I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reading business bios. I’m reading up on the people who joined the same mastermind group I did this year and I’m reading a lot of bios on Facebook while I finish sorting all of my “friends” into Facebook lists.
I am AMAZED at how many bios I read that leave me totally confused. I read the description of what they do, then read it again, and I am left thinking, “That sounds great, but what does that mean and what do you do?” Over and over I am reading bios that, while they sound warm and fuzzy or creative, don’t really tell me anything… I just wish I could say, “Your business bio needs help!”
When I am reading a business bio, I am looking for a few key pieces of information:
- What do you do (how to you get paid)?
- Who do you do it for?
- What results do you create?
- Why are you different?
Let’s look at an example of a bio I came across on Facebook. It read, “I can help you live life to the fullest and make your dreams come true.” I read that and thought to my self, “Seriously!? I know this person isn’t a genie with a magic lamp who can give me three wishes. So what do they actually do?”
If you finish telling someone what you do, telling them about your business, or delivering your commercial, and they respond with, “Wow that sounds great, but what do you actually do?” It means that what you’re saying isn’t working.
Now, I know someone of you may be thinking that I am dead wrong. Some of you may intentionally do this when talking to someone new as a marketing strategy to get the person you’re talking with to ask more questions about your business. And, I get it as a strategy for face-to-face networking … But it doesn’t work online. Online, if I get confused and can’t quickly and easily see how you can help me, I’m moving on to someone else’s website or Facebook page.
So here’s what I want to know:
Can you clearly explain what you do in one sentence so I don’t respond with “Sounds great, but what does that mean or what do you exactly?”
Earlier this week I posed this question to the Bourn Creative Facebook Community and some people could answer the question… and some couldn’t.
Below are some examples that were shared on our Facebook page (Thank you, thank you, thank you!). And, since I am always changing, tweaking, and updating my own short bio, you’ll also see my suggestions on how they could be even better!
Sharon Holbrook: Cybertary is a group of highly skilled professional virtual assistants (VA’s) that provide administrative support and specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives and busy people.
(Suggestion: Use the first person instead of the third person. Instead of “Cybertary is a group of…” the sentence could read, “As a Cybertary franchise owner, I am part of a group of…”)
Traci Rockefeller Cusack: I write news releases, pitch news stories, place advertising, post event information, and anything else needed to promote my clients and generate exposure for them.
(Suggestion: if Traci has a particular type of client she works best with, she may want to name her ideal client, i.e. retail and hospitality businesses.)
Emily Davis Gareis: I teach yoga with a side of Health & Wellness.
(Suggestion: Yoga teacher is clear, but what does “a side of Health & Wellness mean?” I’d think about explaining that a bit more)
Kelli Wilson: I help women between the ages of 40-55 to reduce stress by working with them in person or over the phone to eliminate mental, physical and spiritual clutter so they can function more efficiently in their lives and business.
(Suggestion: On Facebook we added in Kelli’s ideal client. She’s got her description nailed and now it’s just time to refine the flow. Here’s an example: I help women ages 40-55, either in-person or by phone, reduce stress and eliminate mental, physical, and spiritual clutter so they can function more efficiently in their lives and business.)
Richard Jules Hassman: The Business Resource Guy helps connect business to the resources that help them run more efficiently and profitably, such as merchant services, mobile payments, point of sale solutions, referral strategies, and the like.
(Suggestion: I am clear on what the Business Resource Guy does, but is that Richard? I’d change up the intro a bit to make it more personal. Here’s my example: I’m The Business Resource Guy, connecting businesses to the critical resources they need to increase efficiency and profitability, like merchant services, mobile payments, point of sale solutions, referral strategies, and more.)
Scott Edington: I create affordable but high quality videos to help people promote their products, events or services!
(Suggestion: I need more info! I know you create video… but do you shoot the video? Write the script? Edit it? Optimize it? Distribute it to video sharing sites online? And what people? Who is the ideal client for your service?)
Alycia Edgar: I work with solopreneurs to understand the story behind their numbers and create systems to drive the profits in their business.
(Suggestion: State the obvious. What is it that people can pay you to do? And, you don’t even mention your two big differentiators — being an accountant and a former retail business owner. I’d say something like, “I use my experience as an accountant and a former retail business owner to help solopreneurs to understand the story behind their financials, establish systems to increase business profits, and create a plan for growth.)
Patricia Simoneau: Grassroots Marketing + Brand Design specializes in helping small town and rural entrepreneurs grow their businesses on the world stage by providing design, marketing and writing services, in print and online.
(Suggestion: Make it more personal. Maybe start with “My business Grassroots Marketing…”)
Karen Carlson Hughes: Style YOUniversity is an online learning community that helps you look good so you can thrive in the life you lead today with wardrobe and image techniques in support of the life you’ll lead tomorrow!
(Suggestion: I’d make it more personal. Maybe say, “With my online learning community Style YOUniversity, I provide you the wardrobe and image techniques you need to thrive in the life you lead today and step into the life you’ll lead tomorrow.)
Liz Nonnemacher: Wickedly Chic: I’m the voice behind the web’s #1 resource for promoting & marketing independent businesses. Independent Shopping for the Wickedly Fashionable
(Suggestion: Well, that’s more than one sentence. So let’s condense and explain it a bit more to avoid sounding like a fashion-related retail business coach. Maybe say something like, “I’m the voice behind the web’s number one resource for promoting & marketing independent businesses to wickedly fashionable independent shoppers.
Now, how about you?
Do you have a one sentence professional business bio that clearly explains what you do, so people don’t respond with “That sounds great, but what does that mean?