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Taking the Ps: simple tips for a better bio

Laptop and hands

In her latest blog, our founder Melissa Davis looks at how to make your bio stand out on social media and your company website, with a simple six-stage guide.

So, you’re online and you’re staring at your profile wondering what to write. Either because you’re writing it for the first time, because you’ve been looking at it for a while wondering why it looks so drab or – even worse – because someone has spoken those awful seven words:

“You really need to sort your bio”

Don’t panic. There’s no need to make this into more than it is. It’s just a few words about yourself. Easy, right?

Well, many people I’ve met who can hold an audience in the boardroom to rapt attention with their oratory suddenly dry up when it comes to writing a few dozen words about themselves – or become so formal they practically dress in ballgowns or tails before they start.

The reality is that it’s really much easier than you think, especially if you follow some simple steps.

1. People buy people

It’s the oldest sales mantra in the book but it’s still true. The easiest way to get people to engage with you and, eventually, do business with you is for them to actually feel like they could like you.

Would you want to spend your evening with the most boring, formal guest at the party? No, me neither. So make sure your bio isn’t just a string of qualifications, skill sets and – worst of all – business buzz speak which leave readers looking at it for some time wondering ‘what does that even mean?

What you basically need in your bio is a bit of …

2. Personality

If people genuinely buy people – and they do – then the more of yourself you allow to shine through, the better the chance your bio will be a good one.

I’m not suggesting pictures of you in your swimsuit on the beach or something overly wacky (see point 4). But bring a bit of yourself to your profile. What do you like to do, what have you enjoyed and also, what do you do when you’re not at work (if the answer to that is ‘I don’t do anything except work’, that’s a different set of issues).

3. Passion

This is an important one. It helps if the possible business contact reading your profile gets the impression that you enjoy what you do and believes in the product or service you’re selling.

Don’t be afraid to add some emotion. Talk about the benefits your work brings to clients or customers, how you help people or businesses. It all helps with the pitch you might eventually make and, in a world full of boring, bland bios, it’ll help you stand out.

4. Professional

No, I haven’t suddenly changed tack. It’s all about balance. Your bio is primarily the place to showcase your skills, experience and knowledge. What you’ve achieved and, as we’ve just said, what you enjoy.

But it isn’t a CV and it isn’t the place for everything you’ve ever done. So that teamwork award you won four years ago is probably one to leave out, as is the bar job when you were 18. And the pictures from that bar job as well!

If all else fails, ask yourself this question – if you were meeting someone to discuss giving them business, what information would help you make that decision? Then focus on those things.

5. Photograph

It never ceases to amaze me how many people think it’s fine to leave the photograph section of their bio blank. How does that help anyone get to know you or want to get in touch?

Choose a picture you like and let people see what you look like. Remember point 1 – people buy people, not an outline or the infamous Twitter ‘egg’.

And finally …

6. Put the time in

And not just at the start. So many bios haven’t changed in years. Some are so out of date they bear little resemblance to the writer’s current status.

Make sure your bio is up to date. If you get a new role, update your social media accounts and make sure your new employer has your profile on the website, packed with personality, passion – and a photograph.

Invest time in your profile and your bio and it will work for you. You don’t want to get a message from a valued contact who thinks you still work somewhere else!

So can I get someone to write it for me?

Well, I can’t stop you but why would you? No-one knows you better than you do. It’s your bio. Make sure it reads like your bio, not like a carbon copy of everyone else’s.

Go on, have a look at your profile now. Is it up to date? Is it interesting? Do you come across as someone with passion for what you do – and if not, why not?

It could be the difference between that client getting in touch, or not. So put the time in now.

More information about our Purpose, Brand DNA and Values Workshops.

More information about our Social Media training.

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