Author: Mark Fenske

TOP 6 TIPS FOR YOUR LINKEDIN COVER PHOTO

At Desygner we know the importance of LinkedIn for making connections with employees and peers.  Recently LinkedIn decided to join the social media siblings Facebook and Twitter by introducing the profile cover photo. The wide image profile ‘cover photo’ (or ‘banner image’ as it can also be called) can do just as much for your company brand awareness as your profile photo does. LinkedIn’s official career expert Nicole Williams had this to say about the importance of uploading a LinkedIn cover photo and taking advantage of this feature “You are wasting an opportunity by not including a photo that expresses your professional identity,” Williams told the Business Insider. “It helps potential clients, investors, and hiring managers see you in the professional light you’d like them to.” She firmly believes everyone should “definitely upload a cover photo”. With that importance of this feature stressed, there are also some important tips to making sure you’re making the most out of the important LinkedIn feature.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up

The people who view your LinkedIn profile may also have viewed your Facebook or Twitter profiles. Instead of just using the same image across every platform, change it up. This is particularly important with LinkedIn as opposed to Facebook and Twitter which are more pure social communities. LinkedIn is a community of business professionals and for business professionals.

Connect your LinkedIn Cover Photo to your Profession

“This image should always connect back to who you are as a professional, which isn’t always the case for other channels,” she explains. Citing the example of Richard Branson, who has chosen an image of the sky and clouds for his cover photo, this makes sense give his role as founder of Virgin Group, which includes their aviation and aerospace subsidiaries Virgin Airlines. Willams’ own cover photo, a collection of pencils, expresses her passion for creativity. “My favorite part of my careers is the writing I get to do. This image illustrates that.”

Tell A Visual Story

Your LinkedIn cover photo should tell the story of your professional in a visual manner.  This is an extremely prominent part of your profile page.  You need to make sure it represents you as best as possible.  If you’re struggling with picking out the perfect header image, try reaching out to a colleague at work, friends or family for their input.  Keep in mind there’s nothing holding you back from changing it later if needed.  Once you have one you like, before uploading it, as yourself the question, “Does this image represent me personally and as a professional?”.

Have a Personal Connection to the Image

There’s an old saying in Hollywood, “Show, don’t tell”.  It’s always more effective when a movie or TV show can visually tell the audience something rather than having a character or text explain something.  This holds true with your LinkedIn banner image.  Images have an energy to translate information in a way that sometimes words alone can’t.  Make sure to choose an image that not just represents you or your profession, but also is powerful and even motivating to you.  This will translate visually to the visitors of your LinkedIn profile.

Suggestions for an Effective LinkedIn Cover Photo

Sometimes starting is the hardest part.  Every second on the internet, there’s nearly 500 Instagram posts, 1,500 Tumblr posts, over 7,000 tweets on Twitter, almost 33,000GB of internet traffic and 53,000 Google searches.  You can see the madness for yourself at internetlivestats.com/one-second.  Point is, it can be easy to get lost in it all and not know where to start.  Here’s a handful of generals ideas and suggestions that can get you pointed in the right direction:

  • Accountants: Image with numbers and spreadsheets.
  • Architects: Blueprints or some other type of plans.
  • Barista: Freshly brewed coffee or an espresso machine.
  • Programmer: Computer/Laptop with Code on the Screen
  • Sales Person or Small Business Owner: Imagery of your product or office building.
  • Graphic Designer: Images or any design you’ve created.
  • Writers: Photos of books, magazines, newspaper or even just a pen or pencil and paper.

The Technical Bits

Hopefully by now that you’ve gotten a good idea of what your LinkedIn cover photo should be or at least where to start looking to find it.  Now comes to the technical parts to make sure the image you’ve picked can look its best once it’s uploaded.  According to LinkedIn’s Help Center; the file must come in a PNG, JPEG or GIF format, the file size cannot be greater than 2 MB and the minimum size requirements are 646 x 220 pixels.  For best image results, LinkedIn recommends an image size of 1400 x 425 pixels.  If all these numbers are making your head go numb, don’t worry, there are a number of great free tools online to help you create amazing looking LinkedIn banner image.  Some might even be closer than you think!


