On your blog posts. On your Twitter, Google + and Facebook pages. On your company website. There are many places you use a professional bio, and it’s a good idea to have a boilerplate you can use over and over again in these scenarios.
What Goes Into Your Bio
Your bio should be a short (or long) description of who you are professionally, including any keywords you want to be associated with. For me, that would be words like “marketing, blogging and social media.” Because this is related to your professional side, avoid too many personal details, like mentioning your love of poodles. However, including one unique fact about you can help you stand out, and can help people connect with you on a personal level.
Determine What Purpose It Serves
What do you want to get out of this bio? More business? You can use it as a quick resume, the way I do (below). I link to places I’ve written, so if you’ve read my bio and want to read more of my work, you can easily click to other sites where I contribute.
Consider the Source
In Social Media Marketing eLearning Kit for Dummies, Phyllis Khare points out that different channels have different limitations on how many characters your bio can hold. For example:
- YouTube allows about 700 words in the About Me section
- Facebook permits around 300 words in the Info section
- LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters (about 300 words) in the Summary section
- Twitter — no surprise– only gives you 160 characters
Knowing that you’ll be limited with some of these profiles means you’ll have to boil down your bio to the essence. Take out anything unnecessary.
For Longer Bios
When you have the opportunity to write out a longer bio, such as on your company website, make the most out of it. Start by defining who you are:
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts.
Talk about the benefits you provide with your business, with examples. If it’s beneficial, talk about past jobs you’ve had or companies you’ve run. You might include your education, but we’re moving away from people being impressed about your degrees, as they’re now more impressed with what you’ve done. End with letting people know how they can connect with you on different social sites.
A hip new option to the traditional bio is the site, About.me. The site allows you to create a custom page where you can list your bio as well as relevant links. You can see my page here. I like it because you can include a photo of yourself (always a great way to connect personally) as well as round up all links you think people would be interested in, all in one simple place.
Don’t Forget to Update
Bios get stagnant, and your focus may change, so make sure you regularly review your bio and update it for a fresher feel.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
Photo: Shane Pope on Flickr