Appears today in Giselle’s Column – Business Newsday
You’ve experienced it and received the memo: business building is not getting any easier. There are more players in the marketplace and every time you produce something that you think is one-of-a-kind (whether product or service) you can only get so far before someone is doing the same thing better, faster and cheaper.
Now is not a time for laziness OR sloppiness yet business go-getters seem to focus as always on getting business one way – and one way only – either by making direct calls themselves or hiring a sales team to canvass customers one on one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method.
The problem isn’t in what you are doing but in what you are not doing — that is — ensuring that everything and I do mean everything — is tailored to immediately answer the question “why you?” and this of course includes your bio.
The dictionary defines “biography” as “An account of a person’s life written, composed, or produced by another.”
If you were to line up a couple of bios side by side you will see that all typically walk you through the person’s career progression, providing the hard facts. They give you little feel for what kind of person you’re reading about or what drives them. Of course most people think that showing their “real” side or “human” side is not professional. I beg to differ.
Within every company exists “hidden marketing assets” that are often overlooked and never leveraged or optimized in ways that could build more and bring in more business and money. Believe it or not — your bio is part of your brand and is one of these hidden assets.
A branded bio is a storytelling tool that breathes life into an otherwise flat rehash of your resume. Your “About” page on your blog or website, or your company’s website, is actually your bio.
When decision makers are searching online to source and assess a product or service, they will more than likely see your on line bio (or about us page) and it has to stand on its own as a personal marketing document. Bios are also essential introductions for speaking engagements. Because you may not be a professional speaker, you may think that it’s up to the host to provide the introduction but you should in fact provide your bio to the presenter ahead of time so you can control your brand and ‘the what and how’ about you.
Nancy Juetten, PR Consultant says an attention-grabbing bio is key to more clients and a healthier bottom line.
“People need to say who they are, why they’re swell and the difference they make with a few well-chosen words, so when people land on their websites, their blogs, their social networks, they’re compelled to say, ‘I’m fascinated with that person and want to hear what they have to say next.’”
So where should you start? Google yourself and see what comes up about you or your business. See if the very first thing that comes up reveals you the way you want to be known. If it’s different to what you want then you should be motivated to get to work on revising your messages and of course, taking a look at your bio.
You need to pack a punch from the first paragraph compelling readers to want to read through to the end. You might capture attention by leading in with your brand positioning statement, or a quote or a few words from a relevant subject matter expert. Alternatively you can compose a quote of your own that encapsulates your brand value — it could be something that others tell you you’re always saying — or a direct quote about you from someone you’ve worked with.
The writing should come from your own voice and follow a consistent theme reinforcing your brand attributes. For instance, if you’re known for turning around failing business, weave that driver throughout your narrative.
Your brand, as defined by Meg Guiseppi, The C-level Executive Job Coach — Resume and Biography, is your reputation — the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, and passions you draw from that differentiate your unique promise of value from your peers.
It’s up to you to identify those qualities and characteristics within you, integrate your value proposition in everything you do, and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels — online and offline — designed to resonate with your target audience.
Consultant Juetten poses this question: “If you can get to ‘yes’ right away so you can start billing time sooner, how much better would your life be? So when’s the right time to start revising your bio? I would say NOW!
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