June 23, 2022

Personal Bio for Building Thought Leadership

Personal Bio for Building Thought Leadership

When it comes to personal bios, there are people who have them ever ready and then there are others, a vast majority, who keep pushing writing a personal bio for later. That later never comes.

Personal Bios are documents that portray your professional history in a story format. It narrates how your work and skills have made a contribution. Infact, if you are building your thought leadership, personal bio is the first thing you must have in your arsenal.

In this episode, host Surbhi Dedhia, shares her 15 years of experience writing personal bios for C-suite to junior staff across geographies. She shares what are some of the commonly made mistakes in bios and how to write a bio that can make you stand out.

This short episode will help you to look at your existing bio and make relevant changes or if you don't have one, will motivate you to write one. 

If you are stuck on writing your bios, because we know writing one can be tricky, you can always connect with Surbhi and her team on JotMyBio.com

Visit https://www.JotMyBio.com  for a worldclass bio that captures your professional achievements and showcases your unique personality.

[00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Okay. So let's agree that a personal professional bio is something everybody needs, but not everybody bothers to write one. Perhaps the pandemic has taught us to pay attention to it, but it is still not up there on the priority list for many. In my experience, personal bio gets prioritized only when there's a need, which means when a conference organizer, asks you when you are presenting, asks you for a personal bio to introduce yourself, or you really need to update that LinkedIn profile of yours.


[00:00:34] Surbhi Dedhia: Typically when you need a quick turnaround. So, what happens when the turnaround time is short? One just ends up putting together a bio that is shallow or the one that doesn't paint the full story. And I think that's a pretty big missed opportunity. A personal bio is a strategic play and should not be ignored.


[00:00:56] Surbhi Dedhia: And that's why when I work with clients, the first thing that I ask them is where is your personal Bio? Alright, so if you already have a bio old or recently written, there are a few common mistakes or some things which are overlooked, and I'm gonna share a checklist on this episode that you may want to check with your bio. If you do not have a bio yet these pointers will definitely help you to avoid some of the common mistakes that are there. 


[00:01:29] Surbhi Dedhia: The first step is getting your point of view. So the point of view is basically who's telling your story. When you write a bio in the first person, beginning with I statements, you definitely make yourself more relatable, approachable, and social.


[00:01:48] Surbhi Dedhia: So for example, if I say I am a digital marketing specialist with an experience that spans across Asia, Southeast Asia, and the middle east, in this case, you are telling your own story. I'm telling my own story in this. And the point of view works best, especially in channels like social media or when you are presenting in a close group, uh, situation.


[00:02:10] Surbhi Dedhia: First person bios are very common, but if you're applying for a job or your bio is going to be about. Page of your company website. It is best to opt for a third person point of view. So going back to the same example I gave you earlier, it could be rewritten as in third person, as Surbhi Dedhia is a digital marketing specialist with work experience that pans across Asia, Southeast Asia, and the middle east.


[00:02:36] Surbhi Dedhia: She believes that modern marketing can impact business bottom line when done systematically. All right. So by using the name and pronoun, my name and pronouns, I'm letting my role and skills speak for themselves. And that way it creates more authority. It looks stronger. The point of view you opt really depends on where your audience is going to read your bio or listen to your bio.


[00:03:03] Surbhi Dedhia: Both approaches are effective when used with a clear, concise storytelling technique to connect with your reader. Now, there are some people who may, who like to call different names, be innovative, like tech ninja marketing Maverick on the bio. I recommend not to use them and on a one page bio, because you want your bio to be industry friendly and that flows across a vast range of communities.


[00:03:35] Surbhi Dedhia: So the first point was to look at the point of view. The second common thing that I find is that the bio is a laundry list of things that the person has done. Please don't do that. A bio is not a list of jobs you've done, or the list of your degrees or achievements.


[00:03:56] Surbhi Dedhia: This is your chance to tell your story to the world. And it is the chance to position yourself in the eyes of a reader or a listener. It contains all the twists and turns of the plot information about how your skills have made a difference to the work that you. Sometimes, people like to add humor and showcase their funny side in their bio as well.


[00:04:18] Surbhi Dedhia: And while it is nice to be different, it helps and it helps to be memorable. Personal bios are mostly used in a professional context. And depending on the industry that you work in humor or the fun element may not really land well. So you wanna be careful about it. I'm a big believer. If you know your audience well, if you know your industry, well, then writing a personal bio with a little bit of humor will really make you stand out.


