Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do you have your BIO ready?

I received an email from a new friend of mine who is trying hard to understand the web and to connect with people on the web. One of my posts spoke about having a full bio ready to send to people who ask about you.


Hey Greg,

As I have already mentioned to you, I am really pretty clueless when it comes to on line marketing. I stumble around trying to get some stability on my feet in this business, but it is like most things that one dares to do, even knowing that one really doesn't know anything, is by trial and error.

I would love to write a bio about myself, as humble as it would turn out to be, but where should I publish it?

Frank (fictional name)

Dear Frank,

Who is Frank? I mean, really? Is he a businessman, an entrepreneur, a loving father, a restauranteur, a champion blogger, an exercise fanatic? Is he a guy who is focused on something interesting? Who exactly is Frank?

Publishing your bio. I would not push "publishing" your bio at this juncture. You need to refine it and rewrite it a few times before making a permanent decision. Have someone who does not know you read it and criticize the bio.

Always remember you are writing for THEM not YOU. My youngest brother always talks about his job, his problems, his dreams. Frankly, I think my brother needs to grow up. What people care about is themselves. But if you talk ABOUT yourself to much you put your audience into a temporary coma.

Almost every social network has an "About Me" page. Some, like Twitter, call it a "Profile" page.

I recommend that you sign up for as many social networks as you find. Below is a list to start with. Keep in mind that you will probably work Twitter, Ryze and Facebook the most. I would pick MySpace for my 4th at this time, but you don't really have time for more than one, with an occasional look-in at Ryze and Facebook.

Some people will contact you after reading your bio but mostly they just want to sell you something. I would take about 10 minutes a WEEK for each social network to respond to emails. Remember, don't try to sell them anything in the response but direct them to your BLOG.

At Twitter you have only 140 characters to state your Profile. The others have a lot more space for your full Bio. I would ask your contacts at Twitter and the others how they write their Bios.

Some will respond. Then send them a "thank you" and solidify the meeting. See if you can get the birthdays of the intriguing people and send them a card (though it's difficult to tell which ones will be worth the effort, figure 1 out of 10 if you are lucky).

I would not make my Bio more than 3 or 4 paragraphs, and make sure you say something interesting like "I own a chain of restaurants".

greg (who fully understands that he needs to take his own advice more often)

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