A brilliant bio is...
As personalized as your fingerprint.
As smart as the whip that drives you.
As real as the scars you've won.
There's only one tee-tiny problem when it comes to creating it...
Writing about yourself is torture.
Turns out, hell isn't fire and brimstone - it's a blank Word document.
But you've sat in the inferno anyway trying to write a bio, yet every time you read over it?
You sound like a total dork.
(Or you hired someone else to write one for you, and it sounds...fine.)
The idea during those long, infuriating writing hours is to come up with something that doesn't make you cringe. Something that sounds audacious, true and real, but also...
Professional - Not overly "heartfelt" or naive like you started a business yesterday.
Personality driven - You aren't a robot. There's a heart and a brain in there - and son of a gun, they both work!
Wooing and delightful - You aren't boring. So why, pray tell, is your bio?
Differentiating - How many yahoos online do the same thing you do? Your services may be the same, but your story isn't. (Especially if you tell it right.)
Perfect - Meaning, it doesn't feel brilliant one day and positively stupid the next. If you nail it, the content doesn't stagnate.
Natural - So you're confident and proud (damn straight) to send people to your website, because it's SO MUCH EASIER to promote yourself when you have it succinctly and creatively stated in writing that you've earned the right to be in business.
Brand supporting - Because guess what? Who you are, what you do, and how you do it (all bio stuff) is the very foundation of your brand.
Effective - It makes people like and respect you.
And therefore trust you.
And therefore feel comfortable giving you their hard earned MONEY.
No pressure or anything...
To be clear - potential clients are absolutely reading your online bio (a.k.a., your "story"), trying to determine:
- The difference between you and the rest of the Internet.
- If they want to work with you.
- If you're worth the price.
So let's face the baboon in the room and state the obvious here-
That's a rather complicated beast is it not?
It's no wonder creative, self-knowing, well written people approach their bio problem in one of three ways:
They write a chronological timeline to show how they got where they are when nobody cares. Rehashing childhood is for family reunions not your website.
They turn their bios into a trophy case - "I graduated from the University of Washington, I earned a Political Science degree, I have a masters in Glass Blowing, I Cross Fit, I Toast Master, I meditate, I've ridden an elephant, and I, and I, and I."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the screen, your reader has already bounced.
They write a short, “quirky” paragraph about their late night Haagen-Dazs habit and explain they live in New Hampshire with their husband, their eight-year-old son, and their two English bulldogs named Chuck and Norris - Cute, but tells their audiece absolutely nothing.
Or some combination of all three.
Which is no good. These are formalities that create unnecessary clutter and not enough space for the real story to breathe. You can't just TELL people who you are...
You have to show them.
Imagine having a smart, gorgeous bio that says everything you've been trying to say only better up on your site.
Imagine sounding nothing like your competitors, no matter how similar the service.
Imagine a bio that's so "YOU" that when a potential client does call, they already get what you're about. And they dig it.
Imagine doing MORE than listing your accolades, your quirks, or the chronological order of your life and instead, PUSHING some boundaries to artistically encapsulate why you're special. This strikes an emotional chord with your customer - not just a logical one.
Imagine capturing (with words) the "hard to explain" bits about your history or your services, and expressing it beautifully in a way that sells. That way, someone could be reading about and falling in love with you while you're out doing god knows what - shopping for underwear (hopefully).
Imagine publishing a bio on your website that's so compelling, people actually WANT to read it and then do business with you.
Imagine not having all the answers yet as to whom you want to be online - but investing in a professional service and discovery process that helps you finally figure that out.
Not many people imagine the possibilities of what their content could achieve.
Because we don't see it done well very often.
We're used to our boxes, our status quo, and our tepid language that's lost its meaning.
But luckily - there will always be an exception to the rule because there are those who choose to defy the expectation.
And that's where I come in. To dismantle the box people inevitably put themselves in when they try to write about themselves.
I do it with inquiry. With craft. With very, VERY sharp tools.
The Box cutter
(Starting at $2,497)
A one-on-one, interview, and writing service spearheaded by me, Caroline Mays, writer and creator of Switchblade Lemonade.
This artistic, dare I say fun, creative writing service is for entrepreneurs who can stomach some adventure, push past the confines of the average stagnant paragraphs and step into the most powerful elements of their story and use it to SELL THEIR WORK.
Because whether it's an epic, complicated, sad or "hard to articulate" story we're dealing with, rest assured it deserves your time and respect because this is your life we're talking about. And how it informs what you do.
