You should never have to talk about your credentials with a prospect. They should always precede you. You should always send a bio in your confirmation letter. You should never be in a position, either at a one-on-one or seminar, where you need to begin with your credentials. It comes across lousy and braggy. Let them read it before they see you.
Your bio creates enough trust so that by the time they come to see you – they are half convinced to work with you already. You just have to make sure you don’t fumble the ball.
Here’s how to create a bio that works for you
- Get a decent color picture of yourself– NOT a crummy passport, mug shot. This photo should be one that you would be willing to send to a prospective love in order to “sell” them on dating you if you were still single. Does it make you look old? Or confident and energetic? Do you look trustworthy? Are you smiling? What are you wearing? Put some time and effort into getting this done right! Consider candid shots of you being yourself like:
- With your family
- Speaking at a seminar
- Working at your desk
- Put the photo in the upper left-hand corner of the bio.
- Unless you have experience in Copywriting…hire a professional– Don’t mess around with the first impression you are going to make with a prospect. Remember! Your bio is preceding you.
It takes skill to write a bio that creates an aura of authority that doesn’t end up either sounding like a laundry list of credentials or like a pompous brag sheet. Hiring a professional copywriter to write the copy for this important document is money well spent.
Your bio should include:
• What makes you different (see 5Q Process & Elevator speech)
• What makes working with you a pleasure
• Why you chose this as a career
• Your professional designations and certifications
• Where you have been published or quoted
• The last paragraph should include personal information such as, “Bob, is happily married to his better half, Mary. They have fun together with their 3 boys boating on the Mississippi River and following the boy’s athletic endeavors. Bob is also President of the Local Food Shelf and is a Deacon in his church.”
- Proofread it…and then proofread it again– You should have at least 2 or 3 people proofread it looking for clarity, grammar and spelling.
- Use sub-headlines –
- Your name bolded at the top
- Your mission statement or elevator speech
- Short and Sweet– Your bio should never be longer than one side of an 8 X 11 sheet of quality paper. You should make sure that it is also created in a format conducive to sending it electronically such as a PDF file.
- When it is done– put it together with a brochure about your firm, a quality looking map giving directions to your office, along with a handwritten note – all tucked into a nice folder. Send this out to prospective clients before they come to see you and you’ll get people saying yes before you even have a chance to ask the question!
- Don’t forget “the man”– As with everything, make sure you submit your bio through compliance for review.