• profile pic

    5 Creative Ways to Match Your Profile Pic with Your Brand

    Whether you’re looking for a new job, more clients, or the romantic partner of your dreams, you need to make sure your personal brand is on point. That’s the only way you’re going to get anyone’s attention online – no matter what your objective is. 

    To have a strong personal brand means to establish a clear representation of who you are and what you value. It’s something that should easily draw people in and make them want to know more about you.

    Most importantly, though, your brand is something that people shouldn’t have to figure out!

    It needs to send the right message to your audience from the moment they click on your profile. One way to effectively get your message across is to have a profile pic that resembles your brand. 

    Not sure what this means? 

    Here are 5 ways to create a clear connection between your profile pic and the rest of your online profile. Note: these steps apply to dating sites, professional platforms, and everything in-between!

    1. Color Coordinate 

    When it comes to branding, colors are about much more than aesthetics. There’s a whole concept of color psychology that digital designers use when creating logos and websites, which you can also use to create your personal brand. 

    The key to doing this is to first define what your values are. Take a moment to consider what you want people to think about you when they see your profile pic and browse through your entire profile.

    Identify what is most important to you and find a color that represents that. Then, pick one or two secondary colors to complete this step.

    If you’re looking to update your professional profile picture, this step has already been done for you. You should use the colors of the company brand you represent. 

    2. Use a Simple Background

    Keep in mind that color coordination can be subtle. You don’t have to dress in red from head to toe or go out and find a yellow dress. Incorporate your brand colors in more subtle ways like on your tie, your necklace or earrings, or layered into your clothing. 

    Or, set your primary brand color as your background. This has two major benefits for you: the first is the use of color psychology mentioned above, and the second is the simplicity that using a single-colored background creates. 

    Simple is good in this case. It means that your audience will be able to better focus on you because they’re not distracted by the background of your image. A single-colored background can also bring out some of your features and/or complement what you’re wearing. 

    3. Show Off Your Personality

    Creating a personal brand online is basically like introducing your personality to people from behind a screen. You want it to be approachable and interesting, so it helps to have a little fun when shooting a new set of profile pictures

    Don’t be afraid to relax a little bit and have a few laughs with your photographer. Maybe play some music or take a handful of pictures outside and have the photographer create a focus on you.

    Whatever you do to let loose, keep your end goal in mind. It’s much different to relax in a way that is still professional than it is to do so for a social profile pic or a dating profile. 

    4. Don’t Forget About Your Cover Photo

    Since you’re going through all the trouble to make sure your profile picture fits your brand, you may as well do the same with your cover photo. Many online profile platforms now offer this feature, and it would be a shame to work so hard on a profile picture just to have a bad cover photo cast a shadow over it. 

    Upgrading your cover photo and your profile pic makes your overall brand a lot stronger. The two should complement one another in a way that tells people who you are and what you’re all about.

    They don’t have to be a perfect match, though. Feel free to have fun with this combination and explore your options before you make your final decision.

    5. Fit the Frame

    If you’re not sure how to create an on-brand cover photo, refer back to steps 1-3 for insight. You can also go outside the lines and put a quote or an image of something you’re passionate about (a landscape, a hobby, your products, etc) as your cover photo. 

    No matter what you choose for either image, though, you need to make sure they each fit their respective frame! This is the final touch that makes all the difference. 

    Take your time to adjust your new profile photo in a way that represents it well no matter how it’s displayed.

    Remember, your profile image will be used in various sizes once it is set. It’s going to be a small icon when people message you, it will be a bit bigger when you’re commenting on other posts, and it’s going to be much bigger when people actually click on your profile. 

    But, it has to be easy to understand everywhere it’s displayed, and your cover photo is no different. Make sure both images fit your online profile before you consider your brand complete. 

    Get the Perfect Profile Pic Every Time

    It’s one thing to create a fun personal brand online and another to have a professional brand that makes people want to work with you.

    However, the two should have some clear similarities between them, even if you don’t use the same exact profile pic each time. 

    To make sure you get this just right, check out these additional profile pic tips

  • business profile picture

    9 Business Profile Picture Rules That Every Professional Should Follow

    Thinking about getting new business profile photos? Good idea!

    With so many online job-search sites, having a completed profile is essential. A strong, professional headshot is a huge part of that since it’s the first thing people will see when they click on your page.

    Raise your chances of finding the right job by making sure your profile has the right image. Here are 9 rules to make sure you have a great business profile picture.

    Avoid Head Tilts

    A photo is the first thing people will see when they look at your profile. It should grab their attention in the right way and convey a confident and assertive person; someone ready to tackle the work ahead.

    When you tilt your head to the side, it can look strange. It will instantly make you look inquisitive and unsure. A straight on photo conveys conviction whereas a tilted one may convey insecurity or confusion.

