How to Write a Professional Bio (With a Personal Flair)

September 12, 2017

COURSES
follow @copyuncorked

Welcome! As the founder & lead copywriter of CU, I’m obsessed with seeing how words can light up a creative entrepreneur, breathe fire into their spirit, and revitalize the passion they have for their business. 

Copywriting
Growth
Marketing
Systems
Design & Strategy
BY CATEGORY

BY KAITLYN PARKER

FREEBIES

So, you &/or your team have been working on your website, and it’s finally dawned on you – “We need new/updated bios! STAT.” Or maybe you just landed a guest post or collaboration opportunity and you’ve been asked to submit your bio. Ut oh, you think.

You sit down to write it and well… you’ve got a total mental block making each futile attempt feels weirder than the last. It can be a difficult, awkward task to accomplish, leaving you with more questions about yourself than you ever thought possible.

Worry no more!

HERE’S 5 CREATIVE COPYWRITING TACTICS TO CONSIDER:

1. HAVE A TEAM BRAINSTORM SESSION

  • Sometimes it’s hard to talk about ourselves in a way that connects with our audience. Chatting with your team, past clients that have worked with you, or even your BFF allows you get a perspective on yourself — from the prospective eyes of someone who might be looking to benefit from what you offer.
  • This also allows you to establish consistent components across all of your team’s bios. It makes it more fun for the reader, as they end up wanting to learn – let’s say, a certain quirky trait or fact about each of you, because they see it’s listed for each person.
  • Think of it your bio as a recommendation letter. By thinking of what you’d write for someone else’s bio, it helps you write your own. Use third-person voice.

2. THINK EYE-CATCHING AND CONNECTING.

  • You’re not necessarily talking to other industry experts with your bio. You’re talking to your current and future clients/customers/readers. What language would make sense to them? What is going to make them want to work with you over another company/brand/firm? Don’t be afraid to be a little bit different and off key.
  • Be specific. i.e: “I like coffee” is pretty basic, whereas, “Mornings aren’t the same without my staple cinnamon dolce latte.” is unique.

3. TELL A STORY.

Here is a link to some good examples of more narrative style bios than the traditional list-of-all-of-my-accomplishments-and-awards in one swoop. You’re essentially inviting future customers along on your journey, and sharing the process it took to get you where you are today. It’s transparent and relatable.  

Examples via Nectafy

Examples via HubSpot

Examples via Chris Brogan (with varying lengths)

4. PAINT THE [VALUE] PICTURE.

  • Think: What is it that you contribute to your company and differentiates you from your coworkers or competitors? How is your background unique? What inspires you to do your best work there?
  • It’s okay for it to feel a little bit aspirational, as long as it’s something you’d say to your Mom or best friend and they’d agree with you. Don’t stretch the truth just because it sounds better.
  • One way to clearly highlight what you contribute is by creating a one-liner value statement. It can even be your sort of tagline that precedes your full bio or additional details.

 

HERE’S A FORMULA:

[HEADING/YOUR NAME & TITLE]

[ACTION VERB – i.e.: Promoting, passionate about, creating, fostering, managing, organizing, etc.]

+

[WHAT YOU DO – i.e: your industry, skill, talent, profession, position, service]

+

[THE SPECIFIC AUDIENCE OR NICHE YOU SERVE]

+

[CONTEXT/LOCATION/FIELD OF BUSINESS – i.e.:  in our community, in the neighborhood, globally, based on the East Coast, etc.]

 

Now, an example putting it all together:

Bob Smith – Lead Photographer

Creating powerful visuals and iconic brand photography for small business owners in Hampton Roads.

…Then follow it with your remaining bio below it. This at least gives the reader and immediate understanding of who you are, what you do, and for who.

 

5. BE HUMAN.

  • You want it to feel approachable and down to earth – the balance between intimidating and inexperienced; professional and personal. They should want to get stuck in an elevator with you!
  • Think of how you’d introduce yourself at a networking event or work happy hour, not an interview. Humor works, too!
  • Give them just what they need to know, without the overkill. I mean, do you like reading ridiculously long, carbon-copy-type bios?

6. MAKE IT VISUALLY APPEALING!

  • If and when necessary to write out a list of accomplishments, qualifications, degrees, services, etc. use bullet points or separate headers.
  • Don’t forget to include a quality, well-sized photo that’s consistent with the others within your business.
  • Use that image on your LinkedIn, social profiles and anywhere else you’d promote your products/services. This consistency promotes brand recognition and creates a sense of trust.

Dare I say it – make your bio writing FUN! The good news is, bios are mostly written for web-copy these days, so you can always edit it as your brand’s goals, audience, and direction evolves.

I mentioned the third person earlier, but if you’re a solopreneur, I the prefer the use of first person on an “About” page, as it helps humanize the tone of your site even more. (And really, we know it’s you writing it!). Unless there’s a reason you need to be in the third person or your work is being posted elsewhere, keep it to “I…” on the home-front.

Lastly, less is more! A bio is an appetizer, not the whole 5-course meal. You don’t have to tell your life story from the get-go. Just give them a taste of your personality as it relates to your expertise and your target audience or reader.

You’ve got this!

x,

Kaitlyn

P.S. – Still struggling? Need further help? Want a bio revision? Get in touch/or book a complimentary Connect Call! I got your back!

+ Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How to Write a Professional Bio (With a Personal Flair)

So, you &/or your team have been working on your website, and it’s finally dawned on you – “We need new/updated bios! STAT.” Or maybe you just landed a guest post or collaboration opportunity and you’ve been asked to submit your bio. Ut oh, you think. You sit down to write it and well… you’ve […]

the

Not sure where to start or what’s missing? Uncork the essential brand copywriting elements for your business, complete with examples so you never feel stuck or bottled up with your message!

on the house!

COPY UNCORKED

master checklist