[00:04:48] Surbhi Dedhia: Okay. So since a personal bio is not a CV, a chronological order is not really of big importance here. What is important is the narrative for the listener or the reader to get the gist of your skills, personalities and your achievement. The reason personal value is more impactful is simple. You, the artist, can paint the picture in the audience's mind.


[00:05:14] Surbhi Dedhia: The next one is lack of consistency. If I were to Google your name and the, and the first page has two to three links that comes up with your name, which by the way is really, really good. Will all the information on all those three, four links be the same or similar. When we say consistency, we need your bio to have a similar storyline, especially when you're building your thought leadership.


[00:05:42] Surbhi Dedhia: So as to not confuse, um, your, your audience, your community, in the hyper digital world that we live in different mediums, demand, different bios sizes. And it is important that while you may need to cater to the space specification, you keep the basic thread of your personal story consistent. If you're looking for a job, this gets even more important because recruiters may look you up in different sources and they do not want to be confused about.


[00:06:12] Surbhi Dedhia: On the topic of consistency, I would like to add that everybody needs a law form bio and a short form. A short form. Bio is basically an elevator pitch, 5,200 words on who you are and how you can help. Whereas the long form bio will be much longer for you to write your professional story contributions and achievements.


[00:06:36] Surbhi Dedhia: In fact, the byline on LinkedIn is a great place to start your short form bio, which is one like which starts with a one word that describes yourself. Like you are a connector. You are a networker, you are a business leader or a senior entrepreneur, um, investor, you know, all those objectives can be like the best place to start, uh, writing your short form bio.


[00:07:01] Surbhi Dedhia: Okay. Just to recap so far, we have talked about you having the right point of view on your bio, uh, do not make it a Listicle and the third is to stay consistent. On the back of consistency, your bio is a living document. Remember this, your bio is a living document, meaning it is important to update your bio regularly. Do not send the standard bio written by your comms team when you join the company after six months to like an event organizer, or if you're a founder, listening to the show today, do not send that old, personal bio that you made at the beginning of founding the company. It helps to set a reminder every six to 18 months to just update your bio. It also helps to have someone else read the bio, because it is hard to write about yourself and having someone to read your bio helps to simplify your.


[00:08:02] Surbhi Dedhia: Next is always add links to your personal bio. I feel this is a pretty big missed opportunity that we overload, like unless your bio is really going to be printed, which is a rarity these days, links to showcase your work or referencing the context that you're talking about in your. By personal bio content.


[00:08:23] Surbhi Dedhia: We may want to put in a link or to link. Actually, I would say just a link, uh, showcasing your work like media mentions awards, et cetera. And one quick tip here that I can share is to use, uh, something called as a link aggregator, like a link tree or pin it or sell it lead pages type of links, because these are consolidation of landing pages that you want your readers to.


[00:08:49] Surbhi Dedhia: To go to the link of their choice. Now it is very, this, this link tree link doc tree is very, uh, popular on Instagram, but who says it cannot be used for a bio. If the link you are going to share is long, really a long link, you are a link. It may help to even shorten your URL. Shorteners like Bit.ly


[00:09:11] Surbhi Dedhia: leveraging positive and uplifting language. Now this is something that I find is often missed out while writing a bio using active voices. Very, very important. Do not downplay your achievements, write them as you've done them. Be proud of it. Be like you own that achievement. Right? So you have to write it as if you mean it also using stronger word words to narrate your story.


[00:09:40] Surbhi Dedhia: Words such as trying or attempted or attempting to do something are clearly downplaying yourself. So you want to showcase the change that you are making, the difference that you're creating. And this is some topic that I can go on and on. But this episode may then sound like an English lecture. Yeah. So I don't wanna go there, but you get the point by leveraging positive and uplifting language.


[00:10:05] Surbhi Dedhia: Right. So what we spoke about so far is having the point of view, correct? Uh, do not make your bio as Listicle, gotta stay consistent, update your bio consistently and add, showcase to your link and use uplifting and active voice in writing your bio. alright, once the person reads your bio online, what would you like for them to do contact you or click on some link to go to a landing page?


[00:10:34] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, your bio is actually a marketing tool. It offers great real estate. So add in that call to action or a CTA. If you are a speaker, provide a link to a book, to book you to speak to at events. If you're an author, provide a link for them to purchase your book or download a free chapter. If you offer an online course, provide a link to that.


