How to Write a Compelling Bio Part 2: Writing and Style Tips


How to Write a Compelling Bio Part 2: Writing and Style Tips

Once you've identified some of the information you want to put in your bio, it's time to sit down and write it. Professionals usually write bios in the third person, using "he" or "she," rather than first person, using "I." Describing yourself in the third person sounds more authoritative than first person, and clients tend to trust it more.

Also, remember to write in a professional, yet conversational tone. The goal is to sound credible and professional, yet approachable and easy to understand. Don't confuse readers by using uncommon jargon from your field. Speak to them in words the average person will understand.

Writing Steps

The key to writing a compelling bio is to let your personality show through while keeping it concise and informative. Try out these writing steps to help keep your bio short, interesting and informative.

1. Immediately identify yourself and your services, to make your bio as clear as possible. The opening is a good place to include short facts that help set you apart from the competition.

For example: "Susie has provided hot-stone massage to the Columbia Valley area for more than eight years, and she also recently became a reiki master."

2. If you focus on a specific type of client, mention that.

For example: "Although she happily helps a wide variety of clients ranging from individuals looking for relaxation to those working to overcome serious injuries, Susie specializes in working with athletes."

3. Share why you got into your field of work, if you wish to include it.

For example: "John decided to study massage nine years ago when he saw firsthand how much it heals people; it was the only type of treatment that worked for his pain after a car accident. After his own experience, John realized how much he could help people by providing this type of healing to the community."

4. Mention your education, experience, accomplishments, publications and other achievements.

For example: "Claire graduated with a degree in cosmetology from Portland Beauty School and is licensed by the Oregon Board of Cosmetology to work as an esthetician. Last year, she published her first book on natural skin care titled, "_____" and the local paper also mentioned her spa as the most kid-friendly spa in the area."

5. Let clients know how you currently contribute to your community or field of work.

For example: "In addition to running her own award-winning massage studio, Jennifer also donates some of her time each month to residents at two retirement homes in town."

6. Include the future goals of your practice and ways in which you are furthering your education.

For example: "Next year, Steve plans to open a second practice in ______ neighborhood, to help make his services accessible to more people."

7. End the bio with some personal information about yourself to help clients get to know you.

For example: "In her spare time, Jenny works on writing her second book, keeps an organic garden and spends time with her kids."

Bio Length

At the end of these steps, reread the bio and cut out any unnecessary information. Readers want to hear about you, but they don't want to spend a long time reading your bio. You may need longer and shorter versions of your bio, depending on the media you use it for.

  • For a short online directory entry, create a version stripped down to three to five detailed sentences, approximately 50 words.
  • Since your website can potentially contain a separate page dedicated to your bio, the bio for your website can be one to three concise paragraphs long, or up to about 150 words. You can actually make a website bio as long as you want, but a shorter bio will mean more readers are inclined to read it in its entirety.
  • The length of your bio on a brochure or handout will depend on the amount of space available on the handout. Try to keep your bio for a printout short enough to fit in a narrow text column or small page corner; one to two concise paragraphs, or about 100 words. When in doubt, err on the side of writing a shorter bio to save readers time and avoid overwhelming them.

The Final Step

Have a trustworthy colleague or friend proofread the bio to catch mistakes you might have missed. Choose somebody whose editing abilities you trust, such as a knowledgeable person in your industry or a friend with a job requiring writing skills.

Remember, there is no single formula you must use for writing a bio. You just need to let readers learn about you, share a bit about your practice and build trust. After writing your bio, consider whether you would want to go to a specialist with a bio similar to yours. If you would, you probably wrote an honest and compelling bio.

Read "How to Write a Compelling Bio, Part 1: What to Include."

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