June 18, 2021

What is your bio page communicating to potential clients?

What is your bio page communicating to potential clients?

πŸ’―πŸ’―πŸ’― "The overarching principle that I subscribe to is that your bio your about page, it shouldn't just be about you, it should actually be about the person reading it."


EP 25:  Every website needs to have an about page or a bio description for your potential clients.  What information needs to be there, and what points of emphasis should be highlighted?  In this episode, I'll talk about 5 things to consider as you revise or build your website bio so that you can make your message more customer-centric.  


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Transcript

Michael Der  0:02  
You're listening to Artrepreneurs, a podcast that inspires photographers and visual artists to live their best creative lives. My name is Michael Der and I am a full time photographer with nearly 10 years of experience in the freelancing world. And I'm sitting down with an amazing community of visual artists to talk about process, business, and the lessons that have helped them grow. So let's get to it. Artrepreneurs starts right now.

Okay, good day to all you Artrepreneurs out there. Thank you so much for tuning in and sharing a few minutes with me today, we are on episode 25 of our weekly program. So I am very excited to dive into today's topic, which is about your about page and what your bio is or isn't communicating to your clients. Now, admittedly, crafting the perfect biography is a collection of highly subjective choices that every writer makes no matter if it's a novel, a podcast episode, or a simple bio description. Furthermore, your ability to get hired is based on a lot of different factors, not just your bio, the quality of your work, the credibility of your references, even the level of professionalism that you display on your assignments all go into this equation. So we know there are way more important influences on your success at getting jobs. But for something that takes very little effort or time to implement, why not devote just a few minutes to your bio description and see if you can improve clarity to those who seek to serve. So let's get to it. 

The overarching principle that I subscribe to is that your bio your about page, it shouldn't just be about you, it should actually be about the person reading it. And what I mean by that is that the majority of us want to know what's in it for us. prospective clients are no different. They aren't reading your bio to appreciate your background or your passions or your history of accomplishments, what they are seeking is what's in it for them. And I often say that when you are writing your bio, it should be approached like a pitch and not a eulogy. 

A pitch is active, it is enticing. It focuses on consumer desire. First and foremost, it is the promise of what could be yours. If you choose me Look at all the great places we could go together. 

Now, a eulogy, on the other hand, makes no such promises. There is no potential gain for anyone. It is an honoring of the past, it highlights the greatest hits, but provides no realistic incentive for future possibilities. 

And so those are two distinctively different approaches. But more importantly, they are two entirely different experiences by the person reading it, a bio shouldn't be seen as just a description. It should be seen as storytelling. So what story are you crafting? Are you making your narrative artist centric? Are you making it consumer centric, 

so I'm going to give you five key thoughts when constructing or revisiting your bio. And hopefully this helps you focus your services more clearly to your target audience. 

So number one is to avoid too much information. The most critical information that needs to be in your bio is your name, your location, and your niche. That's really it. That's the most important information. What isn't ultimately important is your background, your upbringing, how you fell in love with your craft, your personal hobbies, and your favorite TV shows. And I'm fully aware that these things are subjective. So if you do feel that they're really important for you to list, my advice would be to simply make it brief. Don't spend two paragraphs on how you fell into photography. Don't over glorify how your time in the darkroom inspired you to make this into your career? Try to look at it from the perspective of an editor or dp or an agency, do you think they actually care that much. Now, I'm not trying to minimize their humanity. But just keep in mind their job is to find people who they can hire. So what they want to know is what your specialty is, and where you live. That's really it. Don't make people work for it. make it as easy as possible for someone landing on your page to know what you do and where you are. 

The second key point I want to emphasize is to use a hook. And this is actually great advice for networking and pitching in general, not just for your bio, but the key is to get your audience to respond with Tell me more. This can be done in a handful of ways. You can start by stating An interesting fact or a brief anecdote, maybe even a powerful quote. But one of my favorite methods is to simply ask a question. Mecca gamble is a brand lifestyle photographer who specializes with entrepreneurs looking to scale their business. And on her front page, she simply asks how to know if you are ready for custom brand photography. This is a great hook, it immediately gets your attention and it establishes her expertise, having led so many entrepreneurs to grow their brands to the six and seven figure range. And even if your niche isn't as specified, simply asking someone, how can I help your business might actually incite someone to contact you. Because that question and first the client that you know the answer. 

