Creating a First Draft & Intro


Writing Bios that Get Noticed


Lesson Info

Creating a First Draft & Intro

So let's talk a little bit about cranking out your first draft. And I love this quote, "You can always fix crap, but you can't fix a blank page." So don't be intimidated by the blank page. (laughs) I know that little blinking cursor is not fun or the blank journal page, wherever you choose to write. But you can't fix that. It's just there and there's nothing to work from. So realize that all first drafts, as I know I said earlier, are always gonna be bad. Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. So that's it, it just has to be there. It should not be polished, it should not have anything from your bio thesaurus in it unless you did put it in there because it just came to you, but most likely it won't. It probably won't make any sense, it'll just be a hot mess. And all, all professional writers go through the same process. So there's no way to skip over it. The first draft is just, you can think of it as perfect, like this quote said. Or I just like t...

o say, well they're gonna, it's just awful, it's not gonna be good, and that's okay 'cause that's what a first draft is. So just get the words on the page, do not edit as you write, sit down, write, it's that simple. So this is probably the easiest lesson you'll every hear because it's really just that simple. Alright, so let's dig into your 25-word intros. This is probably the most important part of class today. This is the way that you introduce yourself, like I mentioned earlier, whenever you're in any kind of setting. It's also going to be the thing that sparks your other bios. So I like to start from this point, if that's not your vibe, and you're like, no, I wanna start from a different one, that's okay too because after class you get to do whatever you want. But for me, I think it's easier to start here, and then just work your way out and out and out and out through each of the versions. Alright, so this is my intro, so if I'm at a cocktail party or whatever, a networking event, somebody's like, what do you do? I just say some variation of this, pretty close to this, which is say, hey, I'm Melissa. I work with people hate promoting their businesses. I usually make some kind of like, they hate it, (laughs) something like that, and I show them how to get more publicity in sales while making it all feel like a guilty pleasure. So this is really important because I'm telling them, I'm reflecting back to them that they hate promoting their businesses, 'cause I hear that all the time, and it's usually with that inflection of, I hate it. So I'm reflecting that back. And then I'm telling them what I do so there's establishing credibility here but then I have this extra step where it feels like a total guilty pleasure. This is something specific to my business, I like the feeling of my business to be like a guilty pleasure. I write Lifetime movies, so like I said, it's all weaved in with everything. And I want them to, that's really at the end of the day, what my why is and what I want. It's less about what your publicity strategy and your sales strategy is. There's lots of people that can teach you that. But my purpose is to make all that stuff actually feel freaking fun for you. Feel like whatever that guilty pleasure is for you, whatever that salacious thing that you're like, ooh, I'm not gonna tell anybody. I want that feeling, that's my aim and my goal. So this is my intro and let's talk about your intro. So I wanna do some live intros. Please do not be worried or think that you're gonna do this wrong. We're gonna have a nice little template that's coming up on the next screen. So the template's gonna make it really easy and I will actually do it for you so you guys don't even have to figure it all out yourself. All I'll really need to know is what your name is and what your business is, basically. And then I might ask you a couple questions about your business. So super low key, don't stress out and think I'm gonna make you do this all on your own and throw you to the wolves. So the only thing I need is a couple volunteers. So again you don't have to fill this in, I'll fill it in for you, so don't panic. Okay, so first thing I need is your name. Damon. Damon? Yep, I'm Matt Damon. (laughing) Alright, so you're Damon. So let's just start with the first one, so I put this here as template, so you can either say, I work with, I coach, I speak to, or I serve, which one feels more aligned for you? I serve. Okay, so, I serve people who, is that relevant for you? That works. People rather than businesses. People, yeah. Alright, okay. So which one of these next words do you wanna use, so you serve people who love, need, crave, can't figure out how to, or struggle to, which one feels more aligned for you? The last two. I know it probably would be. The last two? Can't figure out how to or struggle to. Okay let's pick one just for our purpose today. Let's say struggles to. And you can play later. So struggle to, okay, struggle to. Alright, then we're gonna hit the next slide. Alright, so either I help them or I give them the tools to, which one sounds better for you? Or if you have another way you wanna phrase that, that's fine too. I help them. Okay, so help them to, and then let's see what do you wanna say in the end. So there's a bunch of different ones here, and we can also mix and match them. So and if you're struggling like off the cuff we'll just talk about what you do and I'll help you figure it out. So get more blank while making it feel like blank, or you can just say get more blank, you can just cut the rest. I help them to, the second one wouldn't really work for that, if you're just gonna say help them to. So I help them to get exactly what they want, which is blank, peace, love, whatever. I help them bring more something into their lives. I help them turn blank into blank. I help them resolve something once and for all. Or I help them look and feel totally a way. Bring more happiness into their lives. Yay! Alright, bring more happiness. So, hi, I'm Damon. I serve people who struggle to, help them to, bring more happiness, right? Yes. Yes? I can get down with that. (laughs) Is that good? Good start right, easy. So and then you can play with it a little bit later. Of course, this is all a work in progress and if it feels too much like, okay that feels scary, don't worry about it, but this is a great start for you and then you can just work from that point on. Works for me. Does that feel good? Alright, okay, so what's your name? I'm Lyria. Lyria, is it L-Y? L-Y-R-I-A. R-I-A? Yeah. Awesome, I love that name. What a beautiful name. Thank you. Alright, so, hey, I'm Lyria. I work with, coach, speak to, or serve, which one feels right for you, or none, and then we'll figure it out. I photograph. Okay, so I would go with, you can either go with I work with, or you can say I photograph. Which one feels better? I photograph. Alright, so, I photograph people who, and then what do you wanna plug into that next one? So love, need, crave, can't figure out, who struggle to. I photograph, can we change people to women? Yeah, absolutely. I like that distinction. Alright, so women who. Are celebrating a benchmark. Okay. Actually I did my own here. Can I read it to you? Do it, yeah, do it. (laughing) And maybe you can shape it up. Yeah. 