Common Bio Writing Advice That's Currently #1 on My This-Is-Total-Horshit Chart >>> DRUMROLL PLEASE?!?!!!!
“Your bio isn’t about you, it’s about your customer”
(Blasphemy, I know...does anyone else smell torch fire?)
We’ve all heard the above advice, and I can’t wait to tell you why it’s hogwash, but first, I want to recap something really important just to ensure we’re all on the same page:
Your bio is the Grand Central Station of your website, i.e. the busiest, most visited page you own, because people are earnestly deducing whether or not you’re legit, since any type of human animal (from back alley crooks to young women with the gall to call you “hun” to people who video chat in waiting rooms) can have a website and refer to themselves as a (fill in the blank) which means no one who’s actually serious about a service - not me, not you, not your Aunt Peg - clicks on an About page to read about themselves.
Yes?!?! Moving on...
The whole “Your Bio Isn’t About You” tripe is intended to sound smart and sage, but in reality --
It’s just residual.
It’s cold, fuzz-covered leftovers from a very basic copywriting concept - that copy isn’t about you, the entrepreneur, it’s about your customer.
And while that part is mostly true, the idea doesn't carry over so well to bios, because bios are for brazenly swiveling the spotlight onto ourselves to show people who we are...
So then if we're not going to take this very confusing, very catastrophic advice (we've all seen the attempts, and it ain't pretty) then what should we do instead?
We should "tell our story." But a story, just like anything you ever, ever, ever, write ever, has to have one very important ingredient:
It has to have an implied , So what?
And it’s the So what? part that involves the client... It’s the implicit reason you’re telling this story right now to this particular person.
If you’re a leadership expert who chooses to tell the story of how you used to play fiddle in a country music band, so what? Because your approach to leadership is about being the kind of front (wo)man who inspires others to use what they’re good at to play along and dance to your song.
If you’re a business coach who chooses to write about your background in floral design, so what? Because the back end of the flower business is as brutal as farm labor, and you’re good at what you do because you get your hands dirty. You send clients digging into the funk of their own mud, so they can finally quit churning in a wasteland of bad habits and mindsets, and instead take root where it's fruitful, and grow into an established, powerful entrepreneur.
If you’re an anti-bullying consultant and choose to write about your attempted suicide, so what? Because bullying isn’t just about shitty work environments. It’s about how long term exposure to toxic behaviors changes people into someone they barely recognize and that changes your company for the worse.
So you see, your bio or your story is never about your customer. It's about you...and what your story has to do with them.