People follow accounts that they think they will like, and that doesn’t just mean your posts. They are following you so they need to see your personality and your brand. These 9 best Instagram profile photo tips will really help you take your account to the next level and help to attract your ideal followers.

Taking an Instagram profile photo

1. Show Your Face

Instagram posts with faces (or people) in them get more likes than those showing only products or backgrounds. This principle can also be applied to profile photos. Your best bet is to choose a picture that you are in and that shows your face. If you run an account for a brand, obviously you’ll need to use the logo since you aren’t the face of the company. But make sure if you do use the logo that it is professionally made and looks legit.

2. Smile

People are more inclined to like you if you appear genuinely happy and friendly. We like to see smiles! When you smile you look more approachable and likeable, which is what you’re going for here. You need to draw in the user and make them want to know more about you and your brand.

3. Zoom It In

Your profile picture should have you in it, but if your face is too small to see then it kind of defeats the purpose. Make sure to zoom in enough that your face is visible and you still look natural. Also make sure it’s not at an odd angle. You want the light to hit your face naturally so you look your best. Nothing upside down or looking up your nose!

4. Choose a Flattering Background

Although the majority of the photo will be of your face, you should still have some visible background. You’ll want a light background to contrast with your face and make you stand out. This isn’t LinkedIn so you don’t want just a flat white backdrop. Get outside and take advantage of the unique backgrounds you can find around town. Maybe a cool brick building, a lush, green park, or a stunning landscape. Take advantage of the natural sunlight which will highlight your best features.

5. Strike a Pose

Don’t be afraid to be silly! You want to show some personality in your photos to represent who you truly are. Have a friend snap a photo when you’re laughing or petting a cute dog. You shouldn’t be just sitting upright looking like you’re about to take a yearbook photo.

6. Use a Professional Camera

You don’t need a super expensive camera to take a good photo, but you do want one that will take a decent photo. Most smartphones nowadays have pretty good cameras on them, so if you don’t have your own, ask to borrow a friend’s. If you’re really looking to make your profile photo top notch, pay for a professional photo shoot. You’ll not only end up with an amazing profile pic, but you’ll have plenty of leftover photos to post on your feed or other social media accounts.

Setting up a professional Instagram profile photo shoot

7. Edit Your Photo

Every photo should be edited before posting! Same goes for your profile photo. Use a free photo editing app like Snapseed or pay for some extra professional tools through VSCO. Make sure to brighten your photo and give the color a bit more pop to ensure your pic stands out among the millions of other accounts.

8. Represent Your Brand

If you’re using Instagram to monetize, you probably have a brand or business that you’re representing. Make sure this comes across in your profile photo so followers get a sense of what you’re about. Are you a photographer? Your photo should include you holding your camera! A baker? Snap a shot of you biting into a bright pink cupcake. If you’re a travel blogger make sure to show off a unique place in your background. Whatever your niche is, be sure to incorporate it into your photo.

9. Be Consistent

There are tons of social media accounts out there and you are probably on more than one. If you’re trying to grow a business or build a brand you should remain consistent across all platforms. Try to use the same photo as your profile picture for every social media account. If one of your Facebook followers is trying to find you on Instagram, they may have trouble recognizing your account if the photo is completely different.

Example of a good Instagram profile photo

The main point is that your photos need to look clean, professional, and attractive. Every part of your account is viewed and judged by potential followers, so by making a good first impression with your profile photo you’re off to a good start. For more tips and help growing your Instagram account, check out our blog at Social Network Elite.

Topics: Instagram Ideas

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