This is the second part of a four part blog series on marketing yourself with your adoption profile book. It was written by John Yonkoski who is an adoptive father and marketing professional. Part three will be published Wednesday, February 15 . Click here to read part one of creating your adoption profile from a marketing perspective.
Get Started Right Away:
Without a doubt, your adoption profile is one of the most important projects you have ever done. Doing it isn’t going to be easy – expect some serious writers block and numerous scrapped versions. After all, your expectations of the finished product will (as they should) be very high. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times in life that it’s okay to throw something together (projects around the house, in college, etc.) knowing it could be fixed or improved later (I’m known for this). This isn’t one of them.
Immediately begin by looking at other adoption profiles online to find a layout that you like and different components of various profiles that you’ll want to incorporate. By printing, saving, and reviewing this data, your mind will begin to visualize how your finished product will (or should) look. That’s huge when it comes to putting it all together.
Plus, it’s entirely possible that you may decide you can’t (or shouldn’t) try going it alone. If that’s the case, you’ll be well positioned to hire someone to help you and be able to give them some sort of idea of what you’re looking for (by providing the items you gathered in your research).
Image is everything:
Now is also the time to start sorting through the photos that you’ll want to include. In your adoption profile, space is limited – if a particular photo doesn’t really tell a story about “who you are”, it probably doesn’t warrant putting it in there. If you don’t take a ton of pictures (like us), you’re likely going to notice that who you really are isn’t captured in high quality photos.
How can you really create a great adoption profile without pictures that accurately depict you doing what you do? You can’t. Because, you say that you’re one person but the photos in the profile don’t serve as evidence to back it up. You can’t say you’re fun if you always look serious. Saying you like children without a single photo of one isn’t really credible (I think most readers would pick up on it on a subconscious level).
For clarity (and to highlight the importance), I’m going to give this aspect a bit more attention than may be needed (because it’s going to require a little action on your part). To be sure, we all have great photos of our vacations and special occasions. But, unless you’re some sort of celebrity – it’s not really how life is. Therefore, putting together an adoption profile based on all your old photos is a bad idea because you’d be omitting the vast majority of your life (those rather uneventful times where nobody thinks to snap a picture).
If you’re like my wife and I, life isn’t just one big party. But, hanging out on the patio together and throwing something on the grill is better than any party I’ve ever been to. Our two Lab’s have a blast swimming in the pool – it’s fun to get them in there and play fetch (particularly when we have the neighbor’s kids over to swim with them). My wife likes to bake and makes the most beautiful cookies you’ll ever see. We love how great the house looks when it’s decorated for Christmas – it’s our favorite holiday. It may not be glamorous (and photo worthy), but it’s who we are and it’s what we do.
My point is, it’s ultimately what we do in our everyday life that truly defines who we are. It’s critical to capture those moments to help a birthparent visualize the type of lifestyle a child would have by being placed in your home. Welcome the reader in to your home and life through sharing those rather uneventful times – not just the “Rock Star” you are on vacation.
So…it’s time to get your camera out and capture who you really are. Taking new photos (specifically for the creation of the profile) is a huge bang for the buck. It will not only tremendously improve the quality of your adoption profile (esthetically) but also in your ability to articulate your “story”. The ones you have can’t possibly tell the full picture.
SIDE NOTE – If you don’t have one already, now is really the time to invest in a digital camera (you will recoup the investment by being able to snap millions of photos and only paying to print the ones you want). You’re going to want one when you get your little one anyway.
Actions speak louder than words:
Use lots of photos to tell your story (after all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words). Your adoption profile should enable a reader to describe you very well without a single word written in it. I created our profile under the assumption that they would flip through it very quickly, then, go back and read it if we passed the “flip-test”. I think that’s a pretty good assumption.
The vast majority of the text in our profile merely is used to support and provide more specifics to what is already evident in the photos. If you want to write about something, take a photo that backs it up. If you’re a teacher and love working with your students, show it. When it comes to words, less is more. And, the words you choose should merely support the assumptions the reader already made by viewing the photos.
Need help with your adoption profile? Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adoption STAR does not guarantee the services of third party providers
Stay tuned next Wednesday, February 15, for part three.