5 keys to a professional bio that helps you stand out

professional bio

You’ve worked hard to design an attractive website, described your services clearly, and even added testimonials or case studies that let visitors hear what real clients think of your firm. What’s still missing? Your professional bio, of course! Bio pages are an important part of your online presence, and they get a surprising amount of traffic on most professional service firm websites.

Potential clients want to learn about the people behind the brand, and who can blame them? Imagine yourself in their position: You’ve found several providers that seem to offer the support you need. Which one should you contact? It’s a natural impulse to seek that spark of connection, a little more reassurance, or something personal to help drive a decision.

Viewed in this light, it’s easy to see why bio pages deserve at least as much attention as the others on your site. These five tips will help you create a professional bio that allows you to connect with readers and show them why they should choose your firm over all the rest.

  1. Match site style. It’s unwise to just reuse an older bio, even if you update the details, because it won’t quite fit with your new site. Start fresh, with the same writer who creates copy for the rest of the site if possible. You want to keep the same tone, writing style, and level of formality. Strive for a balanced voice that doesn’t minimize the importance of your accomplishments but does convey that you’re approachable.
  2. Focus on clients. What will clients notice as they work with you? They expect you to be an expert in your field, but how does your focus and interaction style different from other providers? Be specific about your strengths, and the way you interact as you provide support. Try to present these facts from the client’s perspective to help them determine if they’ll find the fit they’re looking for.
  3. Limit length. While you want to let visitors know who you are and what qualifies you to serve them, you don’t want to assault them with a wall of words. If you go beyond a few short paragraphs then only the most intrepid and committed readers will even delve in. The right length for a professional bio isn’t a set number of words; it will vary on each site. The best approach is to consider the length of other pages, decide what’s most important to communicate, and then err on the side of shorter rather than longer.
  4. Prune details. Judicious editing is a must for bios. Just because something is significant doesn’t mean it needs to be included – there simply isn’t room for everything meaningful in your history! Share key details but don’t be afraid to cut what’s not crucial. If you must include a large number of details (e.g. cases an attorney has represented or transactions a CPA has negotiated), try breaking up longer sections with bullet points or subheads, where appropriate, and place photos strategically to create visual interest.
  5. Share some personality. An effective bio blends the professional (education, experience, accomplishments) with the personal. This is the place to reveal a bit about who you are as a person. Your love of pets, parenting, puzzles or pizza help readers see you as someone they can relate to and be comfortable with. Do you play jazz trombone? Dabble in raising alpacas? These traits may not be critical to your qualifications as a provider, but they’re definitely a factor in choosing you in the first place – and in how much you’ll enjoy working together.

Many professionals and firms struggle with bio pages, partly because there is no standard formula and partly because writing about yourself is always slightly discomfiting. Push through anyway, or work with a professional who can help you hit the right note. Your site visitors rely on these pages to get a closer look at those who may be serving them, which makes your bio page too important to treat as an afterthought.

 

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Sarah Warlick

Sarah Warlick founded Proof Positive Content to provide professional service firms with high-quality content that resonates with their individual audiences. Sarah's writing appears in books, on dozens of firm websites and in Accounting Today, Social Media Today, various professional journals and other leading publications, but usually under another name. Ghostwriters rarely get the glory - their clients do!

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