If someone wants to check you out, they’re going to Google your name. Or they might head on over to the About page on your website, or read your profile on LinkedIn or what you say about yourself on Facebook.
The problem is that most people don’t put a lot of care into what they say about themselves in all these places.
Why? Because it’s really really hard to talk about yourself and people often come up blank. They just don’t know what to say.
Here’s the thing: People don’t want a formal resume or bio, they want to see and connect with a real person — with YOU.
They’re curious and they want to know who you are, what you care about and what you stand for — your values, your beliefs, your big why.
Messaging expert Joel Roberts says that credibility is not something you can claim or bestow on yourself. Credibility is a function of people believing what you have to say and deciding to trust you.
Trust and credibility are formed when two things are present:
- Your expertise demonstrated through specific facts, results and accomplishments
- Your humanity, which you reveal through your tone and story.
There are 5 main areas you can focus on in your bio to really boost your expertise and your humanity in a way your audience can connect to.
You don’t need all 5, but you usually want to focus on at least 2 or 3.
Those 5 areas are:
- personal qualities
- physical qualities
- lifestyle choices
The first area is what almost everybody leads with and that is the specific results you’ve gotten for yourself and others. The most commonly used credibility boosters in this area include: college degrees, awards, press mentions or appearances, books you’re written, programs you’ve created, words or concepts you’ve coined, and client testimonials or results you’ve gotten for your clients.
Here’s a great example of a results-based bio from Suzanne Evans:
Suzanne Evans has become the “Tell it like it is”, no fluff boss of business building. As owner and founder of Suzanne Evans Coaching, LLC she went from secretary to surpassing the seven-figure mark in just over three years. Today, she supports, coaches, and teaches over 30,000 women enrolled in her wealth and business building programs.
Now our next area is relationships. This could be personal relationships such as having an amazing marriage or strong connections with your family. Or they could be professional relationships like having a rockstar client list or getting endorsements from celebrities in your field. Or they could be relationships with your team or community.
Let me give you an example of a relationship-based bio from Max Simon of Big Vision Business:
What makes Max so unique is his special blend of spirituality and business. Born into a family of brilliant leaders, Max has been surrounded by conscious business, wellness, and global impact his entire life. Son of David Simon M.D., best selling author, speaker and physician of The Chopra Center, Max began learning about the mind-body connection at the ripe age of 4 when he received his first meditation technique.
After building Deepak Chopra’s product division into a multi-million dollar empire and becoming the lead educator for The Chopra Center at the young age of 24, Max left to lead his own movement of supporting people to create a thriving business that’s on-purpose, in-service, and highly profitable.
Recognizing his unique approach to business, Martha Stewart awarded Max to be “The Next Big Idea” in Body & Soul Magazine.
Next up we have personal qualities. Your personality, your values, how you show up in the world and make others feel. These are most often demonstrated not by what you say but by how you say it. Your feeling tone. Or what people say about you through their testimonials and endorsements. Or even who you admire most or your favorite guilty pleasure TV show.
Here’s an amazing example of how Marie Forleo has skillfully demonstrated her personal qualities by comparing herself to other leaders:
I often say if Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah and Jay-Z had a love child, it would be me.
Oprah had me on her Emmy Award-Winning TV Show Super Soul Sunday
That’s because I’m part business strategist, part marketing maven and part spiritual ass-kicker with a side of hip-hop swagger.
A born-n-raised Jersey girl with nothing more than passion, a laptop and a dream, I’ve created a multimillion dollar socially conscious empire from scratch.
Through a bestselling book in 13 languages, 190,000 subscribers in 191 countries around the world, 4 top selling fitness DVDs and a weekly online show called MarieTV that’ll make you laugh so hard you’ll snort your soy latte…
I help people dream big and back it up with daily actions to create measurable results.
Moving on to physical attributes such as 6-pack abs, the appearance of youth or immaculate make-up. If you’re in the fashion, beauty or health industry, how you look from your physical appearance to your sense of vitality signals your success and credibility. Chances are that no one is going to take exercise advice from someone who needs to lose weight themselves or they’re not going to buy anti-aging supplements from someone who looks like they’re about to keel over and die.
Here’s an example from my own bio:
At 4’11 and a quarter, Marisa’s known as the shortest woman in marketing. But that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. Her no-nonsense approach has earned her a reputation as a results-getter for leading-edge clients such as Don Crowther, Alexis Neely, Michelle Schubnel, Morgana Rae and Evan Marc Katz.
Finally we’ve got your lifestyle choices, which reveal a lot about your values and beliefs, as well as your accomplishments. This could include quirky hobbies or interests. Or owning houses in 3 countries, implementing a 4 hour work week, taking monthly vacations or yearly volunteer trips where you make some corner of the world a better place.
Here’s an example from Alexandra Franzen where she turns what she does — copywriting — into a lifestyle choice in a way that transforms it from a specialized profession to an essential skill for anyone in business.
In your lifetime, you will …
: Tap out 7 million words via text message.
: Blast out 2 million words via email.
: Speak 370 million words out loud.
Your work-related correspondence, alone, will fill 40 to 50 novels.
I know. Whoa.
Whether you like it or not, you are a “professional writer.”
You are a “communication specialist.”
You are a “public speaker.”
We all are.
So if working with words is going to sit at the center of your world, you might as well learn how to love it — and do it well.
Hi. I’m Alexandra Franzen.
I’m a positivity-charged blogger, author and writing teacher.
The first thing I ever wrote was my own name. (Followed, quite possibly, by “… wants a pony”.)
Can you see how powerful it is to use your personal experience or story to give meaning, credibility and relatability to what you do?
What 2-3 specific credibility boosters will convey your expertise in a way that showcases your vulnerability and humanity? Let me know in the chat.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
Make yourself sound like a real person. If you aren’t comfortable writing about yourself, ask others you trust to state what they see as your strengths and positive qualities. Go from their input. Also, your bio can be slightly different on each of your pages to entice different audiences.
Thanks for this!
Thanks Marisa. All these steps to creating my message are challenging. I am the kind of person that has all my answers stored in the basement. These kinds of thought provoking exercises forces me to go down and did them out.
It’s taking me awhile but I am working through each step. I even wake up at 4:00am with clarity about what to do. I love it.
Awesome Dolores! Keep digging…. 🙂
How long did it take U to come up with your description, Marisa?
Was it super easy?
I have heard similar pointers from others but implementing them is the hard part.
I liked Virginia’s suggestion & will probably use what I have in my testimonials section to help me with the “About Me” page.
This is beyond awesome. Thanks for the insight AND the examples, Marisa! I can put this to action right now!