What used to be a professional network builder is now a social media platform for marketing, business, art, and technology. LinkedIn is the perfect place to create content, build your brand image, distinguish yourself as a thought leader, and host ads to boost awareness about your company.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms in the world, with 930 million members as of 2023. This means that a strong and memorable profile is a must if you want to stand out. This includes the often overlooked yet very important part of your profile — your LinkedIn background.
Join us as we look at how to create the best LinkedIn background — whether you want to boost your professional network, build your brand image, or spread the word about your products.
Why is a LinkedIn background image important?
When people talk about optimizing their LinkedIn profile, only the profile photo or their professional bio gets the most refining. While those are indeed important, lots of people overlook the other important facets of a LinkedIn profile: background image. This is a big mistake we want to fix early on so you get the most replies.
Your background image, along with your profile photo, is your visual representation. It’s what you will use to convey your personality, values, or brand image. It can be used to communicate what you do, what products or services you have, your skills, and the community you serve — all in one photo.
And these are all backed up by science, too. Compared to text, humans can understand a visual scene in just 1/10 of a second. According to LinkedIn, 94% of people prefer content with images rather than those without. And did you know that people can only remember 10% of what they read but 80% of what they see?
As you can see, images are a very powerful tool. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s time to step away from the default blue and gray LinkedIn background and create your own.
6 Tips for creating the best LinkedIn background
Your LinkedIn background says a lot about you and your brand. It’s also what people will first see when they visit your profile. A great background image can help create that awesome first impression, which might convince them to choose you over others.
Here are some tips and best practices to create the best LinkedIn background:
1. Follow the size requirements
LinkedIn recommends your background image be 1584 pixels in width and 396 pixels in height. Your image should also be in JPG, PNG, or GIF format and must not be more than 8 MB in size.
Remember, the appearance of your background image will vary depending on the device or screen size that people will view your profile on. Ensure you follow the size requirements to display your image correctly and not awkwardly cut off.
Blurry and pixelated images are also a no-no. You can use online image converter tools like Convertio to ensure your images are properly resized and optimized without losing quality when you upload them.
2. Think of the alignment
On LinkedIn, the profile pictures are located on the left side. Because of this, it’s better to make your banner right-aligned or center-aligned. This will make things visually balanced and more aesthetically pleasing.
As a bonus, you’ll also avoid running into issues where the profile picture accidentally covers important details or text in your banner.
3. Always double-check
Even if you follow all the technical requirements down to a T, there is still a possibility that your background image won’t look as perfect as you envisioned it to be.
After uploading your image, make sure you check how it looks across different devices (check how it looks on a desktop computer, laptop, vs. mobile phone) and different browsers.
4. Make sure it shows off your personality
Your background image is a visual representation of your personality or brand image to your audience. Choosing an image that can properly and accurately represent you is key.
For example, are you a design agency? Using a bold and creative design might work well for you. Using a witty slogan or joke in your background image is an excellent idea if you are a brand with a funny and friendly persona. If you have minimalist and chic branding, using a black-and-white photograph will work best.
5. Use high-quality images
People mainly use LinkedIn to portray their professionalism. A blurry or ill-designed background image will hurt your reputation instead of boosting it. It signals to people that you are sloppy, not detail-oriented, or don’t have a great artistic sense. That’s not a great impression to have, right?
This is why using high-quality images is essential. So how do you get one? We’ll dive into this in a later section.
6. Less is more
One of the fundamental rules of design is to keep it simple.
Of course, this doesn’t mean just sticking to generic stock photos or bland stock banner templates. What it means is that you have a clean and simple design, one that won’t overwhelm your audience.
Use no more than three colors and no more than one to two font styles. If you have a long text, break it down into smaller sentences so that it’s easier to digest. If you are using a photograph or image, it’s best to have one main focal point so that it’s easier to understand.
Make sure to follow the rules of visual hierarchy as well. This gives you a simple yet harmonious design.
Best LinkedIn Backgrounds Ideas
Looking for inspiration for your new background image? Here are some examples of the best LinkedIn background you can use.
1. Your branding
Using your branding assets is the way to go if you want to increase brand recognition and build your brand identity.
You can go all out by using your logo design along with your slogan. Or go subtle with a patterned banner that uses your color scheme, like Slack.
Your LinkedIn background is a chance for you to solidify your branding. Consistently using your brand assets will help your audience remember your brand easily.
2. Your product or service
Using your product or service in your LinkedIn background is a great way to communicate what you do.
You can show your best-selling products or use the space to tease a new product set to launch soon.
