Let’s face it, technology has given us a very short attention span! With only a few seconds to capture the attention of your reader, making sure you say the right things quickly is more important than ever.
If you’ve been a part of the Pepperlane community for awhile, you probably know the power of a strong profile. It’s your first contact with potential clients and has the potential to help you make an amazing first impression. We’ve compiled some best practices based on what’s worked for our members to create a profile that pops and has customers ready to buy before they even reach the ‘contact’ button.
First and foremost, let’s talk about why a profile or about page is important on every website. For some business owners, talking about yourself and why your service is valuable may feel salesy or uncomfortable, we get it! But, we’re here to give you permission —along with a bit of tough love— on why it’s a must.
Think about it like this...
Your ideal customers are out there looking for you. If you don’t give them a good —and quick— reason to hire you, they can (and will) go somewhere else. Don’t let that happen! People need you and they found you for a reason, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to connect.
Pepperlane profiles were designed to highlight everything you’d include on a website in one easy place. While they may not have all the bells and whistles of a full website, they’re much easier to set up, and actually help you get better SEO results. How? Because of the quality of traffic through our marketplace discovery, it tends to improve your overall ranking.
We know that SEO (search engine optimization) can seem like an overwhelming topic, but it doesn’t have to be.
In essence, modern algorithms don’t like fake, un-helpful information, so they’re constantly scanning for what is real and valuable. Therefore, optimizing your page helps them see you as a credible site and in turn gets you more views.
What do algorithms like?
- Useful information
- Clear and specific urls (we recommend keeping yours short and sweet with just your first and last name)
- Text that sounds natural and is easy to read, lines up with the subject of the page and is likely to be searched by your audience.
- Natural language that sounds like you’d actually speak and isn’t stuffed with keywords (example, don’t add “photographer Boston” in every single sentence)
Moving on from SEO (not so painful, right?), let’s dig in to your profile page.
9 Tips to Build a Great Pepperlane Profile
- Don’t skip the basics
Take the time to fill out each section on the page so that it feels really complete and thorough. Visitors will appreciate having all the information they need to make a quick decision. You can keep each section short and sweet (see #9) but make sure it’s really filled out to help customers understand more about you and what you do.
- Lead with benefits
While it’s great to give clients a general idea of your background and accomplishments, at the end of the day everyone wants to know,“if I buy this service, how will it help me save time, or strengthen my relationships, etc?” Benefits help potential clients understand exactly how the service you offer will lead to something great for them.
A good way to create this list of benefits is to look at your past clients and see what they’ve said in testimonials or on a call/ in an email and use those words. Or, check out the websites of other service providers doing something similar to what you do and see if they’ve clearly identified the benefits of their services for inspiration. Once you know what the benefits are, sprinkle them throughout the page, starting with your headline.
For example, Cat Camara does a great job of summing up what she does and the outcome of her work!
- Headline 101: Be clear on what you do and who it’s for
We talk a lot about clarifying your unique value proposition, or X factor around here, and for good reason! Getting clear on what you do, who it benefits, and the outcome is really important. In the headline example above, Cat tells us why she does what she does, who she works with, (people who need to declutter) and the outcome of that work (leading a happier life). That’s a big promise, but she proves it by telling her story below.
- Weave in a great story
Storytelling is a powerful way to create connection and draw your reader in. After all, stories help us relate to and empathize with others, while also creating a sense of belonging. Use the “About” section to tell a great story that leads readers to understand your journey, ties in how you solved a problem personally, which will give them confidence that you can also solve theirs as well.
- Don’t forget to brag!
Providing social proof through testimonials and reviews helps is a great way to win trust quickly. According to Boast.io, “Brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity (through testimonials) receive 3X as much word-of-mouth as less emotionally-connected brands.” Make sure your testimonials are front and center, or even weave them in to your headline to quickly capture attention.
- Choose the right photos
A picture really is worth a thousand words. Myriam does a great job giving us a glimpse into her personality with a professional, but fun photo that has pops of color. She’s also done a great job in the photo on the right to give a glimpse of her work using complementary colors to her headshot.
To quickly and easily resize your photos on your profile page, refer to this handy guide.
- Don’t overthink your keywords
We mentioned earlier that algorithms don’t love sites with overused, un-natural keyword placement. A good rule of thumb is to use your keyword once in your title and somewhere in the first sentence of your about section. Keep in mind that it can be harder to show up for really common search terms, like ‘event planner Massachusetts’ so try longer tailed keywords that include more information like, ‘birthday party planner Wellesley.’
Pepperlane member Brea Chislett does a great job here of weaving in some humor to her ‘Kids’ section
- People buy from people
While it’s true that technology has made many areas of our lives easy and automated, as a small business owner, you have a truly unique advantage. What is it? You. Clients are attracted to authenticity and you can show them who you really are throughout your profile. When possible, weave in how your personality and interests help you do your work better and bonus points for making them laugh!
Pepperlane member Devon Grilly does a great job of keeping it concise and leading with benefits.
- Make it scannable and concise
As we mentioned above, readers have a very short attention span (think toddler level) so giving them the information they need quickly and efficiently on your profile page is key to success. According to human-computer interaction specialist and Ph. D Jakob Nielsen, there are three best practices when writing for the web: be concise, write for scanners by varying sentence length and structure, and use facts over cliches. Another tip is to use bullet points when possible for easy scanning.
Help your clients make a quick decision when they find you by optimizing your profile page with the tips above, reach out on Facebook if you need more advice or want the group to give you more feedback. We’re here to help!
#1SimpleAct: Spend 15 minutes updating and optimizing your profile page in the next 24 hours.
Want to get kind and candid feedback on your profile? Join us for a free Boost session where you’ll get input and guidance from up to 10 other smart, motivated business owners and a skilled facilitator. Make useful connections and walk away with new energy to get stuff done!