“When is it time for a new profile picture Martin?”  I was asked this very question last week when chatting with a client.  Of course, I missed a trick.  I should have said, “now” shouldn’t I?  It’s for reasons like this that my bank manager despairs of me.

But, flippancy aside, what’s the answer?  As a general guide, I’d say between 1 and 2 years is about the right length of time.

Why?  To answer that, I’d ask you to think about why you have a profile picture at all.  It’s to introduce you to potential clients.  It’s your 24:7 virtual presence.  So it needs to be accurate i.e. it needs to look like you.  You want people to recognise you when you actually meet (whether that’s face-to-face or via zoom).  Why’s that important?  Because you’re hoping to engender trust and build a relationship (this is starting to sound like online dating I know, but bear with me).  People buy from people they know, like and trust.  So, simple as it seems, having an accurate and up to date profile picture is the first step down that road.

As an example, here are a couple of shots of Jack, owner of Popsicle Productions and a very talented videographer.    I shot Jack’s new profile picture last week, which prompted me to scour the archives to find his previous one (which I also shot).  That was back in February last year – so about 19 months ago.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with the earlier picture, and he could continue to use it.  But you can see his appearance has changed a little and – rather like buying a new shirt – Jack just felt it was time for an update.

Of course, there are reasons to update your profile picture sooner.  You may have changed jobs and want to look a bit more, or less, formal than in the existing photo.  Or you’ve gone from a suit-and-tie job to t-shirt-and-hoodie.  Or your appearance has changed significantly – you’ve gone from bearded to clean shaven, or your hair is no longer platinum blonde but raven black.  You get the idea.

You need to remain current.  That’s the message.

profile picture of man with beard smiling at camera profile picture of man smiling at camera wearing grey t shirt So – be honest – when was the last time you updated your profile picture?  Now you know the reasons why you should update it, have a look at yours and ask if it’s really telling the truth about you.