As a content writer, I find that the one piece of content almost no one is happy with is their professional bio. Everyone seems to feel that it could be better — should be better — but they’re not sure how to create the effect they’re looking for.
Writing a bio doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by determining the purpose of your bio, then follow some simple techniques to give yourself plenty of options so that you can put together a bio that you’ll be proud of.
The purpose of a professional bio
It might seem that writing a bio is something you do just because you have to. After all, between your website, social media and introductions at professional events, you’re frequently called upon to give a snapshot of your background and credentials.
However, a well-constructed bio can do a lot more for you. It can:
Tell a story
Whether it’s the story of how you got into and built your business, what brought you to your local market or what excites you about practicing real estate, a thoughtfully arranged bio can draw the reader into your journey and make them want to work with you.
Make a connection
Think about your ideal client, and craft a bio that helps you connect. Perhaps your military service drew you into working as a military relocation professional (MRP). Maybe you fell in love with your market when you went to college there. Use your bio to connect with your potential audience.
Create a context
Part of the purpose of your bio is to answer the question, “Why should I work with (insert your name here)?” Answer that question by giving people a context for your services: statistics, experience, awards and other indicators of your fitness.
Selling yourself can be uncomfortable, but it’s an essential part of helping potential clients learn to trust and rely on your expertise.
Define your niche
If you are an expert in a particular area of real estate, use your bio to define that niche and explain why you serve it so well. Don’t worry about turning off other clients — showing your expertise in one area often translates to a positive perception across the board.
Bios we love
Looking at interesting examples of bios can give you an idea of what you want in your own. First-person or third-person, written or video, changes across platforms — all of these considerations enter into planning and executing your own biographical profile.
What follows are some great examples of bios with interesting formats, techniques and other elements. They’ll help you think outside the box as consider your own current or future bio.
Real estate broker, consultant, and coach Angela Territo’s bio shows the importance of a strong hook, that first line that draws you in and makes you want to know more.
When I started out in real estate in 1980, interest rates were at 18%. I learned early on that mastering my mindset would be the most important skill to develop in order to survive in sales.
By creating a context for her career in that opening, Territo conveys the following:
- Decades of experience
- Market knowledge
- The ability to overcome obstacles
For real estate clients, this opening conveys extensive experience that translates into reassurance and peace-of-mind. For coaching clients, it shows that Territo understands the struggle and has the skills to overcome challenges in the market.
Just like a first meeting, an opening paragraph sets the stage for the entire bio and creates a first impression for the reader. Make it a great one.
Share your market expertise
The Northern Virginia/D.C.-area real estate market serves a diverse and, in many ways, transient population. People come from all over the world to live and work in the area, and it’s often said that no one is actually from there.
In her bio, Karen Wenner Cooper emphasizes her Loudoun County roots, differentiating herself through her knowledge of the local market. Because she is from the area, she has insight to offer on the changes and development there. This insight translates into experience and expertise that engenders trust in potential clients.
Whether she’s working with people relocating to the area who want to get to know it better or area natives who want to work with a local expert, Cooper’s emphasis on a lifetime spent in Northern Virginia provides valuable context.
In her bulleted bio, D.C.-area Realtor Vicky Noufal provides a lot of information in just a few words and emojis. The personal, the professional, and the platforms for additional information — all are succinctly provided for visitors to her Instagram.
By choosing just a few details, the reader gets a snapshot of Noufal’s life, personality and level of experience and expertise. This type of short and sweet bio is perfect for a social media platform.
Similarly, Jo Delay’s Barefoot Realtor Instagram bio provides plenty of information in a brief and engaging format. The perfectly chosen emojis and brief descriptors offer an easy way to get to know this island property expert.
By using the mobile format as it’s meant to be used, and creating a bio that’s uniquely suited to the platform, these IG profiles stand out — and draw visitors in.
Short but sweet
We sometimes get the idea that a bio has to be long and drawn-out to be effective. In fact, the opposite is often true. Arlene Reed’s succinct bio is a masterclass in maximizing impact. In just six sentences, she conveys an impressive body of knowledge and experience, fitting in her entrepreneurial background and some of her most impressive accomplishments.
Remember, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Scrambling to include every possible detail, award or statistic will not necessarily make your bio more effective. In many cases, it means that people will stop reading halfway through.
Start with the most important or impressive aspect of your background, and pare down to the essentials. You might just find that distilling your bio to its essence is the answer to creating the impression you want.
Try out a new format
We are all used to the same-old, same-old when it comes to bios. Three to five paragraphs of prose, perhaps with a bulleted list of awards and certifications at the end. Atlas Real Estate’s Jennifer Reinhart’s Q&A format offers a fun new way to think about bios.
By framing her bio as an interview, Reinhardt is able to talk about herself and her career in a natural, first-person way. It’s conversational, it’s casual, and it feels like sitting down and chatting with Reinhart herself. It’s the initial client interview in written form.
Think about your bio in terms of new and interesting formats, whether Q&A, top 10 list or listicle. Making it fun and engaging for the reader — and communicating in your own personal voice — helps the reader imagine what it’s like working with you.
Use video for maximum impact
Video marketing is the preferred format for content creation across many platforms, yet many real estate professionals are reluctant to create videos. Take a look at Philadelphia agent Caitlin Beck’s video bio, and you might rethink your reluctance.
By presenting her bio as a video business card, Beck has the opportunity to make a solid first impression on potential clients. Watching this video, one can imagine what it would be like to talk with Beck about your real estate needs or tour homes with her. Her professionalism and presentation are huge selling points.
At the same time, the interspersed views of her market make the point that she knows the area and, more importantly, she loves the area. Her passion and enthusiasm come through — and draw in potential clients.
In addition, the video offers an opportunity for homesellers to imagine Beck selling their property by using her expertise in social media and video marketing. Her presentation skills offer a glimpse of what she brings to the table as she represents her Philadelphia clients.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr