Whether you’re an existing Shopify Expert or just recently got accepted to the Experts Program (congrats by the way!), one of your most important touch points with the merchant community is your Expert Profile page.
Think of your Expert Profile as your own piece of real estate in the Experts marketplace. It’s your opportunity to explain your services, showcase your work, and convince merchants that you’re the right Shopify Expert for the job.
A well thought-out listing page will not only impress those who see it, but is also more likely to result in increased visibility for your brand, a larger amount of job offers, and more revenue for your business.
In this article, I’ll walk through three simple, yet effective, trust-building techniques that will help you get the most out of your Expert Profile.
What are Shopify Experts?
Before we dive into tactics for improving your listing page, I wanted to take a moment to explain what Shopify Experts are for those of you who may not be familiar.
The Shopify Experts Program is comprised of partners who have proven a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of Shopify. They’re also listed in the Shopify Experts Marketplace, where they get direct access to the merchant community, and offer support through a layer of value-added services.
Becoming a Shopify Expert can have a major impact on the growth of your web design or development business. Every single week, more than 15,000 merchants visit the Experts Marketplace looking for a consultant to work with, and almost 1,500 leads are connected directly to Shopify Experts. This kind of exposure to the merchant community can significantly increase the volume of work you do on a regular basis, and ultimately help you take your business to the next level.
To be eligible to become a Shopify Expert and be listed in the Experts Marketplace, you must:
- Have an existing Shopify Partner account
- Have proven Shopify experience with either 5+ active stores, or your own Shopify Theme/App listed in our Theme/App Stores
- Have the bandwidth to take on multiple projects right away — things will get busy!
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Shopify Experts Program, let’s take a look at three techniques you can use to build trust on your Expert Profile and win more business.
1. Position yourself with a compelling description
A merchant can’t trust you with their business if they don’t know anything about yours. That’s why it’s important to take the time to write a compelling description for your Expert Profile that intrigues them enough to contact you.
The description is your opportunity to introduce merchants to your business, and position the value of the services you offer. A well-written description can even help skeptics feel confident in the fact that you’re a trusted expert in the Shopify community and that you have a strong understanding of the problems facing their businesses.
When approaching your description, look at it from the perspective of the merchant. Remember that merchants who seek out assistance from an Expert, are doing so because they are faced with a technical challenge. Try to ask yourself what the biggest pain points are, then write copy that explains how your services can solve some those problems, and what the direct benefits could be for a merchant’s business.
If you need some help looking for what to include, I’d recommend using a format similar to this in your profile description:
- A two-to-three sentence overview of your business — This is the boilerplate for your business, where you’ll talk about your location and any specialization your firm may have. Feel free to include any notable awards or credentials here too, as that will only help build a greater sense of confidence in your abilities.
- Highlight previous experience — Many merchants feel more comfortable working with an Expert who already has experience working with similar clients. Take advantage of this by including a few sentences that highlight your previous work, including project types you frequently work on, specific industries you may have extensive experience with, and any notable clients you’ve worked with.
- An “at-a-glance” list of your core competencies and service offerings — Listing services, prices, and timelines for various project types will provide merchants with more information when trying to decide whether to contact you or not.
- A call-to-action — Let merchants know you are open to chatting about their project, and clearly ask them to contact you or check out your portfolio website.
You can see an example of this format in action on Pixel Supply’s profile below:
When writing out your Expert Profile description, it’s important to remember to keep things simple and concise. Overly complicated copy will create friction with potential leads before they’ve even had a chance to check out your work. This brevity transforms into clarity for the merchant, allowing you to get key points across quickly.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to simplify your Expert Profile description:
- Break your description into one or two sentence-long paragraphs, to improve the readability of your profile.
- Highlight your core competencies by listing them out using bullet points, rather than complete sentences.
- Avoid overly technical jargon or acronyms that might not be known to the average merchant.
- Edit, edit, and edit again! Keep things clean by removing unnecessary words or redundant phrases.
Pointer Creative has a great example of a simple, and easy-to-read description on their Expert Profile.
