Social Media Profile Pictures

I first started experimenting with social media approximately seven years ago, marking me out perhaps as somewhat of a slow starter. With many early adopters as close friends, I was coached through the basics in a gentle way.

Facebook arrived in my life first, followed swiftly by Twitter and LinkedIn. I soon realised that whilst these networks are used by many almost interchangeably, I myself needed a distinct division between ‘professional’ and ‘play’. And whilst sourcing profile pictures for friends’ consumption through Facebook was easy, finding a photograph that hit the right note on LinkedIn and Twitter was far harder. Through these forums, I was effectively ‘selling’ the professional ME, with ideas to share and knowledge and experience to offer. The only photograph I had at my disposal that even came close to being called ‘professional’ was a rather bland shot of me looking like a bemused Mona Lisa. This photograph persisted across LinkedIn and Twitter for years… My personal brand clearly needed serious work.

It is fair to say that the process by which I secured a professional headshot for my online presence was something of an ambush! Perhaps if I had looked more closely at the agenda for the event I was attending I would have appreciated the significance of The Headshot Guy’s slot and invested some time in checking hair and make-up before arrival. Despite having done neither of those things I refused to pass up the opportunity to have a 5 minute ‘studio’ experience with John Cassidy. His short presentation provided a taster of his professionalism and with a little bit of coaching on posture, smile and how to ‘own’ the camera, John has produced a far more professional looking headshot than I could have expected with such little preparation and time.

The image I chose from that shoot is now smiling back at me from my profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn. It is Caroline Crewe-Readimportant, I think, to use the same photograph across social media platforms so that you can be easily recognised and enable connections to be made.

In preparation for writing this blog, a colleague suggested I read the recent article by Claire Moriarty, a senior civil servant who is a self-confessed late adopter of Twitter ( Social media offers opportunities for “affirming, celebrating and connecting people” as well as promoting yourself and your ideas. To engage in this way you need a face. I knew I wanted an image that would portray me as a confident, approachable professional which is where the Headshot Guy came in.  For which, much thanks!

Caroline Crewe-Read works as Head of Programme Delivery for English Heritage, currently leading an organisational change programme which will deliver a new model for the care and conservation of England’s heritage.

1 thought on “Social Media Profile Pictures”

  1. For social media, important to crop square ahead of time, else each crop will be a bit off on each social media site.

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