'Cause I was so pumped when you, when you had this, I was like, oh my gosh! I can do this! Yes! So I photograph women who are celebrating a benchmark in their lives by taking them to exotic destination to take cinematic photos. Okay, so I probably won't get all of that down, but I love that. I think that's awesome. I don't even know if you need the whole, so can you read the ending part to me after the creating a benchmark, what's the next piece? Benchmark in their lives by taking them to exotic destination to take cinematic photos. Okay, so I like all of that. The only thing I wonder is do your clients use the word benchmark? I usually, I do milestone. But I'm trying to increase my vocabulary like you suggest. So maybe I'll stick with milestone, like women who are-- I think I like milestone, or women who are celebrating a special moment, even if it's a little bit longer, I think that's okay. That was the only thing that stuck out to me. Benchmark feels so corporate and then I don't wanna go to the exotic island 'cause we're gonna talk about benchmarks. (laughing) That's not, we don't want that. So I think you wanna just keep that and one trick I will say for you, I think what you did was great that I love, your changes and that's what I mean with this. Start with this template but feel free to roll out. Do whatever's inspiring for you. The point of this is to get it on the page. So I think you did a great job and the second piece I think for you would be just to do a pass of, because you have a luxury brand, you're taking people on exotic destinations, and taking cinematic photos, so all exciting language, so I would say once you start to create your bio thesaurus if there's any other words in there that feel exciting, swap 'em. I like the way it is now, but there may be something that you're like, Ooh that is a good word. And look at other luxury brands that are outside, not other photographers but look at high end travel and tourism, look at high end luxury cars, look at high end fashion brands, and just kinda see what language they're using in their advertisements, on their websites, et cetera, and start to pepper your bio thesaurus with that and if there is something to plug in, do it, because you want them to feel. But I love what you did, so. Thank you. You helped me to get here. Yeah, I think it's great. Alright, so you're double N right. Yes. So, hey, I'm Jenna. You work with, you coach, you speak to, or you serve, or some other way you wanna say it. Either work with or write for. Ooh, well let's go with write for because I know that's your, you're trying to move in that space. Yes. So sometimes when we are shifting, just FYI for everybody, if you are shifting into something new, or your desire, or in your case, you now work with people one-on-one, but you have this bigger desire to be a writer. Well we gotta claim that. No one else is gonna tell you you're a writer, you have to say it. So I'm gonna use that right now because I want you to claim it. Okay, perfect. So I write for, alright, so do you wanna say women who, people who? Well, so in the copywriting side of things I am working with women who, and I was thinking of the can't figure out how to tell their story. Love it. Or figure out what makes them special, or you know, any of that. So would you say for you it feels more appropriate to say women because that's your clients? Yes. Okay, so I write for women who, and you wanted to say can't figure out how to. Can't figure out how. And you said tell their story. Right. Alright, awesome, tell their story. And that's a big concern obviously for people. And then what do you do? So you help them, you give them the tools. I help them. You weave a story, whatever you wanna say. Yeah. You weave a narrative. Oh I like that. You weave an exciting, heart pounding novella. Yeah, it's about pulling out the nuggets of what is compelling about them and compelling about their story. Okay, well I like that, maybe that is it. Maybe it's I help them uncover, so I help them uncover the hidden gold to weave a tale that's exciting, riveting. Something like that. (laughs) Yes. So you can change that obviously but again, two things to keep in mind for this. So I love what you came up with, I think that's super awesome, and you could also keep it very simple if you wanna just keep it the initial way you said it. I'm just sort of adding the little things about uncovering the hidden gold and weaving a tale that's riveting, only because you have such an opportunity here, much like we were talking about earlier, where you can weave in some more fun words and language because you're a storyteller. So make it feel like cinematic and exciting. So that will be really easy for you to do and play around with because you can simply just look at storytelling words and phrases, how people talk about, like an easy, a good one will be read the book jackets of romance novels or thriller novels, a non-stop thrill ride, and it's always like five stars, things like that. So look at those as inspiration and fill up your bio thesaurus because that's essentially what you want your clients to feel like, the riveting, exciting, five star book jacket. They should have that feeling when they're being written about or they're writing about themselves. So that's what I would do for inspiration for you. Perfect. I think it would be awesome. Yeah, thank you. Alright, does anybody else wanna go? One more, yay! What do you do for those of us that, like