How Your Profile Picture Affects Your Personal Branding [Infographic]

Kumar Gauraw

Did you know that your profile picture is the first thing that people like or dislike about you when they see you first time online?
Profile Picture - This Picture Probably Does Not Qualify
Your profile picture is your foremost representative in the digital world. It is the most important aspect of your first impression online. It affects how we are perceived by others.

If your personal branding is important to you, you should pay attention to how you choose your profile pictures on Facebook/Twitter/Google+ or any other website that represents you. Let’s discuss the reasons.

An Interesting Study & Results

In an intresting study, PhotoFeeler discovered many aspects of a profile picture that affects how we are perceived by others. They studied about 800 profile photos and based on 60,000 ratings receeived, they put together this infographic:

The Perfect Profile Photo Infographic

Things To Remember About Your Profile Photo

Some of the most common mistake people make (and I have made some of that) are:

  1. They put their pictures with an awesome background where they look like a tiny spot. Not recommended.
  2. They put trees, flowers, children as their profile pictures. Not recommended.
  3. Do not put a profile picture which is too muc zooed.
  4. Do not put pictures with sunglasses. Blocking eyes isn’t a good idea.
  5. Β Smile J

Share Your Thoughts Now

Did you find this infographic interesting? How are you doing with your profile picture? Is it helping you in you personal branding?

Please share your thoughts in your comments below now. I am curious to know what you are thinking. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

31 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Hi, Kumar,
    Without mentioning more, you just wrote a great post.
    I can guess, the pic pasted in the article is yours. But the content of the note with the data from the research is full of great lessons.

  2. Hi Kumar,

    I disagree. And I agree πŸ™‚

    1) I disagree – The profile pictures are the last thing I look at. Not interested. By the way, I don’t like your moustache. So what? It doesn’t matter. Not even to me. Your moustache isn’t important. I always check the content first, not the picture… Stephen Hawking… No further comments.

    2) I agree – I know that not everyone has the same approach. Your smile is very important. And your blue eyes. Even the country of residence is very important to some people. So your piece of advice is just fine. [I’m not sarcastic. That’s the real world.]

    • Hi Adrian,

      You don’t look at the profile pictures first and that is the reason it is vital because you are always on the contrarian side πŸ™‚

      Sorry about delay in my response. It has been a crazy week. I’ve been in between jobs this week.

      See you soon once things normalize πŸ™‚


  3. Hi Kumar,

    Wow! That is an awesome profile picture of yours with Snigdha πŸ™‚

    That infographic was wonderful and said it all I think. Yes, having a profile picture is a must, and I think it does help people recognize who you are. Have a nice smiling, pleasing face is a must, it should also be symmetrical as those pictures show your face properly.

    However, I find many bloggers using images or their blog logo instead, which I think is alright if you are wanting to brand your blog, though you as a person hold much more importance because they can best relate to you and then your blog.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      Bloggers using their blog images as profile picture is not Ok as far as I am concerned because they have such a large cover image to do that. Plus, if they are using a profile in Facebook, why not create a page instead and still be human on profiles?

      I think they don’t understand basics of personal branding it rules of social media sites like Facebook that specifically says that Profiles are for humans and pages are for brands.

      What do you say?


      • Totally agree with you, at least not for commenting and on the social medias, if possible because people like to talk to people, not blogs πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Kumar,

    I have to say that this is a great picture of you and Snigdha! Take the glasses of and you have the perfect shot! Your profile picture always says to me that you are a serious businessman…no nonsense kind of guy. When including your wife, it also shows that you are married and grounded…just my opinion.

    As for me, it is time to get in front of that camera. I did have some head shots done from a family member who is a photographer. Once he gets around to sending it to me, I’ll let you know because I don’t like my picture on my blog πŸ™‚

    The statistics you have given here are those to bear in mind. I’m always laughing, so I need to remember to open my eyes… Also my photos are all muddy.

