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Friday, January 17, 2014
Authors: Improve Your Biography & Profile To Win People Over
Whether you are an
author, editor, publicist, marketer, publisher, packager, literary agent,
distributor or whatever, as someone involved in publishing, you’ll need to
promote your professional brand through social media and other means. One thing you will need is to connect your
lifetime of work into a short biography and tag line.
One may think
putting your career achievements onto a single sheet of paper in the form of a
resume is challenging. Try writing a
hundred-word biography or a tweet-sized tagline that will convince people to do
business with you.
Let’s think about
what should go in your bio. The content depends
on where it will circulate and how it will be used. Your profile on Facebook should read
differently from the one on LinkedIn, your website or your bookjacket
bio. However, they shouldn’t be
radically different because people will check you out across mediums and
platforms. If they stumble upon tweets
that use profanity or make racist/politically offensive remarks, you’ll be
doomed. Although sometimes things may be
taken out of context, at the end of the day job recruiters don’t want to see
copies of your sextings posted on Facebook.
Make a list of
things that can be shared with others, and a separate list of things that
should not see daylight. Next, begin to
prioritize or give a hierarchy to the things you believe are important. Write a line to describe each accomplishment,
and then look to shorten and re-word each descriptive sentence until it looks
What might help you
in this process?
Try reading the
bios of those you admire or share your area of expertise. Model them – not to match them, but to
Ask yourself what
the people you want to impress need or would want to know. What can you share that’s of importance to
them? What can you say that
would provoke them or win them over?
Details are not
necessary in a bio. You don’t have to
mention things chronologically or list dates.
Your bio is not a government document or a legal brief – it is a short
snapshot of who you are, of what’s relevant and what sets a positive shine on
You don’t have to
share everything. You are under no
obligation to mention negatives or admit failures. Things that you think are cute may not be to
others. Your views on things are not
important for a bio. Anything you state
that might alienate others is not going to be helpful.
Your bio should
have the basics, such as:
link to your blog or main social media site (not all of your links)
of current book
won Keywords relevant to your book or career
concrete such as a job title
line that summarizes what you do (and how long you have been doing it, if it’s
a long time)
to generally avoid unless relevant to your expertise:
faith, sexual preference, political leanings
or body measurements
A lot of this may
seem logical and common sense at work, but too often we let our ego and passion
cloud our judgment. Your bio is a
tool. At the very least, rid it of
statements that prejudice others against you, make you look stupid, or appear
offensive. Where possible, strengthen it
so it becomes a weapon to help draw people to you. A good bio not only shares who you are but
builds you up and gets readers to gravitate your way.
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