Creating a great profile: First impressions matter

This article is part of our special series Great SpeakerHub profiles: How to make your profile more appealing to event organizers.

Every great story starts with a compelling introduction. In this article, we are going to explore how to build a positive, credible, and appealing introduction to your SpeakerHub profile.

While the profile has dozens of different features that will help you showcase exactly what you do with event organizers, in order to entice them to dive into your profile, they need to have a positive first impression.

This article is going to look at the elements that help build that first impression, including your banner, job title, “why choose me” statement, and social proof.

Introduction: First impression and establishing credibility

The introduction section is the first thing the event organizer sees when they visit your profile.

Think of it like those first 10 seconds you get on stage.

The audience is instantly sizing you up, looking at things like your body language, clothes, tone, and facial expression, and making split-second decisions about whether or not you are credible.

All good profiles have great profile photos, but speakers with great profiles understand that it is not just the profile photo that makes an impression, but everything the event organizer first sees when they land on your profile page.

Your banner image, job title, and “Why choose me” statement all pull together to help the event organizer decide pretty quickly what kind of speaker you are and whether you are the right fit for their event

Let’s dig a bit deeper into how to make a good impression with your banner, job title, and your “Why choose me” statement.

Banner images that make an impact

First and foremost, let’s take a look at the banner image.

My best advice would be to show yourself in front of the kinds of audiences you speak to.

The best photos are simple images of a speaker on stage with an audience in front of them.

Many speakers want to reinforce their branding immediately with their banner image.

They use the banner as an advertisement space, their name in their brand font, or stylish cut together images with bold colour filters, or heavily featuring their book, product, or company. How you choose to market yourself is up to you, but after visiting hundreds of profiles, I have found that the ones with the most impact are the simplest images: the ones with the speaker on stage and the audience out in front of them.

It immediately sets the tone for what is to follow with the rest of the profile. Is it audience-centric? Is it professional? Is it appealing? These things subtly impact the split-second decisions the event organizer is making.

Top tips:

  • Use a high-quality photo, a photo which is crisp and non-pixelated is optimal so the event organizer can clearly see you.
  • Show your audience so the event organizer can see what your key audience looks like.
  • Show yourself in the type of event you are looking for. If you want to talk to highschool students, give workshops, high-level keynotes, whatever it is, feature it. Your banner should reflect the audiences you are speaking to.

Below are three examples of great profile banners

Tamsen Webster

You see Tamsen on stage, and the audience out in front of her.

It’s very simple, but with impact. It says, “I am a pro speaker and I speak to large audiences.”

Ryan Foland

Ryan goes for a completely different feel, but you also see Ryan on stage with the audience out in front of him. He has opted to feature his book as well, not in place of an image of him on stage, but still featured.

John Gronski

You see John conducting a workshop, and you see an engaged audience in front of him.

Ensure that you use an image where your audience looks engaged. If they are looking down, away, or at their phones, the subconscious message will be that you are not an engaging speaker.

Show the kinds of audiences you speak to. It will give the event organizer an indication of the type of speaker you are, and help them decide quickly if you are the right fit for their event.

Job title: Establish expertise

When the event organizer lands on your profile page, they see the banner image, profile photo, name, and your job title; making it a key player in helping you introduce yourself.

Help the organizer immediately start framing your expertise by tying your key topic in from the start. This will help establish your credibility on the topic.

As opposed to this being, say, your LinkedIn profile or a profile on a consultancy type website, you really want to highlight your “speaker persona”.

Be clear about what your expertise is, in addition to the main role that you feature.

See some examples below:

Charlene Decesare

Charlene could have opted to use “CEO” of her company, “Cherlene Ignites, LLC”, but has chosen instead to immediately showcase the expertise relevant to getting hired as a speaker.

There is nothing wrong with using job titles like “CEO” or “Consultant”, but a more effective choice, if you want to set your profile apart and help the event organizer immediately frame your speaking expertise, is to be as clear and direct as possible and show the reader what it is you can do for them.

Janet Tarasofsky

It could not be clearer what Janet’s expertise is — she states it up-front. While there may be other key topics that Janet speaks on, she has zeroed in on one key topic to frame herself as an expert on it.

Remember to help the organizer immediately start framing your expertise by focusing on your speaking speciality.

Why choose me? Entice them to dive into your profile

“You need to grab the listener’s attention quickly, and communicate all of the core elements of your idea in a clear and concise manner… Remember: If you can’t describe your business in one sentence, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

-Adeo Ressi, Founder Institute

Being able to quickly share what you do and why it is important can be key in helping event organizers decide whether you are the right fit for their event.

Finding the right balance with your “Why choose me?” statement can be a challenge, it being part biography, part expertise topics, and part pitch, all rolled into one short sentence.

Think of it as an opportunity to highlight what sets you apart from every other speaker who speaks about your topic. Use your style and stats to entice event organizers to learn more about you.

One way you can think about it is as a “teaser” for the rest of your profile. If it were a movie trailer, what would you want to get across?

There is more than one way to write your “Why choose me?” statement, and I encourage you to use your own style.

The examples below set the speaker apart, showcase their expertise, and encourage the event organizer to dive deeper. Each does it in its own way.

