One of the more important things we need when we create social media sites as authors is a profile picture. There are a few things you need to remember about this element, so you don’t make a grievous mistake.
First, decide if you want to pay the money to visit a professional photographer to have your picture done, or have someone you know catch you in an active situation. Both of these options are good, but you have to remember that if cost is a factor, find a person who knows how to take a good picture so that you look your best.
As in any picture used to advertise something, you need to ensure that you look your best. Hair neatly styled, clothes that aren’t ripped and torn, or obviously too large or small. And smile. Always have a big, natural smile—as if you’re enjoying what’s going on and aren’t aware that your picture is being taken. Makeup is good, but in small doses. Now is not the time to experiment with the unusual colors or weird looks. Above all, be yourself.
Once you have the pictures done and in your computer, ensure they fit the limitations posed by some sites. You may have to play with cropping to find the best shot and upload that.
One thing you should never do is have a picture that makes it look like your mugshot was just taken. The started deer in the headlights expression, a cinder block wall behind you, and tension in your muscles are a dead giveaway that you didn’t want this picture taken and makes it appear your image should be listed in the latest edition of Busted.
Another thing to avoid is selfie errors. Not that a selfie isn’t a good profile pic, but avoid the duck lip pose or attempting to take the picture in your bathroom. Neither shot presents a good image of you as the professional author.
One last thing to remember—update your picture every few years. We all change as we get older. You certainly don’t want a picture where everything screams “I just graduated high school” or “that look is so ten years ago.” Those pictures might get comments at your book signing of “I expected someone younger” or “You look nothing like your picture. Are you sure you’re the author?”
The profile picture can give you a lot of publicity. Ensure yours is the best it can be.