Key Point Number three, establish what your value is. Now my personal philosophy is to focus on present and active language. So for many creatives, I often see language written in the past tense in their bios, which is very logical because you are highlighting what you've done. So if you want to say I was the photographer for the Western University dolphins, for instance, there may not be anything wrong with that statement. But I also don't think it maximizes your message either. Your goal shouldn't be to talk about what you've done or who you've worked with or what titles you've held. Your goal is that you should transform the client's project that you can take them from where they are now, to where they want to be. So personally, I make it a point of emphasis to use language that is way more engaging, that is more active, that is more present tense. I don't tell people, I'm a sports photographer and leave it at that. I tell people what I do. And what I do is I create, I produce, I develop, I strategize, I build brands to make more impact in their community. That statement leaves a greater mark that gets your client to say, Tell me more. And once they ask you that this is where you backup your value claim with examples. 

So key thought number four is to provide examples of your credibility. And now that you've told the world that you can transform a client's impact to their core audience, what examples do you have? Have you worked with any clients? Do you have any testimonials? Have you won any awards or have any publications that are noteworthy? No, I personally have a testimonial page separate from my bio page because it really keeps the bio from being bogged down. And if anybody really wants to see it, they certainly can ask for listing your clients that you've worked with. It's a great idea. The only thing I would advise is not to list a huge amount of clients in the context of a sentence. If you've worked with 25 clients in the past, don't list every single one of them in a run on sentence. Instead, consider putting them in a separate section where you can list every single client you've worked with in the bottom of the page. The same goes for awards and any accolades that you may have received. So just keep in mind that if you have expertise, you should mention it. A friend of the show, James Patrick has photographed over 500 magazine covers and it is one of the unique selling propositions he has to leverage his expertise. And I do want to mention one thing that seems obvious, but it should be mentioned, and that is don't lie or bloviate, the type of work you've done in the past. If one of your images is used by a client and their reach happens to be worldwide, like many sites are, don't advertise yourself as a world renowned internationally published photographer. Nobody likes someone who pretends to be bigger than they are. 

And lastly, keep out number five is to provide a CTA, which is a call to action. So what do you want the person to do next? Certainly, you'd like them to flat out hire you, but that may not happen right away. So what can they do that keeps you on their radar for when they are actually ready to hire you. And in this area, I love the idea of providing lead magnets. lead magnets are incentivized freebies that you offer people who land on your site, usually in exchange for something like contact information. But it could also be something like a follow on your Instagram or a subscription to your newsletter. Basically, if you want to drive attention to something, offer something up, they can be in the form of ebooks, video trainings, PDF guides, or checklists, even giveaways something of value to a potential client. For example, a wedding photographer may offer a free posing guide for brides and grooms on their big day in exchange for an email. And the more emails you collect, the more you can send out newsletters or updates on the weddings that you have shot cultivating awareness to those who have never met you. You have stayed on their radar just by offering something of value. And maybe when they are ready, they will hire the person they remember. 

So let's review. One, make sure that you are concise and clear with your information. If you want to add details about your personality, go ahead but just don't overwhelm the page, the bare minimum you should have your name, your location and your niche. Number two, create a hook to start off your bio either in the form of a captivating statement or an anecdote. Or even better a question that gets a client invested. Number three, establish your value by conveying what your client will receive when they work with you, instead of just rattling off what you've done in the past. Remember, this is a pitch not a eulogy. Number four, provide examples of your credibility through testimonials, awards, and publications. And lastly, number five, provide your client with a call to action offer them something of value in return for whatever you want to drive action to. 

So I hope this provides you some food for thought everybody as you're constructing your bio, there's really still a lot that's up to you know, I have no strong opinion on whether you should write your bio in first person narrative or third person your style is very much your own. I myself am pretty minimalist when it comes to my style and what information I provide. And you may want to provide more and dress it up with a little bit more pizzazz. Either way, as long as you consider your client during this process and what they want. I don't think you can go wrong. Remember, as crazy as it sounds, your bio is less about you and more about the person reading it. Alright, so that is going to wrap up today's episode everybody. I hope you got something out of this. I want to thank you all so much for tuning in and supporting this show. Artrepreneurs is going to be back every Friday morning with brand new content. This is Michael Der signing off for now. I appreciate you everybody. Take care of yourself and have a great week.

Hey everybody, this is Michael Der thank you so much for making it all the way to the end of the episode. I hope you'll follow tag and engage with us on our Instagram account at Artrepreneurspod. We've also

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