Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by Alicia Amundson
Writing about yourself is tough! It always feels awkward to brag about yourself, especially in the third person. Even when you get over it, it’s easy to let your bio turn into a list of accomplishments instead of a compelling story. I’ve fallen into these traps myself, that is, before I started using a specific strategy to write my own bio which I’d like to share with you today.
I want to show you how to captivate your audience and share the right pieces of information about yourself to immediately make a personal connection, without sounding braggadocios.
Tell Me A Story
I remember when I was little, my Aunt Anna would always say, “Alex, tell me a story.” Sometimes she wanted to know what had been going on in my life, but it could also be about things I had read or heard about recently. Either way, she didn’t just want the basics from me, she wanted the whole story.
We’ve talked about this before when writing great property descriptions, but storytelling is ingrained in us from the time we’re children and is one of your best tools for connecting with people. This is just as important for your property description as it is when writing your bio.
So, tell me a story!
Building Your Story
When it comes to your bio, you want to tell a story that continually conveys your why. Meaning – use your story and credentials to tell us something deeper about yourself. I know this sounds kind of complex, but don’t worry – I’ll walk you through it from start to finish.
Start by writing down what you’re passionate about, and how you got to be like so. Include details about yourself that you feel important for people to know in order to understand who you really are (only to the degree you feel appropriate) and jot down any achievements, along with things you are proud of or participate in (i.e. community organizations, charities, education, etc). .
If you already have a bio it can help to deconstruct it, because you probably already have a lot of the material you need there.
Next, we’ll use all these components to start building your story.
Writing Your Sentences
Your goal is to use your achievements and personal story to relay the most important things that define you.
Since many of you reading this have probably already written a bio (at some point), I’d like to show you what I’m talking about by giving you a before and after example, so you can get an idea of how this works.
This example is from my friend and fellow panelist for the NAR® Conference 2020, Karissa Thompson. She’s an awesome REALTOR® in upstate New York, and I recently had the pleasure of helping her with some bio updates. Here’s what Karissa sent over initially:
First Draft: “Karissa Thompson is a passionate & driven Realtor with over 4 years’ experience in the industry. She currently resides in Aurelius & covers all areas in Central New York. She prides herself on excellent customer service, and goes above and beyond for every client during the listing and buying process from start to finish. Her credentials include being a wife, mother of two autistic boys, an autism advocate, serving on the local, state, & national level of the REALTOR Associations & holding a top producer award since she started her career in Real Estate.”
I have to be honest, I love using this as an example because Karissa’s bio is actually very well done – it has the who, the what, the where… but it’s missing an essential flare that connects people to each other, and that’s her WHY.
After: “As a wife, mother of 2 autistic boys and devoted community leader, Karissa knows what it takes to stay dedicated and achieve her goals.”
After: “Karissa loves giving back to her communities in Aurelias and central New York as an autism advocate.”
As you can see, providing a few small details that give context to her story makes a huge impact… even in just two sentences.
Put It Together
Now that you understand what components make up the story of you, and you’ve written your individual sentences, it’s time to start putting them together to tell your story. This is as easy as copy/pasting your sentences until you start to see an order come together.
Sometimes you’ll notice that you need to restructure your sentences to improve the flow, but once you’ve made it to this point, you’re already done with the hardest part! You’re just a few small changes away from having a stunning bio that will foster meaningful connections with your audience.
To give you an example of this strategy in action, I’ve included Karissa’s final bio below:
Example Bio: As a wife, mother of 2 autistic boys and devoted autism advocate in her community, Karissa knows what it takes to stay dedicated and achieve her goals. Karissa started in sales in the restaurant business, and then car sales. After honing her skills in other industries, she realized that she had a passion for real estate and became an agent in 2016. As a young Realtor, Karissa faced a lot of challenges but quickly overcame them all to become a Top Producer in her first year. However, she didn’t stop there! Karissa continues to improve her business year over year, and has 21 pending properties in her pipeline as this is being published. She’s excited to share how various types of education, association leadership and friendships with her colleagues have made all the difference in her business and life.
I’m excited to see what you’ll come up with using this very same strategy. If you’d like any input on your bio, please feel free to leave it in comments below.