You’ve written your adoption profile, posted it online, and now you’re waiting for expectant parents to contact you.
But no one is reaching out.
You check your cell phone. Maybe the ringer’s turned off.
You take a look at your email. Perhaps a reply got stuck in your Junk folder.
Nope, everything is working. Everything that is, except your profile online.
So, what gives?
Posting your profile or “Dear Birthmother” letter on the web can sometimes feel like shouting in a crowd. No matter how hard you shout, nobody is paying attention.
So what’s keeping them from finding you? It could be any number of things. Here are three common ones and how to fix them.
1. Your profile isn’t optimized for search engines
There’s nothing worse that spending endless hours writing your profile and posting it on the Net only to discover it’s dead on arrival.
But if you think that all you need to do is publish it and wait for a couple with an adoption plan to find you, you’re deluding yourself .
Every minute of every day new material is being uploaded on the web, not to mention a fair number of adoption profiles.
If you want yours to stand out and get noticed online, you’re going to have to do more than just hit “publish.” You’re going to need to need to optimize it for the search engines.
That means making sure your profile has the right keywords, is properly indexed, and loads quickly.
Search engine optimization is both an art and science, and it’s constantly evolving.
To cut through the noise and get noticed by expectant parents, you either have to stay on top of the latest ranking factors or post your profile on a parent profile service that already has a presence online to maximize your visibility.
2. You don’t get to the point fast enough
If the expectant parents are working with an agency, you can get away with creating a long letter and taking your time to tell your story.
That’s because they’ll be working with an intermediary who will have already sifted through a pile of profiles and presented them with the one(s) that meet their criteria.
Online, however, it’s a different story. On the web, the process of discovery is different.
In most cases, the expectant parents won’t have an intermediary to screen your profile beforehand. They’ll find you directly through search results or clicking on a link.
And once they do, you’ll have only a limited time to make an impression on them. If you don’t hook them within the first few seconds, they’ll move on to another profile.
So get to your point quickly and make sure that your profile is reader-friendly. Don’t make expectant parents scroll down the page to find out about you and what kind of life you can offer their baby.
Tell them right away. Even better, show them with pictures. Nothing will get their attention faster or say more about you than a fun, eye-catching photo of you and/or your partner and a child.
3. Your content isn’t unique
Put yourself in the expectant parents’ shoes for a moment. Imagine trying to find adoptive parents for your baby by viewing adoption profiles on the web, but every letter you read sounds the same. The same beginning, the same middle, the same end.
Wouldn’t you be frustrated? Many adoptive parents approach their profile with the mistaken belief that it should look and sound like everyone else’s.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Your profile not only needs to reflect who you are. It needs to be different than everyone else’s.
Expectant parents aren’t looking for waiting parents who are just like everyone else. They’re looking for individuals who are real and authentic and whose story speaks directly to them.
It’s okay to look at other profile letters. Use them for ideas and inspiration, but don’t copy them. It may help you in the short run as you write your own, but it won’t do you any favours down the road.
Instead, find 3-4 things that are unique to you and construct a story around them. Describe your personality, your interests and your values. Your story is unique–shouldn’t your online profile be too?
Chances are, your letter won’t appeal to every woman or couple with an adoption plan. But that’s okay. This isn’t a popularity contest. Your goal isn’t to click with every expectant parent. Only the ones that are right for you.
When it comes to reaching out to expectant parents on the Net, posting your adoption profile isn’t enough. Optimizing it for search engines, getting to the point quickly, and creating unique content are three things that will set you apart from other hopeful parents on the web and boost your chances of success.
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