    You have reminded me how important this is and to put it on top of my to do list, instead of pushing it down the line.

    Many thanks Kumar!


    • Hi Donna,

      You are right about me being grounded for sure! That’s how is is supposed to be, isn’t it?

      Well, regarding your profile picture, whenever you have it ready, let me know. We can discuss about it and make it your best profile picture πŸ™‚

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.


  5. Hi Kumar,

    I’ve seen that test, I think I read about it late last year and some of it I agreed with but once again I think it’s up to the individual.

    One thing I was told when starting out was to not dress in professional attire and I’ll share with you why. When building a business online, first impressions are important. Let’s take network marketing for a good example because I was doing that myself in the beginning too. If I’m all professional looking then the people who see my picture and read my profile are going to be of the impression that they have to be like that too. Maybe that makes them uncomfortable, maybe it doesn’t. You want to come across more relaxed so that they can possibly see themselves doing what you’re doing.

    On the other hand, you might be more of the analytical type and you want to only connect with people who are very business like and professional so if that’s the case then that would be appropriate attire to present yourself. I think it’s all about who you want to connect with and who you really don’t.

    Now granted if I’m visiting someone’s blog I won’t not comment on a post if I don’t like their picture. I just think it’s the first impression and we all want that to be a good one. I like to build relationships with the people I visit but maybe some people could care less. We all have different agendas while here. That’s important to me, for me to know who I’m speaking with but I would like to actually see them and them not be some speck in the background. I hope to possibly meet them in person someday so I like to feel like I know them a little ya know!

    By the way I also agree, awesome picture of you and your wife but you can lose the shades the next time. Now I like your business suit photo too but I think people might find you more approachable if you were in a more relaxed attire. I don’t know, couldn’t hurt to try unless you prefer just connecting with those that are much more professional! πŸ˜‰ I guess that makes me a strike. LOL!!!

    Thanks for this information, pretty spot on.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      You are right about my picture and I do look a bit more business like and scare some people off πŸ™‚

      I will consider your suggestion and perhaps put a little more relaxed picture sometime in future when I get to shoot a nice picture πŸ™‚

      Until then, I guess I am going to be attracting only business like people most of the time which isn’t bad for now πŸ™‚

      Thank you for sharing your experience!


  6. Very interesting about the profile. I was reading recently that people are more apt to buy, or read your website if they see a picture of someone. For the longest time I used a cartoon picture when I would leave a comment on a blog. My biggest concern was identity theft. When I finally put my picture up when commenting I started getting people to comment on my site. I guess it is the old express “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

    I just think if you are going to use a picture I would not do it with sunglasses.

    • Awesome Arleen! You are so absolutely right about using cartoon characters in avatars.

      When somebody comments on my sites and I see a picture other than human, the first doubt I get is – is this person a spambot? If not, why he/she isn’t using his/her own picture?

      And you are right. We definitely get better reciprocation because of the perception we create with our own pictures. It works, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!


  7. Hi Kumar,

    I have always been intimidated by your blog…so business like, even your profile picture and on top of all – the heading, which challenges!!

    This lighter topic has attracted me and so I have to say what I liked, despite all your tech talk, this post is very interesting and especially so for me because I love pictures. Some of the points are an eye opener, like the background, which is said to be ineffective! I know a picture speaks volumes about a person and one can read a lot in the eyes, that is why, probably the shades are not recommended.

    Thanks for a lovely post, which nudged me to react.

  8. Hi Kumar,

    Wow your profile picture so cool. I agree with your concept. Picture is very important for the website. I use my website picture when i am posting comments on the blog. You give so many idea for the picture its all are fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    Keep it up πŸ™‚

    • Hi Addison,

      It will be even better if you change your WordPress avatar to your own real picture.

      It will help you get a better branding for your own websites as well.


  9. Hello Kumar,

    I have always been very careful of social media (and that carefulness includes photos, whether or not they are profile pictures). For instance, my FB account simply has just my profile picture and no other again (the messages you send are usually strong, so you better send the correct ones).

