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 minutiae of what they ate for lunch! (And who doesn’t love hearing about a kale caesar salad 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 biography and the velocity of their communication grinds to a halt.
Why is it that talking about ourselves comes so much easier than writing about ourselves?
Most likely it’s that when we talk about ourselves we can adapt what we’re saying to our listener’s reactions, and we can also respond to questions we’re asked that help to drive the conversation. But when we write, we don’t have anyone to interact with and it often feels like what we’re putting on paper will be forever etched in stone!
So, how do we write about ourselves and keep our reader invested the whole way through? We’ve created 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, makes your readers hunger for more (and not just kale caesar salad), and helps you develop your personal brand online like the boss that you are.
Why is your personal bio important?
A short and compelling personal bio is a power statement that helps you establish rapport with your audience and build your online presence. It’s typically the first thing potential employers, professional contacts, and colleagues will read when they visit your website or LinkedIn profile.
A strong personal bio only needs to be a few sentences to a paragraph long, and should include the most important and relevant personal and professional information about you:
- Who you serve
- Why you’re uniquely qualified to serve your ideal mark
- Your professional highlights that are relevant to your target audience
The short personal bio outline
The most important thing about writing your bio is to make it personal and reflective of your voice, while also making it clear to others what you do and what you’re passionate about.
The common difficulty when writing a bio 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. But our personal details are what make our bio shine!
Aside from stating your credentials, take your personal bio a step further with an anecdote or two.
Anecdotes do two things – reflect your voice and personalize the subject matter. With that in mind, tell us about your biggest professional accomplishment, some great feedback you received, or the mind-blowing number of years you’ve put into it, even if they weren’t all successful.
Be mindful of your audience
Take some time to really nail down who will be reading your personal bio. This will help direct your writing (and hopefully make it way easier to determine what you include in your bio and what you don’t). Ask yourself these questions:
- Who do you want reading about you?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What problems do you solve for those clients?
- How does having those problems solved make your clients’ lives better?
- Why should they connect with you?
- What’s your O-Factor?
The details that come up from answering these questions should provide plenty of fodder to write about. However, this leads us to the next important point…
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.
Remember, this is most likely your reader’s first exposure to you and they’re (even more likely) short on time. Write your bio with that in mind. It’s way better to leave your reader with one or two things that are highly memorable than overwhelm them with way too much. You can always include that information in other pages of your website or when they reach out to you over email because your bio has intrigued them that much!
Personal bio examples
Writing a biography (or anything for that matter) becomes MUCH easier when you have examples to follow. Take a look at some bio examples that will hopefully pave the way for writing your own.
Personal bio example: Matt Wanderer
Matt’s personal bio uses a persuasive opener that draws in the reader and then ties in his experience as a subject matter expert.
Personal bio example: Kristin Halpin Perry
Kristin’s personal bio establishes her immediately an expert in her field and leads with her decades of experience. That coupled with an inviting and friendly picture, invites trust and communication.
Personal bio example: Eleni Gage
Eleni engages her readers with a compelling narrative, immediately inviting you to read her story and connect with her through her background.
There you have it! By following this outline for writing your short personal bio, you’ll be well on your way to making it a huge hit – and gives your reader just enough juicy info to keep clicking for more!