[00:10:57] Surbhi Dedhia: So if you want to invite conversations in your industry, invite people to get in touch with you. Here's a word of caution: bio is a marketing tool, not a sales tool, which means that you cannot go overboard with these CTAs, keep it strategic and max to one CTA, which is calls to action. You may want to save the CTA for the most important click that you desire from the reader.


[00:11:25] Surbhi Dedhia: Before you start writing your bio, it is critical to think about your audience, how is your bio going to be read by them? Where are they going to read it? And what do you want for them to think of you when they read it? Yeah. Bio always starts with your name in the first sentence. Obviously I recommend beginning with a quote to set the tone for the rest of the bio, but yeah, the name follows with the current job title.


[00:11:54] Surbhi Dedhia: And if you're an entrepreneur, this is where you will add like founder, director and such titles denote your occupation. Now, the next part is very important as this is where the reader must get hooked on. Write your achievements, things that you bring most value to your clients on, and that can be followed by a bit of a background, different roles that you have taken contributions you've made.


[00:12:21] Surbhi Dedhia: Maybe you are a podcast host, or maybe you write a blog. So this is where you should write all about. And this is a part where you want to ride on your past achievements to talk to your current audience. Next you want your personality to shine? Yeah. So that's where we are all humans and you need to write about things that energize you like hobbies, side hustles, volunteering work, or maybe you're a wine connoisseur, you get the drift. Think of these as conversation starters for anyone approaching you after reading your bio, remember a little bit of wit, can take your bio reader to know you better and win a brownie point for yourself while we may all be doing a lot, lot beyond our jobs. Try to keep the personality part a bit short and sweet, like just a dip in the water don't showcase to them.


[00:13:14] Surbhi Dedhia: I mean, there's just going to be no space to really talk a lot more about your personality here. Remember your personal bio is more a professional marketing tool and not a friendship making. Right, to wrap up your bio, you can then add calls to action and co contact details. Again, depending on where you publish your bio.


[00:13:36] Surbhi Dedhia: If it is on your social media, all of them have a DM option. So leaving your email and phone number can be a little redundant there. Invite your readers to reach out on DMs. In terms of call to action, we also spoke about it earlier, keep them really targeted because, uh, bio is a marketing tool.


[00:13:55] Surbhi Dedhia: It's not a sales tool. When you write your bio for a social media website, the word count character limits are pre minded on each of these platforms. When you have a chance to write without a limit, for example, on your personal website or about me page or for your business kiss principle should be. Yes, that's right.


[00:14:18] Surbhi Dedhia: Keep it short and simple. Once you write your bio, run it past your friends and colleagues before you publish it anywhere you want to test. If your bio lands well with people who know you as bio reflects your personality, personal bio bio needs to be written and rewritten several times before it is finally published.


[00:14:39] Surbhi Dedhia: When you have a personal bio ready? The next thing you want to have that compliments your bio is a professional photo by professional photo. I mean, get a professional photographer to take your photo and edit it. Please do not take photos on your phone and get your colleague to do it. Uh, during your coffee break or something.


[00:14:59] Surbhi Dedhia: This is very important. And I think I'm gonna make another episode just on this topic because I have seen the difference. It. In creating that impact with a professional photo. All right. To summarize about the personal bio, do not push writing bios to the bottom of your tutor list. Either write it on your own or use a fantastic service like Jo, my bio.com that offers to write your bio for you in the tone that reflects your unique personality.


[00:15:30] Surbhi Dedhia: Visit https://www.Jotmybio.com to see examples of bios that have been written and order yours today. all right, moving on from the business plug . Before you write the bio of yourself, think about your audience. Who's going to read it and then set out writing, using the tips I mentioned in this episode. Definitely edit.


[00:15:55] Surbhi Dedhia: And re-edit the bio till it's concise and clear, have two types of bios on hand, short form and the long form, so they can be used without losing out on the essence of your professional story. And finally, remember to regularly update your bio. personal. Bio is an amazing tool when used correctly can help you stand out and make the desired impact, especially while building thought leadership, personal bio is the first tool that you want to acquire in your arsenal.


[00:16:28] Surbhi Dedhia: With that. I hope this episode has given you some food for thought and ideas that can help you make changes to your current bio and has helped you to think about positioning yourself correctly in your business environment. I will see you in two weeks time with yet another exciting episode on the making of a thought leader podcast until then stay safe. Ciao.