Simple Tips for a great online Bio

Katherine Hanson Socialite  Online MediaWhy are Bios so important? Everything you write should support your Personal Branding Statement or mission, which should be able to fit on a single line on your business card. You should also include in the header of your website and/or blog if possible. Mine, for example, is: Soci@lite helps businesses to navigate the world of online marketing and master the metrics.

A Personal Branding Statement is essential to promote the brand or image you’ve decided on and everything you do or say needs to underpin it. From this, you can produce a really effective and powerful Bio. Whether you write in first- or third-person include something about whom and what you are. People are looking for a personal connection when they read a Bio, so make sure you are giving them a feel for you as a person, not just a business.

Here are some important points to bear in mind:

  1. Your personal Bio should be no more than a single-page document about yourself
  2. State who you are and how you can help clients
  3. If you make a claim, make sure that you can support it
  4. Write from the you/your and WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) perspective. Remember, it’s about them, not you. People are only interested in how you can help them – leave your background/experience information for your About page (if you must include it) or a link to a Social Media Profile
  5. Call To Action – Tell them what to do next, for example, visit my website to find out how I can help you in your business, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free eBook on…., etc.
  6. Create a very short version of your Bio for social networking sites
  7. If you write a Blog you will need two Bios: a short intro on your Blog’s landing page and a longer version for your About page
  8. Your longer one-page Bio will be invaluable if you regularly speak publicly, guest blog or offer your services elsewhere
  9. If you are talking about yourself, it’s more natural to write in first-person. But if the bio is going to be used by others, use third-person

BrandYourself-Logo-with-Tagline1BrandYourself “makes it as easy as possible to help anyone improve their own search results and online reputation”. BrandYourself started in 2009 after one of the co-founders couldn’t get an internship to college because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer in Google. BrandYourself aim to “put the power of SEO and online reputation in everybody’s hands, regardless of how tech savvy or wealthy they might be”.

Search engines such as Google are increasingly integral to your reputation, however unless you know how SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) works or have thousands to spend on an online reputation company, you have very little power over them.

BrandYourself’s Top 3 pet hates about Online Reputation companies:

  • They deliberately mystified the Search Engine Optimisation process, making their customers feel trapped
  • They often used quick, manipulative “black hat” tactics that only help search rankings in the short term instead of focusing on long term “white hat” techniques.
  • They overcharged customers for something they could easily do themselves if they simply had a platform that educated and empowered them to do so.

In 2012, BrandYourself conducted a national study in conjunction with Harris Interactive which explored the Googling habits of over 2,500 US adults.

Key Findings:

  • 86% used Google or another search engine to find more information about another person: 75% of adults searched their own name, yet 48% of that number said that most of the search results about them weren’t positive and 30% found nothing about themselves online at all
  • 45% found something that made them decide NOT to do business with a company, with 42% having searched someone before doing business with them

Click here to download a copy of the Harris Interactive study.

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4 responses to “Simple Tips for a great online Bio

  1. Thanks for sharing my post about Google Plus for personal branding on Windmill Network!

  2. Hi Katherine,
    thanks for citing my post on Seomoz about Twitter duplication issues. I just wanted to let you know I’ve written a new post so maybe you’ll want to update yours with the new situation (you can find it here
    I hope this helps!

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