September 27, 2011 by judy · Comments Off
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” –Theodore Roosevelt
WRITING YOUR BIO or BUSINESS PROFILE
Conceit or Confidence?
No need to squirm …
It is not conceit, though it may feel like it. Seriously, there’s no need to squirm. Be confident!
As a freelance writer, I find that it is almost always hard to write about yourself. This is probably true for you because it is true for most of us. Whether you are writing a bio, a business profile, or about yourself in a resume, it is nearly impossible to write from an objective viewpoint. When I write for a client, I am more effective then when I write my own. It’s just the way it is.
Many factors influence how successful you can be in writing your own bio/profile. First of all, none of us are the same, so remember that you can’t write yours like a respected colleague wrote his/hers. Writing about yourself is affected by many things: if you are a man or woman, how you were raised, generational and life experience, business position, purpose and audience.
That said, a third person perspective is a great way to start. Begin by imagining what you would want someone to say if they were to introduce you. It does not come across as if you are “blowing your horn” (even though you may be writing it), because someone else is saying all those awesome things about you. Third person is much more comfortable. It reads objectively and confidently, stating who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
Those of you who have worked with me know I like to slip in “I statements,” first person perspective with quotes from you, to shift gears within narrative text. Additionally, I may write about you first person, to make more personal statements from you, speaking directly to your audience in a totally separate paragraph.
Which do you like better?
Third Person: We invite you to meet, Real Estate Broker, Larry Canary. He is an experienced real estate professional who is respected for his market knowledge, communication skills and financial expertise… (OBJECTIVE)
First Person: Hello! I’d like to introduce myself. I am Real Estate Broker, Larry Canary. It is to your benefit to work with me because I have extensive market knowledge and excellent communication skills. I am respected for my market knowledge and financial
expertise… (NOT OBJECTIVE)
Your purpose for writing a bio will determine the length and the “person” perspective from which you write. However, longer bios should be limited to one page. Sometimes one paragraph is all that is needed, and other times it is several. Keep any bios you write, because you can take out or mesh sections to meet different needs, saving you time, next time!
How do I make writing a bio or profile easier for you?
First, we sit down together and casually talk about who you are, what you do, why you do it—your experience, passion, purpose, audience. As we chat casually, I note specific words that you use that describe, as well as those that reflect your personal style and business.
If I am new to you and/or your business, I can be objective. I am your audience.
I ask you the questions your clients/customers might ask. In your bio/business profile, I strive to supply the answers, giving them as much information up-front as possible. They they won’t have to ask.
When appropriate, it will have a balance of professional and personal—readers will get to know you professionally and get a personal glimpse of you, too.
Make it easily readable for your audience; cutting out inside terminology and acronyms that you commonly use.
The Bottom Line: Don’t shy away from writing about yourself in a confident voice and style. It gives your audience confidence to call upon you. Ask yourself if you are being authentic, and if so, don’t allow concern about conceit to dampen your efforts. It is your chance to tell the world about how you stand out professionally, so definitely make the most of it!