right now I'm in transition, what I'd done as a career isn't really what I'm really doing now, and even what I'm doing now are kind of at two ends of a spectrum. So what do you do with that when I look at this and I go, okay well I can kind of answer it for this thing over here, but I don't know if I can really answer it for this thing, and how do you meld the two together? So what are you two things? Well I have more than two things. (laughs) Okay, what are the main two? The main two, I'm a physical therapist, I've been one for 20 plus years, I work in healthcare, and so I have a regular part-time job but I'm transitioning into being a solopreneur and seeing clients just on my own. I'm not looking to make a clinic or do anything like that but just provide services, but then I also work in early movement education, so it's still under that physical therapist movement specialist umbrella but I actually work with preschoolers, specifically teaching preschool teachers as well as working with parents and I'm actually publishing a book in that arena that just kinda happened. So what do you do when you're not really sure, aside from being a mom of four and a taxi driver in my spare time, and short order chef, and all that other junk. That can all go in the longer bio. (laughs) Yeah, yeah. If you want. I think because you have two, so it's all under the same umbrella, so I think you do need to do one that's just a physical therapy overview, just quickie intro. I do agree with you though, that this subsection of what you're doing, which is, you said early development? Early movement education. Early movement education. I do think that is a bit of a different conversation, because if you're talking to moms, I assume, or teachers, they have a much different language and point of view. So this kinda thing, I mean I wouldn't write all of your bios this way. I think you need to capture in the other bios just different things you say, I'm a physical therapist and here's how I serve, and then you would have a paragraph or a couple sentences about the first way and then a couple sentences about the early movement development. That would be fine for a longer bio. You can easily work both of those in, it's still physical therapy, you still have the same beliefs, it's all the same. For this though, I do think you probably need to create two, and that's just because the conversation with moms or early childhood educators is so different than your other physical therapy clients. Exactly, and I actually work, ironically, with geriatric neuro so there's, so I actually see some interweaving, but to most people they're like what? How do you work at this end of the lifespan as well as the other end of the lifespan at the same time? That would be great for a bigger bio so I think that's just a great way to just open it, open up like all the other bios we go through besides this one. You could easily open with like, I'm a physical therapist and I work with people on two very dichotomous sides of the lifespan. And then you say what they are and then you can dig in a little bit deeper because you have more space. For this though, like I said, you're using this mostly for conversation, in person or on the phone or whatever, and I think you need to, in your situation, have two of these. So do you wanna do one, or are you feeling really? Okay? Okay. (laughing) Okay, don't worry. It's not like, if it doesn't come out exactly like you want it, don't worry. That's what we're here for. We're just playing, it should feel playful. (laughs) I'm sure it doesn't feel that way right this second, but it will eventually. I'm trying to go with this. Okay, let's go with the flow and play. Alright, so your name. Mary Lynn. Mary Lynn. Yeah double name. I love that. Is it L-Y-N-N? L-Y-N-N. Okay, so Mary Lynn, okay so. (laughs) Hey, I'm Mary Lynn. I work with, coach, speak to, serve, I think for you. I work with people? Yeah, okay, I think so too. No, I think so. Which one do you wanna do this for? I would say my elder clients. We're gonna do it for your elder clients. Don't worry, I won't make you do it twice. This is it. Okay, so I work with people who love, need, crave, can't figure out how to, struggle to. Struggle to get their health condition in line really. Okay, so struggle to get, to get health in line. I'm spelling things wrong because I'm writing things really fast, terrible writer that I am, first draft. (laughing) Okay and then I help them, give them the tools to, or show them. The one that connects with me most, but I really don't know how to say it, is deal with transitions, because when I'm working with people, they've either had a car accident, they've had a stroke, they've had a major life event. Oh I like that. I mean I don't like that. No. I just mean I like this insight. And you know, they might've even had an amputated leg and I'm coming in and they need to figure out, wow, I don't know how to walk again, or I can't see things the way I used to, so it's a pretty big deal, and so we're not just working with them, we're working with their families and a lot of times with healthcare the way it is, it's so frustrating because we don't have those opportunities to do that and sometimes it takes some time. Okay, so maybe it's something more like, you help them to cope with and heal from, would you say big transitions? Is that how you phrased it before? I don't know. I'm workin' on that. Yeah, I think that's something, so that way you're hitting both structure, both spectrums rather, of you're helping them heal, but you're also I think, helping them cope like emotionally. So it's a bit of a double-edged sword which is I think is fine and I think important. And then maybe just plug in that last part so it could be transitions, or harrowing events, or whatever, I know it's specific for your industry and you have to careful in the medical industry what language you use so I wanna honor that. So I would just say keep it simple to start, maybe you use life transitions, or body transitions, or whatever, and then you can play with it down the line. And also listen to how your clients refer to those instances too. What do they say when they come to you? How do they refer to their situation and how they're feeling? And that could be an easy plugin in the end.

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.

Elena Astilleros

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

Shannon Christy