Writing a Bio
Following up on the importance of looking the part of an authentic businesswoman and appearing very polished & professional in a work environment, I want to touch on the importance of a biography (bio). This will also be addressed in the Dec. 4 event, Ow to Wow at Authentic Beauty. Copywriter Nichole Bazemore will be at Authentic Beauty for the Ow to Wow event to help you create or re-create your bio. Whether you are looking for a new position or you just need a biography on your new company website, you’ve got to get a concise, clear summary of yourself, your background & your skills.
According to Nichole, essentially a bio is the place where you weave information about your professional experience with your “soft” skills–those those things which make you uniquely “you.” But remember, a bio is not a resume. Credentials and work experience are important, but they don’t form the whole story of who you are. Talk about goals, things accomplished, personal interests & what you like to do in your down time. While it is significant to broadly touch on a variety of things you do, remember to cite all relevant experiences & affiliations in your career field. And if you are a member of any group or association, mention it.
Many people in business have found it useful to belong to a group for training or social purposes, but there is also the added benefit of having a reference of relevance to your business. Even if your only connection with an association or group is that you pay the membership dues or just show up at their events, it is worth mentioning and increases trust among the readers of your bio. Through this they know that others are able to give more information about you or get hold of you if need should arise.
For example, if you are a female entrepreneur & are starting your own company, mention you are a member of Ladies Who Launch Atlanta. This aligns you with other female entrepreneurs & businesswomen, and also shows that you have been exposed to their seminars, conferences etc. Obviously, it’s very important to do this so as to gain credibility with association (in this case a female entrepreneur will gain credibility through their affiliation with LWL).
Bios come in various lengths. It’s a good idea to have three bios– 1 short, 100 words or so, which might go at the end of an article you submit for publication or guest blog post; a longer version (one or two paragraphs) which expands on the micro-bio; and a 250-word bio, which goes into the greatest detail about who you are, your work, your interests, awards, articles, publications you’ve written for, etc. Each of these bios should include your contact info, whether it’s your e-mail address, phone number, website or mailing address, or all of the above.
When you write a bio, make sure to write in the third person. People automatically give more trust to what is said of one person by another, than to what people say about themselves — even when they know that a bio was written by someone in a position of authority (IE-President of a company). In addition, the third person creates a little distance that allows the reader to feel less intruded upon.
These are just a few tips I have picked up from Nichole as well as writing my own bios throughout the years. But I would recommend that if possible, you hire a professional writer to write your bio; most people, especially women, have a hard time writing about themselves and a third party can often write more objectively and convincingly. So at our Dec. 4 event, I will introduce you to Nichole who can help you greatly. She has written thousands of bios & can help you on yours. She certainly has helped me on my most recent bio! Please check out my bio & company description below from the CRAVE Atlanta book so perhaps you can see all the elements I incorporated. I would love to see you at Ow to Wow at Authentic Beauty on Dec. 4. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out the event on Facebook.
I know that Dec. 4 may seem far off, but it’s not. It’s just two weeks away. But seriously please plan on stopping by if you are planning on getting a new job, quitting your current job or branching out to start your own company. If you can’t make it, please stop by & see me or book an appointment with me online. Call Stephanie at 404-849-0443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.