WRITING A WINNING PROFILE
Earlier this year, I worked with a law firm to update a range of their marketing resources. My first step was to review their lawyer profiles. I wanted to understand the capability of their partners and staff, in order to better understand their firm and develop reflective materials.
To write their new partner profiles, I read their current profile, looked them up on LinkedIn and Googled them. It was easy to find out about their qualifications and experience, but I wanted to get to know them personally; so I interviewed them. I wanted to know what they offered to their clients, in terms of approach, benefits and philosophy, and the kind of person that they are.
In selecting a provider, prospective clients want this information too – but they don’t have the luxury that I had, to interview each prospective provider. They use information that they have access to, which is commonly the firm’s website.
My clients are all professional services providers and there is an interesting commonality in their web statistics – outside of their home page, the most visited web pages are their team’s professional profiles.
What does this tell us? Spending time creating your professional profile is time well spent. Your professional profile is one of your most important marketing tools.
Writing your profile
Your professional profile should leave the reader with an understanding of who you are, what you do and why they should work with you. You then need to back this all up with your qualifications and credentials. Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- Your name, position and firm / business name
- Explain what you do, your particular expertise or specialisation
- Describe the type of clients you support and the outcomes you achieve with them
- Outline your approach and your values (this is personal to you)
- Back it up with proof – career history, awards, recognition, achievements, qualifications
- Add something personal, to help the reader understand who you are.
- Get out your CV and highlight things relating to the checklist above. List those points that are missing.
- Write in everyday language that is easy to understand. Using jargon is confusing. Yes, you are the expert, but don’t make your reader feel inferior. You’ll isolate yourself and won’t have a chance of winning their business.
- Be succinct. Your professional profile should be no longer than one page. It’s not your life history.
- Make sure that your profile suits the media you are using. For example, your LinkedIn profile should be written in the first person, as you are introducing yourself. Your website profile should be written in the third person, as your firm is introducing you.
- Think about your audience. If your profile is being used to introduce you to a conference of industry colleagues, it should be tweaked to suit. This is an instance where technical terminology may be appropriate.
- Use your full name in the first instance. With each subsequent mention, use your first name. This makes you sound more approachable.
My final tip is about your profile photo. Make sure that it looks like you and you are approachable. A smile is always welcoming.