Is your promotional bio a bust?

Chances are, the people who need to know you, don’t.

Your prospects don’t. Your website visitors, and social media contacts don’t. Even your clients don’t. That’s because, if you’re like many business professionals, your promotional bio is a bust. It may well be that your online promotional profiles and your website “About Us” section undersell you. As a result, those you seek to influence don’t know all that you do, have done, and can do.

This is not to say you’re unqualified, or lacking in business acumen, talent and skill. It is to say that you don’t adequately share that information on your website, in social media and in your marketing materials.

All too many promotional bios read like boring, expanded resumes, providing a chronological list of past job titles, employers and duties. They often fail to account for unique capabilities, noteworthy accomplishments, and even recognition and honors.

Your personal bio is your most versatile, valuable and vital personal marketing tool. A good bio validates your value and spells out your special-ness. It takes care of the “heaving lifting,” bragging about you in print so you don’t have to do so in person.

Is your bio a help or a hindrance?

The beginning tells a bundle. A sure sign your bio doesn’t work is if it starts by saying that you “launched your commercial design firm in Denver 17 years ago.” Or that you’re a New York native. Or that you received your Masters of Business degree from the University of Colorado. Or that you developed an interest in mergers and acquisitions at an early age.

How do you create a better beginning for your bio? For one thing, include your million dollar marketing word: “Only.” Are you the only sales professional in your area who offers a certain service? Are you the only one who carries a particular product line? Who specializes in a specific product niche? Tell them what only you do, and they’ll work only with you.

If you’re unable to pinpoint and promote your “Only,” at least mention your years of experience, or the fact that you’ve served hundreds of clients, or that you specialize in ______, or that you’ve won awards for______.

And, whatever you do, skip the philosophy in your bio. No one is impressed when you tell them in your profile that you “value excellent workmanship and service.” Or that you “grow our business with trust, integrity, expertise and experience.” Or that you’re “committed to operate by our core values.” Oh, puh-leeze! Skip the baloney, and give me benefits. Tell me how you can help me increase my profits, or enhance my lifestyle, and how you can save me time, money and headaches. And explain how you differ from your competitors.

Bio Boosters

What goes into a good bio?

The book Sell Yourself! 501 Ways to Get Them to Buy from YOU recommends that you include your:

+ “Only” phrase (” ____ is the area’s only designer who…)
+ Awards and other honors
+ Design specialties
+ Experience
+ Accomplishments
+ Skills and capabilities
+ Other qualifications
+ Unique services and products
+ Publication history (where/how you’ve been published)
+ Client profile (who you serve and how)
+ Resources (vendors, contractors, etc.)
+ Affiliations
+ Educational background

You can’t get the best projects from the best clients with a bad bio. It doesn’t matter how good you are if the right people don’t know. The most important sale you ever make is the personal sale. And nothing helps you close that sale more effectively than a killer bio. Make it a priority to write or rewrite your bio – or get it rewritten— immediately. Not next week or next quarter. Now! Treat your bio as if your business, career and future depend on it.

Because you know what?

They do.