Build Brand Recognition With Your Profile Image

Your profile picture is all over the internet, but are you making the most of it?

Picking a good profile image is more than just finding the one your least ashamed to show the world. As Cyrus Shepard’s recent post on SEOmoz explained, he saw a 35% increase in authorship related CTR from SERPs when he changed his G+ image from from an “ugly webcam photo taken at 8:30 in the morning” to something in a more “flattering light”.

But for the digital marketeer a good profile image is for more than increasing click through rates from SERPs. Many of us engage on social media and other community platforms with the, at least partial, goal of building a personal brand. Profile images are a fantastic opportunity to provide a visual cue for people to recognise you and your content.

So what makes a Good profile image? Let’s take a look at some of the best and see what we can learn.

Tad Szewczyk

Tad Szewczyk

Why?: You might not have heard of Tad, but you’ve probably seen the big white hat and moustache before. Tads unusual appearance in this photo helps him stand out in the crowd. You’re unlikely to forget ‘that guy in the Mexican hat’.

Brand Personality: Fun, White hat, Unique

On G+:Tad Szewczyk

AJ Kohn

AJ Kohn

Why?: AJ’s photo is simple but effective. The face is close up enough that it is still recognisable when the image is shrunk down to 25px x 25px on Inbound.org and the plain but distinct colour of the background helps it stand out even if you don’t recognise the face.

Brand Personality: Professional, Friendly, White Hat

On G+: AJ Kohn

Dan Shure

Dan Shure

Why?: Dan’s photo is uncannily similar to another well known SEO’s. I’ll let you guess who. Doppleganger aside, Dan’s photo is bright and simple helping it stand out in lists and making it easy to recognise.

Brand Personality?: Relaxed, Friendly, Honest

On G+: Dan Shure

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin

Why?: Perhaps it’s cheating putting Rand’s Photo in this collection, but it’s worth mentioning. A a nice clear head shot supports personal brand recognition, the bright background helps it stand out and the word SEO cheekily poking out in the background is a nice touch. I also wonder if yellow is Rand’s favourite colour

Brand Personality?: Professional, Honest, SEO Expert

On G+:Rand Fishkin

Lyndon NA

Lyndon NA

Why?: For anyone else I’d say this image is a poor selection, but as Lyndon’s style is “Not so fluffy” it seems kind of appropriate.

Brand Personality?: Not So Fluffy

On G+: Lyndon NA

Michael King

Michael King

Why?: This image is consistent with Mike’s brand personality. What? Don’t believe me, check out his entrance to mozcon 2012. This image stands out as being different from the usual whilst still putting emphasis on his usual appearance.

Brand Personality?: Cool, Professional

On G+: Michael King

Use Your Profile Photo Like A Pro

Now it’s your turn. What can you take away from the examples above?

  • Consider your brand personality
  • A close up of the face will help personal recognition
  • Use a clear background to avoid distracting viewers
  • Use a bright background to stand out even when the image is shrunk
  • Consider dressing like a Mexican to stand out!

I’m open to adding more to the list, know of any great examples? Let me know on Google Plus.

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