The "normal" way of writing a bio will never do you justice. Storytelling elements, intelligent brainstorming, and insight are the heartbeat of an exciting new perspective - formalizing and simplifying what is wild and complex is always the path to a Dead End.
Because truth is? Your story is only as alive as you'll let it be.
This is how we do it.
We set up an appointment to get on the phone and go at it - interview style - for one hour. We’ll discuss you, your business, your clients - and maybe a few random things you'll be surprised pertain - to get to the crux of your story, capturing the flesh, muscle, and bone of your brand.
Over the course of our project, we’ll have THREE scheduled check-ins via email where we review our working bio, giving you a chance to fact check, weigh in, and take part in this process so you walk away with a product you're in love with. After each check-in, I will revise.
By the end, we'll have taken that wild, untamable thing you've been trying to simplify and capture on a flat screen and turned it into a poignant work of art that proves you are a force...
One to be reckoned with. And one who knows what she's doing.
It's $500.00 to reserve your spot on the calendar. Then you have a few choices for meeting all your bio needs. The sooner you reserve your space for the BoxCutter services, the sooner you can boss up and own your corner of the Internet.
This is the main service I've been yammering about this entire page. Everyone starts here where we build a gorgeous, story-driven, high-performance bio for your website.
BoxCutter + Media bio
Going to be on a podcast? Introduced on the stage? Guest teaching on a webinar? THE POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ENDLESS!! So you'll also need a shorter, knock-out-punch of a media bio that does you justice OFF of your website, but is the perfect accompaniment - on point and on brand - with your main BoxCutter bio.
BoxCutter + Media bio + Company About
Sometimes your company needs its own introduction. This option is for those with a separate service that sorta-kinda works with their personal site. Or for those who have a company with several partners, and you need an About that represents everyone. Or maybe you just have a bizarre business name you need to explain. As always, this third option gels perfectly with all your other bios.
For a gorgeously written bio that makes you feel impressively more like yourself and makes your clients thrilled (and relieved) they found you.
The Internet is a crowded, congested arena.
HOW you talk about yourself and your work matters immensely.
So are you going to explain to everyone who you are like the majority of people online? Or are you going to release this animal...and show them?
Here's that form again:
What if you don't know my industry?
That's what our one-on-one hour long interview is for - so I can learn about you, your industry, your audience. If I don't think I can wrap my brain around you or what you do, I'll tell you. I'd never attempt a writing project without a clear understanding of my subject.
What if I don't like the final product?
There are no surprises here, as you are part of this creative process. I don't disappear, write your bio, and leave you with whatever I compose. You're with me along the way - we'll have check-ins and phone dates, so when we're finally done? You leave with a product that exudes your own peronalized, creative identity and your customers are going to LOVE it.
How long does this process take?
The shortest it can be done is one week, but much of that depends on my schedule and YOURS.
Can I make payments?
No. My policy is that we get you paid up in the beginning. That way, we're done with accounting first, and all the focus is on our project together. I want words hanging over our heads, not numbers.
Any hidden fees?
Absolutely not, my momma raised me right. There could be additional charges for additional services, but you'll be in the know. The $500.00 deposit goes toward the overall cost of whatever package you purchase.
Can I get my deposit back?
No, that's why it's called a deposit! But if you have a real emergency (giardia, house stuck in tornado, accidentally fed your Gremlin after midnight), we can most likely reschedule.
Do you give refunds?
Not unless there is an emergency on my end and, for some reason, I am unable to do the work. That's never happened, but being mortal and all, I guess that's always a possibility.
What do you need from me, your client?
Your full participation. Your story. Your game face when it's time to interview. We will have regular, scheduled check-ins, so if I can't go incommunicado and AWOL, you can't either! Unless we go together ;). In which case, I'll pack extra sunscreen.
Caroline Mays is a writer and the creator of Switchblade Lemonade, a defiantly unorthodox bio writing salon that specializes in crafting beautiful online bios for service oriented professionals and their businesses.
She insists that the average “about me” paragraph, crammed with accolades, facts, and humorous “quirks” we hope sound good on paper, is not only a boring square we’re conditioned to stuff ourselves into - it’s a coffin-shaped box we’re expected to lie down in.
Conformity is dead on the inside. But the stories that made us are robust, complicated, and very much alive. With aggressive creativity, intelligent observation, and unapologetic audacity, Caroline helps clients unleash a truer, bolder, irresistibly compelling bio that sells their work, instead of an uninspired, predictable one that notoriously sells them short.