Updated: Aug 14
Know your audience.
Before you begin to write your bio, it's essential to know who your audience is, which will help you decide what to include and the general tone of the piece.
If you were writing a CV or cover letter for a new job, you would need that to be quite formal, but when writing for your own website, or other social media platforms, you can relax a little and be yourself. Remember that what you are writing will directly reflect on your work.
So beware of acronyms, jargon, spelling and grammar errors, and try not to use too many emojis, GIFs, slang, or technical words.
Strike the Right Chord: Mastering the Art of Tone
The first step to writing a great bio is getting the tone right.
You may be tempted to write your bio like a CV, but this doesn't always work.
A CV is usually written with formality and objectivity in mind--it's designed to convey facts about your skills and experience as accurately as possible.
A bio should feel more personal than that: it should give people a sense of who you are, how much fun you are, and what your values are, and don't be afraid of using humour or showing off what makes you unique. After all, this is YOUR bio.
Short and Sweet: The power of brevity
Your bio is not a place for rambling. It's important to keep your bio brief and on point, so don't include unnecessary information or details that don't add anything to your persona and business.
Try not to ramble on and on about yourself, even if you're passionate about what you do. Your audience wants an overview of who you are and how they can benefit from working with or learning from you, not an autobiography. Leave that for when you've made millions, and either Cate Blanchette or Ralph Fiennes will play you in the movie.
Be engaging; talk about other hobbies and interests.
The chances are someone is reading your bio because they're interested in your work, but bear in mind that you have much more to offer an audience than just what you do.
Talk about your other hobbies but make it interesting.
We've all filled in application forms where we're asked to give details about our other hobbies and interests.
This is not just because a potential employer wants to know what we get up to when we're not at work; it's because that gives them another insight into us.
So, don't just say, "in my spare time, I like reading and watching films". Instead, try something like "in my downtime, I love nothing more than reading a great thriller; John Grisham is a favourite author" or "I'm lucky to live in the countryside, so when the weather allows, I love to get out and about for fresh air and inspiration". Again, you are making a connection with the reader, which is one of a bio's main aims.
You don't have to be the best writer in the world, so don't worry. Just remember to be you.
There is a vast difference between being personable and giving away personal information.
You don't have to share everything about yourself. In fact, it's better if you don't.
The best bios are short and sweet--no more than a few sentences long. That way, they're easy for people to read and remember. If there's too much information in your bio, people may be turned off by how long it takes them to get through it all (and thus skip over reading any further).
Be careful with personal details: While some personal information can be helpful when establishing credibility or building rapport with others, keep in mind that not everyone will want the same amount of information from you at any given time, so keep yourself guarded until someone asks specifically what they'd like to know about you personally.
Keep work-related information front-and-centre: What you do and how you do it.
From Bland to Brilliant - with example
Here are 2 examples for reference. Let's pretend my entirely fictional character Jenny is just about to open an online flower shop.
Here's a typical bio
Hello, my name is Jenny. I'm a 35-year-old wife to Nigel and mother to Amy (13) and Thomas (10), and I live in a little town called Buxton in Derbyshire.
I used to work for a major high-street retailer before I was made redundant last year. During this time, I worked in marketing and stores communications.
I've always loved flowers, and now the children are getting a little older, I decided it was the right time to open my own business.
You can see lots of examples of displays and bouquets in the gallery tab, and if you click on my links, you can follow me on…..
Thanks for reading, and see you soon.
It gives all the relevant information but is very dry and not very engaging.
With a little tweaking, it could be much more engaging.
Hello there, my name is Jenny (Jen to my friends), and I am passionate about flowers and the joy they bring to people.
I love them so much that when I left my marketing career last year, I decided to take the plunge and open my own flower shop. It's been a truly fantastic experience, and I am so proud of what I've achieved and so grateful for all my amazing clients.
I'm incredibly lucky to be supported by my wonderful family and friends, who make sure I take time away from the shop to walk in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside when the weather permits. It allows me to reconnect with nature, and that, in turn, inspires me to keep creating beautiful arrangements.
If you would like to see some examples of my work, please feel free to browse the Gallery tab or get in touch to discuss anything specific. I love nothing more than designing unique floral designs for new clients.
You can also find me at the following links.
Thanks for stopping by.
In the end, it's important to remember that bio writing is a skill. It takes practice and trial and error to get it right. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles until you find one that makes sense for your audience and voice!
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