    Many times, people will tilt their head to one side in a photo to show they’re relaxed and easy going in nature. It can feel like a more organic or natural pose than keeping your head straight on. This tactic works in other places but in a professional setting, communicates the exact opposite of what you’re trying to get across.

    There are still ways to look relaxed and at ease in a photo without a head tilt. It will be all about your facial expression which we’ll get to later in this post.

    Be the Only Person in the Photo

    This should go without saying but you’d be surprised to know how many people post photos with friends, family, and pets as their business profile picture. For starters, if you’re posting with a friend or family member, you’ll have anyone looking at the photo wondering which person you actually are.

    Take out the guesswork and post a photo where you’re the only subject. As far as posting with pets; sure, they’re cute and it shows a fun side to your personality. But again, this is a professional photo so you want to keep it simple and straightforward.

    Keep It Current

    If your profile says you graduated from college 10 years ago and you select a photo of you in front of your fraternity house, people will know it’s old. You want to keep your photo as up-to-date as possible, hopefully, one taken within the last year.

    You want to present a realistic version of yourself. If you have an interview or meet potential business contacts in person but look drastically different than you did in your photo, you’re already off to a rocky start.

    They’ll wonder why you weren’t current and honest about how you look now. Post a photo that is truthful and representative of who you are today.

    Stay in Focus

    There’s no way around it, posting a blurry photo looks completely unprofessional. With the access to technology and phone cameras that are even better than some real cameras, there’s no excuse for a poor quality photo.

    If you post a photo that’s out of focus, it will inevitably become a distraction for people looking at your profile. They’ll be busy wondering why you posted such a poor quality photo instead of reading the rest of your profile and gathering information necessary to see if they want to work with you.

    Even if a photo is slightly out of focus, move on and find another one. Don’t give any potential employers reason to click away from your page.

    Wear Something Professional

    This photo is for your business profile so it’s important to look professional regardless of the field you’re in. Make sure your clothing fits well and appears clean and ironed. Putting on a suit that’s completely wrinkled isn’t helping you.

    Aside from looking clean and professional, you’ll want to avoid really bright colors or patterns as they can become distracting and take away from your face and expression. You don’t want the clothing to be the center of the show, they’re simply there to enhance your photo.

    Try wearing neutral colors like black, grey, white and navy. You can add pops of color to show your personality, just keep it simple everywhere else. Regardless of your gender, be sure not to show too much skin. It can be just as distracting as too much color.

    What you wear in a photo should be the same thing you would select if going in for an interview or to a business meeting.

    Look Approachable

    Now we’re getting into your facial expression. This matters more than you realize because it tells more about you and your personality than anything else in the photo. To cut straight to it; you want to look friendly and approachable but still professional.

    This may seem counterintuitive and have you wondering how you’re supposed to look fun and friendly but still corporate. It can be done. A simple smile and relaxed posture indicate that you’re affable and friendly but still mean business.

    Be careful not to smile too big, it can seem odd for a professional photo. You may want to consider a soft smile that doesn’t show your teeth. It looks strong and confident but friendly all at the same time.

    Don’t Go Full Body

    This one’s easy. Don’t post a full body picture, mainly for the reason that you’ll appear too small and far away. The main point is to glean a little personality from your facial expression and showing a full body picture takes away from that.

    On most sites, people will first see a thumbnail version of your photo. That’s a small version in which a full body photo would appear even smaller.

    Avoid the Real World

    So you love to go to the beach, you climbed Mount Fuji and won that hot dog eating contest last month. Great! You don’t need to show it in your profile photo. Avoid pictures where you’re doing activities, traveling or are not in a professional setting.

    First of all, your attire is likely less than professional in those moments and those pictures are more likely to be blurry, bad quality, and have distracting elements in them like a weird background or even other people.

    Keep your background simple and neutral so it doesn’t take away from the photo.

    Always Have a Photo

    When in doubt, always have a photo up on the site. When people come across your profile, a lack of a photo signals to them you didn’t take the time to thoroughly complete the profile and may even have them wondering if you still use the site at all.

    People respond to visuals and love to connect names and resumes to images of real people, especially if it’s someone they may be working with closely. Don’t leave this area blank!

    Get Started on Your Business Profile Picture Today!

    Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of professional photos, get working on your next business profile picture now. Keep these tips in mind when selecting a shot and get ready for how much business your updated profile attracts.

    We’d love to help you maximize your online profile. Visit our site for more information and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

  • social media background check

    9 Ways to Fail Your Social Media Background Check

    Before you snap and upload that picture of you drinking margarita #10 on the beach, think again…

    A picture says 1000 words, and it can make or break your career. 92% of job recruiters are screening you on social media before they even consider hiring you.

    When it comes to career prospects, suitors you hope to date, and headhunters, personal branding is everything. So, you better make a good impression.

