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social media how toDo you want to stand out on LinkedIn?

Have you added graphics to your profile?

One of the most noticeable changes on LinkedIn in recent months is the site’s transition to a more visual focus. Do you have a strong and striking visual presence using the background image on your profile page?

In this article I’ll share a fast, easy, effective way to create a one-of-a-kind, customized background for your LinkedIn profile.

create customized linkedin background

Discover how to create customized LinkedIn backgrounds.

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Custom LinkedIn Background Images

The LinkedIn background image is the first thing visitors see when they land on your profile, along with your actual profile photo. Images add instant branding, credibility and trust to your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin background example

Neal Schaffer added a catchy background image to increase his visibility and grab the attention of users who visit his LinkedIn profile. Viewers know immediately that Neal is an author, a speaker and a consultant.

If you have a premium (or paid) account, LinkedIn will offer you a large selection of pre-made, pre-sized images to choose from and use as your background.

linkedin background options

LinkedIn offers a selection of stock background images to users who have upgraded to a premium account.

Another option is to upload a custom image. If you go this route, LinkedIn suggests you use a JPG, PNG or GIF under 4MB in size. Recommended resolution is 1400 x 425 pixels.

upload an image to linkedin

Upload your own jpg, png or gif image to LinkedIn so you can use it as your LinkedIn profile background.

When you create a customized image, it increases your visibility on LinkedIn. People will see who you are before they even read a word of text about you.

The Keys to a Killer LinkedIn Background Image

Visually convey three critical elements with your background image:

  • Whom you serve (target audience)
  • What you provide (product or service)
  • What makes you different (credibility, authority, approach, etc.)

When you share that information with your background image, the more likely you are to receive positive results and more leads. People who land on your profile will want to connect, and at some point, do business with you.

For example, Bob Burg is an international bestselling author and public speaker. He uses his LinkedIn background to brand his book, as well as his personal and professional image.

bob burg linkedin background

Bob Burg uses his LinkedIn background as branding for his book and his personal image.

Bob is well-known in business circles for his book, The Go-Giver.

Bob features an image of his book cover prominently in the top left corner of his background image. In the middle he has a couple of key identifying phrases (“Keynote Speaker” and “Bestselling Author”). On the far right side of his background image, Bob has a larger, fuller version of his profile photo with him smiling and looking directly into the camera.

Through his background image, users are immediately introduced to Bob and his key offerings.

John Beresford Marshall is an equity investment expert based in Egypt, whose background emits a real sense of his image and expertise. It blends everything into one cohesive visual narrative.

On the far left is an image of John Marshall speaking at an event, which conveys his credibility and authority. It also plays well visually, because users will follow his gaze toward the middle of the image, where his key phrases (“Growth Stocks” and “Equity Investing”) appear.

john marshall linkedin background

John Marshall’s background is designed to give his audience a visual sense of his expertise.

Finally, on the far right is the name of his fund, along with a bright red arrow pointing to the fund’s positive direction via a growth chart. This is something any potential investor will want to see.

Author, business coach and speaker John Michael Morgan has a clean, black-and-white background that exactly conveys what he offers, as well as social proof and credibility from recognizable clients.

The top line of the image states who he is and what he does. The bottom portion of the background has the logos of John’s big-name clients, like Google, Twitter and DreamWorks. If someone is looking for a speaker or business coach with credibility, this guy certainly has it. And users can tell that at a glance.

john morgan linkedin background

John Michael Morgan uses a direct (mostly text-based) approach to share his offerings, social proof and credibility in the background image.

When you’re deciding what to put in your background image, don’t overthink it. If you’re a known author, include your book cover. If your successes can be demonstrated with a chart, add one. If you have top-level clients, use their logos. You want to use anything that brings instant credibility and the interest that goes with it.

That said, don’t try to get too cute or creative. Keep your background image simple and clear. Above all else, help others figure out who you are, what you offer and why they’ll want to work with you as quickly as possible.

Closing Thoughts

With more than 360 million members in 200 countries, and two new members joining every second, LinkedIn has become a powerhouse social network for professionals. So take advantage of LinkedIn marketing to its fullest.

As LinkedIn has gotten more visual, it keeps getting easier to upload and share photos and videos within the news feed, LinkedIn Publisher, media items on the profile page and more.

However, the LinkedIn background image is still the most important piece of digital real estate on the platform. Add more than just a stock photo or static background behind your profile picture.

While you can use your favorite image editing tool to create an image that stands out, the examples in this article were created using Youzign.

What do you think? Do you have a background image on your LinkedIn profile? What elements did you include to promote your expertise? What software did you use? Has it helped your LinkedIn performance? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

how to custom linkedin backgrounds

Tips for creating custom LinkedIn backgrounds.

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  • jemmm200

    The samples used are too hardcore “salesy” for my tastes but I agree with the advice.

  • I have never really thought of this and didn’t know that this feature exist. I will try it out on my LinkedIn profile. Thanks John

  • Thank you John, I love this post, I find it very useful.
    It’s important to think about a great banner image.

    I went to check all the profiles and they seem a bit “too photoshop adjusted” in their real dimensions. I have created my LinkedIn background image, but I certainly do not have the same height space available I see in the suggested profile images: the space I have it’s much thinner therefore it’s more difficult to optimize it with graphic elements or with text.

    I really would love to read another post that explains how to use the full height size of the LinkedIn background image. 😉

    For your information, my background image was made with Canva.

  • Hi @leonardiniluca:disqus! I used Youzign to create those images and sized them 1400×425 for the standard LinkedIn background … keep in mind too that “how” your header image looks for you will be DIFFERENT if you are looking at it on your own (from your “Edit Profile” page, etc.) versus how someone else sees it! I covered that in the video demo linked at the end of this post as well because that can confuse people. The closest way to see how your LI profile header will “look” to others is to log in as someone else on LinkedIn (if you can) and then view your profile, or else click the “View Profile As” button while in your Edit Profile page and that will give you a pretty good idea of how your profile header image will render. I will say too depending on your browser type/computer or device/window size and other factors the header image can render differently. It takes a bit of trial and error too, and typically I’ll keep Youzign open and make small tweaks in the actual file (resizing graphics, making font smaller, etc.) as needed based on how the LinkedIn profile “looks” on the actual LinkedIn page. Hope that helps!

  • You bet @cyphermp:disqus! Glad you enjoyed the post and excited to see what you come up with!

  • Thanks @jemm200 – I certainly understand how people decide to explain/share/promote/visually represent themselves on LinkedIn or other networks is of course up to each individual. But glad you found the post helpful! 🙂

  • Hi @john_nemo:disqus! Thank you so much for your answer: it surely helps. I will immediately try to improve my LinkedIn background image.

  • Julia Lilly

    Does anyone know if this is available for company pages too?

  • Hi @julialilly:disqus – I know you can create certain types of graphics/imagery for LinkedIn Company Pages too … and a program like Youzign or Canva will work well for that too! 🙂

  • Katie Elizabeth Hill

    Thank you! This was SOOO helpful and easy!