Having an attractive social media profile picture (avatar) is advantageous for both personal and professional reasons. In my recent interview with #1 Best Selling Author Guy Kawasaki he calls this a “duh-ism.” The duh is we all know we need an attractive profile picture (avatar).
He indicates that an attractive avatar does two things. First, it validates who you are, as there may be more than one Erik Qualman. Second, it supports the narrative that you are likeable, competent, and trustworthy. We all know this, duh. But, how do we produce an avatar that attracts people, job recruiters, and new business?
According to Kawasaki the science to producing your best avatar is based heavily on four factors:
- Focus on your face: There’s no room for your family, dogs or company logo
- Go asymmetrical: Symmetry makes a photo less interesting. Don’t put your face in the middle. Use hypothetical vertical lines to divide your photo into thirds and place your eyes on one of these lines (see Kawasaki’s avatar below)
- Face the light: The source of light should come from in front of you
- Think big: Upload a photo that is at least 600 pixels wide. While people will most often be scanning your posts and see the postage side image, when they click on one of your posts they will see a crisp, clear and large photo of you. It’s important to have this 600 pixels wide image.
If you follow these simple guidelines then you are well on your way to putting your best face forward on all of your social media profiles. As you can see in the photo above, my avatar violates some of these rules while Kawasaki’s is a picture of perfection. I guess it’s time for me to do another photo shoot! There are over 100 power tips like this one in Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick’s new book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. I highly recommend this book.