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A Facebook Profile Photo to Avoid


Posts Categorised: Social Media

Facebook profile photos shout out to the world what, as in the case of corporations or business pages, or who the profile belongs to.

That profile photo is the first thing people glance at when deciding if they want to connect with that person or like the page.

Six Profile Photos that show No Professionalism

These are the categories of profile photos you will want to avoid if you are trying to promote yourself as a professional or networker you.  Most of these types of profile photo depicts a character that may not be too professional.

The Phantom Profile Photo

Phantom Profile PhotoThis is the default photo that Facebook puts up when you first open your account.   This has to be one of the worst offenses on a social media site.  Be honest with yourself – social media is about being “social.”  People want to see you!  Most networkers or professionals do not “friend” Facebook profiles that only have the phantom photo, unless of course, we are working with them to help them set up their profile.

The Long Distance Shot

Distant Profile PhotoIt’s beautiful scenery and there might be a person somewhere in the photo, but it’s all too far away to be seen.  These kind of photos are great in an album if you what to show us where you’ve been or where you live, but not a good idea as a profile photo.  Almost seems as if you’re trying to blend into the horizon, and that says that your marketing is off in the distance as well.  Get a little closer so we can get to know you!

The Sweet Kid Profile Photo

Kid PhotoWhen you see a profile photo of a child, often the thought is that this Facebook account should not exist as no one under 13 is suppose to have an account with Facebook.  Whether or not it’s a picture of your child or of you as a child, most people will think that it is you today and usually leave your profile.  Again, nothing wrong with pictures of your children or of your youth, but put them in an album and clearly identify them.

The Adorable Pet Photo

Pet Profile PhotoMost people do not do business or have coffee and conversations with dogs and cats, so why would we connect on a social platform.  Let’s clarify this before you post some comments that we hate cats or dogs, or any pet for that matter.  Just because it’s suggested we don’t socialize with pets, that does not mean we have anything against animals.  (Our family has had it’s share of pets over the years) By all means, post photos of your favorite pet … videos even.  Just add them in your photo’s, never as your profile picture.

The Party Animal Profile Photo

Party Animal PhotoReally?  This is the other type of animal photos we often see as profile photos.  True, it’s usually found on site of younger folks, but remember, the internet never forgets.  Is this really the reputation you want to have?

Maybe today, but what about when you apply for a new job or are trying to impress a client?

This type of profile photo falls into the same category as the next one and you’ll find that most professional networkers the profile as quickly as they came to it.

The Sexy Hot Shot

The Too Revealing PhotoThere is a proper time and place to play the part of the seductress.  Most networkers agree that business mixers and business connections are not the place.  If you want to promote yourself and your brand on a social website, consider how others consider what it is you’re really promoting.  If you showed up are the office or place of business dressed like that, how image would that give the customers.  Same for being on Facebook and trying to make new connections.  Best advice is “Please cover it up!”

There is nothing less professional than a scantily clothed person trying to do business.

The Blurry / Too Dark Photo

The Too Dark Profile Photo
You come to a profile where you can’t figure out what the profile photo because you really can’t see anything.  In fact, it’s very likely that you probably think, “This person needs some help with their graphics.”

If that’s you response, feel free to refer them to this site so we can help them present a clearer picture of who they are to the world.
Just a big blur
At least they tried to not be a phantom, so take a closer look at their profile before deciding whether or not to be friends.  If this is what your profile photo looks like our suggestion is that you find a better picture and by all means get rid of the blur and shadows.

The Group Profile Photo

Group Profile PhotoThis may look like a great family shot or reunion or class graduation, but which one is you?  These types of photos belong in the same category as The Sweet Kid or Adorable Pet Photo and belong in an album – but then, be sure to tag yourself so people can figure out exactly who you are.

The Way Out Creativity Photo

Wayout PhotoUnless your brand is “Goofy” or something similar, the photos with all the goofy hats, clothes and stunts usually send out the wrong message.

When people find your profile, they look at the profile photo and recognize that it’s not a photo of you.  This type of profile photo almost shouts unprofessional. They may seem funny to you when you put them up, but unless your profession is that of being a clown, it’s best to leave the clowning around off of your your profile photo.

Use them in your posts or your photo albums, just not as a image of who you are as everyone knows that’s not the real you.

The Cartoon Photo:

Cartoon Profile PhotoProfiles that uses a cartoon or cartoon figure of some sort, or even a photo of some celebrity,  is usually the profile of someone who is hiding their identity.  Either they are not happy with themselves, feel insecure, and feel the need to be identified as Fred Flintstone or Mickey Mouse, or they are not using their profile in a very professional manner.   Most networkers would definitely check out the rest of the profile to see if it matches their profile photo before make any decision about connecting with them or not.


Choose your Profile Photo Wisely

Business professionals, networkers, and entrepreneurs work hard to present an image of professionalism when they meet their clients on appointments or represent themselves and their business at networking events, trade shows or mixers.  They debate as to what to wear, their hair and makeup, and what marketing materials they will have with them.

Put that same thought into your online presence.  Make sure the image your present on you profile matches the one you gave while at the mixer or while meeting with the client.  Never underestimate the power of a negative profile photo so examine what’s on your profile today.

To see the profile photos that usually get positive results, check out Profile Photos to Pass the Friend Request.


