Easy Ways to Improve Your Alma Profile

Your profile is a powerful resource. It’s how you showcase your personality, highlight areas of expertise, and demonstrate why you’re a great choice for prospective clients. 

Our team has helped hundreds of providers build a compelling profile, and we’ve learned that small changes can make a big impact. If you’re looking to increase your consultation requests, follow these three easy steps to make a memorable first impression:

  1. Upload a high-resolution, professional headshot
  2. Submit Q&A responses
  3. Write a short bio

1. Upload a high-resolution, professional headshot

Your headshot is the first thing someone will see about you when they’re browsing the Alma directory. People are more likely to click into your profile if your headshot is clear and professional. If you don’t have a headshot handy, that’s ok! Here are some tips for taking a great picture on your own:  

  • Stand in front of a neutral background. We want you to be the primary focus. Pick a clean, uncluttered backdrop for your headshot — like a wall, greenery, or a tidy workspace.
  • Consider the lighting. Natural light is great, but direct sunlight may add unflattering highlights or shadows to your face. Overcast days are preferred. For indoor photoshoots, we suggest standing near a window or turning on a nearby lamp.
  • Ask someone else to take your photo or use a tripod. Selfies are great for vacations, but not for profiles. We recommend using a camera or a high-quality camera phone. 
  • Submit multiple options. Try multiple poses and outfits. You can upload up to five photos and our team will choose the best option for your profile.

If you’d like to use an existing photo, make sure it follows these guidelines: 

  • It’s up to date. Clients won’t want to be surprised when you meet for the first time. Using a photo that represents what they should expect in a real session can better set expectations and help put them at ease.
  • You’re the only person in the photo. Photos with other people can be distracting and confusing for clients. We recommend displaying headshots without other people, pets, or even large objects.
  • It’s high-resolution. The ideal size of your image is 700x875 pixels or larger. You can follow these steps to verify your photo's resolution.

Two strong examples from our live provider directory:

Good Example: Peace Banks, Medication Management, PMHNP-BC

Good Example: Collin Speciale, Psychotherapy, LPC

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Two headshots with room for improvement:

Weak Example: We can't see the person's full face, and the photo background is distracting. Weak Example: Photo filters and strong lighting make this person's face hard to see.  

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2. Submit Q&A responses to let clients know more about you and your practice

Your profile includes a short Q&A section for clients to get to know you better. This will help them determine if your approaches match their needs.

  • Write simply. Some people may be familiar with therapeutic terms, but most will not. Hemingway’s editor tool is a free tool you can use to check readability. We also suggest keeping your responses between 5-7 sentences. Keep in mind this is just an introduction to who you are. Too much information may overwhelm clients and make your responses hard to follow.
  • Highlight your strengths and skills. Be direct about your experiences and specialties to help create confidence for clients. This is a great place to expand upon your chosen specialty filters and list your accomplishments, education, work history, or any relevant training that may be relevant to clients.
  • Be specific. It can be tempting to keep your description vague, but the more detail you can provide, the better. For example, if you’ve chosen “General Mental Health” as a featured specialty, use your Q&A to explain what that may look like in practice. 
  • Relate your answers back to the client. Center your responses around client needs. Accomplishments and awards are only helpful if they demonstrate how you will be able to support their solutions.
  • Write in any format that works best for you. Feel free to submit your responses in bullet-form instead of paragraphs, for example. Our in-house copywriter will review your responses for grammar, typos, and overall structure before publishing.

3. Write a short bio

A bio is the short description featured at the top of every member profile. Your bio should give a high-level overview of who you are and help someone answer the question, “What can I expect from working with this provider?” Here are a few guidelines we recommend following as you draft your bio:

  • Keep it 3-4 sentences long 
  • Write in the third-person 
  • Include relevant training and specialization — both clinical and demographic
  • Highlight the types of clients you typically work with
  • Talk about your therapeutic approach

👍  Strong bio

👎  Weak bio

“Joan Zheng has a decade of experience treating Indian American adults, children, and families. Joan takes a holistic and trauma-informed approach. Joan also hosts a podcast on psychology and its impact on education.”

Written in the third-person. Clearly describes the provider’s experience, qualifications, interests, types of clients they work with, and therapeutic approach.

“I have a podcast and have been in therapy for a decade. I’m open to treating many types of clients and am extremely passionate about my practice and profession.”

Not written in third-person, doesn’t clearly specify qualifications, what types of clients they typically see, or therapeutic approach. 

Need some more inspiration? View the examples below or take a look at other profiles in the directory.

  1. Jamie Adges — Psychotherapy, LCAT
  2. Sarah Zhang Park — Psychotherapy, LMFT 
  3. Maria Boncyk — Psychotherapy, LCSW

Profile Checklist

Once your profile is live in our directory, review the checklist below to ensure your profile is set up for success:

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