Putting Your Best “Selfie” Forward: 20 Tips For a Better Profile Picture

We’ve all taken one…whether we care to admit it or not. That’s right, I’m talking about the infamous “selfie.” We live in the digital age, where nearly everyone who is anyone has at least one (or many) social media accounts. All of them have at least one thing in common: they require a profile photo. And since profile photos are attached to nearly all our social media, mobile applications, and dating accounts, I believe 95% of the decision to contact or respond to someone online is based on the photo. The fast growth of new applications like Swoon, Tinder, and SnapChat (photo based and optimized for the small screen) are forcing us  to focus even more on the photo. If a picture was worth a thousand words in the 1920s, it’s worth a billion words today!

As a professional matchmaker, I see hundreds of photos daily. What amazes me is how ever slight tweaks can take a “selfie” from “terrible” to “compelling.” This curiosity of what makes a photo standout is what led me to dig deep and research extensively (across 20 million people) to find out exactly what you can do to increase the number of people who interact with your profile.

Let’s talk about 20 tips that I hope will  help you put your best “selfie” forward.

Selfie

 1. Simply, have a photo: Profiles with a photo get 500% the number of messages than those without.

 

Selfie

 2. Smile! People are 45% more likely to select your profile photo if you’re smiling.

 

Selfie

 3. Take off your glasses! People are 28% less likely to click on you if you’re wearing glasses in your profile picture.

 

Selfie

4. Pucker up! If your lips are parted (i.e., not sealed), people are 5% more likely to select you, and if you make a “kissing” face you are 32% more likely to get selected (vs. just keeping your lips sealed).

 

Selfie

 5. Put on a happy face! If you appear angry or sad in your photo, people are 12% less likely to click on you.

 

Selfie

6. Do something representing a passion in your photo! Profile pictures of people actually doing something interesting leads to a 3x the amount of interest (and a much higher quality of contacts).

 

Selfie

 7. Don’t worry about trying to look younger. Fine is fine no matter the age. Attractiveness always overshadows age. So, if you look good, don’t worry about not being contacted because you’re “too old.”

 

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 8. Natural light is the best light. Bad light in a photo can age you as much as 10 years. Your highest level of attractiveness will come from a naturally lit photo.

 

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9. Candid photos are MUCH better than posed. Contrary to common thought, photos that convey less effort receive 2x the messages than professionally posed photos.

 

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10. If you have to pose, Ladies. Holding your camera above your head, being coy and flirting with direct eye contact (into the camera) gets the most messages.

 

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11. If you have to pose, Fellas. The “I’m too cool” to look in the camera and therefore I’m staring away with a charismatic smile is actually the best pose for men.

 

Selfie

12. Clean up your background or else! 1/3 of people reported not contacting someone based on clutter in the background of a photo.

 

Selfie

 13. Three photos are more effective than having more (or less). Profiles that contain exactly three photos receive up to 85% more messages than profiles with more or fewer.

 

Selfie

 14. The Golden Ratio is a woman’s most important photo. Ladies, if your full body photo alludes that your waist is 70% or less than your hips, it will be considered universally “sexy.”

 

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 15. The Adonis Effect is a man’s most important photo. Fellas, in your full body selfie, if your waist appears 70% or less of your shoulders, it’s considered the “ideal” and universally considered “sexy.”

 

Selfie

 16. A little cleavage can make a lot of difference. Cleavage shots gain women up to 80% more messages.

 

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 17. Get up close. Putting too much distance between you and the camera suggests you’re hiding something. 23% of people reported not contacting someone because they couldn’t easily see a photo.

 

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 18. The color Red delivers highest results. Research shows men and women find people in red more sexually appealing than in any other color. Women who wear red in photos are considered more interesting.

 

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 19. Go solo and no hot friends. If your attractiveness is trumped by someone in your photo, you will receive 80% fewer messages.

 

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 20. WARNING: If you have any of the following in your picture, you will receive up to 87% fewer messages – Background is the bathroom, Holding cash, Leaning against a car, No shirt on, With a cut-out of your ex.

 

Because, love them or loathe them, that “selfie” is all but required to encourage social media interaction – be it for fun,  for love, or for professional reasons.

Full visual of report can be found here: July 2013 20-20 Photo Report

What are some other tips for putting your best “selfie” forward?

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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Dani Atherton
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Dani Atherton

Is that Tank and Dwayne? Whooo!
. . . But on another note: check your Twitter DMs, please, sir! 😉

Esha Whitlow
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Esha Whitlow

Oh My Gosh the Rock!!!&Tank mmmmm!!!

Mee Abraha
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Mee Abraha

Colin Kaepernick

Patrice K. Cokley
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Patrice K. Cokley

These are good. But no glasses?!?!?

Angela T Jones
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Angela T Jones

But if my profile photo was like any of these, I’d get reported. IJS.

Guadalupe Chairez
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Guadalupe Chairez

Love the tips!