    Here are 9 sure ways to fail your social media background check.

    1. Being Too Self-Absorbed

    The selfie. We are all guilty of them.

    While the occasional shot is ok, avoid flooding your feed with pictures of your face. It sends the message that you are self-involved and have less imagination when it comes to expressing your lifestyle.

    When you do choose to post pictures of yourself, make sure the setting is appropriate. No bathroom selfies, please. Take pictures that are high quality, high resolution and facial focused (not other body parts).

    Keep your image rolls well-rounded, and highlight your lifestyle. These are things recruiters are looking for:

    • Hobbies
    • Travel
    • Social engagements
    • Culture
    • Current events
    • Community involvement
    • Staying up to date on trends that relate to your industry
    • Making a positive impact

    Frequent posting can also raise red flags for employers checking social media before hiring. It can show your priorities are elsewhere, rather than on your job. The key is to find a good balance.

    2. Partying like a Rock Star

    Shot, shots, shots…should not appear anywhere in your profile shot.

    The same goes for keg stands, beer bongs and other forms of hard partying. Employers looking at social media are not impressed and will pass you up for an interview.

    You may be the responsible friend who DD’s, but if your pictures say “party animal” it can cost you a job.

    Employers want to make sure you fit well with their company culture. Yes, you have a social life outside of the office, but it’s best not to promote your drinking habits.

    Save the late night drunken posts for select friends on Snapchat.

    3. Engaging in Illegal Activity

    Stealing cars, trespassing, and speed racing are all hard no’s for social media screening.

    Although some states have legalized marijuana, don’t share your smoking stories online. The same is true for narcotics and other hard drugs.

    Anything of violent nature will also keep you from an interview. This includes imagery or written updates and tweets. You may be joking, but your potential employer will not see it that way.

    4. Letting Your Accounts Get Stale

    No need to update your status daily, but you should keep content and information fresh and up to date.

    Your profile picture should be recent, not from the 1980’s. Contact information should all be current, including the city you live in. Be sure to edit privacy settings on Facebook to keep your private life private.

    Your LinkedIn profile should have your most current job status. As well as up to date credentials, awards, and qualifications.

    5. Being Absent on Social

    Think you can hide under a rock and refuse all forms of social media? Think again.

    Without a presence on social media, 57% of recruiters won’t even consider interviewing you.

    In the digital age, it sends the message that you have something to hide. People may think you’re incapable of using technology, have a fake identity, or are running from the law.

    Not having a profile picture or very few connections is also shady. Your profile picture makes the first impression, so it better be a good one. Follow these tips for snapping a great picture.

    6. Being Two-Faced

    Most people are guilty of tweaking their resume to appeal to a potential employer.

    Your social media presence should be similar to the qualifications and personality of your resume. It shouldn’t seem as though you are living a different life.

    Employers look to your social media channels for clarification. They want to see that you’re being honest. They’re checking that your qualifications, interests, and lifestyle choices match what you put on paper.

    Don’t feel the need to posts pictures of you winning awards or volunteering at the local homeless shelter. Be natural, this isn’t about faking it until you make it.

    Once hired, what’s the golden rule of posting on social media? Don’t lie about taking a sick day then post updates of your vacation.

    7. Airing Your Dirty Laundry

    Going on a Twitter tangent is not going to impress anyone.

    What’s even worse is ranting about the company you work for, or your boss. Employers don’t value online ranters in the workplace. Leave your personal problems off social media.

    Complaining about past or current clients and customers is also a social no-no. Same goes for sharing confidential information about your company or clients.

    Public opinions about politics can cost you an interview. 51% of recruiters agree that posting a political rant is a huge red flag. You should also never discriminate against race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.

    8. Failing to Spellcheck

    Remeber what you learned in grade school? Grammar and spelling skills still matter.

    When using social media for hiring decisions, your tone of voice and writing skills count. Employers are looking at your communication skills, and how eloquent you are. For bonus points, post samples of work or a short review of a book you are reading.

    Always check for errors before posting or updating your profile. When in doubt, use online tools such as Grammarly.

    9. Showing Skin

    Posting provocative pics won’t get you far in your career.

    Nudity or graphic images of yourself or others is a huge no-no. Not only will your potential employer pass you up, but you could be banned from your account.

    The same goes for explicit language. Use this rule of thumb: If you think your grandmother would get upset to see it, don’t post it.

    Ace Your Social Media Background Check

    Avoid these 9 fails, and you should pass your social media background check with flying colors.

    You know personal branding is key when it comes to fielding job applications. If you want to wow potential employers, enlist a professional agency.

    Once you’ve landed the job, don’t expect to have a free pass on questionable social media postings. The rules still apply, and your social media activity may still be under scrutiny.

  • why is personal branding important

    Why is Personal Branding Important?

