Hi there! I’m Gerda, your new PROFILE PROFESSORA. My task is to help you – my “Women with Moxie” friends – by sharing tips on how to create and revise your Profiles. As you grow your business, your Profile should grow along with you.
You may be new here. You’ve already found that killer photo to drop in, and your anxiety level has inched down considerably (I hope). Now, the fun part – WRITING ABOUT YOURSELF! Sounds exciting, right? No? I get it – some of us are shy about what we have to offer and just want to “get it over with” (the writing part). Try and view this task as having a conversation with a new friend. And that IS what all of us want, isn’t it? We’re here to enjoy friendly, purposeful connections with other “Moxie” members. So introduce yourself to your community of women friends, and let us get to know YOU!
Where to start? Ask yourself, “Who am I? Who do I want to connect with through my Profile?”
This first step helps you focus your story. Imagine yourself a storyteller. The writer and journalist Mark Twain had this advice for storytellers: “Get the facts first. Then you can distort them as you please.” That’s a rather sly way of saying, “Give it your voice! Show some personality in that collection of facts.” So how do you do that? What details in your history will help you shine in 700 characters or less?
Now ask yourself, “What is it I do? Why do I do it?”
Create a list of your skills and talents – the facts. Use a pen and notebook if you want to. I find the practice of writing in cursive leads me to connect more with certain things I want to say. This is for your eyes only, so “Go Big”, as they say. You might be an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) who walks five miles every day to exercise your body, but also to appreciate what’s sprouting up in your neighborhood. Now think about how you would put those facts into your own words, in a conversation with someone you’ve just met. The key here is to focus upon letting this other person (or persons) know why you do what you do. Here’s an example:
“I’m Laura. I’m an LMT. My goal is to help clients relax, release, and feel present as they move through their day.” Do you see the contrast? Facts first – then the “why”.
So you know where to start – with your life TODAY. Is there something else you’ve accomplished and want to share with your new network? Do you have a wicked sense of humor or a passion for sailing? Are you a triathlete? For several years, I didn’t include my own law background on my resume. I did this to avoid being labeled “over-qualified”. But I also left out my legal career to avoid the inevitable question, “Why aren’t you practicing law?”
All of our prior experiences and accomplishments inform who we are and the possibilities of what we have, to connect with others. I now realize that being a lawyer was a huge accomplishment and it was part of my path, my story. Nowadays, I celebrate that piece of my history. It gives a deeper sense of who I am. If your past accomplishments enhance your Profile, use them! If you have an awesome sense of humor, use it! Lay it on the table. The more you have to give, the more possibilities to connect!
That’s it for now. Don’t rush this! And it should go without saying, don’t forget to proofread your Profile for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. And have a friend read it, if you can.
Bis Spater! That’s German for “until later”. Yes, I can make friends in German, too!
I’m a writer who thinks holistically about how we all engage with one another. My professional career has been all about communicating ideas clearly and thoughtfully. I have been an editor, creative writer, copywriter and criminal appellate lawyer. I want to make myself available and useful to others who may need a boost in writing clear, memorable and engaging content – whether it’s for an online presence, print documents, manuscript or any other collection of words on a page. Some of us think writing is not much fun at all, but that’s where I can help! I currently own and work for Solid Proof PDX, a writing services company in Portland, Oregon.