I'm often asked about the 'tone' a bio should take -- friendly, funny, formal, informal? The answer is... a little bit of all the above is fine if it feels right to you -- after all, you are writing a bio about yourself, and if you can incorporate a little of the personable with the professional, that's great.
I recently came across a really good example of how to write a bio about yourself on LinkedIn. Peggy Richardson and I recently collaborated on a project about writing ebooks. Her bio follows:
Books and eBooks, blogging, podcasting, and chocolate. And shoes.
Here's the short version:
- I create and edit books and eBooks for myself and others.
- I offer a series of day-long workshops about eBooks: how to create them, and how to make money from them.
- I do some one-on-one consulting, but I prefer to steer people into my workshops, as I find they often get more out of working in a group of other Authors (peer mentoring is one of my personal missions).
Here's the long and boring version:
I've been editing since 1994, but I studied it formally around 2000 – 2001 at SFU, and have never looked back. I work entirely in non-fiction, especially business, self-help, and lifestyle topics. I prefer to work with renegade entrepreneurs who are as passionate about communication as I am.
I've had good success as a consultant on so-called "problem projects", because I can give clear and objective feedback, and spot obstacles very quickly. My marketing and business experience is especially valuable at times like this.
Over the last few years, I've become more and more involved with online content management, especially using open-source applications like WordPress. I often act as a WordPress coach to entrepreneurs of all types, helping to get their web presence back on track. Most of the speaking I now do relates to eBooks, WordPress, and how I market them using social media. (And other cool stuff, like affiliate marketing.)
Specialties: book editing (for content and style, as well as copy editing), book cover design, typesetting and design for both print books and ebooks, book marketing, book and eBook affiliate marketing, social media book marketing.
End of bio, back to Jill...
Well done, Peggy. Anyone who reads this kind of "bio about yourself" would come away with a very good understanding not only of who you are as a person, but who you are and what you do as a professional.
So, if you're writing a bio about yourself, and if Peggy's personable yet professional tone feels right for you -- go for it!
I have a number of dental clients. Recent research by Sesame Communications, a dental industry pioneer in online patient connection systems, found that, as much as dentists love to show off "before and after" dentistry, patients aren't really interested, especially in the "gross and icky" before pictures. In fact, the number one thing patients look at on a dental web page is information "about the dentist". The second thing is "about the staff".
I suspect this is true of almost all small business websites. People are more interested in you as a person than the service or product you provide, at least initially. So don't make the mistake many do of having a "Coming soon" or "Under construction" message on your About Us/Me page. It only takes a few minutes to write a great bio.