It’s no secret that most people love to talk about themselves – their credentials, where they travel, everything from major life plans down to the minutia of what they ate for lunch! (Ok, so admittedly, I sometimes like knowing that stuff – who doesn’t love a good kale Caesar described down to every last delicious, parmesan-y bite?). Even some of the shyest people we know who purport otherwise don’t mind it when the conversation turns back to them. But ask those people to write a personal bio and the velocity of their communication grinds to a halt.
Mason Cooley said, “Talk about yourself as much as you like, but do not expect others to listen.” He raises an excellent point! How do we write about ourselves and keep our reader invested the whole way through?
This double whammy can be harrowing to say the least.
Fear not, eager men and women who have a sumptuous story to tell: we’re here to get you through. Here’s an outline of useful questions to ask yourself or your subject, to make sure your personal bio packs all the punch, brings all the depth, and makes your readers hunger for more (not just kale Caesar).
The Perfect Personal Bio Outline:
Make it personal and reflective of your voice, but make it clear to others what you do and what you’re passionate about.
Who knows you better than you know yourself? The problem that arises is that we’re so intimately close to our own unique details, that we gloss over them and don’t make them available to others. Instead, use economy of words, be consistent in your messaging and make sure any random person from your audience will have no problem understanding who you are professionally and what it is you do.
Aside from stating your credentials, take it a step further with an anecdote or two.
Anecdotes do two things – reflect your voice and personalize the subject matter. It’s your personal bio, make it personal. Tell us about your biggest professional accomplishment, or some great feedback you received or the mind-blowing number of years you’ve put into it, even if they weren’t all successful. Don’t be shy – this is your platform to shine!
Be very mindful of your audience.
- Who do you want reading about you?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What problems do you solve for those clients?
- Why should they connect with you?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself and make sure you answer in your personal bio. Nothing more. If your audience can’t see even a little bit of themselves in you, they’ve probably already closed the browser. (Harsh, I know.)
Know when to reign it in.
Drones are for exploring interesting environments or a trendy new way to receive an Amazon package if you live in the New York area. Don’t be the drone that carries on about yourself endlessly with no point. Less is more. Definitely get it all out there, but choose your words carefully, avoid redundancies and try to limit yourself to a powerful and impactful page or two.
Not so scary, right? Hopefully, now you’re fully equipped with the tools you need and questions that require answering to make your personal bio a huge hit – one that makes us keep clicking for more!