by Melissa Cassera of Cassera Communications
Have you ever opened the pages of your favorite magazine and noticed a handmade creation in all its glossy glory staring right back at you?
“Why can’t that be my design?” you might say.
Well, here’s the thing. It CAN.
The only difference between a handmade item featured in a magazine, or on television, or on a fabulous site like Daily Candy is that the designer asked for it. As my mom would always say “the answer is always no unless you ask.”
However, merely asking likely won’t help you stand out among the hundreds, if not thousands, of other crafty-preneurs that are vying for that same media placement.
So now what?
Well it certainly helps to have designs that will make the media’s cuteness alert ring off the chart. But the real clincher – the thing that will really get the media to perk up and take notice – is sharing your story.
That’s where having a killer bio becomes tres importante.
The media may respond visually to your item, but their real job is telling a great story their readers or viewers. If you can serve them a great story on a silver platter along with your visually juicy designs, your chances of landing some sweet media coverage are much more realistic.
Now, I bet you’re already spending hours upon hours designing, or sewing, or knitting, or crafting or doing anything else to aesthetically please your audience. And, I bet you have already groaned at me for giving you one more job to do.
But hear me out.
Writing your bio can actually be fun. And you don’t just need to share it with the media. You can also share this with your customers, your retail accounts, or even shave off snippets of it to share along with your product descriptions.
You should definitely put it on your website so everyone can sneak a peak at your awesome-ness. But you can also print it on a postcard and include it in every package you send out. You can use spicy, short versions for your Twitter and Facebook pages. Heck, you can even design something with your bio on it and give it to your mom, grandma, or other loved one to hang on the wall.
Are you ready to get rocking and rolling? Here are five tips that will make it easy peasy for you to churn out an insanely addictive bio.
Pick a Narrative Point-of-View
Not to take you back to grade school grammar, but when it comes to sitting down and writing your new and improved bio, the first decision is which point of view will you take – first, or third? Here’s my opinion.
A bio that’s featured on a website, social media pages, or anywhere your customer might view it, should be written in first person point-of-view. This gives the illusion that you’re speaking directly to your customer and sharing your story, even though you’re not physically in the room with them.
You may also opt to create a second version of your bio written in third person point-of-view to use for the media and for your retail accounts. This helps this ‘3rd party’ to tell your story without having to work to change the point-of-view. The media will appreciate this extra step.
Hook them in the Beginning
Is the opening of your bio compelling enough to keep people reading? Or are they reading the first few lines and clicking away in boredom?
The beginning of your bio is crucial in capturing the attention of the media. For ideas, take a peak at some of your favorite books (fiction or non-fiction) as well as magazine feature stories. What grabbed you in those opening sentences that made you keep reading? Incorporate this type of narrative in your own bio writing.
Pepper in your Personality
Have you ever read someone’s bio and thought, “this is as dry as the desert?”
When writing any copy – bios, product descriptions, web copy, media pitches – inject your own personality to avoid big snores from your audience.
A great way to do this is to start an inspiration file where you will write down various words and phrases that ‘speak’ your brand. To get started, think of the magazines, television shows, books, or websites that your customers read and watch. Then spend some time looking through those to come up with fun words and phrases that will twist your bio into something exciting. For example, some words in my own inspiration file include back flips, snowball, drool, nifty, stinker, and splash.
Toot your Horn
Yes, your bio is the place where you have clearance to toot your own horn without sounding like a braggart. You definitely want to include all of the things that make you such a nifty creator such as awards, accolades, press mentions, college degrees, or any of your other splashy successes. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments and celebrating them in your bio.
Besides, how else will the rest of us know how fabulous you are?
Share your Quirks
One of my favorite things to include in a bio are the colorful things that make you sparkle. Whether it’s a hobby, favorite TV show, or special nickname, sharing these glimpses into your world create an instant connection with the reader. I call this the “10 Things” list and you can check out a sample on my own bio: http://casseracommunications.com/about-melissa/
Are you psyched to write (or re-write) your bio? Well here’s something extra special for you.
Post a link to your spruced up bio below. I’ll take a peak at everyone that comments and posts a link to their bio, and give you a sentence or two of feedback.
Want more? If you want to learn how to get media coverage for your handmade goodies, sign up for Melissa’s free report How to Pitch the Media Like a Pro at www.casseracommunications.com
Melissa will also be joining us to co-host our June 9th #omhg Twitter Thursday chat from 1-2EST where we’ll talk pitching to the media, marketing and PR!
Wow, those are really great tips!
I was going to change only a few things on my bio but I finally rewrote everything based on your advices!
I would really appreciate your feedback if you have some time:
Thank you so much for this great opportunity!
Augh. Writing a bio is a new challenge for me. But I’m going to try my best…
I have a twenty things about me list on my blog for a quick “get to know me”:
A new bio has been on my to-do list for months. It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write! Thank you for all of the great tips… and for giving me the first word for my inspiration file: “sparkle”!
Those are great tips for writing a bio! I recently tweaked mine, would love to hear your comments!
Great article thanks for sharing. I recently got a little article in a national craft magazine. I want to repeat the experience. All your tips are great.
I’ve updated my about page this morning following this article – thanks so much for both the info and the offer of the link and feedback – it’s very generous and it’ll be good to read (not just mine, I’ll be looking at everyone’s).
My about page is here: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog/about/
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful article with us. I would certantly love and appreciate your feedback! Thanks! http://hobbiesfromtheheartblog.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
Wow! Melissa, thank you sooo much! I love love LOVE your blog and have learned so much from you guys already! I cant wait to hear your suggestions!
