It doesn’t matter who you are, a well-written professional profile, corporate profile professional bio is an invaluable piece of multifunctional marketing collateral. It provides a summary of your professional exploits, condensed but not diluted, that is written in such a way that the reader feels like they know you even if they’ve never met you. But unless you have a narcissistic personality, finding the best way to describe yourself as a credible, accomplished and likeable expert is one of the hardest things to do. That’s why most people get someone else to write it for them. Over the years, I’ve written bios and profiles for a range of business professionals, most of who have come to me because they’re either unsure of what to write or feel uncomfortable doing so.
The first step is to consider what sort of profile you need. A short profile for social media or an article byline should be no more than 50 words in length and summarise who you are and what you do. A mid-length profile, say a Linkedin bio, should be around 150 words in length and provide the basic information as well as qualifications, skills and achievements. A longer bio which might appear on a website, in a press pack or as a speaker profile should be around 300 words long. There are three factors which will determine the style ad tone of your content – the industry you work in, your audience and your goals. Decide who your audience is – what is their knowledge of you, your company and the sector you operate in? Are you looking to impress delegates at a conference or inform potential clients?
Set the style and tone early, depending on the platform and audience. For a generic profile, I would suggest an authoritative but friendly tone, confident but not arrogant. You’re not a robot, so let your personality shine through. To add an air of objectivity, I would always suggest writing in the third person. Importantly. be succinct. Imagine that people will only read the first paragraph. so outline important information in the first paragraph. You can then go on to expand on your qualifications and achievements, posts you’ve held, your skills and experience. Talk about your values, what inspires or excites you. Above all, say something personal and meaningful without resorting to the usual gush of sincerity or corporate speak.
Put the time in. People will always read a professional bio. Whether they remember it or not depends on how well thought-out and written it is.
- Write a generic profile which can easily be adapted to suit a specific audience.
- Plan what you intend to include and keep it concise.
- Based on the audience, decide whether the tone should be formal or informal.
- Ideally, a professional profile or bio should be written in the third person.
- Use an active voice rather than a passive voice.
- Don’t overuse adverbs and adjectives. Remember, every word should have a purpose.
- The first paragraph should be a summary of who you are and what you do.
- Avoid jargon and abbreviations, unless you are addressing a knowledgeable audience.
- Always have it proofread by someone objective.
If you would like to discuss having your professional bio written by an experienced bio copywriter, please contact me.