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Clarity + Positioning + Connection = Remembered & Referred

Your “mini-bio” short introductory piece that is often used for speaker introductions (stage, podcast, summits), author bio, PR opportunities and a snappy version for twitter.

It’s an important piece of your positioning. (Remember the rules of positioning, you‘ve got seconds to stake a claim in the minds of others, and once it’s there – if it even gets remembered – it is unlikely to shift, so make sure that claim is the best you’ve got).

True mini – bios are written in the third person. Mini Bios have more puffery than your About Page, because it is stuff most of us wouldn’t lead with ourselves, but it is stuff we’d love people to say ABOUT us.      (Note: Most people write their blog bio or author description in first person, but you can use the ideas below).

You’ll need a few versions in your back pocket and remember for big opportunities, check it before sending it off so you can adapt your messages to suit the audience.

Versions:

You will need a snappy, a short and a longer bio.

The snappy bio is basically a sentence that you would use as your meet pitch (so this is first person and not too over the top, because you wouldn’t say “I’ve increased sales by 200%” as an opening line).

Keep your snappy version simple (or funny if that suits you) and make sure it a) sticks b) leaves an opening for a question.

The short one should be one paragraph long (100 words) and cover the basics and sprinkle in personal interest.
(More on this below)

If you’re inclined, take it one step further and create a 500 word version with additional “authority points” and personal history.

This post talks about the 100 word version and the few well chosen words that will help.

They include:

>>>   Name and your “occupation” handle that explains your work

(For eg, mine is strategist, which might not be ideal but it’s what feels real for me) PLUS who you work with or the world you occupy.

>>>   Accomplishments that position you as an authority

For example:  Results for A, B & C, author of X books, appeared in Y, shared the stage with Z etc. Note, you can say “forthcoming” if you are working on stuff.

Need help with this? Checkout our Authority Assets Quiz here, you will have stuff to talk about.

>>>  A memorable soundbite, testimonial or micro story that talks to results your clients get or a special feature.

Here is an example from Nancy Juetten (Author of Bye Bye Boring Bio) “People hire me for my head, pay me for my heart, and trust me most when I use both,” is an example from Steve Juetten, Certified Financial Planner.

>>>   Something a little left of field that gives a sense of you as a person.

Memory experts link to place to allow us to create a mental picture so including a telling detail about your geographic location and

Ahmed Jamal recently joined a facebook group I’m in by saying he lives on the very southern tip of India and can see both sunrise and sunset every day. That’s memorable.   Ahmed also mentioned he built his first website at 12 years old with no help, also a nice snippet.

>>>   (Optional) personal / family status.

It is going to be read out, so read it aloud a few times and make sure it flows as spoken words.

Here are couple of examples I came across when I was researching .

AUSTIN KLEON FROM HIS ABOUT PAGE:

(Austin positions this paragraph after his “snappy” bio)

“Here’s a longer, more official-sounding version, suitable for copying and pasting”:

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His latest release is The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

New York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorkersaid his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist.

He grew up in the cornfields of Ohio, but now he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and sons. Visit him online at www.austinkleon.com

FRANZISKA ISELI (entrepreneur)

Franziska is an adventure and travel addict. In her spare time she loves surfing, playing musical instruments in her band Salty Lips, learning new things and spending time with family and friends. She comes up with new ideas all the time, if only there was more time to implement them all.

ALEXANDRA FRANZEN (who I think is a genius) goes with this:

Alexandra Franzen wants to live in a world where emails are short, love letters are brave and every “thank you” note is scribbled by hand.

A sought-after writing instructor and communication specialist, she’s been spotlighted onThe Daily Love, The Daily Muse, MindBodyGreen, Fast Company, Forbes and The Huffington Post.

When she’s not scribbling up a storm, you can find her re-reading the collected works of Oscar Wilde, watching obscene amounts of television without a trace of shame, and optimistically checking her mailbox for brown-paper packages tied up with string.

Her first book — 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome — was published in October 2013.  Learn more about Alexandra — and check out her current projects — at AlexandraFranzen.com.

Here is a Mad Lib template provided by Alexandra Franzen:

Fill in the prompts:

{Your name here} wants to live in a world where {describe the kind of world you want to live in}.

As a {your job title here}, {he’s / she’s} been {spotlighted / featured / showcased / honored / applauded} on {list of blogs / websites / podcasts / theaters / art galleries / places that have recognized or shared your work}.

When {he’s / she’s} not {describe whatever your normally do}, you can find {him / her} {describe whatever you do when you’re not doing … that}.

{His / Her} {first / next / latest / recently-released} {book / program / project / collaboration} — {title of your new and cool thing} — hits {the shelves / airwaves / silver screen / internet / an inbox near you} on {date}.
{Discover / learn / explore / find out} {thing} at {your website here}

Alexandra offers another template in this post here:

Research and links:

A fun link with some clever twitter bios here:

Writing tips from Geeta Nadkarni:

Nancy Juetten – Bye Bye Boring Bio (workbook)

What is your What“? A book By Steve Olscher (helps with defining your offer, so a little broader than this, but helpful)

All the examples have a phrase structured like this

To (____________active verb) (____________________people you want to serve) to (________________result/outcome of your solution) by leveraging (____________your innate gifts) delivered via (_________________ method of delivery)

Example Suzanne Evans

To empower women who are looking to become financially independent to overcome shame issues and other personal obstacles by leveraging clear, intuitive communication delivered via myriad speaking platforms.