Wonderful article! This really inspires me to spruce up my about page. Will post a link when it’s done. 🙂
I write copy for my husband’s art. Here is a link to the spruced up bio/artist statement. Would really love feedback and thank you so much for your article and help!!
I can write a great bio for someone else but have been struggling with my own. This was a very timely post for me with some good tips, information and great energy behind it. I have renewed enthusiasm for tackling the bio once again.
Great stuff, I’ve just written a new about for my website upgrade and have made some changes based on your recommendations, many thanks.
Thanks to everyone for their wonderful feedback. Im so happy you enjoyed the piece.
For those that posted links to their bio here is my feedback! I am so proud at how well all of you have done so far. If you still want a bio critique, please post a link to your bio in the comments section and Ill pop back in here in a few days 🙂
Marie Noelle love how you share your personal story and your I Love and I Hate lists. You might want to share a little more about your experience as an online entrepreneur. It left me wanting to know more about this (especially about your soaps!) I also feel you could let your personality shine even more with words. Follow my pepper in your personality tip above and youll give it a little spice!
Margaret I really loved your bio! I would just move the Hello my name is paragraph to the top, as it would flow better. I would also move your get to know me list to the bottom of your bio instead of hidden within a blog post 🙂
Tracey I thought it was awesome that you put your photo right there at the top. Perfect way for people to connect. I might move the I Love list to the bottom of your bio. Customers will love it wherever you post, but the media typically doesnt have enough patience to read through everything, so better to hit them with the good stuff right up front. For party planners, people are very visual. You might even want to describe a few of your bestselling or most inspiring parties using the pepper in your personality tip above 🙂
Wendy you did an amazing job with the revamp, great photos and words! I might embellish your gift experience a bit more so people know exactly what youre doing now. Do you create gifts, shop for gifts, wrap gifts, give gift ideas, or all of the above? Maybe a just a few sentences at the top about the gifting experience. Otherwise, fabulous bio!
Hobbies from the Heart great photo and personal story! Id love to hear a little more about your graduate studies and how this crafting is an escape from that world (example: after logging long hours in the chemistry lab, I cant wait to come home kiss my husband and daughter and create!) Painting pictures with your words will help readers connect with you more. Would also love to see a 10 things list from you!
Heather thanks for your kind words! I LOVE your website and the fun colors and your family photo. I would combine your about section to be one streamlined story. You might start out by introducing yourself and your passion for engaging children in learning with shapes, colors, etc. I would also use the pepper in your personality exercise to add some colorful words in your bio (I was thinking words like spunky, fun, bright, zing, bounce) Your personality really shines in the fun stuff section, so use that same sparkle so your personality shines throughout 🙂
Jstarh your husbands art is so interesting!! The thing that really differentiates is the military style and inspiration I would actually rework so the second paragraph is the first. This second paragraph is great and really paints a picture. I also would suggest making the last sentence an intro quote: When it comes to art, I am in control not the paper. Then dive into the military story. I would also visit the pepper in your personality tip above to find words that are often used when describing the military (power, prestige, training, strength, etc)
Thank you so much Melissa! I will definitively work on those points!!
Thank you so much Melissa! I’ve already started on the changes and it definitely looks much better thanks to you! Great ideas!
I love your ideas, quirky is my middle name 🙂 please have a look at mine too:
Thank you so much Melissa. Fab feedback (good to know something is right!) and I’ll have a little retweak with the gift stuff I do now.
It’s so hard to know how you come across, as you get so close to your own writing and own business, so this was a brilliant opportunity. Thank you 🙂
Thank you so much Melissa for your feedback. it’s wonderful to have someone outside my circle, who doesn’t know me, to critique my bio. I’ve made those changes and think it looks much better. Hopefully others will notice too.
Jessika: as always, thank you for hosting some pretty amazing quest bloggers who give the best advice and challenge me to step out of my comfort zone. I’m so glad to have a resource/ community like ‘Oh, My Handmade’ to help me along my journey of motherhood and crafty goodness.
Thank you Margaret that is so wonderful to hear! Literally everything I am striving to create here & I am really excited it comes through.
I’ve also got to thank Melissa for her awesome article & helping all our lovely readers write a bio that will get them noticed.
And to everyone who took the challenge & rewrote their bios, hooray! I love seeing you whip that copy into shape: )
This was awesome! Thanks Melissa for your comments, it is so nice to have a pair of fresh eyes (and not family or friend!) look at my bio. Working on a re-vamp!
Thank you for the fresh perspective and very helpful suggestions. We too, are working on the rewrite. It is very interesting to us that you described his work as military, only a few pieces are, since that only appeals to a limited client base it is a very good clue as to how we need to also revamp the website. Thank you so much!!
I had to rewrite my bio for my site’s relaunch last week and I’m still not sure it’s an improvement over what I had before (which was dull & drab) – http://nisseworks.com/about/
Thank you for doing this! http://perideaudesigns.com/content/about/1002
Melissa, what a great about me you have:)! You have inspired me to re-do mine. I recently re-did my Etsy about me and was wondering what you think. If you give it the go-ahead for my site, then I will put it over there as well with a 11 things about me etc. Thank you so much for participating in the chat today, it was very inspiring!
Thanks so much! Looking forward to your feedback. http://www.butterscotchopinions.com/p/about-me.html
I would love your feedback… thanks!
Thank you, wonderful ladies, for sharing this! I hadn’t really given thought to a bio before, so I have (finally?) added one to my blog, which I then tweaked after re-reading this article. I know I’m late ot teh game, but if you have the chance to check it out and give me feedback it would be really appreciated! http://www.honeywild.net/p/about-me.html
renee.gans (at) gmail (dot) com
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