Over the past couple of weeks, I have been inundated with clients requesting bio refreshes for their websites. These clients are all from different fields; some were creatives, some were corporate white collars, and others were blue collar, manual labour types. While the components of the bios were all the same, it was still an enjoyable challenge capturing the personas and making the bios unique to each client and website. So, what are the necessary components, and how do you write that killer bio?
Well, let's start with the boxes which need ticking. Indeed believes these five components are necessary for each bio:
Start by deciding whether to write your bio in first or third person
List your current position or primary role
Identify your company or employer (if available)
Write at least one professional accomplishment
Consider whether to include some personal details
My preference is for first-person bios for staff members because I believe it makes them more relatable. But, choose whichever you are more comfortable with as there is no right or wrong.
Components 2 - 4 can be covered in the first paragraph, leaving you with another 200 - 300 words to cover point 5. This is not where you say 'I like long walks on the beach and the smell of rain' (though, c'mon, how great is the smell of rain?!). This is where you sell yourself on your professional points of difference and express your 'why'. That is, why are you in your current business or role?
Three great examples from my recent clients:
"I became disenchanted with admin work and wanted to share my passion for ..."
"I saw how the relationship with my dog helped my grandson with autism, so, I wanted to explore that further."
"I got angry seeing how these other companies were ripping off their clients with inferior products and wanted to offer customers better value for money."
Each of these sentences perfectly captures the clients' why. While I tidied up some of the sentence structure when writing the bios, I kept the words and emotions which were unique to each client. In my opinion, these are far more important to a personal bio than a long list of professional accomplishments, as they make the person real and relatable. We still need at least one professional accomplishment though, as that is where we show your credibility.
Professional points of difference are unique to each client and may even change the longer you are in business, as you work out what your competitors are offering and how you can do something different. But, your unique personality and your why should always be the first thing you think of when writing your bio. Because, really, you are selling yourself before you are selling your business.
Some personal details are fine to include in your website bio, but be selective about the types of information you share. And, ensuring that the personal information aligns to your business brand is a must as well. For example, if you are a nutritionist, you don't want to be saying you enjoy a good glass of whiskey every weekend. It doesn't send the right message. But saying you enjoy good food and good company on weekends is okay.
I am a fan of adding humour to a bio - if it suites the tone of the website and aligns with the company brand. Humour is a subjective thing though, so ensuring that it is clever more than crass is the way to go.
Writing a good bio takes time and many edits. But, it is worth the time taken to get it right because clients may come to your website to see what you offer, but they will stay and return for you.
If you need more information on how to write your killer bio or want to see some examples of ones I have done recently, feel free to contact me.