The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

Common Social Media Profile Picture Mistakes

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How you present yourself on social media can either draw clients to you, or send them packing.

What’s the first thing you notice about someone’s social media account? Their profile picture. There are over 645 million active Twitter users, 829 active daily users on Facebook, and over 200 million users on Instagram. Profile pictures are the first thing any of these users will see when your account is searched or suggested on social platforms, so it is vital that your picture send the right message.

Do’s and Don’ts of social media profile pictures:

DON’T make yourself so far away that the person has to play a strategic game of “Where’s Waldo” just to identify you.

Where's Waldo

DON’T filter your picture so heavily so that the viewer can’t even imagine what the original looked like.

Filter 2

DON’T pose like you’re on the cover of a magazine. There is a time and a place for glamour shots, but your professional profile is not it.


DON’T set your profile image as a picture of you and your spouse. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but this is your profile, not yours and your significant other’s.


DON’T make your profile picture your firm’s logo. While it is important to gain exposure for your firm, your profile picture isn’t the ideal place to do so. A profile picture should personalize you as an attorney. You can, however, put something like a logo as your cover photo so that it is the background to your profile image.


DON’T leave your image as the default, such as the signature Twitter egg. Doing this will not only look impersonal, but also come off like you didn’t care enough to put in the effort to change the photo.

Twitter egg

DO follow these guidelines for profile pictures:

Profile Picture

  • Crop the picture so it is an up-close, professional shot of your face.

  • Make sure it is well-lit and that you’re looking directly at the camera.
  • Smile! This can showcase how personable you are and also be inviting to the people who see it.
  • Don’t have anything directly behind you; it is ideal to have professional head shots in front of a green screen.
  • Your profile picture needs to be large enough that it can be recognized without actually having to click on the image. Be mindful of general size requirements across social media networks.



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