Position yourself effectively by crafting a targeted value proposition – one that reveals your true strengths and captivates your ideal clients
Your bio is a non-negotiable item in your self-promotion tool kit. It serves as a vital marketing ingredient on your website. It’s also the key calling card for whenever you present or speak, and gets tacked onto the end of every blog, podcast or video you create to promote your services on social media. In many ways, writing an effective bio is one of the first steps in building your marketing toolkit…
The more tantalizing you make it, the more successful it will be in magnetizing clients to you.
Think for a moment about the last time you read someone’s professional bio. What did you notice? Did you focus on what they had accomplished? Did you find yourself fixated on the numbers: dollars earned, lives changed? With what or whom they’ve worked with? Did you get a sense of their personality or receive insights into the rest of their life? What was your impression of who they were off-paper?
Did you find them likable? Respectable? Credible?
For most people, our take-away is a mixture of feelings and thoughts. When it comes to hiring someone, we want to know that the individual we’re considering has what it takes to help us. They should be someone who has traveled the road and enables us to feel connected.
A well-written bio serves two purposes:
- It satisfies your audience’s desire to relate to you from their own perspective – it’s not just all about you.
- It speaks intimately to the needs of your audience and their desired outcome – it highlights your core message.
Similar to reviewing the resume of a prospective employee, your audience wants to know that you can actually do what you say you can do. They want proof. They also want to know if they’ll be able to trust and like you enough to rely on you, and whether or not your services are worth paying for. Notice, I said pay. When it comes to investing in a coach, your prospective clients need to feel like you hold the solution to their problems.
Your Bio Isn’t All About You
It’s not uncommon for people to get nervous when writing a bio. I’ve heard everything from “I can’t boast like that,” and “It feels uncomfortable” to my personal favorite, “I could write anyone’s bio except my own.” In these moments, I invite people to step into their clients’ shoes. What would your ideal client need to hear about you and your offerings that would benefit them the most and help them decide to hire you? Another way of looking at it: if you had the same problem, what would be the most important thing to you? Here are a few additional questions you might ask yourself:
- What might your ideal client value in you?
- What makes you different than others who provide similar services?
- What have other clients said about you?
- While you may not feel comfortable in this process, the strengths and talents others see in you are often the same ones your ideal clients are actively looking for.
Your bio is the key to helping others see you as you want to be seen and positioning you as the solution to their problems. With that in mind, your bio must give others a chance to see you in the light. It should not leave them guessing as to how you’ve helped others and, by extension, how you might help them. So go ahead and boast! Just make sure it aligns with what your ideal clients need to know about you to make their decision.
I like to envision a bio as a short-story version of your professional or entrepreneurial life. It’s infused with snippets of your personality that show your humanness. In the end, a good bio positions you as the go-to expert your clients will love because they feel like they “get you.” It also clarifies that you “get them” and have the answers they need.
Yes, it’s all about you. But really, it’s about them too.
Your Core Message
The words contained within your bio should be targeted. To put it another way: your message should be music to your ideal clients’ ears. The concepts, experience, and presentation seamlessly work together to cultivate excitement and confidence. Your goal is to make them ecstatic that they’ve finally found you! And more importantly that you hold the keys to the problem they want solved most.
Crafting the Perfect Bio:
Before you get started consider these questions:
- Who are you writing the bio for? Is it a company or an individual?
- If it’s a company, think about the person who will be reading the bio. Who are they? What do they value? What kind of information helps them make their decisions? Data? Quality? Experience? Education? Network and common connections?
- Is what you’ve chosen to highlight of interest to them? More importantly, does it speak to their desired outcome? Is it relevant to your core message and offerings?
What are your prospects looking for?
- You possess similar values. You are “like-minded.”
- What you say makes sense. They get how you feel, because they feel that way too.
- You stand out and are different from others.
- Road-tested. You possess the right level of knowledge and experience.
- Knowledge/Training. You have academic and street cred.
- You’ve helped others who have similar needs.
- You’re an expert – especially important if they’ve had their problem for any length of time.
Closely-held personal values typically serve as the primary criteria for the type of individual a client chooses to partner with. The old saying “like attracts like” is often the case.