Business Cards

BUSINESS CARD DESIGN TRENDS TO MAKE A BOLD IMPRESSION

How to create an attention-grabbing Free Business Card with Desygner

No matter how much technology changes and makes our lives easier, there are some staples of what we do in business that will never change. Business cards. The simplicity, effectiveness and ease of handing out your business card is something you can’t afford to ignore. They’re one of the oldest and most basic networking techniques available, but just because of their classic nature, that doesn’t mean your business card needs to reflect the age of the medium. In many cases, this is the first impression your customer will have with your brand. Make sure your business card stands out and keeps your brand looking sleek and modern. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 business card trends for 2016.


1- Keep It Simple

A simple classic white business card will always be a timeless look. Bright and colorful backgrounds can work in some cases, but if you aren’t careful, it can detract from your brand and your personal information can get lost by trying to do too much. You don’t need to over-think your design. Try just starting with your logo and the personal information you want included first, then design around that with some accents. If it starts to take away from your brand or info, start pulling back. If you aren’t able to get something you’re happy with, try searching for inspiration from blogs, a nice pre-made business card template from an online design tool or even enlisting the help of a professional designer.

2- Quality over Quantity

Being agile and able to change quickly is important for businesses today. The days of needing 500-1000 personal business cards is over. How often will you pass out that many before its time for a card redesign, information change or that you simply are ready for something new? Go smaller batches and make sure they’re high quality both in design and material. Resist the urge to go cheap and save a few dollars on card thickness. Think about the people you’ll be handing these cards out to – the card will go in their wallet or pocket and may stay there for a few hours or even days. You need a card that will sustain the wear and tear of being tossed around so that the next time your customer looks at it, it can still look as good as it did when you handed it to them.

3- Think Outside the Box

Everyone knows the classic rectangle business card shape. It’s tried and true for decades and there’s nothing wrong with continuing with a winning formula. However, in an effort to stand out from the crowd, going away from the classic rectangle is a tactic many are looking at. Rounded corners, curved edges, squares, custom shapes designed toward the market for your business, pop-up designs, additional elements like branded card sleeves, or anything else your mind can imagine is possible. Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to the basic.

4- The Business Card Gets Personal

Any way you can add a personal touch to your business card will help you stand out and make your customer feel like you take them seriously and not just another nameless face in the crowd that you’ll forget about after meeting them. Instead of just printing your logo, look at getting a stamp created of your logo from your local crafts and hobby shop and hand stamping your logo on it. Try and fit the personal touch you add to your business. This will give each business card its own distinct personality and avoid the cards feeling stale and mass produced.

5- Hey, Don’t Forget About Me Back Here!

Over the past decade or so, we realized that a big part of the business card being sorely neglected, the back! Now, having a two-sided card is practically a necessity. If you’re considering the minimalist route with the front of your card, consider making a big visual splash on the back. Make sure you use a high quality and reputable print shop when doing double sided prints so that you don’t have bleeding issues where the back of one card gets color on the front of another. Which speaking of….

6- Your Friendly Neighborhood Print Shop

In the age of online business card printers, it has never been easier to upload your design and order your new batch of cards. While these are cost effect options, consider looking locally for business card printers. Particularly when looking to add that personal touch, working closely with a reputable local print shop will always yield you the best results and make sure that the cards you want are the cards you end up with.

7- Design a Creative Business Card to Show Off your Skills

The Earth isn’t the only thing that’s not flat. There are other ways to make your cards stand out aside from colorful designs, unique shapes or personal touches. Consider embossing your logo or a design on the card that demands your card stands out from others. Other techniques like foil stamping, engraving text or raising text can add just the right amount of visual kick your business card needs. A creative business card always stands out.

In the end, your goal with your business card is to get your brand noticed and remembered. Visually you can employ any of these suggestions, just be mindful of the market your company works in, what best fits that and what best fits your brand.


Use a Business Card Creator

Desygner offers hundreds of business cards templates for free, allowing you to find a style that best suits your needs. Use our business card creator to design business cards online in minutes and immediately grab the attention of a potential investor, client or employer.