Creating a profile is boooring. But, you have probably seen people on HelloTalk who you immediately want to be friends with. It’s the well-composed profiles that make these users appealing. You too want to have a profile like that. This post will help you create it.
Every platform asks you to create a profile and describe yourself. It’s so annoying that we often spend just five minutes filling in some basics, and then just go on to use the platform. But that approach will not work on HelloTalk.
HelloTalk is a combination of two concepts: a messenger, and a language learning tool. Many people forget these tools work differently, and try to use HelloTalk as one or the other. But, to enjoy all HelloTalk has to offer, it’s very important to understand the key differences between these two types of tools, and the rules they operate by.
We normally use messenger apps (like WhatsApp or WeChat) to speak to people who we already know. This means we don’t have to introduce ourselves, or describe who we are. We don’t have to build a relationship of trust with the people we speak to — they already know and trust us.
In contrast, on HelloTalk, you usually speak to new people. Not only that, these people are often from different cultures, and may not be fluent in your language. Differences like that can already make it hard to understand each other.
To make it easier to build connections, HelloTalk enables adding a profile and filling it with a lot of different types of information. Having a profile accomplishes a few important goals: Representation of yourself. If you go for a job interview, or a party, you make sure to dress well. This first positive impression encourages others to connect with you. On HelloTalk your profile is the first impression you make.
Trust. Let’s not forget what our mothers told us… don’t trust people on the internet! By being open and genuine in your profile, you are sending a message to others that you are a trustworthy, real person. You show you care enough about learning languages to make an effort, and write a few sentences about yourself.
Chat prompts. It’s hard to start a conversation with a stranger, because… well, we don’t know them! They are a stranger :D By adding interests and specific information about yourself, you’re making it easier for people to chat to you.
> In short, having a well prepared profile will encourage others to chat to you, reply to your messages, and will prevent boring conversations.
Now that the goals are clear, let’s see what you can do to create a great HelloTalk profile.
1. Be a Film Star! Pick a Good Profile Picture.
That may seem an obvious point, But, you’ve still surely come across profiles with bad profile pictures so, we need to underline it. You might be tempted to add a picture of something else as your profile picture: something that represents your hobby, or an avatar. While this OK on some social media platforms and forums, it will not work on HelloTalk.
On HelloTalk people want to form personal relationships. And, it’s hard to create a connection with someone whose profile picture is their car, an anime character, or a cat!
Without a picture, people won’t know who you are. This means they will be less likely to write to you or to reply to your messages. Not showing your face can also provoke mistrust. It might suggest you want to hide something, and that can be seen as suspicious.
A good profile picture will: Show your face. We all have great pictures of our silhouettes on a cool background, or pictures from exotic locations. But, on HelloTalk you can’t zoom in to a person’s face. So, picture showing a full body in a distance will make it impossible to see how you really look like. Have a smile. A smile prompts us to smile back. If you create positive emotions in people, they will almost automatically like you. Easy trick to make more friends ;-)
Be clear. A face in the dark, or one partially covered by a shadow is hard to see, especially that the HelloTalk pictures are small. If there is a serious, real reason why you can’t or don’t want to share a picture, it’s a good idea to mention this in your profile description. This will let others know you have nothing to hide. If you are ready to send a picture of yourself only after getting to know someone better, you can mention that too.
2. Be a Journalist! Write a Great Text.
You can write a profile text in a million ways. While, in principle you can be as creative as you want, it’s essential to keep a few basics in mind.
If you are completely in the dark about it, or aren’t feeling very creative, follow the suggestions below. And, feel free to download our profile checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything while working on your description!
Be selective. There are thousands of things we can all say about ourselves: from the name of our first hamster, to our life goals. But, a profile description is not an essay. The truth is, no one has time to read more than a few sentences. So, make those sentences count! Share basics. The basic things to write about are your name and what you do most of the time — what’s your job, or what you study.
Alongside you can add something about your main interests, that is, what you do in your free time. Don’t forget to mention something about languages you speak and are learning!
Share goals. Users have different goals in using HelloTalk. Some want to learn more about a specific foreign culture, others are more like teachers, and there are those who want to just casually chat. What is your goal? Sharing it on your profile will make the right people reach out to you!
Mention specifics. Ok, let’s be honest. It would be pretty boring, if all the profiles included the same type of information. It’s nice to add something a little more specific as well — an exciting bit of information — like what you are thrilled about at this moment, or what you’re looking forward to.
Currently I’m trying to eat more healthy, and experimenting a lot in the kitchen. My favourite TV show now is Stranger Things!
Give prompts. This one is optional, but can be transformational. You know it’s hard to send the first message. If you want to be contacted by others, give them an direct idea what they can talk to you about.
Chat to me about Almodovar’s films, and documentaries about physics. If you want to chat, feel free to ask me about anything to do with anime!
I know, there is a whole separate function on HelloTalk for listing interests. But, perhaps there is something you enjoy talking about that’s not on that list? Also, a direct invitation to make a connection will make you sound much more welcoming.
Bonus tips: Give your profile to read to one or two of your friends, and ask for comments. You can also ask: if you didn’t know me, would you like to chat with me based on this text? Be sure to check spelling and punctuation!
3. Be a Filmmaker! Add extras.
What we want to achieve with the profile is to make it look appealing to a wide variety of people. But, we also want to make is stand out, and be accessible.
Language If you speak, or feel sufficiently comfortable in another language, you can add a second profile description in another language! This will show your language passion, and help reach a wider audience. Simply add this text under your first description.
HelloTalk enables adding an audio introduction in your profile, isn’t that cool? Hearing someone’s voice also helps build trust — it’s another piece of information that shows you as a real and serious learner. What to record? You can simply read out your profile, or you can add some extra bits of information. Or tell a joke :P
Choose your interests from our list of suggestions. This an easy way to signal to others what they can chat to you about. You might have mentioned similar things in your profile’s text. But, did you know this lists will be shown to users who send you a first message? Adding items here will make it more likely you’ll chat with others about what you like.
Good formatting makes a profile easier to read. A block of text with bad punctuation is really hard to understand! Use lists, paragraphs, emojis — all those will add personality to your text and will make it more accessible.
4. Be an Athlete! Get Active.
It can feel a little lonely when you join a new social media platform. You know there are millions of people there, but how can you join the fun?
When others look at your profile they will also be checking how active you are. Activity is an indicator that you treat HelloTalk seriously, and are involved in the community.
But, of course, in the beginning you will not have many friends to interact with! There are, however, other ways in which you can show your involvement, before you meet new people.
There are many very active users on HelloTalk, and some of them are even teachers :o While they might not have time to reply to your messages, you can get their updates in your Moments feed by simply following them! Interact with their posts and make yourself seen to their followers — this will create more opportunities for making friends!
Share Moments. Moments feed is a great way to allow others learn about you. You might be surprised how many people are interested in your culture. What you do everyday and find boring can be very exciting to other people.
Share cultural tidbits, voice messages, pictures of food, information about festivals, whatever you like really! Your Moments can als be a good indication to others what they can talk to you about.
Follow our social profile. We post a lot of competition, speaking prompts, challenges, and language learning ideas, and our community is very active. It’s a great way to meet friendly and involved members of HelloTalk, and make yourself seen and heard. With @hellotalkcommunity laughter is also guaranteed!
To sum up, a top HelloTalk profile:
1. Has a smiling picture. 2. Has an engaging description. 3. Shares specific information. 4. Is an active one!