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7 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Instagram Profile Picture

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is this truer than your Instagram profile picture!

When someone looks at your feed, your profile picture is the first image that tells your new visitor what you and your brand are all about.

And your profile picture on Instagram is also what sets you apart in the Instagram Stories feed!

While picking an Instagram profile picture might seem like a super-simple task, you want to make sure you’re absolutely nailing the shot so you always leave a great first impression!

Ready to turn some heads? Here are 7 tips for choosing the perfect Instagram profile picture:

Tip #1: Keep Your Instagram Profile Picture on Brand

If you’re a business on Instagram, you might want to consider using your logo (or a shortened version of your logo) as your profile picture. This can help with long-term brand recognition and will make sure that everyone who lands on your Instagram page is quickly introduced to your logo and banding!

Instagram Profile Picture: Brand Logo

On the other hand, if your business is personal — for example you could be a photographer, influencer or life coach — you may want to use a headshot as your Instagram profile picture.

Why? Because if you’re selling “you” on Instagram, you want to make sure that you’re introducing yourself to visitors right off the bat!

Instagram Profile Picture: Headshot Example

Tip #2: Get Your Instagram Profile Picture Aesthetic Right

Your Instagram profile picture should fit with your overall Instagram aesthetic. Think of it as a lovely addition to your profile with the same look and feel as the rest of your grid.

As such, make sure you’ve edited your profile photo the same way as all your other images in your grid.

Or if you’re sticking to a strict color palette for your Instagram images, try to have that present in your profile picture too.

Instagram Profile Picture: Headshot Example

Just because it’s one standalone photo doesn’t mean you can forget about that Instagram aesthetic you’ve lovingly crafted for your feed!

Not sure what an Instagram aesthetic is or if you have one for your feed? Don’t worry, we have everything you need to learn how to craft a gorgeous aesthetic for your Instagram brand that’s guaranteed to draw in more likes, comments, and followers!

Tip #3: Keep Your Instagram Profile Picture Evergreen

It doesn’t look professional if it’s the middle of summer and your profile picture features you in front of a Christmas tree!

A new follower who comes across your profile might think that you’re not that active on Instagram, or that you didn’t care enough to update your Instagram profile picture in 6 months!

So instead of choosing a photo that’s seasonal or attached to a one-off event — like decorating the Christmas tree, standing in a pumpkin patch, or your graduation photo! — choose an Instagram profile picture that’s evergreen and can stand the test of time.

Instagram Profile Picture: Evergreen Headshot Example

By having a neutral background to your Instagram profile picture, or one that’s not associated to a particular moment, you’ll be able to use that photo for longer.

This also helps with brand recognition as your followers will begin to recognize your Instagram profile picture as they thumb through your Instagram Stories or scroll through their feed!

Note: If you have multiple social media handles, and you’ve changed your Instagram profile picture, you might want to change your profile picture on all other platforms to the same image. Again, this just helps with brand consistency and recognition!

Tip #4: Edit Your Instagram Profile Picture to the Perfect Size

Not sure what the perfect Instagram profile picture size is? Don’t worry, we have you covered!

All profile photos should be a perfect square at 110 x 110 pixels. You don’t want to deviate too far from this as Instagram will then crop your Instagram profile picture into a circle on your feed.

You can test out if your Instagram profile picture will look good in a circle in the “Edit Profile” section from your profile page.

Instagram Profile Picture: Editing Profile

Just tap “Change Profile Picture” and select an image from your files, or you can even import an Instagram profile picture from Facebook.

You’ll see a preview of a perfect circle and what your profile picture will look like once cropped — just make sure the focus of your Instagram profile picture is centered within the circular frame. Everything that’s in the grey area will be cropped out!

Tip #5: Think About the Background to Your Instagram Profile Picture

If you have a headshot as your Instagram profile picture, the background you’re using for your shot is really important.

You want to strike a balance between helping you stand out from the crowd — like a bright bold color, or a feature wall — but it shouldn’t detract from the focus of your image: you!

Instagram Profile Picture: Profile Background

Remember your headshot should be selling you and not the epic mural you’re standing in front of!

Try out different backgrounds or textures and see which one works best. Just remember to stick to your overall Instagram aesthetic when choosing a background to your Instagram profile picture!

Tip #6: Think About Using Props in Your Instagram Profile Picture

Are you a photographer? You should hold a camera in your headshot! Dog groomer? Have one of your furry friends join you in your Instagram profile picture.

Instagram Profile Picture: Props Example

Remember your profile picture on Instagram is about showing off your personality and brand at the same time, so working in some relevant props into your headshot can help you stand out against the competition!

Tip #7: Let Your Logo or Headshot Be the Focus of Your Instagram Profile Picture

Remember that your profile photo on Instagram is very small on a smartphone screen and there’s no way to expand or zoom in!

If you’re using a logo as your Instagram profile picture, it’s pretty easy to make sure it stays as the focus of the frame. Just try to have your logo fill as much of the circle as possible and it’s clear and easy to read.

Instagram Profile Picture: Logo Example

If you want to use a photo of you as your Instagram profile picture, try to choose one where you can clearly see your face, or you’re at the forefront of the frame. If it’s too far away, your audience might struggle to recognize you.

Instagram Profile Picture: Profile Example

How to Update Your Instagram Profile Picture

Once you’ve chosen a new Instagram profile picture, it takes just a couple of taps to update it on the app.

Start by visiting the profile page of your Instagram account, and select “Edit Profile” above your bio section.

You’ll be brought to page where you can update all details on your Instagram profile but you want to tap on the “Change Profile Picture” button just below your current Instagram profile picture.

Instagram Profile Picture: Update Photo

You’ll then see different options for sourcing where to find your Instagram profile picture. You can import from your Facebook or Twitter account, take a selfie right there and then, or choose from your Media Library.

If you’re choosing from your Media Library, just select the folder your image is saved in on your phone from the drop down bar at the top of your screen, and scroll to find the image you want

Once you’ve selected your image, you can pinch the screen to zoom in or out, and move the image to make sure it fits perfectly within the screen.

Instagram Profile Picture: Update Photo

When you’re happy with the position of your new profile picture, just hit save and your new profile photo will be saved to your page!

Easy right?

Changing your Instagram profile picture can make a huge difference to your account!

If you follow some of these top tips, you’re well on your way to creating an Instagram profile picture that stands out from the crowd, introduces you and your brand to new followers, and leaves a great first impression!

If you want to stay up to date with all Later’s blog posts, and get even more hints, tips and tricks to growing your Instagram account, why not sign up to our newsletter?

Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is Later’s Editorial Manager. She’s worked in digital media in Dublin, London, and Sydney and loves nothing more than hitting “publish” on a new post. When she’s not writing blogs with the Later team, you’ll find her outdoors with her dog, Arlie, or planning her next adventure — follow along on @nikkitravelled.

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