You might also like: 6 Tips for Crafting Great Web Copy That Converts.
2. Use visuals to influence your perceived quality
Your Experts Profile also features a section for showcasing visual samples of your previous work. While written descriptions are great for communicating your service offering in detail, these visual elements speak more truthfully to the style of your work, especially if your firm does design or development.
Only about 20 per cent of all merchants on your Export Profile will visit your website, those who don't will rely on your sample images to assess the quality of your designs and site builds. Considering that perceived quality has a direct impact on purchasing intent, it’s important that you are strategic when selecting which projects to showcase.
You can have up to six images (1200 px by 1200 px) in the carousel on your profile, and I suggest to use them all. The order in which you present these images is more important than you may realize — the first three images will be presented to merchants on your profile immediately, and the first of those will appear beside your name in the search results (as shown below).
Since these three images will be one of the first things a merchant sees when interacting with your Experts Profile, you should make sure they are examples of your best and most reflective work to date. Feel free to swap these images over time if you work on a project that you’re particularly proud of.
When uploading your work sample images, try to find creative ways to stand out among others in the Marketplace. Rather than simply using a screenshot of a homepage, Shopify Design Expert’s DIFF (shown above) and Minion Made (shown below) created unique graphics for their listing pages. These images showcase their designs on various devices, which provides prospective merchants with more context as to the flexibility of their site designs and, in my opinion, look really sharp!
You can also try to include some text in your work samples, to provide those visual-heavy decision makers with more context for your project. Shopify Expert The New Beat (shown below) uses text in their work sample images in order to list the services they’ve performed on a given project. This ensures that even if a merchant doesn’t read your description or visit your website, they’ll have an at-a-glance understanding of what you can offer their business.
If you aren’t a design or development Expert, you might find it difficult to find compelling imagery for the work samples section of your listing page. Try to use this area to further reinforce your firm’s branding, by including a series of cohesively designed images that touch on some of your core capabilities. A great example of this approach can be seen on marketing Expert OnlyGrowth's profile page, included below.
3. Establish social proof through client testimonials
While compelling copy and well-thought out images will enhance your Experts Profile overall, arguably the most important part of your page is the testimonials section.
Merchants – like any prospective client – may read your Experts Profile with a bit of skepticism. Even as a recognized Shopify Expert, merchants may still not feel entirely comfortable contacting an unknown vendor to work on their business. That’s where testimonials come in.
Testimonials are great because they help you build trust with prospects through social proof. When a merchant sees another merchant share their positive experience working with you, it builds confidence that they will have a similar experience as well. These public endorsements will help you establish your credibility as an Expert, and merchants will be more comfortable and likely to contact you through the Marketplace.
Your ability to obtain testimonials also has a direct influence on your rank within the Experts Marketplace. This in turn can help you have greater visibility among merchants, which will likely translate into more business opportunities for your firm.
Here’s an example of a great testimonial from Reconfigure’s Expert profile:
In order to gather more testimonials, you should ask for one from every merchant you work with. You can even reach out to merchants who have worked with you in the past, prior to your listing in the Marketplace, as long as your work was done on Shopify.
Getting a positive rating on your profile can be as easy as sending an email. After the conclusion of a successful job, ask your Shopify merchant if they would be willing to give you a review. Include a direct link to your Experts Profile to make it as easy as possible for them to leave you a testimonial. You’d be surprised to see how many of your former clients would be willing to write a good review for you — especially if their experience working with you was positive overall.
Just be careful which clients you ask for a review. Negative referrals can have a major impact on your credibility and ability to win the trust of merchants in the Expert Marketplace. So make sure you’re in good standing with the merchants you ask to review you!
You might also like: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Powerful Client Testimonials (With 6 Simple Questions)
Get the most out of your Experts Profile
Overall, it’s incredibly important that your Shopify Experts Profile looks professional and appears credible to merchants. If you implement some of the tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way to building trust and business within the Shopify Experts Marketplace.
Want to learn more about becoming a Shopify Expert? Reach out to Partner Priority Support or to your Partner Manager and find out what you can do to get listed.