Who are your favorite vendors and business partners? Are they the ones with the best professional pedigrees and impressive lists of degrees and designations? Or are they the ones with whom you enjoy working, who have your best interests at heart while at the same time having the skills needed to do the job? Most people I know tend to prioritize the relationships they’ve developed with professionals they like over those with a generic company. If their CPA moves to a new firm, they will often move their business to follow. The same goes for attorneys, financial advisors and anyone with whom they have a strong relationship.
So, based on this, it’s very important to communicate both personality and professionalism in your online profile. Other than the home page of a firm’s site, bios are the second most read pages. Why? We are by nature curious and want to know more about the people behind the company logo. We want to see what we have in common, what they look like and what qualifies them to take care of our work. Sure, it’s human interest, but it’s also a reasonable way to gather information about the people to whom we entrust our business. Since this is the case, it’s shocking how poorly written so many of them are. Some are so boring I’d rather have my gums scraped than finish reading them!
This is a travesty, in my opinion. BBR Marketing clients are encouraged to share enough of themselves in their bios to show that they are human and have a life outside of work. We start with a pretty detailed questionnaire that asks the traditional questions about education, experience and previous positions. But then we go a step beyond and ask why they chose their career, what they love about their job and what they like to do in their free time. The goal is to paint a picture of well-rounded and interesting people who also happen to be really good at what they do. And it works.
Mitesh Patel is an incredibly talented attorney with impressive experience. Great choice for your company. He was once a firefighter and enjoys “scotch nosing.” He’s a fun guy that I’d like to have a drink with!
Karl Famer is an electrical engineer and project manager with 11 years of experience. Well-qualified for the job. He’s currently becoming multi-lingual, learning American Sign Language and Spanish, and also volunteers his engineering skills to build churches. A guy with a giving heart who is dedicated to the causes he loves, and someone I would love to partner with on a job.
Heather Wright is another extraordinarily skilled attorney with impressive experience and education. Great hire. She’s also a tireless volunteer and a black belt who teaches self defense classes for women. This is a woman I want to know!
Cathy Iconis has taken her experience in both public and private accounting to create her own firm that provides outsourced accounting services to small and medium-sized businesses, particularly those in the design field. Impressive. She also enjoys watching Bravo TV shows, is learning to golf and admits to having watched General Hospital since 1993. Real person with personality and accessible attitude; my kind of person.
Bonnie standing between Larry Bird & Magic Johnson a “few” years ago.
See what I mean? These are all clearly professionals at the top of their respective fields, and they’re also appealing as individuals. When comparing equally qualified candidates, it’s often the one who seems to be the most accessible, interesting and fun to work with that will get the job.
I even put my money where my mouth is and included some pretty crazy stuff in my own bio. But you know what? I’ve had people ask questions about some of the more interesting facts, which proves they read my bio and cared, or were at least curious, about what they found in it.
So how do you start? First, read some good bios and take notes. Write down your official information, but also include some fun facts and interesting features about yourself. If you’d like a copy of our questionnaire to help, email me. Always have someone else write your bio for you, at least the first draft. It’s nearly impossible to write a great bio for yourself, even for those of us that do it all the time. Kelly wrote my bio, and I wrote hers for this reason. If you want help, give us a call.
Oh, and on a side note, get a professional photo taken for your bio page. Try to avoid the boring gray drape shots if you can. I know some reasonably priced photographers who will make you look great!
What do you think? Do you agree or think I’m way off base?