How to write a business biography
I was invited to give some PR advice for SME Business Academy and this week (like most) I’m all about self promotion. One of the first things you need for this is a great bio. So without further ado…
Whether I’m pitching a client to write an opinion piece, speak at a conference or suggesting a trend to a features writer, inevitably the first question I will be asked (if I’ve not already included as part of my pitch format) is “Can you send me their bio” and people want it immediately.
It is surprising how many businesses have been going for years where the key stakeholders don’t have a biography on file. This should be one of the first assets you create for your media toolkit. And if you do have a bio make it pop. I don’t want to be bored halfway down your long list of professional accomplishments.
Done right, your bio isn’t just a boring tool for promoting yourself and your business, it is part of your personal brand which journalists, new business prospects and customers will engage with.
Here are my top tips to writing a kickass business biography:
Tip One: Tell me everything
Generally, entrepreneurs fall into two camps, wanting to share absolutely everything OR fearing they don’t have enough to say. Write down everything. Not only is this a useful exercise to uncover all your forgotten talents and experience but because it may also unearth something different that you can build on later. Ask yourself the following questions:
What skills do you have that are relevant to this business?
What are your relevant academic or professional qualifications?
What is your industry experience?
Any other strengths to highlight
Do you have a quirky hobby and/or habit?
Tip two: The red pen
Rank the different points as to which are the most relevant. And start your cull of what might not be for your first draft. (Keep a long-form version of everything for future use and to keep updating).
Tip three: What’s your name and where do you come from
Cilla Black always nailed a good intro. Having read some monstrosities out there it’s worth flagging to start simply and with the basics. Your name and where you currently work or some examples of who you currently work for if you are freelance.
Tip four: Add a personal detail
Back to those interesting hobby or habits. As mentioned earlier, people relate better people who are personable so consider adding an interesting titbit. It gives the reader something to care about and might spark a wealth of opportunities.
Tip five: Keep it succinct
Bonus points if you can keep it down to less than 150 words but absolutely no more than 250. If you start putting too much information down, it actually distracts from you as an expert. You may struggle to keep it short and want to include everything but remember people don’t remember long bios, they get bored by them. You can always link to your website to encourage people to find out more.
Lastly, remember your bio is not a one size fits all template, it will need to evolve dependant on which platform or business is using it. But having one master biography on file stands you in good stead.