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Jazz Up Your Bio

By Mindy Charski

Who are you?

A whole bunch of folks in the marketplace are seeking the answer, like prospects visiting your website, reporters looking for expert sources, potential Twitter followers, Facebook fans and LinkedIn connections.

Wow all of them with an accurate and polished bio that communicates your high points.

Crafting a bio—or a variety at different lengths—will likely take time but is worth the investment.

“You can shorten the sales cycle by telling a better story that resonates with your ideal client and gets them to ‘yes’ faster. That becomes your 24/7 message that you can monetize for the life of your successful business,” says Nancy Juetten, author of the workbook “Bye-Bye Boring Bio” (self-published, 2010). “To ignore that is a huge lost opportunity.”

Try these top tips to write a compelling bio.

Explain Your Unique Selling Point

“If you’re an effective self promoter, you roll your sleeves up and speak in a language that the buyer understands—audience-centric, not self—about what matters most and what sets you apart,” says Susan Hodgkinson, principal of The Personal Brand Company, a Massachusetts-based consultancy.

Numbers can convey that message better than fluffy words.

Real estate agents, for example, could tout the benefits they provide and their skills with a line such as, “Has the track record of the shortest cycle time from listing to close and a customer satisfaction rating of 99 percent,” Hodgkinson says.

Use Keywords

There are so many ways to search social media profiles. FollowerWonk and the LinkedIn search box are just two.

You can increase your visibility by including relevant keywords that fit in coherently.

Show Your Dimensions

Adding nuggets about your outside interests can help present a fuller picture of yourself, but be mindful of sensitivities.

“[Include] things that are in your best interest versus delving into areas where people might close the door without even giving you an opportunity to connect,” Hodgkinson says.

Add Spice

Book author Juetten, who also leads workshops, uses bios that say her business started with a desire to earn enough money to buy better groceries and now she’s too busy to cook.

“I’m not saying that I’m a six-figure business owner,” says Juetten. “I’m saying I’ve got plenty of work to do and I’m happy about it. It’s a very authentic way to share with people who I am and what I’m doing without being pretentious.”

Dallas-based freelancer Mindy Charski rejiggered her own bios, including this one, a ridiculous number of times while working on this piece.

Jazz Up Your Logo, Too!

Give your micro-business a makeover with a new logo to match your new bio.

The NASE has just the resource you need: crowdSPRING.

CrowdSPRING is an online marketplace where you post your project needs, your deadlines and your budget. At the marketplace, more than 53,000 creative minds are available to submit actual designs for your review.

You review designs, provide feedback and collaborate with the graphic designers until you find just the right design at just the right price.

Learn how crowdSPRING can help you.

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