Hello SOTGC community,
Recently I was asked to be part of an expert panel at a women’s leadership conference. I was beyond honored and thrilled about the opportunity to share ideas with so many bright, successful women.
I was still flying high from the invitation when I received the follow-up email request that popped my bubble like a party balloon hitting a popcorn ceiling.
Casey, can you please forward a professional bio for the conference agenda?
Uggh. I don’t know about you, but I HATE writing my bio. It always feels so boring and stuffy. As you might guess, I’m not a big fan of boring and stuffy.
So, I turned to the ultimate source of all wisdom and knowledge (Google) in search of the inspiration to craft a more interesting, authentic, and eye-catching bio. And, since I’m sure many of my fellow SOTGC readers feel my pain, I wanted to share my top four tips with you.
- Size matters. Bios can be as short as one sentence or as long as a two-page spread, but the most common length seems to be one paragraph, or about 100 words. If someone is requesting your bio, like in my situation, be sure to get clarification on the preferred length. You don’t want to come across like a pompous windbag because your bio is three times longer than everyone else’s. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. No, I don’t want to talk about it. Moving along.
- Be brand conscious. I am but one leadership coach and trainer in a veritable sea of leadership coaches and trainers. Seriously, if you throw a pebble from where you sit right now you’ve got a 50/50 shot of hitting one of us in the head with it. What sets me apart from all the others is HOW I coach and train – my style, my personality, my philosophy, my approach, my story. Branding is about what makes you different from them, and your bio is a powerful vehicle for communicating your unique brand.
- Ditch the clichés. LinkedIn publishes an annual infographic on the most overused buzzwords of the year. The 2013 edition included words like creative, responsible, innovative, and If your bio resembles a game of Corporate Lingo Bingo, it may be time the rethink your approach.
- Use credentials sparingly. I have two degrees from reputable universities, twelve whole years of experience, and a slew of professional certifications. Aren’t you impressed? No? Really? Weird. When writing your bio, consider your audience. Building credibility has very little to do with formal credentials. Credibility has everything to do with your body of work, your key accomplishments, and the value you bring to others.
What tips do you have for writing a more eye-catching bio? Please share your ideas below.