Meet Kiara. One of her articles is getting published. It is one of her proudest professional moments. And then they asked for a short bio for the blog; her blood turned to ice.
If you haven’t yet experienced this, you will. And those of you who have experienced it know the value of having the material easily accessible and ready-to-go bios for multiple situations.
In The Power of a Professional Marketing Portfolio, I share what you need to know and the tools to create a stand-out, professional biography. In this article, we apply those tools to a fictitious content writer named Kiara. The first article defines the problem and offers solutions. In this post, we put the plan into action.
Quick synopsis about a powerful bio.
It is essential that you have a “go-to” library of content guided by your plan. The type of biography you need will vary across channels. By reflecting on specific questions, you create your content pool. Then, apply the information you know about where this will be published and who your readers are to the content selected for that situation.
Let’s start with what we know.
Kiara is going to gather her thoughts about the following questions. She created a Google Doc with all the questions listed and headed properly for easy searching in the table of contents. There are many questions, and Kiara didn’t answer all of them all at once. Now she can schedule times to revisit the document and continue to update it.
She is not restricting her responses. They are her honest feelings with typos, misspellings, and unformatted that Kiara will fix later. She is early in the process and doesn’t have many details for all the questions yet.
These aren’t the only questions to help you to reflect. Anything that will help you reflect on the information your reader is looking for. You are looking to share:
- Who you are.
- Your associations.
- What you can do.
- Why they should care.
- Where you want to go.
Kiara’s content pool.
What do you do?
I am a B2C marketing content writer. I write blogs and website marketing collateral for my marketing agency’s clients. My day consists of team meetings to review objectives and status, checking & returning emails, periods of focused research, writing, and editing.
Why do you do what you do?
(need to think on this)
Money? Fear of change? Insecurity? Platform?
What are you most passionate about in your career?
I love when I get to write about healthy lifestyles, especially after my brother.
I do my best work when I write about it because it is relatable to me and I feel very connected to my audience.
At work: respect, to be heard, to have more choice on which clients I write for.
What/who has shaped your goals, passion, and core values professionally?
My personal core values influenced by my childhood shape my professional ones.
People: First boss, the receptionist at this job who continually encouraged me. All the writers who have provided me with content that meant something to me.
What are your biggest professional accomplishments and how can you illustrate them?
I should look at the content for our medical client for articles where I cover cancer info.
Which campaign did I get the most positive reviews and analytics from a client?
The Johnson campaign.
What are you most passionate about in your life?
My family - their security financially and my work/life availability.
Helping support cancer research, education, and patients.
What/who has made you who you are in your personal life and how?
Of course, my family and experiences growing up.
- Mrs. Walters in highschool
What are your most significant personal accomplishments, and how can you illustrate them?
- American Cancer Society volunteer work
- Finishing college
Do you volunteer, successfully juggle work/life balance, have a favorite cause you support? Tell me about it.
- American Cancer Society
- Talk about how my family helped with kids
Identifying a change in audience.
As she reflected on these questions, Kiara found that she is not doing as much as she wants. She wants to grow more in her career, and she wants to be a mentor to those starting.
She sets a goal to network more and explore opportunities to be a featured presenter at industry events. Then, revising her plan, she adjusts for her new objective.
The new plan includes updating all of her “About Me” and bio information on her social media and personal sites to address specific audiences, and it isn’t all the same. In addition, she is attending networking events, making genuine connections, and following up on them.
She picked an event that she knew would be attended by the person booking speakers (Ms. A) at an upcoming conference. She did some homework and prepared her answers to these questions.
What is my call to action?
Be asked to speak at the conference.
Whom do I want to connect with?
Ms. A is booking speakers
What can I share about me/my employer that will grow the connection?
- My story about Alan and his cancer and how it applies to my writing process.*
What might they not know about me/my employer that would show value in a partnership?
The volunteer website services I provide for a cancer survivor group in town.
Kiara made sure their conversation included her passion for creating content about topics that varied for everyone affected. In her case, she is passionate about supporting those affected by cancer after watching her brother Alan go through cancer and how it affected every person in his life.
Notice that Kiara:
- Connected personally with Ms. A, helping to create a link for the professional relationship to build off.
- She waited for the right moment to approach and didn’t push or hover; she didn’t wait for Ms. A to come to her.
- She didn’t ask about speaking at the event.
Around 10:00 AM the following day, she sent a carefully crafted email.
Dear Ms. A,
It was wonderful to meet you yesterday at the chamber event. I enjoyed our discussion, and look forward to continuing to build a professional partnership that can support growth for both of us.
I see that you are booking speakers for the XYZ marketing conference. I have already gotten my ticket! If you ever want to provide your attendees with solutions to turn your passion into career opportunities, I would love to speak about my experiences.
Please visit my website. It shares about me and my career accomplishments.
Hope to see you soon, and please reach out if there is any way I can help you.
Director of Content Marketing
Kiara got a call that afternoon from Ms. A, who would love her to speak this year. But guess what? Ms. A needs a presenter bio for the website and program.
You may not get this kind of immediate success. In fact, great connections can take time to nurture. Ms. A might tuck this information away and call Kiara next year.
New bio, new objective.
Kiara researched the attendees and the conference to know what her audience is looking for and how to best leverage this opportunity.
Community business leaders usually attend this conference. Presenters address a variety of topics supporting business growth. One of the topics is marketing. The trending concern is the lack of content that connects sincerely and builds trust with readers and their problems. If Kiara can get the decision-makers to see her value, the trust will transfer to her employer.
Kiara’s call to action is to get the attendees to know who she is and what she can offer to build a solid career reputation by sharing solutions to a common business pain point.
The problem: We can’t get people to read our content. The writing is not drawing in leads because the content doesn’t mean anything to the readers.
The solution: You need your marketing collateral to be passionate and meaningful. I am an expert at ABC Marketing. ABC Marketing knows how to solve your problem.
Here is Kiara’s bio for the conference:
Kiara is the Director of Content Marketing for ABC Marketing. She brings her passion and empathy to create content that resonates with her readers. You will learn how she finds those pain points for ABC Marketing clients, what has led to her success, and how you can turn your writing into opportunities. You can connect with Kiara at kiara@ABCmarketing.com or learn more at KiaraMarketing.com.
Kiara copies this into her “go-to library” and notes the date, conference information, and results. She is building her selection of biographies and “About Me” statements to customize for other situations.
Remember the article Kiara is getting published? Here is the bio she submitted:
Kiara is a B2C content writer who inspires and empowers ABC Marketing clients and readers. She covers nonprofits with a passion fueled by her personal experiences that relate and problem-solve for her readers, igniting results. Kiara@ABCmarketing.com
Some publishers may write a bio for you based on what they want their readers to know and the format they want.
Check out this article to see more examples of “About Me” narratives for different channels.
Remember that Kiara has just started. She needs to revisit the questions and continue to add more details and examples of her reflections. As she dives deeper into her answers, her bios will get more powerful.
There are no wrong answers.
It is your story. You know it. The key is to present your story in a way that grabs attention because it is of value to the reader. Depending on your audience, readers want to know why they should listen to you (your expertise), what you understand about them (their problem), and how you can help them (the solution).
One final tip.
Go through your “to-go” library before interviews. It is a great way to refresh your memories about projects, lessons learned, and your goals.
If you want to learn more about the why and how of “About Me” narratives, check out The Power of a Professional Marketing Portfolio.
Kiara can grow her presence and reputation by adding her articles to a content library like Missinglettr Curate. Read What is Content Curation & How Does it Fit Into Your Strategy? And How to Get Started with Curate to learn how Missinglettr Curate can elevate your authority.