happy little biz

Writing a bio that doesn't suck

Oh yes, the bio. If you're a small business person you're going to have to write one sooner or later. More likely sooner, if you plan to have any sort of online presence!

For a lot of us, this whole bio writing thing isn't such a fun task. It can be really weird trying to describe yourself in a way that is appealing for the people reading it.

Here are a few tips I've picked up over the years on how to write a bio that doesn't totally suck:

  • Start by thinking about your audience. What are you writing this bio for: your website? A conference you're speaking at? Your twitter profile? Each of those things is going to have a different audience.

  • Now think about why that audience is connecting with you. Are they hoping to hire you to solve a problem they have? Are you speaking as an expert on a certain topic? As you introduce yourself, appeal to that reason why.

  • Use 'you' language as much as you can. Show how you can relate to your audience. Have you been in their shoes before?

  • Is the story of how you started your business interesting and relevant here? Or, have you been in a situation that is similar to one your audience faces? Tell them that story!

  • Don't be afraid to get a bit personal or vulnerable. You can share your failures, your hopes, and show your sense of humour. Just remember there is a balance between sharing and oversharing.

  • It's also fine to put in a bit about your hobbies or other activities outside of work, to show your audience your personality. Just make this a one sentence thing, not the bulk of the bio.

  • Short is great! Sometimes you're writing a bio and have very specific guidelines, like on twitter where you're limited to 160 characters. Other places, like your website, you can get as long as you feel you need to. But note that unless you have an extremely compelling, interesting story to tell, you can usually keep your bio to a paragraph, two at most.

  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar matter! Have someone who is good with those things look it over for you.

Happy writing!

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