I was going to say this one is for the small business owners today but it’s actually one for anyone who has an online presence or profile.
So what is a Bio? or Biography?
It’s a snippet of information that tells people all your best bits in a short space of time. It’s like a mini highlight reel of your life or your career.
I was working on an online program for a client a couple of weeks ago. As part of the program, there are a number of experts providing additional support to the participants. We asked the experts to send their bios in for publication in the program.
And wow! What a varied (and long) selection I received.
So it got me thinking about helping people out with their bios. This post will give you some tips and I’ll finish off with a special offer for my lovely readers. If you need a bio reviewed and re-written, keep reading and try it yourself. If it doesn’t work out, give me a shout and take advantage of the special I’ll run for this month.
Okay! So I recommend you have three versions of your bio to start with. It’s good to have a few up your sleeve that you can choose from to suit the bio’s destination. Where is it being published? Who is reading it? Figure that one out, then choose from your bio selection the best fit for that destination.
1. YOUR WEBSITE
If you have an online footprint that includes a website or if you work for a company that requires you to have your bio published online, you can have a slightly longer description of who you are and what you do. Just be careful of length. Most people only read above what is called the digital fold (the bottom of your screen) BUT saying that, a number of website designers reckon that as people have become more savvy online and as web designs are now actually moving towards longer more visually appealing / landing page style formats, it’s not such a big thing.
Have a read of this article (click here) – it has some interesting stats on the sections people read on a website.
My argument around length is it’s got to be REALLY interesting to keep people reading. And you know what? If it’s your website and your real estate and if you have a super exciting story to tell, go nuts!
If Ernest Hemingway was around now, I could just imagine how his About page would read….it would be a captivating story for sure.
2. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
It’s a known fact that if anyone hears your name and is interested in working with you, contracting you, dating you (if that’s where you’re at!) or employing you they’ll head straight to social media and check out your online footprint before they call you for coffee or a meeting. That’s why you need some succinct bio action wherever you hang out online.
I am always surprised when I check out a company’s page on Facebook and they haven’t written anything in their About section.
And if I look at someone’s profile on Twitter or Instagram, a lot of the time I decide if I’m going to follow them from their Profile Bio (and some pretty pics – if it’s shiny and pretty, I’m in!)
The thing with social media is you can write up bios to suit each platform. A little more serious for LinkedIn, a bit of fun for Twitter and a whole lot of pretty for Instagram. Have a look at this article from Vogue that collated some of the best Twitter Profiles. LOVE Hillary Clinton’s – see below.
3. YOUR PRESS PROFILE
This is the bio you would send to a publication or a company that is profiling you – like the experts for the online program I was telling you about at the beginning of this post. It’s for re-print elsewhere.
So think brevity and quality with this one. 2-3 well worded and fairly short paragraphs giving a snapshot of what you do with some career highlights. Do not include winning the cross-country in primary school in 1986 in this one. Nobody cares and some poor copywriter (*me waving!) is desperately trying to whittle a 450 word Bio down to 150 words.
OKAY! Now have a read of your current bio or bios if they are spread across multiple platforms. What are they like? Do they need a rejig?
If you are keen for me to write one up for you, here’s July’s Special Offer (no steak knives though – sorry!)