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best bio for professional success

As small business owners, your social media profiles and website about you page are essential ways to put your best foot forward. But how do you know what to write to truly have the best bio possible? I have some pointers that I think will help.

But first…

The Importance of Having a Truly Great Professional Bio

Your bio shouldn’t be an afterthought -— slapping in your name, professional title, and a few basic credentials.

In fact, I cringe when I see people doing this.

Why?

Because it’s one of the first things people see, especially if they’re considering working with your small business. They want to know the qualifications of the individuals with whom they’ll be working — including you.

Done right, a professional bio can do a lot of the heavy lifting without your even knowing. It is a constant beacon that advertises your abilities and expertise 24 hours a day — so it’s important that it shine brightly.

What does it mean to have the very best bio?

A truly great bio is memorable, sticking with your audience long after they turn away.

It also needs to stand out. After all, your audience might be thumbing through dozens of profiles in  their search for someone they can trust. The more persuasive and distinct your profile is, the more it’s likely to grab their attention.

So now that you have a general idea of what a great bio does for your brand, let’s fill in some of the details and discover how to write the best bio for your brand.

How to Write the Best Bio for All Your Platforms

Establish Credibility

Your bio is a chance to win your audience’s trust. Show that you don’t just have a fancy title but have earned that title through education, years of experience, and proven results.

With that in mind, highlight your relevant education and expertise. For example, knowing that you spent over two decades in your field before starting your small business will tell your audience that you’re no new kid on the block.

And share experiences that reflect your level of experience with specific and impressive metrics. For example, I’ve helped dozens of Fortune 500 companies double their website traffic and triple their conversion rates.

These kind of details set you apart and get people excited to work with your brand.

Highlight Your Value for Your Audience

It’s natural to think that your bio would be about you — but in reality, the focus needs to be on your audience and what you can do for them.

Your bio should reflect language that your audience is familiar with and speak to their fears and uncertainties. Highlight what you do in the context of helping your audience.

For instance, instead of “I’ve worked with dozens of brands” you could shift the focus by saying, “I’ve helped brands go from anonymity to 100k Twitter followers and 200k monthly website visitors.”

Relax Your Tone

Some professionals make the mistake of using an overly formal tone in their bio, which makes them come off as stiff and boring. And you’re anything but boring!

My best advice is to loosen up and skip the industry jargon. Write as if you’re explaining what you do to a close friend. Your audience will be more likely to understand and retain what you write.

Be Concise

On some profiles, such as Twitter or Instagram, you’ll have a strict character limit. So you need to boil down your bio to the most essential and make every character count.

Start by listing out all of the details you would like to include in your bio — but don’t get too attached, since you’ll have to cut some things. Then try to fit as many details as you can into one sentence. Skip superfluous details such as your name or job title. Save those characters for your experience and value proposition.

Being concise is a practice that will benefit all of your professional bios. With people’s attention spans growing shorter and shorter, the more you can boil down your message, the more likely people will read it.

Customize It for Every Network

Every network is unique — the audience on Facebook is going to be different from the audience on Twitter. So the best bio for Twitter isn’t going to be the best bio for Facebook.

It’s up to you to customize your bio for every platform.

This might seem like a lot of work, but once you know the basics of your bio it’s just a matter of rearranging things and maybe changing the tone a little.

For LinkedIn and your website, you’ll want to create bios that are more in-depth and comprehensive. For networks like Instagram and Twitter, you’ll want to get to the point fast while still conveying value.

Skip Irrelevant Details

This is your professional bio, so keep it professional. Ultimately, your audience isn’t going to care about your hobbies or the details of your personal life.

Of course, some details may work for one bio and not for another. For example, if you need a bio to go with one of your guest posts on a site for entrepreneurial moms, then sharing some personal details about your family life makes sense. But when writing your website bio, focus on your professional details.

Inject Some Flavor

Your bio shouldn’t be a dry list of your accomplishments. It should have some flavor and life that makes it stand out from other bios.

For instance, could you use some humor to liven things up? It could be a little tongue-in-cheek, a little irreverent, or even a little corny — whatever fits your personality.

Another way to add flavor is with a personal story or anecdote that relates to your professional career. You could tell the story about how you got into your field or what inspired you to start your own small business. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant and interesting — check out my post on how to tell better brand stories if you’d like some pointers.

Close Out with a Call to Action

A call to action is way to move your reader to the next step: From learning about you to scheduling a discovery call, for example.

After all, prospects have learned everything they should need to know about you — your background, credentials, professional experience, as well as the value you offer. They should be ready to take the next step, perhaps with a little nudge. So give them that nudge.

End your bio with some sort of invitation. Here are some things you could offer:

  • Schedule a call
  • Schedule a free demo
  • Download your ebook
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Join your webinar

The call to action you choose depends largely on your audience. Are they ready to take the next step or are they slow to commit, needing more nurturing? Choose a call to action that fits the circumstance.

Concluding Thoughts

When done right, your professional bio does a lot of work for you — from attracting new lead,  impressing them and turning them into eager customers.

So invest the time and brain power into writing powerful bios across all of your platforms, from your website to your social media profiles. It’s absolutely worth it.

We hope these tips help you to craft a truly excellent bio that fits your needs and helps you to stand out from your competitors.

Photo by David Boca on Unsplash

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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, author, coach and marketing and branding authority is the founder of Thriving at 50 Plus, a coaching program that helps baby boomers find more purpose and meaning in life. Wendy over the last 30 years has helped many business owners and executives become well-known, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™. Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets.

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