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How to Write a Profile Like a Pro (And Get Noticed!)

How do you capture your essence in a single page on the Internet? Here’s how to attract more employers, dates, or friends with a captivating profile.

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Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or a dating app, your online profile is a virtual snapshot of who you are. A 10-year-old photo or ambiguous details about your business simply won’t cut it. 

If you want to capture the attention of your ideal clients, customers, or potential dates, don’t skimp on these 7 steps to writing a compelling profile for any website.

How to Write the Perfect Profile in 7 Steps

How do you capture your essence in a single page on the internet? Think of your online profiles as the “Cliff Notes” to who you are and what you do. You don’t need to share every detail of your life, but you don’t want to be so vague that you seem like a fake account.

Here are 7 steps to writing a great profile about yourself.

1. Lead with purpose

Before you write a profile, get clear on the reason you’re crafting it in the first place. How do you want to present yourself, and for what cause? 

Answer these 3 questions to uncover the purpose of your profile:

  • What is the goal of this profile? If you are creating a professional profile for a job application, your tone and visuals will be far different than a social media profile intended to connect with your friends.
  • Who is the target audience you want to attract? Think of your profile as a customized advertisement to magnetize the exact friends, dates, or professional network you want in your life. 
  • Why are you on the app? Are you using Bumble to find a potential spouse or to create casual connections? Do you prefer LinkedIn for casual networking opportunities, or is it essential for growing the income of your business? If you simply want to share inspirational snippets of your life with friends and family on Facebook, that’s great too! Stay clear on your intentions. 

2. Who is your audience?

Fishermen use a certain type of bait to catch a certain type of fish. If your business page or dating profile is attracting the wrong type of person, consider what “bait” you’re putting out. To do this, we can steal some strategies from marketing gurus.

The most successful businesses are deeply in-tune with their target customer. They know everything about this ideal purchaser of their products or services, including:

  • How old they are
  • What gender they are
  • Where they live
  • Where they shop
  • What they enjoy doing

Of course, we are human beings and the details of our lives are far more nuanced than a product pitch. Nonetheless, keep this analogy in mind when designing your profile.

For example, this dating profile has some major contradictions that could confuse or mislead the target audience. Uhh… how could you be looking for a serious lifetime partner without any real photos or interests listed?

An image of  a questionable online dating profile that has two feet with the toes intertwined, with the bio mentioning "...looking for a lifetime toe partner". This is an example of how not to write a profile.

On the other hand, this dating profile perfectly expresses who they want to attract and includes enough information to get to know the individual.

An image of a bumble dating profile with a bio and an image of a 34-year old man. This is an example of how to write a profile that perfectly expresses who they want to attract and includes enough information to get to know the individual.

Pro Tip: Use analytics to your advantage! Most social media apps offer detailed analytics about your followers and views. This is particularly important for business and influencer profiles, but it could be useful for personal profiles as well. If you want to see who you are attracting, this is a great starting point.

Your virtual profile is like bait. Different types of fish prefer different food. What type of bait are you offering, and who will it attract? You don’t want a blurry picture in sweatpants if you intend to attract job recruiters on LinkedIn. Similarly, you may not want a wild party photo on your dating profile if you are seeking a serious relationship.

3. Use this formula

What makes you unique amongst 4.5 billion social media users? A unique value proposition (UVP) is a brief sentence that explains what you offer to your audience. It clearly communicates what sets you apart and makes you valuable to the target audience you defined above. Highlight your expertise, skills, accomplishment, and unique perspectives.

Your UVP explains your value in a quick statement. For example:

  • “As a seasoned marketing strategist, I have a track record of 10x revenue for global brands. I help companies dominate their industry and stay ahead in a competitive landscape.”
  • “With 8 years as a pro athlete and 15 years in the fitness industry, I am the go-to coach for practical and motivational steps toward your dream body.”
  • “I help artists and creatives monetize their passions through social media and digital marketing.”

For example, this LinkedIn profile perfectly displays a value formula. Within seconds, we know that this individual is a top consultant and career coach helping people find their dream job:

An image of a LinkedIn profile that perfectly displays a unique value proposition formula. Within seconds, we know that this individual is a top consultant and career coach helping people find their dream job. This is a solid example of how to write a profile.

Depending on your platform, you can copy/paste this UVP at the top of your profile or in the introduction described below.

Remember, it helps to stick to the idea that you are selling yourself. Whether you’re selling your extraordinary work ethic, your inspirational video content portfolio, your freelance business services, or the idea of an amazing date or relationship, your profile is technically a sales page.

4. Upload a clear, smiling photo with open body language

Science shows that people make a split judgment1 within 10 seconds of seeing something. The same applies to online interactions. Your profile picture is your virtual first impression. Either take a new profile photo or find an existing current picture that meets most of these criteria:

  • Use a high-resolution smartphone or camera.
  • Smile naturally or wear a positive, approachable expression.
  • Uncross your arms to appear open and welcoming. 
  • Choose a simple, neutral background that won’t distract from your face.
  • Dress according to your industry or context based on the audience.
  • Use bright, natural lighting if possible. 
  • Look directly in the camera to create a sense of connection through eye contact.
  • Check that there are no shadows on your face.
  • Update your photo regularly (at least once per year) to reflex changes in your appearance.

Good profiles have several quality, engaging pictures to give viewers an idea of the type of person or professional they are.

