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Images on Pinterest: Research Reveals Why Your Profile Picture Can Hurt or Help

Images on Pinterest

Images on Pinterest important lessons and tips.

Images on Pinterest: 12 Tips to Nail Your Pinterest Profile and Social Media Profile Picture

Images on Pinterest are a big deal in many ways.  And sometimes, in not so obvious ways. As a Pinterest manager one of my jobs is to make sure that my client’s Pinterest business accounts are set-up correctly. Because if it’s not I’m severely limiting their success. One of the things I have on my checklist is images on Pinterest.  And a very important one is their profile picture. If you’re thinking big freakin’ deal, just slap on a picture or your logo and bam it’s done; you’re wrong. I wish it were that quick and easy (and trust me I know how you want to be speedy) but the truth is there’s some things you may not be aware of that could actually hurt your business if you use the wrong images on Pinterest including your profile image.

First, let me share a quick story. 

We know that first impressions are everything. Sorry that’s just the way it is, for most people anyway. I was in my 20’s at the time and I remember when I received a call from Canadian Airlines about a job interview I applied for as a flight attendant. Obviously I wanted this job and so I prepared for it. 

I learned as much as I could about the company, listed questions that they might ask me and rehearsed it with my mom. But what I also knew was that looking my best and putting my best personality foot forward was important too. Right or wrong, agree or disagree it was reality.  When I walked into that interview room would they see me as a warm, friendly, competent, well- groomed flight attendant? I had to make them believe that. I wasn’t being fake. I wanted to help them visualize me on their team. 

Yes, of course your looks and the way you present yourself is part of their decision but it’s not the end all be all. I get that. But as far as I’m concerned I had to maximize my chances because there were hundreds of girls being interviewed. Heck, I’d better stand out. 

Job Hunting and Hiring Research: Princeton Reveals First Impressions Formed in a Second

According to Princeton your clothing can affect how people judge your competence in under a second. What you wear matters. 

When the Princeton team positioned identical faces on people wearing slightly different outfits, they discovered that people graded their perceived competence differently. When the outfits looked expensive the perception of their level of confidence went up. I guess there’s some truth to the saying “fake it until you make it” huh?:)

So how does that make you feel? Does that seem fair? Do you tend to feel that way about others? 

So if you’re looking for a job what will you do with this information? Wear the best outfit for your next interview or just dress as you please despite what the research say?  After all you have all the qualifications right? 

At the same token why can’t hiring managers be mindful of these tactics that applicants know fully well and focus on their core competencies and not on looks?  Well I guess if that were the case Princeton wouldn’t bother with this type of research but obviously they felt it warranted research. 


images on pinterest

Images on Pinterest tips, tricks and research.

Do You Look Rich?

I came across a recent experiment to determine how rich or poor people were based on only portions of their faces. The experiment was led by R. Thora Bjornsdottir, a researcher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The Experiment

  • Several different groups of subjects looked at photographs of 160 men and women. 
  • The people in these photos were Caucasian; half had a yearly income of $150K+ and the other half had incomes below $35,000 a year. 
  • The people in the photos all had neutral facial expressions.
  • Only the faces showed in these white and black photos.
  • They had no tattoos or piercing.
  • All appeared to have all their teeth.


Even so, the subjects were able to sort them into rich and poor with 68 percent accuracy–much more than can be accounted for by random chance. 

The Result

  • The researchers found that mouths and the eyes gave participants the greatest ability to correctly categorize people in the photos as rich or poor.
  • When people in the photos were smiling, participants were no longer able to tell who was rich and who was poor.
  • They also discovered that participants were just as good at determining who was rich and who was poor whether they looked at the photo for as long as they wanted or just for a split second. This reveals that these judgments are made fast, maybe unconsciously when people are out in their every day world.


So you’re thinking who cares if someone looks rich or poor? It shouldn’t matter. But if you’re a Pinterest manager trying to attract your dream client then you need to realize that people unconsciously judge us by the way we look. That means we need to look the part of someone who they respect and trust. 

Many business owners feel more comfortable working with those that are successful for all sorts of reasons. I know for me if someone looks clean and professional it’s a very good thing in my eyes. It tells me a lot about a person. But that’s just me. In fact, I didn’t hire someone during a Skype interview one time when I was looking for a website designer because the gal I was speaking to was wearing a sloppy tank top that looked like it hadn’t been washed, her hair was a mess, there were piles of paper everywhere, she was wearing ragged jean shorts, I mean seriously it was a mess. How could I hire this person and have them design my website? Really? Do I really want to take that chance? Does she look like someone that would be meticulous with her work? Not to me she didn’t.

Sure I am all about being authentic, be yourself blah blah blah. But there’s also the reality that the aforementioned research above outlines.   When you make the time to look good and look the part, inside your head you’re saying to the client “Hey I am dressed today for you because I respect you and I take what I do seriously”. 

LinkedIn Users Terrible Profile Pictures

According to a digital marketing agency Digital Third Coast and risk mitigation specialists JDP who did a study of two thousand LinkedIn profile photos across 11 industries; they found that most LinkedIn users consistently fail to meet certain quality standards when it comes to their profile pictures.  And in my opinion much of this applies to images on Pinterest too, especially your business profile image.


images on Pinterest



  1. Poor quality, low-resolution photo.
  2. Don’t use selfies with your smartphone camera.
  3. Use a group shot by cropping your face.
  4. Poor lighting. 
  5. Don’t wear sunglasses.


  1. Use a high-quality camera.
  2. Use a simple background; not distracting. 
  3. Smile.
  4. Hire a professional photographer.
  5. Update your profile pic so it still looks like you ☺
  6. Wear professional, clean, ironed clothing.
  7. Try adding your branding. For example you can wear a shirt with a hint of your company colors. If you can add your logo even better.


I recently launched a new website and invested many thousands making it right. Hiring a professional photographer was a smart investment. My new images on Pinterest and my website make the biggest difference and really help to tell the story about who I am, how I work, and what I am passionate about. 

I am passionate about helping others, that’s right YOU. When it comes to images on Pinterest your profile picture represents your online personal brand. Don’t let a really crappy photo ruin a great professional opportunity.


Images on Pinterest

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