3 Keys to Having a Professional Bio that Instills Immediate Confidence
A professional bio is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have because you can pretty much guarantee that visitors to your site are going to read it.
According to Hubspot, other than the Home page, the most visited page on a website is the About page. All kinds of “experts” have postulated all kinds of reasons for this, and this is ours: visitors want to know the people behind the name. Then they want to look those people up on LinkedIn to see their history, who they know, who they’ve worked with and how they’ve added value to others.
But this is exactly what you don’t want visitors doing because you want to keep them on your website for as long as possible. The minute they leave, even to check you out on LinkedIn, you have to work to get them back. Your bio, in addition to expressing your personal brand, should give a reader the confidence to not need to validate your value somewhere else.
A solid professional bio demonstrates likability, credibility and readability
Let’s look a bit deeper at all three.
When someone reads your bio, they should feel like they could work with you. This can come through in a number of ways including your values, your life outside work, your sense of humour and so much more.
Being likeable makes clients more amenable to an interaction with you. That’s not to say they’ll buy, but they definitely won’t buy if they won’t interact. That same likeable feeling makes future rock star employees more likely to want to work for you.
The key to coming off as likeable in a professional bio is honesty and vulnerability.
People want to know something about you. Now, you obviously have control of what that something is, but likability isn’t going to come from something professional or performance-based; it’s going to come from something about you as a person.
Maybe it’s that you love dogs or travel or hiking or chess or square dancing? Whatever it is, the passion you communicate about it will make you likeable because people like to see personal passions in others — because everybody has personal passions.
So, if your passion is cooking, instead of saying something nondescript in your professional bio with something like “I love to cook, ”you could get more specific: “I like to cook Tuscan style because it reminds me of my grandmother who taught me ‘Cooketh the meal well, there all the glory lies.’”
Who wouldn’t like an amateur chef who loves his grandmother?
Someone liking what they read in your professional bio goes a long way, but not nearly as long as someone believing you can do what you say you can do. This can only come from a demonstrated ability to do it (i.e., your experience and approach to work).
Credibility can come from your work history, your accolades, your ethos and your approach. It won’t come from rhyming off experiences like a laundry list.
Here’s a fact someone might have on their bio: I’ve worked in Toronto, London, Dubai and Auckland. This could be expressed all kinds of ways in a professional bio, but relating it back to how the experience adds value to the person reading it would be the best way.
Maybe it’s something like, “My approach to work is informed by experience on four vastly different continents. I’ve been exposed to unique styles, perspectives and methods — all of which I regularly apply.”
The difference is that the former’s talking about what you’ve done and the latter’s talking about what you can do because of what you’ve done.
Likability and credibility have absolutely zero chance of coming through if no one actually reads your bio, so giving them something they’d want to dig into is key. Here are a few tips:
- Make an argument for yourself. If they’ve gotten to your bio, they probably already like what you’re offering and they’re looking for a reason to say “no.” Flip the script and give them every reason to say yes.
- Avoid “big-chunk” paragraphs. People are intimidated by them. Breaking your bio up into smaller paragraphs makes it look less daunting.
- Leave the jargon out. Say it straight up with no BS. If you have the chops, the truth is all you’ll ever need.
Coming off as likeable and credible to the right people is the hallmark of a successful bio. If you don’t think yours is doing enough of both, our approach to professional bio writing will help you present as someone worth getting to know better.