Creating the right first impression
During our recent Be Original webinars I’ve been speaking quite a lot about the importance of getting your LinkedIn header image right, making sure it’s the right size, and has all the right attributes to optimise your profile. During the webinars we have specifically spoken about LinkedIn headers but the advice on how to optimise your header also relates to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as LinkedIn.
The majority of people on LinkedIn still have the default header at the top of their profile, a blue background with lines and dots on it, which doesn’t make you stand out when people check out your profile.
An optimised profile header image means that when people are viewing your profile you look far more professional, you can use it to display more information about who you are, and it gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
In this blog post we talk about the ways in which you can optimise your LinkedIn header image, how you should do this yourself and why.
You will learn…
Your profile header is like a prime piece of real estate, it’s an opportunity to display more information about you or your company, include a photograph that grabs attention, your company logo, plus a call to action to drive viewers to where you want them to go.
A call to action is important as it allows you to direct people to a specific page on your website, provide a telephone number for calls or an email address – where you want to direct the traffic is up to you but encouraging people to visit just one place makes the process simpler for them as they know what action you would like them to take.
The 4 key areas of a profile header image
Before I customised my LinkedIn header image, I found it quite daunting in relation to the size of the photograph that I needed, what information should be on there and also how to change the image on LinkedIn. We will talk you through this whole process to make sure that your LinkedIn header image is on point.
The Technical Stuff!
Your LinkedIn header image should be 1584px wide by 396px high, with the file type must be PNG, JPEG, or GIF.
Your background image is your first opportunity to get your company brand or your personal brand across effectively. Choosing an image that represents you or your brand will increase brand awareness and help position your company where you want to be.
Background images need to be the correct size, so at least 1584 x 396px.
Making sure that this image is the correct size means that the image itself won’t look pixelated or blurry and again creates the right first impression.
Background images may be provided by your marketing Department, could be pulled from your website, are photographs you have taken or can be from free stock image sites.
We use a number of free stock image sites but I have listed my favourites to save you time. You will see that some of these free stock image sites do sometimes show you images which have a cost, the sites are doing a great job of providing royalty free images free of charge, and they may have to make their money by advertising other subscription or cost based sites.
When visiting a stock image site you can generally search for a generic term to find images that may be suitable for your LinkedIn header image. Images from these sites will normally be larger than you need for your LinkedIn header which means that you don’t have to worry about the size of the image.
Once you found a photograph you like then you should download it and save it to your computer. Do not right click and save the image, this is because the image is likely to have watermarks on it or may not be the optimum size and will look pixelated and blurry.
Remember this background image will be peoples first impression of you or your brand, it should look professional and allow you to show your personality.
If you are happy to promote your company brand, then your header image is the ideal place to include your company logo and promote awareness.
The company logo that you use should be a transparent PNG file. This means when you add it to your header there will not be a white background. If you are unsure what this type of file is, you should speak to your marketing team or business owner.
A text summary, or a short one-liner on your LinkedIn header image allows you to simply capture what it is you do and enable the viewer to understand easily.
This really should be a short one sentence; you do not want the area crammed full of text and distracting the viewer so that they are not sure what to look at.
Your text summary should be specific to what it is that you do, allowing the viewer to understand instantly if you are the person that can help them. You should include your target industry audience, plus location if relevant within your text summary.
Example Text Summaries
As with everything it’s important to check and double check the spelling that you use on your LinkedIn header image. If need be send it to a friend or colleague to double check.
Call to Action
The call to action on your LinkedIn header image is affectively directing people to where you want them to go.
For example, if you want people to request a quote from you, to book a meeting with you, or to check out a specific page on your website. The call to action means that you point people to a specific website URL, telephone number or email address.
Example Call to Actions
What goes where
When you look at your LinkedIn profile you will see that your profile photograph is displayed on the left-hand side on top of your LinkedIn header image. It is important that your text summary, call to action and logo are all placed on the right-hand side. This means that all of the information should be able to be seen, and again creates a professional impression.
Other uses for profile header images
Profile headers can also be well used to display or promote services, events or blog post that you have written. They are not only limited to general branding.
Changing your header image regularly allows you to have a fresh new look, display your latest events and also allows returning visitors to see more about who you are and grow your brand awareness.
How to change your LinkedIn Header Image
Now that you’ve created your new LinkedIn Header Image its time to upload it on to LinkedIn.
It’s very simple to do so and this video will show you how.
Still not sure if this is worth the effort?
Take a look at different people’s profiles on LinkedIn, first of all have a look and see how many of them actually have a header image, then think about the impression you make for those both with and without a header image.
Without a header image it is a missed opportunity for personal branding, raising awareness about what you do and directing traffic to where you want people to go. Not having a header image doesn’t look particularly professional nor does it create the best first impression of you.
I hope that you’ve found this blog post useful to create your own LinkedIn header image, but if you don’t have time to do this yourself, or would like help with other areas of social media, then get in touch with our team.