Dana Arnett

Dana’s “Why choose me?” entices the reader with it’s opening statement. We already want to know more. She follows with a clear line about her understanding of, and impact on, her audiences, using the few lines to draw the event organizer in and make them curious to find out more.

Milka Milliance

Milka doesn’t waste any time — outlining exactly what her key topic is, and then what she offers to engage audiences. If you are an event organizer looking for a speaker on personal development, this “Why choose me?” statement offers a clear introduction to Milka’s profile and gives a framework for what the event organizer can expect if they dive deeper into her profile.

doreen dodgen-magee

Doreen’s “Why choose me?” statement is a perfect example of using your own style to convey not only information about what you talk about but an indication of who you are. The stylistic non-use of capitals, rhyming couplets, and simple coherence tie together to tell the reader a lot about Doreen’s style, and expertise.

Want to find out more about writing a “Why choose me?” statement with some ideas to get you started? Read this article next.

Offer social proof with recommendations and testimonials

Recommendations and testimonials help establish your credibility as a speaker. A third-party endorsement that acts as social proof that you can impact audiences.

Having a blend of high-quality testimonials and recommendations helps build credibility in the eyes of the event organizer.

An event organizer will often have two or three profiles open at the same time, comparing directly, trying to find the best speaker for their event.

Imagine a situation where they are trying to decide between two very similar speakers.

Both have experience and have written books on the topic, both are available for video conferencing, both have clearly outlined what their keynote is about, and both their talks would fit well into the event.

It would be a tough call, but one profile has some wonderful testimonials and a number of recommendations, and the other has none.

It may not be a deal-breaker, so to speak, but it does make a difficult decision a bit easier for the event organizer — and you want to be on the right side of that decision.

Recommendations

To get recommendations, send your SpeakerHub profile URL to the people you would like to recommend you.

This could be:

  • audience members who have heard you speak
  • event organizers from events you’ve spoken at
  • other speakers who you’ve worked with
  • known supporters who follow your content and regard you as an expert

There’s no magic number for how many recommendations you should have, just know that the more you have, the more it builds your credibility.

Testimonials

Having testimonials works in a similar way to recommendations, but is more specific and offers more room to showcase what it is like to work with you.

Unlike recommendations, it can benefit you to be a bit more careful and curate your testimonials so that they tell a concise, results-driven story.

Some speakers opt for quantity over quality.

I have seen profiles that include upwards of 70 testimonials.

While there is not really a problem with having lots of testimonials, it’s hard for me to imagine an event organizer having the time to read through 70 testimonials. At some point, they will stop reading them.

On the flip side, having no testimonials at all is also problematic. Much like the recommendations, if an event organizer is trying to choose between two equally qualified speakers, but one speaker has a handful of glowing testimonials and the other does not, it makes the decision easier.

Featuring 10 to 15 testimonials is ideal, with the very best front and center.

Be sure to include the first and last name of the person who is offering the testimonial, their position, and the company they work for. This adds to the testimonials’ credibility.

You can edit a very lengthy testimonial down so that it is more concise and results-focused, but do not get “creative” with your editing.

The idea is to trim away excess so that the heart of the testimonial and the impact you had on the audience is clear — not change the content to tell a different story.

How do you get testimonials?

The simplest way would be to send your SpeakerHub profile URL to people you would like a testimonial from.

Below is an email template you can use to ask for a testimonial:

Subject line: A quick thank you

Hi [fill in their name]

I wanted to reach out to let you know that working with you [and their team] on [Event name] has been a pleasure. It was [offer something unique and insightful about the event].

Whenever a great event comes to an end, I like to ask for a testimonial to feature in my marketing content. I was wondering if you’d be willing to share your thoughts on my talk and what impact it had on the audience.

You can submit a testimonial by clicking this link [hyperlink to your profile]. If you only have a few seconds, you can just click on the recommend button — but if you have a few extra minutes, it would be great to get some positive feedback with a few details about working together.

Again, I have enjoyed working with you and your team, and hope we can do it again in the future!

Best,

[Your name]

If you have testimonials but are not sure how to upload them, please email our customer support team, they are happy to help.

The key take-away is to build your credibility with recommendations and testimonials. Instead of you saying, “I am a great speaker”, it is your audience coming in and doing the heavy lifting for you. It can make a positive impact on the event organizer, helping them see your ability to influence.

Wrapping it up

Look at your profile from the perspective of the event organizer.

When they first land on your profile, what does it tell them about you?

Will what they see help convince them that you are the right fit for their event?

Start the story you will tell with your profile with a strong introduction, giving key indicators of what the event organizer can expect as they explore your profile further.

After you’ve made a great first impression, it is time to get to the heart of your profile — your expertise.

We will dive into how to communicate your expertise in our upcoming article “Showcasing your expertise on your SpeakerHub profile,” from the series Great SpeakerHub profiles: How to make your profile more appealing to event organizers.

Read next

Great SpeakerHub profiles: How to make your profile more appealing to event organizers

A guide to your SpeakerHub profile | SpeakerHub

How to create your elevator pitch and defining your “Why choose me” statement

Build confidence & get hired: use testimonials to get more speaking opportunities

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.

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