People Find You Fascinating!
by Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president
Okay, that may be an overstatement, but I’d be willing to bet that people actually do care more about who you are as a person than you think. We preach this to our clients all the time, especially when it comes to the profiles we create for their websites and other materials (see this post called Close the Deal with a Great Bio).
Recently, I was reminded of the power of bios when I took a week-long trip to Baltimore. The purpose of my trip was to attend and exhibit at the CPA FMA National Practice Management Conference. When the conference was over my husband flew up and we became tourists for the weekend, exploring mostly the Inner Harbor area.
One of our favorite things to do in a new city is to check out the favorite local places to eat, and Saturday morning we discovered Miss Shirley’s for what turned out to be a fantastic brunch. As I was looking over the menu options, I noticed a separate laminated card on the table. This card was titled Meet the Miss Shirley’s Chefs and included snippets about each one, including a quote, their favorite dish, the kitchen utensil they can’t live without and a fun fact. I loved it and immediately felt a connection with the place and those who ran it. It may seem silly, but knowing a bit about the people who were preparing my food did make me happy I was supporting this place rather than another. It also stood out to me since I have not seen this at any other restaurant…ever.
Creating that connection with a captivating bio is doubly important for professional services firms since your clients are working directly with you, not to mention paying substantially more for your services than I paid for a Bayou omelet and coffee. You can almost guarantee that potential clients are going to visit your website and check out your profile before hiring you, and often before even reaching out to you. What they read there can make or break your opportunity to win new work, so make it interesting!
Of course you’ll want to share professional information like your degrees, certifications and qualifications to do the work you do. But also share something about you as a person. Hobbies, anecdotes and fun facts as these are likely what visitors will remember most. These little details can even be a deciding factor if the reader finds something in common with you. Never assume that no one cares what you do outside of the office. Your potential clients usually do care and it gives them a peek at who you are as a person and what it will be like to work with you.
One more note: NO ONE can write their own bio, or at least no one can do it well. We write bios all the time for clients, but the bbr marketing team, yours truly included, would never even consider writing our own bios. It takes an outsider to ask the right questions and paint a picture that you may be too self-conscious or humble to write yourself. So do yourself and your firm a favor by hiring someone with experience and creativity to take this job off your plate. And avoid the inclination to water down the content when you get it to proof, too. You are a fascinating person – let people see it with a bio that offers them a glimpse of your true self.