by M.R. Goodhew
Your bio serves the purpose of driving traffic and links to your website and creating interest in your brand. Who you are is a huge part of your author brand. You’re not just selling your writing—you have to promote who you are as an author as well. Later in this book, we’ll take an in-depth look at creating your author bio, or revisiting its structure, to focus your efforts on your uniqueness and authentic selling points.
You should have at least three separate bios written for different social sites, your website, amazon profile, and for your press/media kit. These bios should be saturated with your brand identity to let people know what you are all about. Make sure to create them with a professional feel. You are presenting yourself to the world and you should be viewed as a professional writer who creates books that reach a certain standard. You don’t want to come off as too personal or lack professionalism, because it could reflect on your work and give the impression of a substandard product. You are a professional author with quality books and writing – your bios should reflect this. At the same time, you don’t want to come off as stiff and unapproachable. Keep your personality reflected in your work with your author voice, focusing on relevant yet personable details about yourself.
Some people find this part of branding the most difficult. Figuring out how to see yourself as a brand can seem hard to grasp at first, but it’s actually really easy. You are a fascinating person with all kinds of interesting, unique aspects of yourself that can be added into your author brand. What you look like, what you wear, how you pose for pictures, these all can be inviting portions of your brand. Are you fun, are you approachable, and are your interests interesting? What you read makes up part of what inspires you to write, so that is also a portion of who you are and should be included in your brand. This doesn’t mean you should list the books and articles you’ve read, it means the themes and content of those things are major interests to you and a major influence to your writing.
What do you always for on the internet? What are your questions or concerns about being an author? What are your passions? What do you most want out of your career as an author, and what do you believe you have to offer?
Your personality shines through your writing. Who you are in your writing will be how you connect emotionally to the public. Be authentic—allow yourself to grow as a writer and project your personality through your writing. Your voice will capture your public and bring them back for more of who you are when you write.
How you portray yourself through your graphics and especially through your headshot speaks volumes to your growing network. How do you want to be seen? Be sure that whatever fashion you choose still reflects some form of professionalism. How you look reflects on what you have to offer. It’s worth the extra money to have a professional headshot taken that reflects how you would like to be perceived and possibly gives a clue to your unique voice. When it comes to graphics, a picture tells a thousand words, and a professional graphic artist usually speaks that language best. Hire one.
What You Read:
What you soak up as a reader is absorbed and morphs into a part of what makes you, you. It influences the way you write and what you write about, and those concepts and themes become a major portion of your brand.
Your beliefs and ideals will come through in your writing. People will recognize these core values and many may be drawn by them, or even put off by them. Beliefs can inspire or repulse. Choose what you wish to share wisely, as it will have an impact on your audience.
Your Personal Passion:
Your passion for what you write will speak volumes. Your dreams, desires, and faith in what you share will be heard loud and clear. Speak from your heart with authenticity and your words will move people. In general, people are attracted to what has the ability to move them emotionally in a positive manner.
Your content is your catch; this is how you bait your readers into following your blog and investing in your writing. The content you choose to write about should be relative to who you are and what you are selling.
How you communicate with others throughout your network is a trait that will attract and keep dedicated followers who will cross promote you. What you say and how you say it creates a personal relationship between you and the people in your network. This is the public’s opportunity to see how you interact with people, and they are given the chance to become emotionally invested in you and your brand. What you have to say matters and will reflect on what you have to sell.
Make a list of all of these aspects, and you have the portion of your brand that is you. It will be an impressive list when it comes to dreaming up new content for your blog. You are your best resource for ideas, and you will find that you are also your most successful marketing aspect.
Your author bio is a first point of sale, a statement used to hook the reader and leave them wanting more. Your bio should have the power to convert readers into followers and purchasers of your product. This is your place to truly shine, to grab attention and gain fans. Writing your bio is a serious matter, but it’s really fun to create. You really want a good bio, so it’s worth taking some extra time to explore who you are, how you want to be seen, and what you have to offer. After the last section, you should have some pretty clear answers to those questions, which you can now creatively piece together to form your bios.
It’s time to make another list. Be sure to maintain a positive outlook and mention what matters:
- Who are you, what descriptions best suit your personality?
- What’s your best feature, what’s the first thing people notice about you?
- What makes you likable, even lovable?
- What do you think is fun?
- What makes you different or what makes you the same as others?
- What do people remember about you, what stands out?
- What do you write about?
- What do you want to write about?
- What is your product?
- What are your interests?
- How do you view the world or the world you create?
- What are your hopes, dreams, and aspirations?
- Who are you influenced by (you may share similarities)?
- Where have you been and where are you going?
- Do you have any awards or have you won or entered any competitions?
- Are there any media mentions of you?
- Do you have recommendations from notable people?
- Do you have any special achievements that relate to your brand?
- Do you volunteer?
- Do you have a special hobby?
- Do you belong to any special groups?
- Do you belong to any organizations or associations?
- What are some exciting things that have happened to you?
- Were you inspired by a famous relative?
Mention them if they are somehow relevant. Use these things to promote who you are. There may be other things you want to add or should add that I haven’t listed here and that’s fine—add them. If you can’t use it as a selling point, keep it anyway. When you get into the process of putting your bios together you may be surprised at how you can use them to attract a growing network.
It’s probably best to leave out information about your religion, political preferences, or prejudices. They most likely have nothing to do with your product or brand and how other people receive them. Controversial subject matter should be avoided unless it is part of your content. Write down the answers to all of these questions and look them over a few times.
Your bios should creatively entertain while introducing you and what you have to offer. Think positive, sell yourself, sell your style, and sell your brand. Be confident but be honest. Define what you have to offer with flare. What makes you special, what makes you shine? You may be amazed by what you discover when writing your bios. Bring emotion to your bio and grip your audience with your description of who you are and what you bring to share with them. Spruce it up descriptively as shown in the second example below.
Your bio can go one of two ways as seen here. Example one is descriptive but dry. Example two is powerful and possibly a little over-the-top, but more closely related to what you are aiming for with your bio.
“Jane has always dreamt of being a writer. Jane Doe is a volunteer through ABC Org and has traveled extensively to help children. “Bla Bla Bla,” her first novel, is available on amazon now. Pick up your copy today.”
“Famous author John Doe once offered Jane Doe the opportunity to write with him, but only now has Jane found the courage to bring her stories forward. A real-life hero, as seen in the Seattle times, Jane Doe now volunteers her time to less fortunate children. While bravely traveling the back-roads of the world all alone, she offered all she could along the way to those who needed her. Tune in each week to be inspired by Jane’s story-crafting of her experience through the act of selflessness. Jane’s resistance to failure, sheer will, and determination will empower you as you laugh and cry with her. See how she copes with the realities she faces and makes the world a better place, one small action at a time. Jane is a blessing to read and a joy to laugh with. You don’t want to miss these beautiful journeys with Jane. Be sure to pick up your copy of her latest book “Bla Bla Bla,” which will leave you breathless.”
Practice your sentence structure to incorporate the right tones of emotion and to generate excitement. Like a television announcer introducing the latest movie release, get excited about introducing yourself to the world. There’s no need to be embarrassed, and being shy won’t serve you here, either. You must realize that everyone is unique and has special qualities. Now is the time to take what you’ve learned about yourself and present it in a few paragraphs with confidence. Use your skills as a writer and show the world just how creative you can be while sticking to the truth of who you are.