In this fast-paced world many people suffer from information overload, and understanding how to write a bio that gets read is more important now than ever. Lately, I have been coaching social media personalities as well as artists on how to write a bio, so I decided to share my writing tips with you.
The days are gone when we only relied on our boring resumes to emphasize our achievements. Unlike a resume, a bio is less formal. This gives you the opportunity to share your story, build trust and make a positive connection with the reader. Your bio should explain who you are, what you do, add a dash of your personality, and then leave the reader with confidence in you.
Whether you are an artist, designer, writer, or entrepreneur, a good bio is an important part of your promotional material.
No matter what size, your bio is a great branding opportunity, especially when you are in business for yourself!
Mini: You will need a mini bio for your social networks and for your ‘elevator pitch’. A few short sentences.
Short: A short bio needs to have all the components of a long one, but only highlights the very best. Short bios will be used for your blog, newsletter, interviews, brochures, magazines and query letters. Keep the short bio at 100 – 175 words or less – if it is too long, people won’t read it.
Long: A longer bio is generally used when you feel like you have a lot to say. For instance, you might want to use a longer bio on your ‘about me’ page of your blog or website. Keep the longer bio to a page in length and consider room for a picture.
Here are a few popular mini bio examples from my good friends on Twitter - p.s. you should be following them!!!
@grattongirl London, United Kingdom
Sarah-Jayne (wife to @grattonboy) is an author, TV presenter and former actress. She is a social media persona and is one of ‘Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women’.
@2morrowknight Seattle, Washington D.C. and ✈
Social media at @SeeYourImpact | Contributor@Huffingtonpost @Smedio | Co-Creator #TwitterPowerhouses Series | Author, Do-Gooder, Surfer!☮♥ *Tweets are my own*
Graphic designer & fun person; likes humor, Apple, cool, interesting, design, art, business, tech, weird, pop culture & breaking news. #BA75; (e)NAK on #EAv
Write for the reader:
Before you begin writing your bio, understand your reader or audience. I sometimes tweak my bio for different purposes, readers or clients.
Decide on first-person or third-person:
Popular opinion states that a bio is best when written in third-person (a narrative, using pronouns such as, he or she). If the bio is going to be used by others, third-person is definitely the best option.
There are times when a first-person bio (speaking about yourself, I am) might come in handy. My first-person bio has helped me easily introduce myself to live audiences during keynote addresses and webinars. You might also choose to use a bio written in first-person to personalize your blog.
Your name needs to be within the first sentence. This is the all-important introduction of you to the reader.
Tell about yourself:
State your business with confidence. Briefly highlight your achievements, awards and accomplishments and hook the reader. But be warned, don’t turn you’re your reader off with ego driven self-promotion.
Add a dash of personality:
Personal branding is just that – your personal, virtual personality. The purpose of your bio is to sell yourself by building authenticity and trust. Share your point of view, a bit of your interests, or what you care about.
Keep it simple:
Stay away from ‘flowery’ language that attempts to sound too sophisticated or grand. Make your paragraphs easy to read, and keep them short. Remember, most people are skimmers. According to the BBC, the attention span of the average web surfer is only 9 seconds.
Be sure and include your relevant contact information, email, websites, and hyperlink the content to your social media networks.
Add a Picture:
A picture is worth a thousand words, so sometimes you may want to add your picture or avatar to your bio. A friendly picture helps to humanize you to your readers. You can see my own short bio with my picture in the upper right-hand corner of this blog – Meet Lori McNee.
Get another set of fresh eyes to proofread your bio. Make sure to use spell-check and even consider an online grammar checker if needed.
Life is about change. You will grow and evolve and your bio should reflect that. Don’t be afraid to re-write your bio so it can evolve with you!
Do you still have questions on how to write a bio, or you need some help? Check out these helpful websites or you can contact me for a consultation. ~Lori firstname.lastname@example.org Let’s also meet on Twitter, Facebook and now on Google Plus http://gplus.to/lorimcnee . To see my paintings, please visit http://lorimcnee.com