For Writers: Professional Bio

I am absolutely horrible when it comes to writing any sort of bio for anything. I hate talking about myself, I hate talking about myself in the third person and I either give too much information or too little. Just when I think I've got a winner, something comes along and changes it in three months and I have to update. I never know how to truncate my bio for something like twitter where I have only a few characters to tell you all about me.
The writers at The Undercover Recruiter suggest having three different bios to fit different size limits.

The smallest of your bios should be able to fit in your twitter bio, so fewer than 160 characters. It should be one or two sentences telling everyone how you're unique. If someone's twitter bio doesn't reach out and grab me, I'm hard pressed to go in and look at their tweets to see if they're someone I want to follow. In the business world, this brief statement about yourself is called a "brand statement". It should have a mixture of shock and delight, according to the Undercover Recruiter, and be simple enough an eight year old can understand it and tell you your value.

To pick what should be included, sit down and write out your key attributes on a paper. Pick those that make you unique and write it out telling people what value you provide, how you do it uniquely and who you do it for.

While you're cruising through Twitter to update, make sure you link your personal sites, have a good profile pic and your location data is in your profile so people can find you. If you live near someone, they're more likely to follow you.

Once you're done with the short and sweet version, you've already done some of the setup for your longer, one page bio. This is a nice little story about you that tells everyone who you are and what you do in a way they'll want to read it. It's generally done in the third person so it's like someone else is writing about what a great author you are and what kind of fun things you do.

Included in this one page babble about yourself, you should include:
  1. Your name in the first sentence (so people know 'who' if they jump from Google.)
  2. Where you've been published or featured (link to it if possible)
  3. Any awards or acknowledgements for writing
  4. Education or credentials, and not just for writing
  5. Hobbies or interests
  6. Contact details
Be sure you have someone read over your bio to make sure you haven't forgotten anything important and you haven't forgotten a word or punctuation. Editing isn't just for novels. They also suggest cruising through your biography monthly just to make sure nothing has changed. You don't want to forget a recent publication or public appearance and have someone skip your page thinking they've found the wrong person.

Any biography posted with a picture gets more views. Make sure pictures you use for promotion are of professional quality, aren't reminiscent of a My Space photo you took at the bar and wouldn't make your mother blush to see it on the back cover of your novel (unless that's the image you're going for).

Get out there and wow them! (And give me a link to check it out if this blurb helped you.)



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