If you’re in business, then you know that Your Bio or Your Story is one of the important brand stories you need to help you communicate core information to your potential clients: Who you are and What you do.
You personal story, or bio, is one of your important brand stories.
Dos and Don’ts of writing your Bio
Here are a few things you should be aware of when writing your personal story:
- Your Bio is NOT a summary of your CV. It is NOT a linear list (often in reverse chronological order) of your career, starting with your education.
- Your Bio is your personal story, so it follows the structure of a STORY (before – turning point – after). And like any good story, it should arouse curiosity & interest.
- Your Bio is a condensed version of your personal story. Depending on the platform, aim for between 50 and 150 words. Your Bio, like all your communication, benefits enormously from a ‘less is more’ approach.
One of the main features of your story is this. It should connect you on a personal level with potential clients, so drop the hype & hollow phrases. Write as you would talk to someone who’d like to get to know you, i.e. without needing to convince the other how ‘passionate’ and ‘committed’, and ‘awesome’ you are. To do that successfully you have to first own your story, then share it in a way that engages the reader on a personal level with you. And keep it simple – simple stories facilitate communication as I’ve pointed out many times.
What is the purpose of your Bio?
Contrary to popular tends, it’s NOT a text version of your favourite selfie.
It should create credibility in the reader/potential client who doesn’t know you that you are capable of doing the job you claim to do and that you are someone they can trust to do the job well.
To create that credibility your story should build confidence in the READER, not, as is often the case, demonstrate your confidence. It’s the reader who needs to find a reason to have confidence in you and subsequently wants to connect with you.
Want to test whether you Bio fulfils its purpose?
Have a read of your Bio, then ask yourself:
“If I didn’t know this person, would I consider hiring him/her?
And if reading your Bio doesn’t produce a definite YES, then maybe it’s time to get some professional help so that it does just that!Learn More
Your brand story is not just one story.
You brand is made up of multiple stories and each one plays a crucial role in connecting you with the right audience.
Why do we think of our brand story as a singular story?
Because we are bombarded with advice that reduces branding to a single brand story. Your personal story – “Tell your story!” – is the advice dished out by every branding and storytelling consultant. As I’ve pointed out here, it’s bad advice for a number of reasons.
So, everyone rushes to tell their Brand Story – their Hero’s Journey, a story formula so predictable, it falls straight into the black hole of ‘heard it before’! The most common one is the final instalment of the journey, i.e. how, after many struggles & challenges, you are now successful. And that success is measurable in your current earnings – at least 6 digits, more likely 7 digits.
Are you a unique personal brand or an iteration of a standard template?
If you want to tell an individual personal story, skip the template and tell a story about what makes you unique & what is relevant to your clients.
Here’s one possibility. Tell the story of how you embody your values. For example, a lot of professionals brand themselves as ‘honest’, ‘caring’, ‘authentic’, etc. Instead of making a list of values, choose a value and tells them that story because it actually shows them something about you that could build trust and credibility.
Your personal story is just one story & your brand story is not reducible to that story
Your brand story is where your story intersects with other stories.
It’s also your clients’ story – the story of a problem they struggle with & how it impacts on their business.
It’s also the story of how you can help them solve that problem.
And it includes the outcome you create for them after working together.
Which story will get the attention of your potential clients?
The one in which they find themselves most easily. The one that makes them say, “Yes, that’s me!”, “That’s where I’m stuck!”, “That’s what I want!”
Your personal story is one of the stories that makes up your brand story. If you want to attract a new audience, it’s not the story to lead with.Learn More