On Friday, I told you about my failed attempt to buy an e-reader. But my experience wasn’t a complete waste of time. After noticing the parallels between my shopping excursion and the experience of writing a parent profile, I managed get a blog post out of it.
Today, I want to return to the subject, although I promise this will be the last time. That’s because I realized that if I thought choosing an e-reader was tough, imagine how a prospective birth mother must feel about having to pick out an adoptive family from what seems like an endless array of parent profiles.
There she is about to make one of the most important decisions of her life. And yet, at first glance at least, every profile seems the same. Not only that, there’s hardly a blemish among them. Everyone looks — and sounds — perfect. So what’s she to do? How does she make a decision? How does she know which one is right for her?
Well, you can help her is by setting yourself apart. If you’re putting together a printed profile, there are many ways to do this, from your choice of materials and colors to the size of your photos.
But you can also differentiate yourself in the content of your letter. This time, instead of using my perspective as inspiration, I’ll let the markers of the e-readers do the talking. What follows are three more simple suggestions on how to make your letter stand out and increase your chances of getting noticed by a prospective birth mother.
Find your unique selling point
Selling an e-reader used to be so easy. Last year, there was hardly any competition — only two devices on the market. But this year, it seems like everybody is offering one. The Kindle alone comes in six different versions. So, to grab people’s attention, each company has to make sure their device has something unique to offer. That’s why some cost less, some are easier on the eyes, and some have a longer battery life.
In the same way, with your parent profile you need to come up with features that differentiate you from the rest of the pack. What are your distinguishing traits and characteristics? (Sorry, boasting about a longer battery life won’t cut it here).
What do you want prospective birth parents to know about you? Once you identity what these features are, it’s time to create compelling stories around them — stories that will generate interest and create an emotional connection within your reader.
Cut to the chase
The makers of e-readers know you know what you’re looking for. As a result, they don’t waste time making assumptions about why you’re interested in their product. The same goes for your parent profile. Thanking a prospective birth mother for reading your letter is a great way to show empathy and respect.
But don’t overdo it, especially in the opening paragraphs of your profile. Devoting prime real estate to telling her how much you admire her courage or how difficult her decision must be isn’t a good use of space.
After all, she already knows all that. And after reading the same thing over and over again, from one letter to the next, it can get a bit annoying. The reason she’s reading your letter is because she’s interested in learning more about you. What can you offer her and her baby? Don’t make her wait. Get to the point before she gets to another letter.
Explain the benefits
E-readers are quick, convenient and economical. If you like reading books and magazines, they offer a ton of advantages over print versions of the same publications. Likewise, there are probably a ton of reasons why a prospective birth mother should choose you over someone else. But if you don’t explain them to her early and often, how will she know?
Back to your competitive advantage: What strengths, skills or talents do you bring to the table and how will they make her baby’s life better? Is it because you have an adoption connection and know how to create strong, loving, lasting relationships?
Is it because you’re a stay-at-home mom and have the time and opportunity to nurture and develop your child’s unique gifts? Or is it because you’re an ace baker or gardener or skier or hiker and can’t wait to share your passion with a child?
When it comes to finding your competitive edge, just about anything goes. Just remember to find something concrete and to tie it back to a child. After all, you never know what detail will gain traction with a prospective birth mother and ultimately lead you to success.
What do you think are the most important elements in a parent profile? What advice do you have for hopeful adoptive parents who are just starting theirs? Share your comments in the section below and don’t forget to check out the parent profile writing tips on our website.
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