When I hired a business coach in 1997, I embraced every suggestion he had and over the next three years watched my business grow faster than I ever could have imagined. That was great but what was even better was that the lessons he taught me showed me how to make more money, have more fun and find more time. As I look back to those first few projects, I’m shocked that I didn’t know these things even existed!
Creating a personal biography was one idea that my coach shared quickly. He wanted me to be different from all my competitors, help my prospects and clients get to know me better in thirty seconds and create a brand for Neil Wood. If you don’t have a personal biography yet or haven’t even seen one, let me explain what it is and what it will do for you. Unlike a business card, a personal biography talks more about you, your background, your credibility, your personal interests, accomplishments and other pertinent info that people would find interesting. Your business card displays so little and is so bland! The Bio is NOT a resume that explains the last twenty years of your life. It answers these questions so that the reader can get a good feel about who you are.
1. Personal background: military, school, sports accomplishments and perhaps college background and details.
For example, I had a Top Secret Clearance when I was in the Air Force from 1976-80 and was stationed in northern Italy. That gives me great credibility because to get a Top Secret clearance you have to have a clean and trouble-free background. It also shows that the Air Force found me trustworthy which means if they can trust me, then you can also. That’s called trust transference. Being in the military for USA was also a great accomplishment and shows my loyalty to my country. I also listed my success as a professional athlete to show people how driven I am and dedicated to anything I pour my heart into. Finally, I listed the colleges I attended and graduated from. I did this because so many are so proud of their college (even if you didn’t graduate, you can list that you attended) and that common ground of college is quite strong.
2. Personal info such as your current family, children, hometown, partner or spouse if applicable and a list of the hobbies you enjoy. We list these for two reasons. The first is that people want to get to know you and secondly the reader is looking for common interests to talk about.
3. Professional background: If you are in the business world, this is one way to share your credibility and history. Again the Bio is NOT a resume but people will want to read more about you to get to know you better.
4. Photo: yes, include a head shot so that people know what you look like. It doesn’t have to be professionally done since most smart phones take excellent photos these days. But make sure it looks good!
That should give you a good idea of why you need a personal biography. Give people an opportunity to get to know you without you talking about yourself for fifteen minutes. Nothing has opened more doors for me than my personal biography, so I encourage you to try it and see for yourself.
All the Best ~