Just like a great headline hooks a reader, a great bio can hook your next client. In fact, your bio is one of the most important features of your CV Profile or any writer portfolio for that matter.
And that means it better be good.
This is where most writers suddenly remember they have houseplants to water or spices to alphabetize. No writer likes writing their bio (which is an interesting conundrum when you think about it). But if you’re wondering why brands aren’t picking you for assignments — these tips will help you write an irresistible bio that showcases your talent.
4 ways freelancers can write a compelling bio
Learn how to write an attention-grabbing bio that shows why you’re the perfect freelancer for the job every time.
Your CV Portfolio bio should:
- Summarize your skills and establish credibility
- Tell the reader a little bit about your background
- State your areas of expertise
- Focus on bringing clients value
1. Summarize your skills and establish credibility
Let them know upfront you’re qualified to be here. Get right to it; prospective clients want to know why they should hire you, so tell them.
Check out this example for inspiration:
Angela Tague writes SEO web marketing content for major brands including Tom’s of Maine, Walmart, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Kaytee. She also provides feature content to newspapers and magazines, including Club Traveler and TIME.
As you can see, ClearVoicer Angela Tague starts her bio off strong by summarizing her skills and detailing the impressive brands she’s worked with in the past. Do something similar by starting your bio with two or three things that show why you’re a standout freelancer. From past clients to projects, this is the time to (concisely) toot your own horn.
2. Tell the reader a little bit about your background
Feel free to show some personality in your bio when you’re talking about your experience. ClearVoicer Ben Beck does just that in his CV Portfolio — but take note of how he seamlessly ties it back to his skills and background:
Ben loves working at the intersection of technology and marketing. From his early youth selling discount candy from his locker to building his own SMS marketing tool that he sold to the State of Utah, he has learned the value of entrepreneurial thinking and smarter marketing. Despite his near addiction to chatbots, AI, IoT, tech and marketing, he also loves to get away from it all and spend time in the mountains hiking, rock-climbing and off-roading. Ben and his wife live in Lehi, Utah with their two boys.
Sharing a little bit about yourself should always serve a dual purpose: give the reader a glimpse of your personality and highlight that you’re good at your craft. Just don’t overshare — an original Smurf collection from 1981 is impressive, yes, but not necessarily vital information for your portfolio.
3. State your areas of expertise
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Use your bio to showcase your areas of expertise, from topics to skills. If you’re trying to establish a niche, limit your bio to focus on that solely. If you’re more of a generalist, state your wide array of experience, so you appeal to a variety of clients.
In this ClearVoice portfolio example, Deevra Norling shines a spotlight on her vast writing experience while injecting her bio with personality:
Seasoned content writer with nine years of experience. I’ve covered the following niches: entrepreneurship, small business, career, human resources, e-commerce, auto insurance, travel, pets and personal development. I’ve also ghostwritten on topics such as car reviews, airport and hotel reviews, travel guides, HVAC systems, property, construction, and product descriptions. When not writing, I’m tossing balls on the beach and snuggling up with the four-legged fur babies I look after as a professional pet sitter.
4. Focus on bringing clients value
Odd as this may sound, your bio isn’t really about you; it’s about how you can help them. Close your ClearVoice bio by reminding prospective clients about the value they’ll receive when they hire you.
From landing page content and blogs to descriptions and emails, Kassandra is a creative writer who maintains and enhances voice and brand. She creates content in long, medium and short formats for multiple industries. And, she ensures each item has a unique and innovative outcome.
3 things to avoid in your writing bio
There’s a fine line between showing personality in your bio and going overboard. Here are three examples of what not to do with your bio:
1. Getting a little too creative
I was raised by a pack of SEO wolves who taught me the martial skills of analysis and acquisition. Then the villagers took me in and I learned the humane arts of psychology and persuasion. I grew up to become a copywriter with the cold, data-driven heart of a digital marketer.
2. Losing focus
A writer who enjoys hot tubbing under the stars. I have a passion for storytelling and making the mundane interesting. I can also tap dance and speak in gibberish. I know. Very impressive.
3. Going full quirky
What good are wings in a cage? If a child washes his hands, he can eat with Kings. I am a critical (cosmic) thinker that has been inspired from the source to enlighten new ways of thinking, creating more trailblazers in this world as well as getting people balanced in life.
Keep it simple, straightforward, and professional. Personality is fine but err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure if you should include something, leave it out.
Should you include your college degree in your bio?
Unless it qualifies you as a subject matter expert and demonstrates expert-level knowledge in a niche industry, it’s not a necessity to include your college degree in your bio. But if you have a master’s in sustainable energy technology and you’re trying to establish yourself as an SME (subject matter expert) in green living, by all means, include it.
Basically, you can add your degree(s) if you want and it may or may not impress a client, but it doesn’t hurt either way.
Do you have to use a third-person point of view in your bio?
While third person is commonly used for bios, talking like Elmo is not your only option. For bios on guest posts and similar off-page activity, stick to third person. But for your CV Portfolio, go ahead and write in first person if you want. This is the writer’s equivalent to breaking the fourth wall in theater, and doing so creates a personal connection with the reader.
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