I always tell clients that I don’t write most of my own marketing materials. I usually need some input from outside sources. There’s a reason for that, and it’s simple: Writing about myself is difficult.
I can talk about myself and my business all day long, but when it comes to putting it into words, I struggle. I know I’m not alone in that. Ninety five percent of my biography clients dread even starting the process. The comment I receive often is, “well, I’m not that interesting.” The reality is, most people aren’t sure what makes us unique, and if we do, we’re afraid to express it because it might make us sound arrogant or weak.
The funny thing is, once I dive into a biography interview with a client, the interesting facts just start pouring out. People are so varied, so fascinating. Selfishly, I love writing biographies, because I get an inside look into a person. What makes her tick? What incredible challenges has she overcome, and how on earth did she do it?
The Personal & the Professional
As much as we talk about work/life separation, I think it’s clear to most people how closely our business and personal lives are connected. Especially when you own your own business. It becomes a part of you, as important as your arm or leg. No one stumbles randomly into a business venture. It stems from a passion, an experience, or a need. In most cases, I can pick out quite early in a conversation the one or two traits or experiences that tie it all together.
This is why I always recommend having someone else write your biography. It creates a more accurate and detailed picture, and of course, you can avoid writing altogether!
If you want to write your own biography, that’s okay. However, I’d strongly recommend that you have someone else interview you for your bio before you start writing. The observations someone else makes about you and your experience can bring to light a completely different picture of who you are, and why you do what you do. Better yet, a thorough interview can show you how your experiences, accomplishments, and activities all interrelate. Once you find that connection, writing a biography becomes a lot easier!
A few questions for an interview might include:
What led you to start your business or position?
What makes your business unique?
Who is your greatest mentor and what has that person taught you?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
What do you like to read, listen to, or watch?
What or who makes you smile no matter what has happened in your day?
In the interview, be sure to include all the major aspects of someone’s professional and educational experience, as well as all of their personal details, hobbies, and motivators. We all connect with real people and real stories – not just lists of achievements.
And finally, remember that not everything that comes out in an interview needs to go into the biography. It’s all about pulling out the important pieces, or the pieces that are interconnected in some way. Often, clients will tell me confidential information they would never announce to the world. However, it’s important to be honest in an interview, because these stories often inform some of the rest of the biography. Important experiences – good or bad – all have their impact and can shed light on a person’s life, choices, and personality.
A Recent Biography We Helped Write
One of the most recent biographies I wrote was for an incredibly talented Certified Financial Planner with Sun Life Financial, Ron Sutherland. The hour spent talking with him about his life and plans was the best part of my day! That’s not surprising for anyone who knows Ron personally because he truly radiates positivity. There’s even proof of that in his bio. Ron didn’t just overcome a bad injury in his early twenties; he actually turned it into a highly successful career. I also got to include a note about his recent marriage, and then see the beautiful wedding pictures a few weeks later.
Here’s the link to Ron’s LinkedIn page, where you can read his biography and connect with him personally. I highly recommend getting in touch with Ron if you need help with financial planning, preparation for retirement, or insurance to protect you and your growing family. Ron is an expert in his field and a pleasure to meet and do business with.
If you have questions about writing your biography or you need help preparing an interview, please reach out and let us know. We’d be happy to help out!