Guadalupe Chairez
Guest
Guadalupe Chairez

And absolutely love tank! Drop that towel! Lol

Cedric Hardy
Guest
Cedric Hardy

The women aren’t paying any attention to the topic lol! SMH! But truth be told, it is your best initial marketing tool on social networks

Dani Atherton
Guest
Dani Atherton

Cedric Hardy Hahahaha! Touché! I am, however! 😉

Deanna Frith Weber
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Deanna Frith Weber

These are great pics…wait, what was this about?/

Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo
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Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo

Do we have to be half naked?

Shirelle Iswi Anthony
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Shirelle Iswi Anthony

the link doesnt work

Barbara Hall-Bryant
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Barbara Hall-Bryant

Good information, thanks for sharing. Love and blessings.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest
Paul Carrick Brunson

Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo please read the post.

Jo Steele
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Jo Steele

I know the other two but who is the guy in the pic on the bottom right corner, I’d like a better look lol

Karen Arriaza
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Karen Arriaza

I hate when guys hold money up and the fluttery backgrounds and no shirt on smh

Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo
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Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo

I will but you’re blinding me with muscled man chest. Which I took as the main point. lol

Christine Stabile
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Christine Stabile

Omg wow. Yummy!!! However why take off glasses in the selfie? I wear glasses. If someone wants to meet me shouldn’t they accept I’m blind without them?

Latisha Brandon
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Latisha Brandon

Guess this pic got people’s attention because I keep getting a page unavailable/server capacity error when I click it.

Sherise Cypress
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Sherise Cypress

Good post

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest
Paul Carrick Brunson

lol Sherifah Rafiq- Lobo

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest
Paul Carrick Brunson

Latisha Brandon Yup, we’re getting crushed again. sorry, should be up again soon.

Matthew Ryan Smith
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Matthew Ryan Smith

That’s all I look at is the muscle man chest. Holler!

Latisha Brandon
Guest
Latisha Brandon

No worries! Good problem to have to solve for!

Carmelia Ray
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Carmelia Ray

#amazingtips #MUSTREAD These are easy to apply folks and will make a world of difference. #mustshare

Leah Hannah
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Leah Hannah

Jesus The Rock! I need to go sit down somewhere.

Brandi Woods
Guest
Brandi Woods

Thanks for sharing these.. maybe i need to try em 🙂

Theresa Brennan Borger
Guest
Theresa Brennan Borger

Ok. #18 is a stunning picture. And,what’s up with his towel pic? That wasn’t on the list 🙂

Yolanda English
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Yolanda English

I’ve been hoping you’d address this topic…thanks!!!

Stacy Joseph
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Stacy Joseph

I thought a self in the bathroom mirror was ok….without the toilet or clutter in the back okay. Lips apart, no glasses, sexy posing; I don’t know about ask that. I don’t respond to pictures of men that are like the ones you have posted. They seem like all they want it sex…it’s too sexy

Angeline Lewis
Guest
Angeline Lewis

@Paul Carrick Brunson The bathroom selfie is surely a no-no (to me anyway) a real turn off! Yet the Roc and unknown man has captured my full blown attention! So enough already I wanna see the article

Tanya Warden Kemp
Guest
Tanya Warden Kemp

Who is the guy in the lower right corner holding the football? Delicious!!!

LaToya Owens
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LaToya Owens

Great article!

Essence Yarbrough
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Essence Yarbrough

Time to change my profile lol

Candice Brown Temple
Guest
Candice Brown Temple

The Lord is my Shepard…He knows what I want!

Stephanie Moncrieffe
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Stephanie Moncrieffe

Paul, unable to review the post..something pop up states: site maintenance will review it later. I do want to read it.

Tracie Marshall
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Tracie Marshall

I think there is truth to this… I can’t take a man seriously if he has a shirtless selfie on his profile.

Kary Kruger
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Kary Kruger

Indeed.

Keesh Fontaine
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Keesh Fontaine

right, LOL, I can’t concentrate either.

Amanda West Reeves
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Amanda West Reeves

The post is showing now 🙂

Monique Htsgirl
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Monique Htsgirl

Eye candy!

Suki Raye StatKilla
Guest
Suki Raye StatKilla

We pay attention.

MsCurtis Brooks
Guest
MsCurtis Brooks

Paul your photo is your brand representing you….so yes put your best foot forward!!! 🙂

Elvia Estela Gomez Robles
Guest
Elvia Estela Gomez Robles

Hay amiguita no quieres nada

Brunette Coleman
Guest
Brunette Coleman

Show cleavage is wat the article says

Cassy Myrealfriendsknow
Guest
Cassy Myrealfriendsknow

*gasp* The Rock! Perfection.

Serena W
Guest
Serena W

Yup I’d respond to those. Lol.

Chandra DeSousa
Guest
Chandra DeSousa

I can’t take a man seriously if he’s taking a selfie ESP while biting his lip. Gross, automatic delete!

Margie Curtis
Guest
Margie Curtis

Looks like I need some new photos!

Nathan Simmons
Guest
Nathan Simmons

and if necessary hire a photographer to take some updated ones and do not post the ones from 5 years ago 🙂