My friend Lou- one of my business associates- was tearing her hair out recently, freaking because her boss had asked her to write a bio for him to put on their website under his profile.
She’d been tasked to write a bio for herself and her boss, and she didn’t know where to start. She was having heart palpitations, sweaty palms and almost hyperventilating, and my heart went out to her.
For some reason, I sometimes forget that things that are simple and fun for me aren’t necessarily easy or enjoyable for other people. (And vice versa, of course. Anyone want to tackle my accounts or Excel spreadsheets? Bleurgh…)
So in the interest of reducing Lou’s stress levels and helping out anyone else who’s just had a huge task dumped in their lap and isn’t really sure where to start, I created a few simple tips so you have a structure to start building the bios on. Writing a bio or profile is a skill, but like most things, it’s a skill that can be learned.
Take a breath before you write your bio
A well-crafted bio or profile is a SUPER smart thing to spend time on. It’s your written introduction, your online business card that’s working for you 24/7 when somebody stumbles across your website and is intrigued enough to find out more about you. Your bio pr profile is your opportunity to show them that you understand their issue, and that you have the experience needed to fix their problem. We can this establishing empathy and authority.
A well-written bio will serve you well across your website, LinkedIn profile, social media platforms and if you ever get featured in an article or as a speaker/presenter/podcast guest at an event, you’ll stand that bit taller as they read out your glowing bio.
Get the bones of your bio right and you’ll have a profile you can customise and tweak throughout the years as time and circumstances (and word limits) require.
Ask these questions first
Here’s a few easy points to use as a framework when you write a bio, whether it’s for yourself or a colleague. You’ll probably know the answer to these questions off the top of your head. Just write down whatever comes to mind first, because your first, most natural response of usually the best.
- Your name
- Your title/position in the work-place
- How long have you been part of the company?
- Can you explain what you do in one sentence?
- What previous experience or skills- in other organisations or roles- do you have that’s relevant to this role?
- What’s your favourite thing or what do you enjoy about being in this business?
- What’s something you’re excited about this year in business? Be real and authentic here. Dare to be different.
- When you’re not at work, what do you love doing?
Write the bio chunk by chunk
If you get a sentence or two for each of these questions- some more, some obviously less- it forms a strong base of chunks of information and keywords that make up your unique bio. Play around with different words and industry-relevant terms until you have a paragraph or two that reflects you and your approach to work. Juggle them, switch the order and try to find some alternative terms or synonyms to mix things up. (Top tip: if you’re typing in Word, put your cursor in the middle of the word you want an alternative for and hit Shift + F7 for the Thesaurus shortcut. You can also try thesaurus.com).
Read it aloud to see if it rolls easily off your tongue or if it sounds like too much of a mouthful. Keep it simple and relatable. You might also share your draft bio with a trusted friend or colleague to get their feedback.
Spellcheck is your friend
And once you’re happy with the bio? Run it through a spellcheck before you release it into the wild. Remember, this profile will reflect you and your level of professionalism to the world! It is possible to write a bio even if you’re not a writer or someone who’s naturally good with words. Give is a go and see what you come up with!
Check out these great profile examples from HubSpot for some inspiration and to get those creative juices flowing.
I was a freelance writer for a number of years and still love getting busy with content writing for all sorts of mediums. Let me know if you need any help to write a bio or any other website copy. And get in touch to let us know if this was helpful for you