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As a freelancer or solopreneur,  your professional bio one of the most critical assets in your business development arsenal. True, it can (and will) be cut up to fit various different platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., but the essence of what you want to convey about yourself should stay the same.


The bottom-line: A super tight, well thought-out bio forms the foundation of your professional brand.

 

Seems easy enough, right? As it turns out, crafting a professional bio can be tricky. It involves sitting down and taking stock of who you are, and, more importantly, how you want to be portrayed in the eyes of your ideal customers. Plus, you have to keep in mind the myriad types of people this will be in front of: potential employers, colleagues, clients, influencers, friends, the list goes on. 

Here are some essential components to make your first bio pop.

 

Step 1 - You

A bio is the story of you. Naturally, you are a unique unicorn that deserves all the accolades, but it can be easy to forget just how important and deserving you are when you’re in the weeds of your day to day work life. Before you put pen to paper, make a list of your best attributes, professional and personal accomplishments. List out a fun fact or two to round out the bio and keep it from becoming too stuffy.

 

Step 2 - Tone

This will depend on your industry, but choosing your tone when you write will help with focus. If you’re in a highly creative field, it might make sense to sound fun and quirky. If you’re a senior exec with a lengthy list of accolades to tout, a more straightforward bio will likely make more sense. Don’t worry about tailoring these bios for social media just yetthe tone will vary across different platformsfocus on the big picture first.

 

Step 3 - Introductory sentence

As is the case with anything you write, the first sentence sets precedent for what’s to follow. You can either go the traditional route and start with your name and where you work, or start with a line about how your personality directly relates to your job/passion. For example, if you’re a customer success manager, you may start your bio by saying “I enjoy people.” Distilled, concise, and to the point.

(For some fun inspiration check out Buffer’s team bios, Twitter’s leadership team bios, and some bios from the MailChimp team, as well.)

 

Step 4 - Body

What follows after your intro sentence is the meat of your story. Include a mix of personal and professional descriptions, taken from your written out bullet list, and weave them together to convey exactly who you are and what your background is. Include only the relevant, stellar qualities and, as the Harvard Business Review states, “don’t throw in the kitchen sink.”

The Muse has a great, straightforward template to help guide you here, but use it as a general framework. The effectiveness of your bio is based on your personality and most marketable attributes.

 

Step 5 - Appropriate Length

Aim for 200 to 300 words for your full bio. Then, create two short versions, one 75 words in length and a third to fit in the length of a tweet. 

Professional bios are an important part of your brand and should be crafted with purpose and personality. Get to writing!

 

By Arielle Crane for AND CO.

AND CO is a proactive app that empowers independent workers to manage the operations of their business with ease, so they can focus on what they really care about: the work. With AND CO, freelancers can invoice clients, draft contracts, automate expense reporting and more, all from an intuitive mobile and web app.

Learn more at http://and.co and follow them on Twitter at @andco.