How to Choose and Change Your Instagram Profile Picture

April 2, 2020
Hugh Stephens

Did you know that your Instagram profile is the window into your brand? Your profile picture, on the other hand, is where audiences start to decide how they feel about you.

Are you wondering whether you’ve chosen the perfect Instagram profile picture? Wondering how to change your profile photo, and what image should you use for the biggest impact?

FACT: A profile picture is one of the first things that someone notices when visiting your profile. Many visitors will make up their first impression of you based on your profile picture on Instagram. Luckily, from this guide, you’ll learn exactly what pictures work best, and how to change your profile picture into something more engaging. So, let’s do it.

Why You Need a Good Instagram Profile Picture

There are three main reasons that you need a good profile picture on Instagram:

  • Brand recognition,
  • Credibility, and
  • Story views.

Let’s look at each of them in turn.

#1. Brand Recognition

A strong, memorable profile picture makes your brand easily recognizable. While growing your account, your profile can help you build brand awareness and get you to stand out among the others. That’s why you need to start early by uploading a picture that reflects your brand and what it represents.

Instagram profile picture example.

#2. Credibility

Think of all the big brands. Their logos guarantee instant recognition. But even if you are just getting started, and don’t have a recognizable logo, a strong picture can give you extra points of credibility. For one, the image you use can help you build trust with prospective customers who will see you as a legitimate business.

#3. Story Views

Finally, there are story views. Everyone loves looking at new Instagram Stories. But did you know that it’s often the profile photo that helps a person decide whether to view someone’s Story or not. Whether it’s a friend or a brand we love, the picture reminds us of our affiliation with them. And if your Story shows up in the Discover section, your profile picture will determine whether you’ll get new Story viewers or not.

Example of an Instagram profile picture size.

Instagram Profile Picture Size - What are the Dimensions of Your Profile Picture?

What’s the right image size for your Instagram profile photo? Your Instagram profile pic should be a perfect square, and at least 110 x 110 pixels big. Its aspect ratio should be 1:1.However, it’s recommended you create a profile picture file of the size of 180 x 180 pixels to help your full-size picture look good even on desktops. This can help your picture look good even on desktops. You can find out more about Instagram’s image sizes here.

How to Change Your Instagram Profile Picture

Are you unhappy with your current profile image? Well, the good news is that you can change it. Now, I wouldn’t recommend changing it too often, of course. You want the photo to generate brand awareness, after all. However, in case if you’re not satisfied with the current image you use, here is how to change the Instagram profile picture in just three steps. Step 1. Go to your profile and click the “Edit Profile” button beside your username.

An image showing how to change Instagram profile picture.

Step 2. Click the “Change Profile Photo” link underneath your username.

The next step in the process of changing profile picture on Instagram.

The social media platform will ask you whether you want to upload a new photo or remove the current one. Select the first option.

The final step when updating the profile picture.

Step 3. Select a new picture for the profile. Once you submit it, the new image will appear on your profile page. Quick note: You cannot change the profile picture more than twice in 14 days, so make sure that you use the final version of the file when doing so. With that in mind, let’s talk about what pictures make ideal Instagram profiles, then.

How to Choose the Perfect Instagram Profile Picture

Are you wondering what makes the perfect Instagram profile picture? Or how can you create the best profile picture for your account? Here are seven tips that can help you stand out.

#1. Align the Profile Picture with Your Profile’s Aesthetic

Instagram is all about being visual. You want to make sure that your profile picture aligns with your overall Instagram account’s aesthetic. The use of colors, the focus or even the themes should have a balance.

In other words, your profile picture should still make sense based on your grid. Think about how someone comes across one of your posts. When they notice your profile picture, is it still aligned with your types of posts or the colors that you are using for your brand? See how Lancome includes the logo and uses colors that match their content? Their profile picture blends nicely with the rest of the page, creating a seamless experience for the visitor.

Instagram profile showing the Instagram profile picture.

#2. Be On Brand

As simple as it sounds, not all Instagram profile pictures stick to the account’s brand. But if there is one thing that someone remembers about your brand, what will it be?Look at big brands like Nike, Adidas, or Chanel. Their logo is their brand.

Of course, you don’t need to be as popular as them to build your brand based on your profile picture. But to do so, you need to make it consistent with your overall branding.

Instagram profile picture featuring a brand logo.

#3. Put Your Logo or Face at the Center

Whether it’s your logo or your face in your profile picture, it should be in the center of the cover photo.

It’s the main focus of your account and you don’t want to hide it. It’s not about being artistic when uploading a profile picture. All you want is to get people to recognize you and that’s what matters.

Another example of a brand using their logo in the Instagram profile picture.

#4. Aim for Simplicity

There is no need to upload a ‘busy’ photo that ends up being distracting. Minimalism works best and it keeps the focus on where you want it to be. Simplicity is perfect for your brand as it makes it easier for everyone to remember who you are and possibly what you do.

#5. Use a high-Quality Version of the File

Your photo should look professional and be of high quality. It shouldn’t be blurry or pixelated.

So, don’t just take a screenshot of your logo to upload it. Use the original photo or graphic file to ensure that it maintains its quality.

#6. Pick Colors that Stand Out

Do you use a dedicated color that is associated with your brand? Then this is the one that should be part of your profile picture .If not, use a color that can make your photo more appealing and standing out on a page. I know that it sounds like a simple rule, however, I’m always amazed at how many brands and Instagram users skip this advice.

Instagram profile picture example.

Closing Thoughts

Your Instagram profile picture is very important. It’s one of the first things that someone notices in your profile. So, your profile picture should be of good quality while perfectly representing your brand.

When was the last time you reviewed your profile picture then? If you haven’t done so since you created the profile, have a look at it.

Use tips I've shared and also the examples from other brands showing how their logos stand out. Keep in mind, you don’t need to change your profile picture every month or so to maintain your consistency. Your followers should be able to recognize your brand’s profile picture, so make sure you only change it when necessary.

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