Here’s something every freelancer and solopreneur needs: A kick-ass short bio. I don’t care whether you are a super established marketing consultant or a travel photographer who is just starting out – you have to have a bio.
Be it for all those amazing speaking assignments you’ll have, the “about” section on your website or just something for you to look at and be like “YES, that is professional me in 150 or so words” – a bio is never a bad idea.
Granted, unless you’re blessed with extremely high confidence, writing about yourself can be a little awkward. Which is why I came up with 4 easy and quick steps that will lead you to a short description that will sum you up nicely, in both a professional and personal way.
Start with the basics.
The first sentence is the most important one, for obvious reasons. It needs to introduce you quickly and efficiently, and also create an instant connection to the reader. Which is why it’s important to start with your name first, followed by a short description of what it is you do.
Be specific – if you are photographer who mainly focuses on destinations weddings, that’s what it should read in the first sentence of your bio. If you are a strategic storyteller who concentrates on a certain medium or channel, say so!
Additionally, if you are targeting a specific audience (and you absolutely should), definitely put that in the first sentence too. Here’s an example: “I’m Lucy. I’m a strategic Snapchat storyteller who creates content for platforms geared towards Millennials.” (#goals, am I right?)
Add a little bit about your background.
What is your previous relevant experience? What has led to you being able to say what you are doing today? Did you learn yoga at a famous institute in India? Do you have a Master’s degree in physiotherapy? Have you spent the past 3 years working closely with startups on improving their branding and design? Here’s where you talk about that.
Be sure to list 3 specific tasks and activities you performed on a regular basis that are directly connected to what you are doing or what you want to do now. For Lucy, the strategic Snapchat storyteller, that would include identifying relevant and current topics for Snapchat stories, creating engaging, effective content on a regular basis and helping her clients forge lasting connections with their audience.
Talking about previous clients and projects is always a little difficult. Sure, you don’t want to seem pretentious and over-confident – at the same time, why shouldn’t you be proud of the results you achieved and the cool people you got to work with?
As ever so often, it’s all about moderation. If you choose to name clients, don’t list more than 4, make sure you choose those who represent your best and most relevant work and are also fairly recent. If you don’t feel like naming clients, that’s totally OK too!
Just add a note on the industry most of your clients are in, whether they are a startup or small/medium-sized business and whether there is anything other about them that’s special.
After all this serious talk, people will definitely be impressed with your professional side – but what about your personal one? You have to end your bio with a sentence that makes people feel like they now know you a little better.
My advice here: Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you use this last chance to make an impression by mentioning that have read a book by every single literature Nobel prize winner and you’re also a long-distance runner, you might come off a little boring, to be honest.
Have you read every single young adult science fiction book there is? Are you the queen of finding the best new brunch spots in town? Has no one ever beaten you at Scrabble? (Yes, all of those 3 actually refer to me.)
By ending your short bio on a light note and including something original, something that really describes you, those reading it will not only remember it better – they will also feel a lot more connected to you.
Here’s my short bio, by the way:
I’m Melinda, a content and strategy coach with a focus on freelancers and solopreneurs. With a 5+ years background in marketing and social media, I have been able to fulfill my passion of helping clients expand their audience, find new on- and offline customers and foster customer relationships while continuing to be genuinely enthusiastic about the Internet and its possibilities. I have a proven track record with both large, international companies as well as early-stage startups and small owner-led businesses, helping them structure their online content and focus their efforts on what they want to achieve and where they are best able to do so. When I’m not doing that, I am actively challenging friends to karaoke sessions, ordering the biggest size of popcorn at the movies or just enjoying a night out with my husband.
Your turn, now – paste your short bio in the comments and I’ll let you know what I think!