There is no getting around the fact that some people need to feel safe in “knowing” that you’ve traveled the road and earned your dues. They want to see that you know what you are talking about, that you have street cred, and are backed by academic or work history. All of this works to provide extra insurance, solidifying you in their mind as the go-to person.
More importantly, they want to see that you’ve worked hard to accomplish things in life, because they have too.
Your bio showcases who you are by focusing on your history. Taken as a whole, this summarizes what your audience really wants to know:
- Your professional history (where you’ve worked and/or who you’ve consulted for)
- What you’ve accomplished (including positions held and awards or recognition received)
- Results you’ve produced (including any and all statistics that can back up your claims)
To maximize your ability to establish trust and respect, support your experience and results with accurate facts and figures. These substantiate the credibility of your personal brand. Increases, decreases, percentages and other metrics of your past performance speak volumes for your expertise and skill.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to position yourself as a business mentor and your bio contains the line “I foster a collaborative, holistic approach to every process I’m involved in.” Not bad.
But how about following it up with something like: “These collaborations have resulted in process improvements that reduced touch time by an average of 19 hours, cutting labor costs by 14%.” Wow! If I’m the client, I suddenly see the dollar signs that easily offset the cost of your services and, more than likely, make them a necessity to future profitability.
If you don’t have specific figures to share, don’t stress. Many clients aren’t willing to hand over their metrics to consultants for one reason or another. So how about dropping a few names instead? Have you consulted for Nike, REI, Microsoft, Boeing, or another instantly recognizable brand? If so, tie them to your brand by including mention of them in your bio.
And don’t limit yourself to just the heavy-hitters. Local companies are often just as good – there’s no telling who your clients know and have relationships with. Again, if you’re not free to use a specific name in your self-promotion (possibly due to a confidentially clause or similar agreement), at least include the type of business or industry.
The number one goal for your bio is to position you as the go-to expert and one-stop resource for your audience’s greatest needs. Whenever you can monetize your skills and experience by providing facts and figures, do so. Adding names is another way to quickly establish your capabilities, the implication being: you’ve already done the job and can certainly do it again!
Structure and formatting tips
- Language Lessons – Make your bio interesting by using power words that are colorful, meaningful and active in the present tense. For example, words like “create,” “deliver,” and “organize” are better than “made,” “brought,” and “arranged.” Unlike a resume, which tends to focus on past accomplishments, your bio is meant to represent you as you are right now. So when speaking about your skills, make sure to write in the present tense.
- Numbers Speak Louder than Words – Numbers count a lot more than you think. Anytime you can add a qualifying number, whether it’s clients served, dollars grossed, or time saved, do so.
- Images – Use images to enhance your bio, whether it’s a string of images to ‘show and tell’ or a powerful profile photo. Visuals speak volumes and tend to be stickier than words alone! And for those times when you are limited to only one image, choose one that speaks volumes about your personality. Be the one they remember.
Why Perfection isn’t Necessary: The Life of Your Bio
Your bio is a living document that, in most cases, can be updated in a flash. This means you can always improve it and grow your status and credibility as you develop your business. Don’t spend months perfecting it before posting it online. Trust that it will change as you do.
A lot of my clients update their bio every year on their birthday, almost as a ritual. I think it’s a great way to remember how amazing you are and recognize how far you’ve come!
Once you have a complete bio, you can create different versions to suit a variety of needs. Here are just a few of the ways you can use your bio:
- ‘About’ page on your blog and website
- Bio/summary page on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, You Tube,
- Blogging & guest blogging
- Article submissions
- Marketing materials / press kits
- Speaker kits
- Reports and other professional documents
- Video or podcasts
Learn how to set yourself apart and grow your business, starting today!
The first step in almost every purchase decision is to check out a product or service online. You are not a hobbyist. So present yourself as professional and credible with a strong, targeted bio that represents your unique service offerings.
With more than three decades of experience in the marketing of entrepreneurs, individuals and coaching services, Feroshia Knight can supplement your process with key words and strategies that have worked for clients throughout the world.
To learn more about her experience and how you can leverage it to successfully appeal to your ideal coaching clients, contact Feroshia today.