An image showing two do's and two don'ts when it comes to creating good quality profile photos. The examples given show good composition and good cropping, and well as what bad composition and cropping look like. A good profile photo is one step in the process of how to write a profile.

Image via Shayne Robinson on LinkedIn

Action Step: Here is how to Take a New Profile Picture with an Easy Home Photo Shoot (all you need is your phone).

5. Add a video

In addition to a profile picture, most platforms now allow you to upload videos. With social media moving toward video-centric content, a short introductory video is a great way to stand out. This 20-45 second clip can showcase your personality, voice, confidence, and expertise.

Don’t worry if you feel a little awkward on camera. The great thing about video is you can do as many takes as you need! You don’t need an influencer-worthy video clip. Instead, lean into your authenticity by:

  • Pre-writing a 2-3 sentence script: This will likely be similar to your personal elevator pitch that explains who you are and what you do. For example, I might say, “Howdy! I’m Logan— a freelance writer, editor, and content creator helping people live more vivacious, healthy lives. You can follow my adventures on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, and read my articles on”
  • Laughing before you start: Laughter is proven to reduce stress2 and make us feel more relaxed in social settings. Even though you’re filming a video in your home or office, it is still a social endeavor where you want to present yourself as you would in person.
  • Pretending like you’re talking to a friend: A great profile video should feel like someone is meeting you in person. There is no need to be ultra-polished. Instead, act like you’re talking to a colleague or friend (while still remaining professional). Better yet, have someone stand behind the camera so it feels a bit more conversational.

Action Step: Here is How to Make a Charismatic LinkedIn Profile Video (4 Easy Steps).

6. Write a captivating intro

After someone sees your photo or video, their eyes will instantly jump to the text. Offer your viewers a chance to dig a little deeper into who you are and what you can do for them. Use the first person to briefly tell your story in your own words. This mini-profile essay is similar to what you would post at the top of your resume or cover letter.

  • Use a compelling hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a captivating question or thought-provoking statement. For example, a book coach’s profile may say, “Are you ready to unlock your full potential as an aspiring author?”
  • Highlight your qualifications: Use your UVP to briefly showcase your accomplishments and work history. You may want to include your years of experience and niche expertise. For example, “I am a passionate software engineer with 6 years of experience specializing in scalable web applications using JavaScript.” 
  • Use concise storytelling: Tell a short, specific story about who you are and how you got to this point. For example, Vanessa Van Edwards writes, “WSJ Bestselling Author and #recoveringawkwardperson.” This shows that she had a challenge, discovered a solution, and is now using it to help others. Here’s more about How to Tell a Great Story: Learn Science of Storytelling.
An image of Vanessa Van Edward's Instagram profile, showing casing her captivating intro as an example for how to write a profile.
  • Demonstrate your impact: Drive home the message by highlighting actual outcomes you have achieved. For example, “I’ve helped 150 clients heal their digestion and gut health through my signature holistic protocol.” 

In a personal profile, some of these professional steps may be unnecessary. Replace them with quirky or fun statements, an unexpected story, or a blip about your passions. For example, “2x Pacific Crest Trail hiker passionate about nature, photography, and travel.”

Pro Tip: You don’t need expert writing skills or a journalism background to write a great story. If you can’t think of any profile ideas on the spot, use AI technology to streamline your writing process. Hop onto ChatGPT and type something like, “Write a 3-sentence profile story for a college graduate seeking a career in marketing” or “Write a captivating dating profile for a single millennial male seeking a wife.” 

7. Don’t forget your call-to-action

After someone reads your profile, what do you want them to do? A CTA (call-to-action) gives a clear action step for visitors to connect with you. This ending phrase depends on the platform and objective of your profile. 

Make it catchy and quick so people feel excited to take action. For example:

  • Business Social Media CTA: “Want to try the best coffee you’ve ever tasted? Check out our link in bio for 15% off your first purchase.”
  • Coach Social Media CTA: “Ready to transform your weight loss journey? Link in bio for a free 15-minute coaching call.”
  • Dating profile CTA: “What are you waiting for? Let’s go dancing! (winky face emoji).”
  • LinkedIn CTA: “Want to level up your website’s SEO strategy? Let’s work together! Email me at ____.”
  • Freelancer Site CTA: “Click here to get in touch for a free project outline and quote.”

Keep in mind where you want to go in the next few years. From Elon Musk to Benjamin Franklin, the most successful people in history had a clear plan for where they wanted to go. Your CTA should funnel people in the same direction. Here are some tips and tricks for getting clear on your trajectory: 

Ready to start planning your professional development?

Use our free worksheet to get started on your Professional Development Plan.

Key Takeaways: Leave a Lasting Impression With Storytelling and Customization

Whether you want to attract potential employers, grow an influencer account, or simply connect with friends, a dazzling profile is essential for success in the digital world. 

Think of your profile as your online footprint or your personal sales page. Remember to:

  • Craft your profile based on who or what you’d like to attract.
  • Take a quality profile photo that showcases your best features and portrays a positive, approachable demeanor. 
  • Make sure your profile isn’t too long. Aim for 2-3 paragraphs, or about 300 words.
  • Embrace your uniqueness with a specific story, anecdote, or catchphrase.
  • Ask a trusted friend or colleague for their opinion.

Want More? Don’t miss The 15 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips To Make Your Profile Pop.

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