The purpose of a great bio has always been to establish credibility, showcase your expertise and build trust. But in today’s hyper-connected and über-competitive world of business, bios can also serve to differentiate, build likability, establish an authentic connection between the reader and the writer and, most importantly, SELL you.
Many professionals have more than one bio to serve different audiences. It’s important to understand what you’re writing for as this will drive what you say (content), how you say it (tone) and how quickly you need to get to the point (word count).
Be clear about who you want to build a connection with and ultimately what you want them to feel, do and recall after reading your bio.
Remember, people don’t buy cupboard organizers, they buy organized cupboards. The same applies to your business.
Instead of describing what you do, sell them on how you can help.
For example, it might be fitting to say, “Jim has been a business consultant for 15 years.” But think about how much more captivating that statement would be if it was tweaked to, “Jim has been reforming struggling businesses into profitable powerhouses for 15 successful years.” A small, but important shift emphasizing not what he does, but what problem he solves.
People do business with other people they know, like and trust.
Your bio is often selling you when you’re not there to do it yourself. What better way to build likability than to toss aside a generic bio and create one infused with you style, tone and personality.
Are you quirky, stoic, humorous or critical? Find ways to express your authentic voice. Sally Hogshead does a brilliant job of this in her bio and Aliza Sherman shows how to balance personality and professionalism. After reading these bios I have a strong sense of who these ladies are and whether I’d like them and could do business with them. And here’s the truly powerful thing about these bios…because they’re so unique, they’re memorable.
There is a very big difference from a resume and a bio, yet many bios come off as condensed resumes.
Stories sell. Facts tell.
A resume is a fact-laden, reverse chronological detail of your experience, training and expertise. A bio, on the other hand, should be a brief and compelling story that leaves the reader with a distinct and memorable impression of why they should care about you.
Highlight epic moments that collectively define your success and bring your reader on a journey. For a fabulous breakdown of how to create your story, read How to Become the Superhero of Your Story by Robin Fisher Roffer. In her post, she quotes Brendon Burchard’s tips to define your story:
This is probably one of the most often overlooked elements of writing a great bio. Why is it important? It’s likely your bio exists online, even if you didn’t post it there yourself. So, there’s an opportunity for your bio to capture people looking online for talent like you. Think about what keywords they might enter into a search engine to find you, or someone like you and find creative ways to incorporate those keywords without sacrificing the content.
What would you add?