    Personal branding is when you market yourself to promote your career or business as a brand.

    Your brand is the image people think of when they hear about something you created or something you support.

    So, why is personal branding important?

    It is vital to have a personal brand for businessmen and women who are just starting out, or who want to expand their businesses.

    There are several benefits to creating a personal or online brand for yourself; this article will highlight the benefits of personal branding.

    Why is Personal Branding Important?

    Have you ever read an article that stomps all over your personal beliefs? Personal branding allows you to be yourself. It is a way to express your true beliefs without fear and simply be you. It allows you to surround yourself with people who have the same belief and boosts your confidence.

    Trustworthiness

    You want your customers to trust you. Build credibility for yourself and your business through personal branding.

    If your customers trust you to do what you promise, that will boost your brand and benefit your bottom line.

    We’ve all watched the news, we know how easily a brand can fall into disarray when the consumer public becomes aware that they have been misled or deceived.

    How does one who is building their brand avoid this catastrophe?

    The answer is a concept that has been taught to you from the earlier days of your life to this day. Be authentic!

    According to Roger Delves, Professor of Leadership Practice at Ashridge University, “A powerful personal brand has to be authentic, be based on your talents, your values and the way you serve other people.

    This will help people to be clear about who you are, both in person and online and through the opinions of people whom they trust.”

    This starts with a concerted grassroots effort.

    Expert Advice

    Become an expert in your field, and display your talents. Use your personal brand to promote your unique talents.

    Do not try to be the best at everything; chose something you excel at and use your life experiences, work experiences, and talent to become knowledgeable in that specific area.

    Use your personal brand to promote that area of expertise.

    Loyal Audience

    Your personal brand will not attract everyone. You do not want to have millions of followers with only five loyal customers.

    Creating a brand will help attract the right people to your business and create a loyal following of customers.

    It will attract like-minded people who share your business beliefs, and who can help you determine if the business endeavor is right for you, or if it goes against your beliefs.

    Know Your Target Audience

    Are you that friend who others come to for advice when their car won’t start, their oblivious boyfriend forgot their anniversary (even though Facebook reminded them), or when they need to file their income taxes?

    If that is you, know that these friends, acquaintances, and family members come to you because they believe you can help solve their problem.

    This is the same concept that should be (and for an effective brand, is) implemented as part of an effective brand recognition strategy. Be that solution, and witness the growth.

    Color Your Brand

    Choose relevant color schemes and pictures that people can easily associate with your brand. For example, when you see the giant yellow “M” you think instantly of McDonald’s.

    When you hear “just do it,” you think of the Nike brand. These are examples of personal branding that these huge corporations took advantage of to launch their businesses to the next level.

    Create a logo that is personal to your business and use it everywhere.

    Gain Value

    Creating and promoting your personal brand will make your services more valuable. If you are known as the best service in town, then you can charge more for your service because you are going to be in higher demand.

    In addition, having a reputable brand will lead to more networking opportunities. You will be able to connect with others who can help make your services or products better and keep your reputation as being the best.

    Simply the Best

    A successful personal brand makes your company the only solution to your customer’s problem. Use consumer reviews and testimonials given by loyal customers to boost your personal brand. They will help bring in more customers and lead to more jobs.

    Personal Branding: It’s Easy As it Looks

    Have you ever seen the Logo Game?

    If you haven’t, the premise is simple: identify each logo as it appears for points.

    The set of logos are nearly universally recognizable, and though this may initially appear to be some form of luck or a fate that is only bestowed upon the fortunate; it is, in reality, the result of an effective brand building.

    If you are like many talented minds, you have surely hit a few roadblocks while brainstorming or enacting your brand building plan.

    These roadblocks don’t need to be the end of your road, get back on track with these 4 invaluable tips.

    Behold and Utilize Social Media

    It’s no secret by this point, you can build a successful brand through the power of social networking.

    Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram have created the opportunity for the average Joe to promote ideas, content, products, and brands to the rest of the world without an immense advertising budget.

    A reputable service utilizes this premise with measurable accuracy and quantifiable results.

    Gain Value

    Have you ever tried “googling” yourself?

    If you do show up at the top of the page, do you like the results? Or do you feel that you have been underrepresented?

    The most effective brand strategies for the digital era incorporate this type of presence, even brands that you wouldn’t typically expect. For the upstart, this isn’t optional, it is vital!

    Enhance Your Personal Branding

    Personal branding is a vital form of marketing that, when used correctly, can help launch your business to the next level.

    Hopefully, you have been able to answer the question: why is personal branding important?

    Creating your personal brand will help give your company a solid reputation as the best option available, allow you to express your personal beliefs, connect you to other professionals, and make your services more valuable because they are in higher demand.

    To learn more about branding and how it can help you, contact us.