Your website says a lot about who you are, and your website’s bio leads the way.
A compelling, concise, informative website bio is one of the most effective means of communicating your value to a marketplace that includes some combination of present and future colleagues, clients, supporters (financial and otherwise), and media. However tedious the process of writing and refining that bio might seem, it’s vital that you approach the exercise with the seriousness it demands.
Yes, the stakes of this exercise are high. But the process itself is quite straightforward. Follow these six tips to create an exceptional website bio and you’ll find yourself in rare company among your peers and competitors.
- Choose a Professional But Eye-Catching Headshot
Your headshot is wordless, true, but it’s nevertheless a part of your website bio. Unless you’ve had a professional headshot done in the past year or two, you’ll want to invest in a new one. You can do this yourself to save a bit on the front end, using these tips to guide you, but a truly professional-grade photo might pay for itself in the long run.
- Use the First Sentence to Characterize Yourself
Dive right into your bio with a succinct first sentence that sums up who you are and what you do. It’s not necessary to mention your company or any proper nouns other than your name here; the website bio for Derek Handley, an early-stage investor associated with more than a dozen firms and associations, has none.
- List Your Most Important (And Current) Professional Roles in the First Paragraph
You do want to get to your professional ties sooner than later, though. Use the remainder of your bio’s first paragraph, or the second if the entirety of the first paragraph is your one-sentence characterization, to list your most important current roles.
- Avoid “And Then” Constructions (And Don’t Feel Bound by a Linear Narrative)
Your bio should read more like a news item than a sequential narrative. That is, the headline and lede (first two or three paragraphs) should be as relevant as possible to your reader. You don’t want to list your primary school or brag about your stint as college class president here, even though they’d naturally appear earlier in your life story. And avoid making the meat of your bio a mere list of events — the dreaded “and then” construction.
- Wrap With a Humanizing Touch
This might be as simple as “So-and-so lives in such-and-such place with her 2.4 children and 1.7 pets.” Because your bio’s back half will likely include some not-so-modest discussion of your professional awards and recognitions, you’ll want to circle back to a topic that’s more grounded before wrapping.
Build a Better Website Bio
Now that you know what you need to do to create a really stellar website bio, one piece of parting advice: Don’t overthink this.
These six tips are meant to be taken at face value. There’s no hidden meaning here, just as there’s no hidden meaning in the advice to take your bio seriously. Implement them as you’re able and you’ll see the results soon enough — not immediately, of course, but in short enough order that you won’t need to wonder what went wrong.