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!