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
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
- 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.
- 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, 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.