Profile PhotosThe image we choose as our Facebook Profile Photo is the first impression people have of who we are.   When Facebookers get a Friend Request, one of the first things they do is go to the profile to see who they are so they can decide whether or not to accept the request.

The key is to figure out who this person is that want to be their their friend and maybe even if they are a real person.   Lately there has been an increase of requests from corporations and business and personally,  unless it’s a business I associate with (like my favorite bakery),  those requests usually get rejected.

Profile Photos to Pass the Request

Professionals and entrepreneurs want to connect with business professionals.   A professional looking profile photo will tell a lot about character or professionalism.  It’s true – A picture says it all.

Certain categories of Facebook profile photos will receive a warmer and friendlier response to those friend requests that we all sent each other.

Four Categories of Positive Profile Photos

The Professional Profile Photo

Professional Profile PhotoThese almost always get an immediate Acceptance to a friend request.  The photo shows who you are;  you have a great look about you and demonstrate friendliness.  It may even be a family photo or of you and your spouse, but it’s easy to identify you are “Tom” or “Ann”.   People are glad to get to know you over conversation and build a relationship via Facebook and who knows, maybe even support each other in business down the road.

The Picture Photo:

Sunset PhotoThis refers to those profile pictures of cars, flames, pianos, sunsets or whatever.  They may be beautiful pictures and they may mean something to you, but to someone just meeting you for the first time so it means nothing to them.  Often, if the photo is not goofy, people will  spend a few minutes checking out the rest of the profile to see if you truly are someone they want to connect with.  Unfortunately, this choice of profile photo doesn’t make the decision of connecting as automatic as some of the other categories of photos.

The Scowling Photo:

Scowling Profile PhotoThis type of photo may have us wondering if you were you attending a friend’s funeral when the photo was taken?  It looks like a professional Profile Photo and is what you often see on corporate brochures and lots of websites.  Profile photos should be professional, yes, but they should also reflect that you as a friendly person.  You just asked someone to be your friend, but you sure don’t look like it.   This type of photo means people have to check the rest of your profile before making a decision.

Oh, just as a note, a research study conducted on Twitter that suggested that people who smile gain 28% more followers.  The same would apply to Facebook.

The Info Photo:

Info Profile PhotoThis type of profile photo almost always gets an immediate positive response to a friend request.  Why?  Because the picture says it all.   The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words and that has never been truer since Facebook changed their profile photo requirements.

These profile photos say all a person needs to know about you.  They provide the potential new friend with links to your website, your twitter, your business.  They also often details a mission statement and who you are.

These type of profile photos put all that information front and center so when a person first gets to a profile it becomes and easy decision as to whether or not to friend them or accept their friend request.   Most entrepreneurs and professionals will choose to get to know you better.  Connection is automatic if the information on the photo shows common interests.

For a great example of this profile photo, check out the author’s personal Facebook profile … and consider connecting.  Click to go to Erica’s Profile.


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Facebook Profile PhotoAnyone who has spent any amount of time on Facebook had received multiple Friend Requests. Everyone responds to them differently. Some folks just automatically accept them; some dogmatically reject them unless they are from immediate family. And others, they do a bit of investigation before making up their mind.

Are Profile Photos Important?

Yes, the are a key part of your profile and often are the deciding factor of whether people connect with you or not?

Usually the first thing is to actually go to the profile to see if this is someone you want to be friends with, unless off course you are one of the few that accepts everyone as a friend. Realistically though, most of us do not talk to everyone at every party we go to (unless of course, we’re running for a political office) so most people are the same online. The point is that it’s OK to not be friends with everyone who tries to connect on Facebook.

Profile Photos and more

So what do people look at when going to someone profile? Most people check three areas – the profile photo, the person’s location, and if they have friends or groups in common. That usually gives enough info to make a decision about connecting as friends.
When considering their location most people like to connect with people whose profiles show that they are from a places where you’ve been, places you want to visit, or in places you know you’ll probably only ever get to in your dreams, but it’s fun to think you have friends there waiting for you.

By checking to see you you have friends or groups in common that would tell you as to why they are trying to connect with you. This factor might convince be enough for you to connect even if their profile photo doesn’t completely convince you.

However, usually the first thing thing new friends or prospective friends look at is the Facebook profile photo. In fact, often the profile photo is enough to make the decision. Some types of profile photos are an automatic YES while others will have us clicking the NOT NOW button.

That’s right. The profile photo you use on social networking sites will be used by people whom you don’t know to size you up – personally or professionally. We all do it – in fact, we do it all the time.

What does your Profile Photo say about you?

Take a few minutes to evaluate your own profile page and decide what kind of statement your profile photo is making about you. Remember that when people who follow you scroll through their news feeds, they will see your updates and your photo.

You want people to be able to recognize your profile photo immediately and have that profile photo remind them that they really want to read your updates and notices. You will want to make sure your Facebook profiles features you in one of four types of Facebook profile photos that usually get the result you want – a new friend connection.

Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Remember, the people you follow will have their posts show up in your news feeds for all your friends to see. Your friends will see how you’re hanging out with and may make decisions on that. Jim’s quote challenges us to choose our friends wisely and that’s true on Facebook as well.

Hopefully this information has challenged you to consider the image your Facebook profile photo says about you. Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or not.

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