Have you ever read a bio and thought you knew the person? What they’re like, how they think and if you like them or not? A well-written bio can influence a prospect to buy or not buy, continue reading to hear more or pick up the phone, right then and there. Why miss an opportunity to present your best self and brand with a poorly written bio?
So, how do you write a compelling bio?
The first step is to identify who you are, what you’re selling or promoting (even yourself) and present a background that’s not B-B-B-Boring. It’s also helpful to include a few interesting facts so readers will have a sense of you as a person – inside and out, including what you like to do, off hours. Even if you’re a workaholic, you still have hobbies or interests that you enjoy or are important in your life.
When I’m working with a client and we’re reviewing their bio, I ask, “what do people not know about you?” After they make faces, or I hear them making faces with a gigantic pause at the other end of the phone, they tell me about their passions and reflect on their lives.
- I collect vintage Corvettes
- I’ve been to every continent in the world, except Antarctica and I’m planning a trip there now
- I’m leading a volunteer vacation with my church to Africa
- I’m writing a book on XYZ and it’s being published in the fall
- I’m a clown at hospitals and make kids laugh
For me, it might be that I live on an island in the summer, was a beekeeper for many years or am a Travelzoo® fanatic, always dreaming of my next vacation. To mix it up, I might add that my 1983 Check Cab Marathon with opera windows was the best car I ever owned, I love Greek meatballs or I’m a Reiki Master.
Bios will change like you and your website, and eventually you may have 3 bios or more; one short (50 words), one longer (100 words) and one by-line or speaker intro bio, but that’s for later.
Your Bio = Who you are + what you do + how you help others + a dash of personality.
It’s Your Personal Brand and PR.
The content of a bio can be like an elevator pitch, but remember with an elevator pitch you’re presenting in person and have the opportunity to influence others with your voice, behavior and body language. And, in person, you can turn on your charisma. Again, you marketing you.
If you’re looking to refresh your bio, take 30 minutes and copy and paste ones you like in a document. Try out different versions and send them to your inner circle to review. It’s hard to judge your own bio sometimes. We’re typically shy, don’t think a phrase is important, or don’t want to toot our horns too loudly.
But, “if you don’t toot your own horn, who will?”
Think of your bio as a soft toot, written to inspire people to want to know more. It’s not bragging, it’s not hard selling or reciting your credentials as a Harvard MBA and every degree you’ve earned since high school. It’s a story of your past and present, credentials and a few tidbits that make you interesting.
Granted, you’re smart. But, you’re also human. You’ve lived a story to tell.
Tell it like it is, but position it in a way to better your brand.