The Brand YOU: Your Bio
Personal branding is about promoting what makes you unique and what allows you to stand out from the crowd. A major piece of branding is creating your professional “bio” or biography. That bio is, after all, a specific place to capture your “story” …. so it is personal.
For many CPAs, your bio is likely already on the web and accessible by anyone and anywhere. Since it is so accessible, it presents a nice branding opportunity – to spread your message about the value you provide and the opportunities you want to attract.
When reviewing your bio, consider three Cs of personal branding – Compelling, Consistent and Clear:
Make your bio COMPELLING and answer the following questions:
- WHOM do you specifically help? What kinds of people? What types of businesses?
- WHAT challenges do you help them solve?
- HOW do you help them? What is it you uniquely “bring to the table” to help them solve their challenges?
- WHAT do your specific skills allow them to do? What is the benefit to them? Do you save them time, money orpain, or bring them joy or success?
- HOW have you acquired these skills? Why are you credible? This is the his“story” part of your bio where you can provide your experience and relevant accomplishments.
- Make your bio CONSISTENT.
- Make your bio CLEAR.
If someone visits your organization’s website and reads your bio and then finds you on a social network with a profile that describes a completely different person, you have created brand confusion!
Tip: create one master biography and use it to create your shorter bio and all your profiles instead of doing it the other way around. Google yourself and compare your profiles and bios. Do they send an overall consistent message about what you want to be known for and what distinguishes you from everyone else?
Harry Beckwith, the author of You Inc., The Art of Selling Yourself, says, “What convinces people that you excel? Your clearest evidence is just that: clearness.” Be direct. Get to the point. If you cannot articulate your expertise in a concise and clear manner, then how can you be an expert in your field? Attention spans are dwindling. Even your “long bio” should not be much more than half a page.
Keep it fresh: update your bio as often as it needs to be so that your message is current. A stale bio sends a message about your brand.
Consider a call to action: decide what you want the readers of your bio to do. Is it just to view you as credible or would you like them to take action? If you want them to follow you, such as via a blog or Twitter, ensure that information is in your bio.
Test it for authenticity: what is the most important thing about any item you use to promote your brand? It needs to be authentic. You need to feel it. You need to own it. Read your draft bio out loud to an audience. If it comes from your heart, if it is truly “on-brand,” then your audience will know that when you read it. And you will know it too.
Brian Kush, CPA, CLC, President, Moxie Partners. Brian is an ICF certified coach, and specializes in leadership, executive presence, and personal branding coaching. He works with executives, entrepreneurs, and aspiring professionals in a personal coaching relationship to challenge them to show up as the biggest version of who they already are, and get the new results THEY want.