All About You: Tips for writing your bio

Do you ever struggle with writing about yourself? I know I do! Whether it's my website bio, a short blurb for a guest blog post, or even just introducing myself in an email.

WELL when my best friend told me she was coming to visit I asked her if she'd be a guest on my #WebinarWednesday series... and lucky for us, she said yes!

Watch the replay and/or read the cliff notes below!

Why We’re Talking About This

  • Just like you have a brand (if you don’t, you should) – your writing style should reflect that brand.
  • First impression – this should be POLISHED
  • Cuz it’s hard! – it’s like being on a first date, what do you share??

We’ll start with writing a full-length bio (most likely for your website): what to write, how to get started, basic dos and don'ts, and then discuss how to leverage all of this into other areas of your marketing strategy

All About You: Tips for writing your bio

Exercises for getting started

  • Ask someone else to answer questions about you
  • Inspiring Quotes : but maybe the quote doesn’t make the cut
  • Recommendations from references about you (past clients, not your mom)
  • Email exercise – asking others to describe you / give you terms
  • Look at other bios – but don’t copy, the point is to be unique – what questions are they answering?
  • What can you answer in a single word, and what needs more explanation?
    • i.e. Diet Coke on your home page, versus your first impression “about me”
  • Write like you’re describing someone else
  • Two truths and a lie, but leave out the lie
  • Take time: write it and walk away from it
  • Write everything and then cut it down to a reasonable length

What to Write

  • Introduce yourself: Get to the point – the first two sentences should make readers want more
  • Cover the basics – where are you, what do you do
  • Why are you doing what you do? Answer that
  • What makes you unique? Don’t tell me why I need a photographer, tell me why I need YOU.
  • What is interesting about you beyond your resume?
  • Accomplishments – depending on what you’ve done so far : do they speak for themselves? Can this be elsewhere? Bulleted list?
  • Say the things that don’t speak for themselves (like your portfolio/music/etc.)
  • Always relate it back to you – why I should work with you

Thoughts

  • Writing in third person versus first – are you blogging; how formal is your style; are you referring to a group?
  • Very possible that this can and will change; see what works and what doesn’t

Dos and Donts

There will be LOTS of exceptions to the dos and don'ts, but these are rules:

  • Proofread Proofread Proofread
  • Edit Edit Edit
  • Dust off your notes from English class – use more than average, everyday words (Thesaurus is your friend, but don’t overdo it)

Don’ts: (I wish I didn’t have to say, but I do)

  • Excessive exclamation points – they lose their emphasis
  • Faces of all kinds (emojis / punctuation)
  • Haha, LOL, etc.

Dos

  • Have a voice
  • Be yourself
  • Be professional – but conversational
  • Be selective – save some things for the appropriate time

How can you leverage this work?

Social media profiles, website tag lines, business cards, etc.

  • “Shorter and sweeter”
  • Use keywords
  • Present a consistent message
  • Instagram – pull a short quote/tagline from your website; be more personal; this can change depending on what you’re promoting
  • Facebook page – several different options: story, about, location (most likely)
  • Twitter – Same, short and sweet; location
 
Katherine Forbes

Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing the Row

Designing the Row is a web design and marketing studio based in Nashville, TN. I'm Katherine Forbes, and I love creating websites to help share others' music online. I believe there is more to a website than just pretty graphics and layout. Each website needs to reflect the design and music style of the artist but also have a marketing strategy to help fans navigate easily.

 

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