I had the pleasure of working with 4 small business clients this week and the universal issue that came up with each of them was the dreaded bio. You know, the biography that should easily and quickly “sell” you to prospects, readers, listeners, and viewers. Well, apparently, it isn’t as easy as it seems so I thought that I’d share the how’s and why’s of a bio that helps build your brand.
The Goal of a Great Bio
The blurb about you should serve four key purposes:
- Establish Credibility
- Position You as The Expert
- Provide Legitimacy
- Build Trust
Keeping these goals in mind throughout your writing exercise will ensure every word is chosen with purpose.
Step 1: Connect the Dots
A bio is not the same as a resume; it is not the place to provide a laundry list of jobs, education, accomplishments, etc. Instead, you need to link all of the information together so that it forms one tightly knit description that culminates in you being heralded as the expert.
In writing Colette Carlson’s key paragraph, I had to tie together her disparate sales and administrative assistant experience to her current role: “Today, Colette brings every lesson, module, technique and real-life experience to her role as a nationally-recognized motivational speaker on sales, negotiation, communication and balance.”
And, when explaining how Dr. Arden Bercovitz impersonates Dr. Albert Einstein in his Einstein Alive presentations, I connected it this way: “Dr. Bercovitz can capture the essence of Dr. Einstein because he too studied physics. He received his Ph.D. in Reproductive Endocrinology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, his MS from the University of Washington, Pullman, and his BS from Cal Poly, Pomona.”
Step 2: Use Co-Branding
Co-branding merely means using another brand to boost your brand. It’s common place in the consumer products world. Examples: Nestle oatmeal cookies made with real Quaker Oats or Crest toothpaste made with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.
To adapt this idea to the personal branding arena, you want to profile your “brand name” experience. Instead of writing “10 years of experience with a top advertising agency” change it to “10 years with Weiden + Kennedy.” If you worked for 15 years for Merck or Pfizer, add it!
Step 3: Add a Quirky Fact
Remember hearing resume writers tell you to delete anything personal from your resume such as the “Interests” section? Well, they were wrong! Every single time I write a bio, I always add a quirky fact. I’ve added my mom’s synchronized swimming experience, uncovered that my client is a former Laker Girl, added a blurb about another client winning an Olympic medal and even wrote that a colleague is the youngest of 14 children! These are the additives that cause a great head whip effect and start a conversation.
Step 4: Add a Benefit or Results Statement
You don’t merely want to list your experience, but to boast how it will help others. My bio below, for instance, states: “Her specialized, one-on-one branding and coaching programs spark new ideas that deliver sure-fire results.”
Author Henry DeVries includes this sentence: Henry speaks to thousands of marketers each year, teaching them new ways to maximize revenues and increase lead generation results.
Now it’s your turn. Revisit your bio and rewrite it to help it boost your brand! I always welcome your comments and questions via email.
Until next week…..Liz
Branding speaker and expert Liz Goodgold has over 25 years of experience working for clients such as Quaker Oats, Times Mirror, and Arco Oil as well as with small business owners and start-up. Her specialized, one-on-one branding and coaching programs spark new ideas that deliver sure-fire results. To find out how Liz can help you, contact her at [email protected]. Liz is also the author of RED FIRE BRANDING: Create a Hot Personal Brand and Have Customers for Life and DUH! Marketing.
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