Writing Bios that Get Noticed

Lesson 4/10 - Adding Personality Into Your Bio


Writing Bios that Get Noticed


Lesson Info

Adding Personality Into Your Bio

So let's talk a little bit about striking a balance between buttoned up and professional in your bios. Okay so we all want to add personality into our bio, you want to add it into all of your writing in copy but particularly for your bio because this is all about you. So if it doesn't sound like you, like if I read this bio and it's super, like, I'll call it corporate, right? Or it's like, so and so has this esteemed accomplishment and graduated from this university, right, and it sounds like that. Then I meet you, and you're like hey this is really great, I'm like what, where did you come from? You're totally different, there's none of that energy, and like sparkle is in there. So however you are in real life, and we're all different, our personalities, right? Like I know I'm up here and I am like super energetic and bubbly whatever and that's how I show up in copy. Not everybody is like that, right. Some of us are like more chill and relaxed and like and it feels good to be around th...

ose people, right you feel very calm, and calm energy. Well like if that's you, then that should be in your bio. Like your bio should feel soothing, like I'm sitting on a beach and relaxing. Or maybe you're kind of like funny and snarky and sarcastic, right? And that's how you are in real life. Well be that in the bio, its fine! Just whoever you are, is great and it's perfect for you. You don't have to pretend to be anybody else, or thing like I have to put personality in that sounds like my teacher or somebody else in the room. Just be you, we all have personalities and they're all great. So, the first thing is you can admit your ups and downs in your bio. So, a lot of times when we write bios, the really short ones, this isn't going to work for, because there's not enough space. But when you have more length to play with, like if you're doing your story or your about page, you can talk about ups and downs. You don't have to be like, here's all the things I'm amazing at, wee! Like listen to me! Those things are great, but there's not a whole lot of connection in that story, right? A lot of times clients want to hire people that have been in their shoes, right? So if you're just coming out the gate like, I'm amazing, everything works for me, I don't even know where you are because I have been amazing since I was born. Like that's not going to connect, right? And a lot of bios read that way, because it's all impressive credentials, or success, or this or that has happened. And then the client is just sitting there like, well then, like, I'm really dumpy and everything feels really dumpy in my business and like, how will you understand me? How can you fix this, because it sounds like you just were born this way. You know, where that's not where I am. So it's a great opportunity to like, meet your clients where they are, instead of like fast tracking to where you are constantly. So if you have this kind of a situation where you know, maybe things weren't going so well for you at some point. Like we have a leadership consultant here, and perhaps there was a time in your life when you couldn't lead, right? And it doesn't have to even be in a professional sense. Maybe it was like your family is out of control, right? And so maybe you have a mini story, could even be like a sentence or two, that's like there was a time when everything was spiraled out of control, or my dog was misbehaving and I know I need to be their leader, right, that's a good one. And like I didn't know how to be the pack leader, like I didn't know how to be the leader so I studied that. And I worked on it, and now, not only do I love my role as a leader but I love encouraging and helping other people become leaders, right? So that's more powerful, because at least they can see where you've been. And they know that things were screwed up in your own leadership at one point. And that you were there mentally, where they were, and now you were able to get over that hump and get to this beautiful space. Alright, vivid words. So, we'll talk about this more, but using really vivid, exciting words as opposed to like, terrible terms that I hate, like "world-class", and things that like are so boring, and we know what they are. Like when we read them, it's like, or "synergy" that's the other word I hate. So when you see those words its like oh gosh, they're just, everybody uses them in their bio, nothing sticking out, and no one talks like that. If I'm having coffee with you or I meet you here, and I say, "Jenna, you know, hey Jenna nice to meet you, what do you do?" And she's like "I am world-class." "I am a world-class." Like no one, who speaks like that? Nobody does, so don't use it in your copy. Don't use it, because then it's going to show up that way. So just using more vivid, exciting language, a little trick for you guys is, oftentimes as business owners we only read business stuff. Like we read business books, and business articles, and business podcasts. I am challenging everyone that is watching to put one narrative form of story into your world and soak that in at least once a week. So get a book, a fiction book, or listen to a fiction podcast, or binge watch a TV show on Netflix, or watch a movie, or read poems. So anything that's what I call narrative, right. Just means that it has story, its fictionalized, it's not like what we're used to like with business advice or self-help advice or things like that. So it has to be fictionalized. So, soak in that. And just that simple thing of like binge watching a show on Netflix sounds so ridiculous, and like, really that's my homework? But you'll be amazed at how much when you soak in actual good narrative storytelling, how much that bleeds into your writing. Because you're soaking in good words, good phrases like, good arcs of stories, it's compelling, it's exciting. Those people are paid big money to make those things right. And so, you soaking that in, you're like, okay, and it's floating through you. As opposed to if all you're soaking in is other business advice, there's no storytelling in most of that. It's usually five ways to do blah blah blah. And there's no excitement in that. That's not going to help your writing. You can still read that stuff but there needs to be something in your world where you are soaking in great storytelling. So that is your homework for everybody, and it really does bleed over, you'll notice a big difference in your writing the more that you soak in that fiction narrative. Okay, and then what to reveal versus not reveal. I get this question a lot, because when it comes to bios, people are like, well I like to maintain some semblance of privacy. So they feel like they have to say everything, or they have to share these, deepest darkest of my soul moments. And here's the thing. You don't have to do that. Like that does not make a good bio. It sometimes does, but that doesn't mean that if you