How to Write a Bio That Makes People Say, “OMG tell me more!”

Guest Post by Maggy Sterner, Brand & Business Coach

Here’s the scenario: You’ve been invited to deliver a talk or workshop. The organizers ask you to provide a short bio to include with a head shot.

But all you have is a long-ass bio that tells your life story using jargon and too many words.

This is not what event organizers want.

The people who need this information don’t have time to edit your novella into a compact, coherent statement. They’ve got an event to deliver.

As a frame of reference: The whole Gettysburg address was 272 words and President Abraham Lincoln spoke for less than two minutes.

More words don’t automatically deliver more impact.

Be interesting not boring

We’ve all seen the “bios” that make our brains congeal. They make no sense.

They’re filled with acronyms, jargon, academic degrees, and fancy words that don’t tell us anything.

It’s easy to write grammatically correct, perfectly punctuated words, but a great bio has all that, it delivers the right information about why you’re qualified to talk on your topic, AND it’s easy to understand.

A killer bio has these qualities:

  • It’s intriguing. It tells them enough and leaves the reader wanting to know more about you.
  • It’s short AF. It holds the essential information about you and not a drop more.
  • It’s written in simple, declarative sentences. Einstein said, “If you can’t explain what you do to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it.” Anyone who reads your bio should be able to get it. Even your mother.

The right drops of information, in the right order

Here’s the “formula” I use with my clients when I help them craft a bio that communicates their expertise in a way that allows their brand to shine.

  1. Maggy Sterner is a branding & business coach.  One sentence. My name and what I do. That’s it.
  2. She helps small businesses and entrepreneurs … ” Put your target audience here. Just say it. 
  3. … focus their niche, craft a clear, powerful brand message, and say with confidence to attract their perfect clients.” That’s what I do. It’s the result my target audience hires me to do for them. Notice the action verbs.

You could stop there, depending on how many words you’ve been asked to write, and nobody would complain. What I wrote is 31 words.

Practice writing a short, sweet, succinct bio and let me know how it goes.

About the Author

Maggy Sterner is a brand and business coach, keynote speaker, and brand workshop facilitator. She helps small business owners and entrepreneurs focus their niche, find words to describe it, and craft brand marketing messages that attract clients.
Find out more about her here.

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Sadly, the majority of brands don’t have a clear and consistent voice. Messages conflict. Themes are mixed. You lose the audience because they can’t figure you out.

Here are some things to consider as you tune your brand voice to find the right pitch, tone, and volume to be heard.

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Saying what you offer is unique is cliche. Demonstrating what makes you unique in your marketing is gold!

Do You

Authenticity is critical. No one can connect with cold, corporate speak. Having a personality and a conscience is paramount. People want organizations to have values. Share your highs and lows. Be personable. Support meaningful conversations.