My clients tell me that writing their professional bio is one of the hardest things they have to do – and for good reason. It can be challenging to put how awesome you are on paper. And for those who find it easy to shout their worthiness from the rooftops, the challenge may be in making the bio less ‘all about you’ and more about writing something people will want to actually read. 🙂
The first rule of thumb is that this bio may be about you, but it is more about answering the question “Why should I hire you?” You just cannot escape the old adage, “What’s in it for me?” Your degrees and accomplishments are amazing things, don’t get me wrong, but those items alone will not get a meeting planner to say yes. You have to use marketing language in your professional bio as well. Here is what I mean:
Make your core expertise clear immediatelyIf you are a Leadership Expert, start your biography with “Leadership Expert and sought after professional speaker, Lauren Pibworth” You have seconds to position yourself, do it in your first sentence. Remember, we are all about making it easy to hire you. Respect the decision maker’s time and help them determine if you are a good fit immediately.
Keep it shortIn line with the whole “respect a decision maker’s time” bit, keep the professional bio on your website short-ish. Save the long one for your media kit.
Identify and engage your audienceOn my biography page, I started with my ‘connection and client identification statements”. I am very specific with the types of clients I want to work with, and I built that into my biography. If you are NOT a passionate business-focused speaker who wants to spread your message to affect change in this world, then there is a good chance we are not a good fit. Why not make it clear from the beginning? Everything I write that is client-facing should evoke a “Hey – that’s me” feeling… If your clients can’t see themselves in your marketing, how will they connect with you?
Don’t be afraid to ‘name drop’Include a few of your most spectacular clients right there in your biography. Something like ‘He works with the best and brightest’ or ‘Fortune 500 Companies like’ helps further identify your target client but adds the benefit of aspirational quality to your bio. If your clients’ dream of becoming a Fortune 500 company, they are more likely to hire someone that a Fortune 500 company found beneficial.
Stop selling yourselfYou are awesome, we all know that. But meeting planners and decision-makers want to hear about the benefits you provide. Look at some of your best case study testimonials and take a cue from the benefits your clients have received. I have a client whose clients consistently call him the “Mike Holmes of Real Estate”. That is one powerful image. One of my favorite testimonials about Pibworth came from a client who said working with us is like “being wrapped in a warm, friendly blanket of knowledge”. What have your clients said about you that sticks in your mind? What has the media said about you? Those things need to be highlighted in your bio.
Show your personalityNo one wants to read a boring bio. In fact, they won’t read it. If you have a sense of humour (and as a speaker, you had better have one) then show them! If one of your biggest appeals is your ability to connect with an audience and make them feel loved – then do that in your biography.
Your credibility countsThere are still decision-makers who want to see all of your accomplishments. So yes, include them but don’t make them the sole focus of your biography. Like competing on price alone – competing on your degrees or accomplishments alone will always bite you in the end. Someone else has done you one better somewhere in the world.
And finally – get writing. Have fun. It isn’t supposed to be this hard.