Are you trying to rewrite your website bio or LinkedIn summary, and finding yourself getting stuck?
Today, I’m going to give you the cheat codes for writing a better bio.
Starting with the Basics
The first cheat code for your bio is a simple framework that covers the most important elements.
I’ve used this same technique in a multitude of situations, most notably, in writing online dating profiles. While single, I discovered that online dating was just another form of online marketing and I figured out a formula for the core components of an effective profile.
The formula goes like this:
- What do you look like?
- What are you looking for?
- What do you bring to the table?
- Who are you looking to meet?
- Who are you not looking to meet / who is not a good fit?
This exact same formula can be applied when writing your website bio. Your profile photo covers the first bullet point.
Write your bio
Start by answering questions 2-5.
Next, weave that into a story. It might look like this:
My name is Jeff Gibbard and I want a world with more superheroes. Using all of my experience in branding, leadership, communication, marketing and sales, I want to work with people who aspire to change the world. For anyone who is interested in unlocking their potential and making a dent in the world, I’d love to meet and see how we can work together. If you are happy where you are, good luck to you and maybe we can still be friends.
Now, that’s not my bio. It’s just what I wrote for this blog post, right now, using the formula. While it’s not perfect, it does communicate the important points: what I want, what my value is, who I’m for, and who should opt-out.
If you want to take it to the next level, you need to add the secret sauce that makes it resonate with the reader. Like any sauce or seasoning, you don’t want to add too much but rather just enough to accentuate the dish.
Your next step is to ask yourself the following two questions:
- What emotions do you want your reader to feel after working or meeting with you?
- What emotion do you feel when you find what you’re looking for (question 2, above) or what emotion do you feel that inspires you to seek what you’re looking for?
Adding these two elements to my bio above might look like this:
My name is Jeff Gibbard and I am driven by a deep sense of responsibility to help create a world that is kinder, safer, and more equitable. That’s why I believe we need more superheroes. Using all of my experience in branding, leadership, communication, marketing and sales, I want to work with people who aspire to change the world. I want to connect with those who yearn for a better world, who are committed to unlocking their potential, and who are inspired to make a dent in the world. Doing legacy work and leaving behind a lasting impact is not for everyone but if it resonates with you, I’d love to meet you. For everyone else, we may not save the world together, but maybe we can become friends.
After adding in that emotion, it’s starting to feel more like a bio I might use.
Ha! I tricked you. There is not “perfect bio.” There are only variations of effectiveness.
Most likely, your bio is published somewhere that you have an intended goal. Keep trying variations of your bio using the tools in this post until you get it to a point where you feel comfortable leaving it alone. That’s as close to “perfect” as you’re going to get.
There are so many different ways to weave a story. In my experience, the key is to find the framework that helps you write an effective story for whatever you’re trying to accomplish.
For additional useful frameworks, try these:
ABC, Golden Circle, Idea Introduction Pattern
The Storybrand 7
Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller
The Red Thread
Find Your Red Thread by Tamsen Webster