Contact form failure :(

I just found out from a delightful soon-to-be client that my contact form hasn’t been working. For how long? I have no idea. :( What an incredible digital business faux pas! I tested the thing thoroughly when I first installed it, but I’ve clearly made some fatal tweaks since then.

LKRIf I’d just followed Laura Roeder’s advice in one of her recent Dashes, I wouldn’t have this problem. Her Dashes are these incredibly helpful newsletters that nudge you into taking good care of your business, one small task at a time. One of her March newsletter tips was to thoroughly test out your contact page. Had I done that, I probably would’ve noticed my contact form failure, ya know? Sigh. (I urge you all to sign up for her mailing list and/or bookmark her/whatever it is you do these days to consume valuable content. She’s a huge help even if you’re just an individual with a website that could use some nudges here and there!)

The core value of these Dashes is to try to look objectively at what you’re putting out there, and make sure it reads well to other people and not just to yourself. So hey, let’s try an LKR-inspired Dash for your online dating profile. Ready? :)

Online Profile “Dash”

Go to your profile, and take a peek at the main profile picture (usually cropped square and smallish). Is it attractive, relaxed, and intriguing? (By “intriguing” I mean does it stand out from a typical, straight-on, just-smiling shot? Is there some element of your expression or accessories or setting that makes it different and worth a second look?)

Take a peek at your username. Is it quirky and fun? Is there a pun in there? Is there a discernible reference to something? Or is it a combination of numbers and a name or boring neighborhood reference? I think you probably know which things I’d upvote here, but feel free to ask me if you’re unsure.

I love the nod to Warhol here.If applicable, check out the little headline/tagline that appears next to your username and profile pic. Is it something playful and engaging? Does it invoke a chuckle or invite conversation? Is it spelled, capitalized, and punctuated correctly? Does it avoid generic terms? (No “fun,” “nice,” “romantic,” or anything of the sort!)

Okay, okay, I know this is hard. But let’s give a little boost here; I’ll give you a freebie but don’t you all go using this as your tagline at once. In honor of the upcoming new season of Arrested Development, you can make your tagline a funny quote from that show like “We just say manager, buddy.” Or “There’s always money in the banana stand.”

Obviously, this freebie works best if that’s a show you love, and you’ll immediately understand any counter-references from potential dates who are drawn to this tagline. Take note that you’d also want to avoid overly-colorful reference quotes like “Look at me, GETTING OFF,” because they could give the wrong impression if someone doesn’t realize you’re just quoting a Bluth. So back up a step, and think about your profile content from an outsider’s perspective as best you can. Absolutely no using Tobias’s self-proclaimed “anal-rapist” blend of analyst and therapist. No. Verboten. You know better than that! Heck, I’m scared what that’ll do to my SEO.

If you decide to tweak your tagline field, or update your profile picture, note that your profile will start showing as recently updated in most sites, AND you’ll show up as having been online recently. Both of these things will give you a little bump in visibility to other users. (You usually can’t edit your username, but you’re certainly welcome to create a brand new profile if you realized your username sucks. And hey, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter; May’s issue has a detailed article on how to craft a great username and avoid common mistakes.)

So c’mon, let’s all thank Laura for her inspiration, and let’s all go do a Profile Dash today to make sure these three incredibly high-visibility items are spic and span and likely to grab someone’s interest!

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