Improving the first impression of your online and website profiles

Mar 22, 2022 | Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, Websites

I have never ‘swiped’ someone’s profile picture, as online dating didn’t exist when I met my wife in the 1980s.

The whole concept of swiping is quite alien to me. I was curious though, so a while back, I asked a single friend to show me how the ‘swipe left’ and ‘swipe right’ business works. I realised immediately that this approach to finding a date is focused very strongly on the first impression given by online photos and the supporting ‘profile’.

The same friend who showed me her dating app was also bemoaning the challenge of finding suitable guys to date online. The lady in question (we’ll call her ‘Rita’) was looking for guys 45-65, but was routinely put off by their photos and their profiles. It seems that few had thought about how to create the best first impression. And this is the lesson I want to share today.

As I have stated previously ‘You never get a second chance to create a first impression’.

Now it is perfectly possible that the guys who approach ‘Rita’ are just as choosy as she is. Perhaps they want someone who will accept them, warts and all. Maybe it’s best that such men haven’t tailored their dating profiles. Perhaps they hope that there are women who look to date guys who choose to use a photo that shows them half drunk, with a pint of beer in their hand wearing a football t-shirt that is too small for them.

But I bet it would be easier for such guys to find their ideal woman if they posted more attractive photos and less self-centred profiles.

What first impression do prospective clients get from the way your firm and you are described on your website, on your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else you can be found on line? Does that first impression even reveal who YOU are or does it just reference the firm?

Did your best clients appoint your firm or YOU as their accountant? Unless your firm evidently has brand presence that attracts the right sort of clients, it’s not enough to talk about the firm. You need to reveal who is behind it. Who is the accountant seeking out new clients? Who are you?

And when you talk about yourself, does your profile describe you so as to make it obvious who should consider you to be the ideal accountant? In the same way as someone seeking a date needs to make clear who they would consider to to be the ideal date.

It can only help if you include some evidence of your personality and outside interests. You are not just another accountant. You are you.

Do keep in mind however that your profile’s job is simply to evidence you as an experienced, able and approachable accountant. Someone worth talking to. You want it to prompt the right sort of people to get in touch.

Then, if that first conversation goes well, maybe you can both agree to take things to the next stage. You will aim to woo them as a prospective clients and then look to agree fees for the services they want and need. It is very unlikely that your profile will ever do that without decent prospective clients actually talking with you.

So don’t write your profile in such a way that you appear desperate and keen to convert people off the page. You simply want them to get in touch so you can have a conversation.

In the same way that the purpose of a CV is not to get a job. It’s to get an interview. A conversation.

And the purpose of an online dating profile isn’t to get a marriage proposal, but a date. A conversation.

One way to check that your profile does give the right first impression is to check it against a list of the adjectives and perceptions of you that you would like to be evident to a stranger reading your profile.

Better than that, ask some friends, colleagues (or even someone trustworthy who doesn’t know you that well) to review your preferred photo and draft profile. What adjectives and perceptions of you come to mind? If there is a disconnect as compared with your list then you had better make some changes.

Many is the time I have sought permission to be honest when reviewing my clients’ online profiles and photos. They make some changes and then, in time, more of the right sort of people get in touch with them.

Much as I like to help and support my clients, I’m not the person to ask if you want someone to review your profile on a dating site!

 

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