When you start working for a new company, there’s a lot of new things being pushed towards you: a new email, a new desk, a new computer. You might even have a spot on your company’s webpage, featuring you and your pearly whites with a short bio next to your photo. If you’re like most people, you probably hastily wrote a bio and submitted it to your boss. Bios are rarely at the top of anyone’s to-do list, especially when you’re at a new company and you’re looking to impress those around you with your amazing production skills. However, bios can go a long way in helping your customers connect with your business on a more personal level.
Why bios make sense:
Bios are a great way for you to show off your awesome credentials, and they also help future clients and website visitors see the people behind the action. This gives buyers confidence in your company, helping them connect with you personally. If you write blogs for your company, it will help blog readers understand the perspective of the writer. Bios, ultimately, can do a lot to help your business seem less like a facade and more like a company headed by real individuals.
What kind of bio does your company need?
Your company will dictate what kind of bio you end up writing. While quirky and comical bios are oftentimes the most fun to read, you might want to consider something a little more solemn for your bio if you work in a more serious industry. Bios for a creative agency would be different than bios for corporate attorneys. However, the key takeaway here is that just because your bio should be formal doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Varying sentence structures, personal testaments, and evidence of success for other clients are all ways to spice up a bio that would otherwise be boring.
Your company bio isn’t the only one that matters:
Social media is a force you can’t ignore, and if you use it at all professionally, then you need to think about your bios on those sites as well. If you’re a freelancer who’s using social media to promote your work, then you need to think more about the target audience on each platform. Different people hang out on Instagram than on Facebook, and you need to seem approachable by each of those audiences. Finally, you need to be sure that you revisit your bio as your skills change. You’re probably a different person than you were five years ago: your LinkedIn bio should read differently as you change.
Let’s look at an example:
Here’s an example of a fictional bio for a guy named Scott who works as a barista at an independently owned coffee shop called Coffee Beanz:
Scott graduated in May 2012 from The Ohio State University with degrees in both English and Creative Writing. Currently he is a barista for Coffee Beanz, where he makes a variety drink creations for customers. Throughout college he worked in OSU’s writing center, where he edited papers and helped students improve their writing skills.
Scott’s a proud Buckeye alum, graduating a few years ago with degrees in English and Creative Writing. When he’s not busy whipping up delicious coffee creations, he’s writing (at least what he thinks is) the next Great American Novel. He also loves playing chess with his girlfriend Ally and petting their adorable lap cat Elvis--ironically while also listening to Elvis.
It should be clear which one is more compelling here. We get more personal information about Scott in the second example, which humanizes him and makes us want to go and meet him to learn more about his book (or his cat Elvis).
Now, we understand that not everyone gets to write something quirky and fun about their four-legged friend in their bio. So here’s an example of how to update a more formal bio to be more readable.
Paul E. Shultz, ESQ graduated at the top of his law class from the University of Wisconsin in 2001. He specializes in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury law. He also has a history of serving on city council boards throughout the state of Wisconsin, including in Smithtown and Perry, before beginning The Law Offices of Paul Shultz in 2005.
Feeling for the families in his community affected by Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury, Paul E. Shultz, ESQ knew it was his purpose to become a lawyer and advocate for these individuals’ rights. He dedicated his life to the service of others, establishing himself on city council boards throughout the state of Wisconsin after graduating from the University of Wisconsin School of Law in 2001. He made the bold decision to open his own law practice, The Law Offices of Paul Shultz, in 2005, and now spends his days fighting for the everyday American.
Again, Example 2 should be more interesting to read than Example 1. It elicits emotion from the reader while still showing off Paul’s credentials and explaining his community involvement.
Bios aren’t easy to write. It takes time to decide what information to include and how to make it interesting. However, writing a good bio is essential to eliciting interest from your readers and building connections with website visitors.
What are some of the best bios you’ve read online? Comment with yours below!