Personal profiles have never been more crucial, and yet some parts we neglect so badly we’re not just losing out, were damaging our reputation and sales. This especially applies to creatives, but also very much to business people. Your short and punchy business biography is key to generating credibility, trust and therefore sales.
Why We Buy
Most of us are driven to make a purchase through either necessity (paying our electricity bills), or desire (a nice designer pair of shoes, or paying for the Sports channel). The first one is a logical choice – pay the bill or get cut off. The second is an emotional decision – we WANT it.
Selling a product or service by dangling a carrot using flat reasoning, mere facts to entice a sale, is weak motivationally. Engaging your prospective new clients with desire is 85% more likely to land a purchase, and that means using emotional stimulation over cold logical reasoning.
Now take a look at your online bio. Does it say something along the lines of:
I was born there…
I went to this university…
My qualifications are…
I’ve worked n years here, there…
I’m now this…
Most bio’s are like it; dry, and frankly aren’t they boring?
Do you think this makes you stand out when everyone else has the same list, just with different places and names? The best you can hope for is the reader came from your area or went to your university.
Others are too clever sounding self-centred about why they’re so great and should be engaged. Many are a hard sell. Some even come across desperate.
The Great Bio
The secret to a great bio lies at the heart of all good novels: interesting characters, tension, a story ending in a flourish. Without a great character to love and read about, we lose interest. It’s been the basis of best-sellers since the dawn of writing. And guess what, you’re a character in you’re own story.
Now I’m sure you’re first response to this is, “That’s no good for me, my life’s been boring”.
I hear it all the time. It’s all about digging up the right moments and applying good story-telling techniques to create a journey around you that brought you to where you are now, relevant to the attributes about you that prospective clients want to hear.
Few people are born story writers, so here are tips to writing your bio:
- The story comes first and has impact.
- It’s interesting, engaging, immersive and memorable.
- It conveys your core beliefs, opinions and principals.
- It should chronicle a selected history thread, with a strong finish inspiring your prospect into action.
The Story Structure
There are many story structures that can be used, here’s a favourite. Use only one or two sentences for each of the following; it will create just enough overall copy to lure them to your product or services page (400-600 words).
- Start with a setting of your early life, find something unusual if possible – just a sentence (‘I was born left-handed and broke my right arm at the age of six. It profoundly changed the course of my life’).
- Follow with a trigger that puts you on the long road to where you’ve ended up. Perhaps you emigrated, or met someone. Even better if it’s something small that appears trivial, say, you lost your dog. (For me it was falling out of a tree!).
- Now relate to a high point in your life that gets across you’re a skilled professional to be trusted, and someone who gets things done (I was a senior software systems designer for advanced fighter aircraft).
- Next, try to find a low point; it’s surprisingly common. Tell us how you felt, so we can relate that you’re human. You’re not after sympathy here, merely trying to convey you have strength through adversity. (I lost everything in my late thirties creating a debilitating depression).
- If you did have a low point, tell us the trigger that launched your recovery. (I started writing a fantasy short story).
- Now tell of your relevant successes, accolades, household names for clients if you have them, famous people you’ve worked with. And drop in how you’re currently feeling about it. (My first book knocked The Hunger Games from the top slot in Waterstones).
- Finally, tell of your future vision, so clients know they will fit (and subliminally be inspired to be part of your story).
It’s really going to help if you know what who your typical client is going to be. If you can produce a clear picture of who they are, you’ll be better able to use topics and language that appeals to them, and narrow your marketing just for them.
Lastly, and crucially, be genuine, both with your facts and when expressing your opinions. People have an uncanny ability to sniff out if you’re pushing the truth to impress. If you have them doubt their trust in you, you’ll have to work hard to get it back, if you even get a second chance.
Good luck and feel free to post your new bio below for me to read. I promise I’ll get through as many as I can and comment.
My next Bio for Artists Workshop is 24th Feb 2016 Faversham, Kent, UK. (The next one for business people will be in April).
(Or contact me directly if you want to discuss having me interview you and write yours for you).
Miles has run a self-publishing company since 2008, specialising in first-time authors, as well as being a successful self-published fantasy author, coach and trainer.
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