    However, I have never looked at the Indepth implications as you’ve articulated here (or even imagined they existed). For that, I must sincerely thank you – I am genuinely better informed now (not just smarter).


    • Hi Akaahan,

      Glad to hear from you again and also to know that this post added value to you.

      Thank you for sharing your story and adding value. Yes, we must be very careful of what we say online because what goes online, stay online. There is no rolling back.

      Have a great weekend!


      • I love the “no rolling back” bit Kumar. If we all think of life (and social media) in that perspective, there would be little personal problems (which are largely avoidable) by the way.


  10. Hi Kumar Gaurav,
    You always shared an interesting post.. πŸ™‚
    Your profile picture is so bonny.Really a good profile professional pic can attract the newer.
    and i am so glad to be your article reader.
    Thanks for sharing………

  11. Hi Kumar
    Never knew before reading this post that much significance of profile picture in online branding. I also didn’t pay much attention to others profile picture but did notice if some smile glaringly in it.
    Use of sun glasses, outdoor background and very funny body style are most common in online world but very few people know its impact on their overall brand image.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful and unique info that is rarely found in this age of stereotyped information dissemination era.

  12. Hi Kumar,

    I’ve often wondered what effect your picture or gravatar has on your sites, comments and even what you post!

    I chose one (because it was the only picture I had in my computer!) and continued on.
    Now I know it has some poor points…eyes looking down, petting my cat! and casually sitting
    in a chair at home.

    Still don’t have another picture…no camera on my computer so no way to fix!
    Oh well, probably doesn’t matter much at this point anyway.
    Interesting reading for someone who is interested in redoing and updating or just setting up.
    Thank you for the share. Another add to the list of things to do when branding you!

  13. Hi Kumar, You are absolutely right with your words ! Profile Pic really Matter for personal Branding ! Bascially Most of people use their own pic on social networks ! But some of them don’t you use their own pic. They prefer to use some celebrties pic more than theirs. But I Understand using own pic is best & which tell your own personlaity & make branding too !

  14. Hi Kumar, interesting analysis of profile pictures. Im sure many of us don’t give it nearly enough thought

  15. Ramesh Singh

    Hi Kumar,

    Good article. I recently change my profile in linkedin and few of the points are considered in it.

    Thanks for the information.


  16. hii Kumar Gauraw,

    what you said in the above post is definitely true, because FIRST IMPRESSION IS THE BEST IMPRESSION for everyone ,profile picture will gives branding to our should be your picture by that users easily identifies and thinks that it’s not a spam and they will pay more attention that comment posted the blogger who have a profile picture as his photo rather than other pictures . so friends use ur own picture as your profile picture to get banding to your site.

  17. That is quite an extensive study on just profile pictures! πŸ™‚
    Loved it ! πŸ˜€

  18. Hi Kumar,

    Your infographic is really very very strong and appealing. I would definitely share that immediately on Pinterest. Your article focuses on each and every aspect of a possible profile picture. I have come along several people who post absolutely ridiculous pictures as their profile identity. Your method of judgement is very practical and perfect.

    Great post! I enjoyed a lot.

    • Hi Kaustav,

      Good to meet you. Yes, profile pictures make so much impact on how we are perceived in general online.

      I am glad you enjoyed the infographics! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


  19. Thanks for sharing..! Actually, this is really nice article about branding. You know..? I never think that the gravata of profile picture is able to affect our branding, but however it is.

    Thanks for your infographic, and I would admit that this is the first education about profile picture. Thanks for sharing..

  20. Thanks for the details – useful when I go to pick out a profile pick. Interesting how much the formal attire really made a difference in perceived competence. One would think in an increasingly casual world this might not be the case, but that was pretty definitive.

  21. Hi Mr. Kumar

    Great Post Its really help me to Create my perfect profile pic Thanks a lot.

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.