How to write your bio or "about" page


How do you write an artists bio or "about" page for your website or marketing materials?

It seems like it should be so simple, but it's frought with stress and confusion. What is supposed to be in an about page? What do I say on my bio? How much? What do people really want to know? How much personal stuff? How do I not look like a self-absorbed ego maniac?

I've tried to simplify the process a little bit with some basic questions you could answer in your bio. When you are answering these questions, imagine that you are talking to a completely confused, non-tech savvy but very interested grandma. And keep it SHORT! Even after writing this, I cut out several lines on my own bio that were not necessary. Be brutal.

Your bio/about section, in 5 simple steps:

1. What is your name and your role in your business?

I know your website name is at the top for everyone to see. I know it seems perfectly obvious what your business is about. Write it anyway: I am {name} and I am the {title} of {this business name}.

2. What do you do?

This is not the time to be clever, generic, philosophical or obscure with your answer. Be really, really specific and direct: I create abstract paintings with oil. I design websites for cottage industry businesses. I write editorial content for food magazines and blogs.

3. What is your authority or credibility?

This is the time to talk your education, or years of applicable experience. Highlight some awards and accolades if you have them. Drop names and companies you've worked for if you can. Don't write a 4 page resume here. You can do that somewhere else on your website (see my note on links at the bottom of this post), or let them know that you can provide all that on a separate document.

4. Why would someone care?

What is your solution for your client's problem? Are you setting the tone for an important event? Are you offering a tasteful way to decorate their home? Are you providing fast, acurate content to achieve their marketing goals? Say so! Speak their language, not yours.*

5. What is your call to action?

This is SO easy to forget to include! Call to schedule an appointment. Sign up for your email list. Visit your shop to see your new products. Email for a custom quote. Click to see where your next gig is. Anything to get them to engage and stay connected with you!

Other considerations

First or third person?

It's up to you. I prefer to feel like I'm talking to someone in the first person, but some entrepreneurs feel it looks more professional to use the third person.

Should I include anything personal?

That's up to you and your field of business. If you can keep it short and relevant, go for it. If you are just wanting to talk about your adorable dog or how awesome your husband and kids are, then I'd say skip that for now.

Include web links in my bio?

Sure, especially if it shortens the narrative and allows the reader to choose whether they want to learn more. You don't want to inundate your reader with too much information. *We* have a very short attention span, remember.

Photo of myself?

Sure, if you've got a good one.

Photos of my work?

Yep. Just one or two of your most current work and work you want to continue. For example, don't put up your illustrations of cars if you don't want to do illustrations of cars anymore.

*How am I supposed to speak my client's language?

Speaking your clients language is the best way to really draw them in. If you have testimonials from your clients, paraphrase with their words in your sentences. You can also read comments and reviews people have left for products that are similar to yours (try Amazon) and use those phrases.

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