don't have these deep dark depths of my soul story that you want to share or feel comfortable sharing, that's not going to make your bio any worse than like, somebody else that is sharing that. There's no comparisons there, it's not like you have to do that. You can reveal what you want to reveal and not reveal what you don't want to reveal. So, there are no rules here. It doesn't mean you have to like be so authentic and pour out your soul. I hear that so much, and it's wrong. Because if you don't feel comfortable, then I guarantee that will be reflected in your bio. Like your bio will feel very uncomfortable and no one is going to want to read it. So, if there's things you want to keep private, keep them private, right? Share something else, it's fine. You don't have to reveal all of this deeply personal information, right? Just a couple small things are sometimes just enough to showcase your personality. And that could be something like, I binge Lifetime movies secretly. Like it could be that simple. It doesn't have to be this deep dark story, unless you want to share that. Unless you know that is what your movement is, is sharing my deeply personal story so that other people will then get behind my movement. Fine, then do it. But don't feel pressured to reveal these things. And then, always aim or at least one interesting/silly/crazy fact about you. What I love to do, I like to do this in longer bios, actually I like to do it in all bios, but for example, I'll give you a couple examples so you guys know what this is real time. So I'm on let's say Instagram, usually Instagram, you have like a really tight space, there's not a lot of characters to be able to put that in. So Instagram you might just say, I help people blah blah blah and we'll get into that in the shorter bio soon. So you'll have a little sentence to use for that. And then you might just say one little quirky, silly or fun fact about you. So I think mine says something like peanut butter lover. Because I love peanut butter. But so again, it's just like a silly thing, but I can't tell you how many people reach out and are like I love peanut butter too, have you ever eaten this peanut butter? And it's fun because it just opens conversation. So you can put it in everything, from the tiniest bio like that, all the way into your about page, which is your lengthiest bio. And on there, my favorite thing to do is Ten things you didn't know about me, and you guys can do some variation of that. You could use that, you could say three things you don't know about me, five things, whatever, like fun facts, whatever you want to call it, its a really fun section. And usually it's the section that gets people to actually hit the button and reach out to you. Because they will find something in there that they are like oh that's so funny, or oh that's so me, or oh I love that too. Or oh I'm a fan of that, or I'm a horseback rider too, whatever, right? It always has some type of connection there. So it seems very silly, I know, but it's the one section that will make a big difference in your business to getting people actually move the needle and reach out to you. Alright, so here's a good couple examples of my own fun facts. This is on my about page as is that crazy photo of me throwing popcorn. I didn't learn to ride a bike until age 30, so that is on my page. Lots of people reach out to me about that, because they are like what? They think it's crazy. And I actually think I did a follow up blog post or article on that at some point a couple years ago. But, it's a fun fact which people are like shocked by Most people have learned to ride a bike when they were very, very young. So to them it's strange and they'll bring it up a lot because they want to know the story. It evokes curiosity. And then this one is a big one that most people reach out to me for. I once lived in a 27-foot Airstream with my husband and multiple dogs. Over 2 years we visited 46 states, slept in vineyards, meadows and valleys, had the best time ever except when our toilet broke. Which happened a lot. I will spare you the details. So that's fun because they're either people, there aren't many people who live that lifestyle necessarily. But there are a lot of people that dream about that lifestyle, right? So I definitely get people that reach out who are like I'm doing that and of course they reach out because they want to get my tips and tricks. But there's also a lot of people that are like wow, that's cool, you're presenting a different lifestyle, so clearly through this, I'm not only communicating like, a piece of quirky fact about me, but I'm also communicating a very specific lifestyle to people. Clearly if I did this, then I had my stuff together in my business to be able to do this, right? So I either, from their perspective, they are thinking, well she either made a ton of money so she shut down her business for this, or she is running her business remotely. Either way, this sounds cool, so I'm gonna reach out and this is the woman I want to speak to. So it's serves both coins, right? So when you are thinking about your facts, you can think about just fun and quirky, and that's it and it's fun and evokes curiosity. Or if you have facts of your life like that, that could also work in other circumstances, then you can use those as one of the facts right? And again you have space for as many as you want to put. I probably wouldn't put more than ten though.

Class Description

For some people, writing a bio is excruciating. How do you sum up your life, your work, your entire being in one neat little paragraph? How do you figure out what to put in and what to leave out? And how do you share your accomplishments without sounding totally full of yourself?

Whether you need to write a brief bio, create an about page or just figure out the best way to introduce yourself at a conference, this class will make the process fun, not painful. Melissa Cassera, an experienced brand and marketing consultant for businesses large and small, will teach you how to use your bio to connect with your readers and convert them to customers and clients.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use journalistic interview strategies to uncover your best work and worth.
  • Strike the right balance between professional and personable.
  • Understand your readers so you can connect with them.
  • Infuse personality into your bio.
  • Create a 30-second pitch for yourself and your business.
  • Write a compelling byline, 300-word story and about page.


Bettina Palazzo

What a life saver! I got so much inspiration and fun practical help our of this course, when I was stuck on writing a bio that would make me feel confident.

Nicolet Groen

Never thought of creating different versions of my bio and building upon each other. It's a short class but it certainly has been an eye-opener. Love Melissa's approach and enthusiastic teaching style.

Elena Astilleros

Wow!!!!! This video was a guilty pleasure! For such a small price, it gave me so much more value as a professional!