The biographical profile, or “bio,” is a staple of press kits and websites and I have written hundreds of them. The biggest challenge is to make them memorable.
I always look for a fact or anecdote that will make my client stand out. An intriguing bit of story will turn a bio into a memorable introduction that will help a potential client remember you.
As an example, I was hired to write bios for the website of an accounting firm. It was a solid firm with great credentials and an excellent reputation … just like many of its competitors. How could I make my clients stand out?
I circulated a questionnaire to each partner and staff member that would provide me the nuts and bolts of their education, work experience and professional achievements. I also asked them about their hobbies, volunteer work and questions like “Tell me about a recent success story.” After reviewing the completed questionnaires, I interviewed each subject on the phone or in person. I paid particular attention to fleshing out the success stories.
One senior partner told me that early in his career he worked all weekend to finish a report that his manager demanded be ready for a client on Monday. The manager then left the report on his desk and went on vacation for two weeks. During that time the client called repeatedly for the completed report. Embarrassed for the firm, my client resolved that neither he nor his staff would ever be a bottleneck preventing a project from being completed. He always makes sure that a client gets what he wants when he wants it.
That short but pithy story and others I found made the difference. What might have been a collection of indistinguishable resumes became a meaningful introduction to a family of professionals that prospective clients would be interested in hiring.