Some famous brands that do this in their LinkedIn background are Tarte Cosmetics, Wendy’s, and Domino’s.
3. Your workspace
A photo of your workspace is a great way to convey professionalism and authority. Of course, this doesn’t have to be limited to your desk. You could also show your office building or meeting room or just use a stock photo of an office if you don’t want to use a real photo.
4. Your photo
A photo of you while doing your work is another excellent option for your LinkedIn background. Action shots tend to evoke more interest and emotion, and it’s also a great way to give them a glimpse of how you usually work.
While this kind of background is mostly used by speakers and coaches, other industries such as cosmetics, sports, culinary, and photography can benefit from a dynamic action photo.
5. Your professional community
Showing a photo of your clients, customers, investors, or team shows you are a trusted professional. If you are a brand, it also signals to your audience what kind of people use and benefit from your products or services.
This is the best LinkedIn background image if you work in hospitality, customer service, or non-profit. It also works if your brand has an advocacy they support. This can help bolster your credibility and build a sense of trust with your audience.
Science and psychology play a key role in marketing, as seen in what is called “social proof.” Social proof is the idea that people copy what other people do. So when we see something go viral, a product with 5-star reviews or award badges on a website, we see that as evidence that the brand is credible.
The same idea can be applied to your LinkedIn background.
What can be more powerful evidence of your professionalism than a photo of your awards? It is also a great way to make an impression and make you stand out from others. Think about it. If people want to do business, they’d rather do it with someone proven like you, right?
7. City Skyline
If your workplace is related to a specific geographical location, you can also use that as your LinkedIn background. This can be a great way to find potential connections if you are in the same city.
You can use a photo you took or a stock photo of your city. Professional and aesthetically pleasing, what more can you ask for?
8. Abstract Photo
You don’t always have to show real places or products to have the best LinkedIn background. Sometimes, just showing an abstract pattern, shape, gradient, or visual concept will work well.
For best results, use an abstract photo that can still be related to your brand, particularly with the color palette.
Do you have a quote that particularly speaks to you? Why not use that for your background image? This is also a great way to show your personality and values.
10. Promoting an event
Do you have any upcoming events, seminars, webinars, sitewide sales, or product launches? Use your background image to inform and remind your audience about it.
Using a strong CTA in your background is a great way to catch your audience’s attention. By directly telling them about the benefits of your product or service, you can also effectively communicate the value you can offer them.
Your CTA should still be in line with your brand voice. If you have a friendly brand image, your CTA text must still sound friendly and approachable. If you want to build your image to be a thought leader, use direct and authoritative language.
How to create your LinkedIn background
Now you know what the best LinkedIn background looks like, it’s time to create one. Depending on your budget, resources, and design experience, there are many ways to design one.
If you are planning to use a photograph, you have three options:
- Hire a professional photographer – This ensures you have a high-quality photo to wow your audience. However, this option is quite costly.
- Take your own photo – This is the cheapest option. However, you are limited to the tools you have and your photography skills. Still, this is a great option since you have full control of the final outcome of the photo.
- Use a stock photo – This is the easiest option, as you can get a professional photo without doing a lot of work. However, you will be limited to generic and overused photos, especially if you are using the free ones. Not very good if you are aiming to stand out, right?
Now, if you plan to design a banner, you also have many options. First is looking for a freelance graphic designer. You can look through sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find your freelancer. Just make sure you choose someone who understands your project brief and has the same art style you want for optimal results.
Second is to design it on your own through software like Adobe Photoshop. Again, this is the cheapest option but is limited to your graphic design skills and experience.
Third is using an online customizable LinkedIn background template. This is a great option since these are pre-made templates you can edit instead of starting from scratch. However, you are limited to the available designs. It’s possible that you won’t find any template that has the same look that you want to create.
As you can see, creating the best LinkedIn background is easier than ever before. You just need to find a method that works best for you.
How to upload your LinkedIn background
Done designing your LinkedIn background? It’s time to upload it. Follow these steps:
- Step 1: Go to your LinkedIn profile.
- Step 2: Click the camera icon on the top right corner of your current background image.
- Step 3: Select “Edit profile background.”
- Step 4: Select the photo that you want to use.
- Step 5: Edit your image. You can zoom, crop, apply filters, or rotate your image.
- Step 6: Once done, click “Apply”.
And there you have it! Your LinkedIn background is now ready to impress your audience.
The power of visual marketing can’t be underestimated. And your LinkedIn background is no exception. It’s the first thing your audience will see when they visit your profile and your first chance to make a strong impression. If you don’t use a custom one, you miss a chance to create a strong impression.
We hope the tips above have helped you. Happy designing!