Recently, I was listening to a podcast and by the time the host had finished the guest’s intro, I was hooked. Like, “I think I need to hire this guy today” hooked. Y’all, it’s a good bio that sells before the person has ever said a word. Those are words that are working overtime.
If you’ve been through my Before You Pitch Press-Kit-in-a-Day training, you know one of the essentials for a publicity-landing press kit is a well thought out bio (actually, a collection of bios, but we’ll get to that in a minute). The bio is one of the first things your media contact sees when you pitch them, so it needs to be
You may have heard this saying: “Give me 5 minutes to cut down a tree, and I’ll spend my first 3 sharpening the axe.” When you want publicity, like every other area of business, success often happens when your careful preparation intersects with your openness to opportunity.
So my question for you is whether you’ve ever taken the time to sharpen your axe and write an outstanding bio for yourself? If not, why not read through this post, and take 20 minutes to get it done today?
One added benefit is that you’ll have a stellar elevator pitch when you’re finished. 😉
Way too often I see people write a bio that misses a major opportunity to capture new leads. When you pitch to the media, initially, it’s the reporter, producer, editor, or podcaster who considers your bio, so you want to wow them. However, that bio is then typically pulled directly over to the finished piece, so it needs to be written for the audience that will eventually read or hear it.
So what should a great bio do?
And it definitely doesn’t hurt if your bio does a little dazzling to the person who reads or hears it.
Imagine you saw the following two bios. If you needed to hire a copywriter for your sales pages, who would you rather spend your hard-earned money to work with?
Ummm… there’s a pretty clear answer here. In 3 sentences, Elena up there has set herself apart from her competition, and not only persuaded a potential client, but likely the editor she pitched. That doesn’t mean Cami isn’t just as qualified, she’s just not showing us. When you’re trying to build the know-like-trust factor, it’s hard to like and trust if we don’t know you.
Elena’s bio can be dissected to several specific elements that a winning bio should have if it’s going to convert. Let’s dig in.
A bio that persuades is simple to create, and it:
and it needs to include:
“Sara Salazar believes that real food should be real good, real fast, and real easy. With over a quarter of a million Instagram followers drooling over her (mostly) gluten-free, veggie-packed dishes, Sarah’s recipes are a hit whether it’s family game night (for her brood of 7!) or a romantic date night (with her hubby, a recovering picky eater). She’s dishing up your next favorite recipe at saraeatsrealfood.com.”
Ok, time to pass your quiz up. Just kidding! Let’s break this down:
You can see that there’s lots of flexibility in how you create your bio, as long as you’re getting the important elements tucked in there.
This is not a good bio. It may be accurate, but it is not effective:
Cadi Ferguson is a Booneville, Kentucky writer.
This is a smidgen better. At least it pinpoints what she writes about and how she gets that info into the world:
Cadi Ferguson is an author and food foraging expert who teaches and blogs about natural medicines.
Lots of people would have stopped with the previous bio, but not you, because you know what it takes to craft a bio that dazzles. And we won’t stop until we get there!
Cadi Ferguson has been leading expeditions for beginning and advanced food foraging for 8 years and is the author of the best-selling book, Wild Foods & Useful Things. You can learn more about Cadi’s classes and read her blog about natural cures and medicinal foraging at www.wildcadi.com. She loves stinging nettle tea and thinks kale is overrated (but her weird dog loves the stuff).
*Note that instead of calling Cadi an “expert,” we actually give the proof of her expertise. That’s always a much better call. One of my massive pet peeves is when someone writes a bio that calls them by an accolade without proving it. Don’t say you’re an “expert,” you’re “highly regarded,” you’re “respected,” or you’re “accomplished,” without offering evidence of that praise.
Once you have a wow-worthy bio in place, you’ll find it easier to land media coverage and confidently tell your customers (and maybe even grandma) what it is you do.
Want to see what else you need in a publicity-landing press kit? Snag Before You Pitch, your go-to press-kit-in-a-day training (one famous TV personality/best-selling author said it’s the best PR training resource she’s ever seen, so, ya know, maybe go jump on that train)!