No matter what job you do, it’s vital to have a current written media biography [bio] ready to dispatch when required. This is even more important, if you work for yourself or are looking at increasing your profile or media exposure. You never know when someone will request a bio from you. For websites, blogs, to profile you in newsletters or in a newspaper etc and the quicker you can get this information to someone, the better chance you’ll have of being profiled.
Bio tip #1
Your bio should be written in the third person (which means, written as if you were talking about someone else) and should be kept very short. An ideal bio is 100 to 300 words or three paragraphs. It’s also worth preparing an additional, longer (approximately two pages) bio that might be requested for more indepth media opportunities or promotional avenues.
Bio tip #2
The first paragraph should explain immediately what you do. Straight away launch into the most important information— don’t waste time mucking around trying to be fancy. Imagine that readers are only going to read your first sentence. Does it explain what you do in a nutshell? Use your professional definers. For example, mine reads:
Vanessa Jones is a copywriter, marketer and author with her own business who lives in Adelaide.
Put what you want to be known for first. Or another way of looking at this is put what service you want to offer the most. Do you want to be a masseuse, healer and then physiotherapist? Or do you want to be a writer, physiotherapist and then masseuse? This serves the purpose of letting the public know what you prioritise when it comes to what you offer and the skills you hold.
Bio tip #3
Just like with all your other copywriting (website, articles, brochures, Facebook etc), make sure that your bio is jargon free and the language kept succinct and simple.
It’s worth taking some time to research good bios in print and online magazines, on corporate company’s websites and LinkedIn profiles to get a sense of what makes a great bio.