Personal branding is critical as agents strive to create a strong position and brand identity in their market and the digital world. Nothing speaks to personal branding more than a well-written biography. Often, a bio is the first impression a potential client gets, and it sets the tone for future interaction. But for many people, writing about themselves can be a challenge. What information is the most important to include? What tone and style should you employ? Here are some tips for putting your best possible foot forward with your bio.
We’ve all heard the adage: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Before beginning your bio, consider the tone you want to set and the initial impression you want to create. Are you outgoing and casual, or are you more subdued and restrained? There’s no wrong answer, but your bio should reflect who you are, how you approach your work, and how you interact with others.
Point of View
Another early decision to make when writing your bio is if you are going to use a first-person or third-person point of view (POV). Using a first-person POV can give the reader an immediate sense of connection as if they are having a conversation with you, while a third person creates a more neutral narrative. Your previous decision about the tone you prefer may help direct what point of view you feel most comfortable using.
What to Include
In a business where connections are essential, it is often a good idea to include a certain amount of personal information in your bio. Many clients feel more comfortable if they have a sense of connection with who you are as a person. Telling a bit of your own story can create that initial sense of trust and rapport. Remember, this is all part of the creation of your brand identity. YOU are the brand!
Other things to consider including in your bio are quotes from previous clients, any recognitions you may have received or certifications you have earned, and, of course, contact information is a must-have.
Variations on a Theme
There may be times that you need to have a longer or shorter version of your bio available, depending on your desired usage. It’s a good idea to have these on hand ahead of time, not to have to edit on the fly. You might also consider having versions of your bio that focus on various points you want to highlight, depending on the audience. Your bio for a conference may include slightly different information than your bio for your social media or, depending on what market you are targeting.
Remember, you are your own brand manager, and no one knows you better than YOU, so don’t be afraid to jump in and make your light shine. Your bio is an excellent introduction to why and how you do what you do. Consider hiring a professional writer or editor if you are not confident in your writing skills. Stay focused on your brand, and don’t forget to review your bio each year when you do your brand audit.