Bios bring-on bouts of social anxiety for all of us, even those who you look up to and admire! How you see yourself, isn’t how others see you. But this little gem might just be the key to cracking the golden egg of bio writing.
When you write your bio do you feel:
- Embarrassed and uncomfortable
- Boring and unimaginative
- Bragging and full-of-yourself
- Stiff and robotic
Think it would help to check-out other people’s bios for inspiration? Be warned, this can leave you feeling worse! Everyone else sounds so interesting, they have amazing stories or experiences which leads you right back to your original dilemma – how can I sound more interesting?
Imagine What Your Mother Would Say
It may give you shivers just thinking about this one, but imagine if your mum was asked to talk about you! If she was asked to describe your character, your passions as a child and your quirky teenage traits. What would she say made you unique?
When you imagine yourself being described by others, you give yourself permission to think about your character from another perspective. Try on a few different hats; how would your husband, sister or best friend describe you?
As a business owner, save the best till last; how would your customers describe you, your business and your service. This is a vitally important hat to try on, as the words they use are the trigger words you’ll want to take note of.
Packing Your Bio Suitcase
Think of your bio like packing for a holiday, you need to gather all the items, lay them out, then neatly package them, before you get to look fab in them on holiday!
Start with the gathering; laying out all the information, so you can see what you’ve got. This will come from your resume, testimonials, reflections and awards. Now, look for common themes amongst the information; have you always been drawn to fashion, helping people or the environment? To continue the packing analogy, it’s like finding colour combinations, matching items and whole outfits with shoes and accessories.
This information gathering phase isn’t where you put the finishing touches on your bio. It’s the big picture stuff that forms the building blocks of what’s to come. Use dot points, don’t worry about good grammar or fancy language; it’s important to get your achievements down in plain English, before you dress them up in sentences.
When it comes to writing a bio, even the most unappealing tasks will become a magnet to you; dirty dishes, bookkeeping, filing will suddenly become urgent and must-do items! Don’t get drawn in, once you get started on your bio, it’ll start to flow.
If you’re someone who needs accountability or step-by-step guidance, then a bio writing workshop is for you. If you’re a master at self discipline, then shut the office door, put the timer on and leave your desk for nothing until you’ve got a first draft.
Getting those other perspectives and thrashing ideas out in a group can make the difference between a bio that leaps off the page and one which is toe-curlingly awkward to read. Words have energy, and when they’re written with enthusiasm there’s a momentum that the reader picks-up on. Believe me, as a professional writer, if I feel bored with the topic it comes across in the writing (luckily, I’m insatiably curious)!
Here are the key messages from this post:
- Writing a bio is a challenge for most people
- Comparing your bios to others can make you feel demoralised
- It helps to change hats – see yourself from other perspectives
- Work with a buddy or in a group
- Build in accountability to get the writing done
- Find a workshop that gives step-by-step guidance
About the author
Lisa Kniebe is a writer who specialises in website content writing, bringing a broad spectrum of experience to her work. Fascinated by human behaviour she credits her copywriting success to an empathetic obsession with wanting to ‘get in other people’s shoes’ and know what makes them tick. Her uncanny ability to sound like she swallowed a dictionary along with her degree in English have made her a sought after speaker, writer and educator.
She has pursued her love affair with language throughout her life, having been a poetic nurse, an excited teacher and a published parenting blogger! Lisa established Stella Polaris Copywriting to empower the business community to embrace the world of content marketing and provide a trusted point of reference to navigate this ever changing landscape.