You’ve joined a networking group or perhaps you’re getting your LinkedIn profile or website updated. It’s time to update your profile page or Bio section,
but everything you write down seems wrong, arrogant or too much like writing a CV. Is it even worth the time to update this?
When you’re a small business owner it’s often a challenge to describe to others who you are in the context of your business, especially if you are your business. But this is a digital age, and the more presence you have on digital channels, the easier it is for people to find you and your business.
If you’ve joined a network and they have a member directory and you don’t bother updating the profile for you and your company, then you’re missing an opportunity. People like to do business with other people in their networks not faceless brands.
This article will give you some simple tips on how to write a great bio profile as a business owner.
Your profile is not your employment CV
You’re not applying for job as an employee, so your profile content needs to sell your company and position you as owner of the company. You can always add your previous wealth of experience, volunteer work, awards etc. after the current position and company content to add further support to your capabilities. Just make sure that the business you run is promoted and who you are in that business is front and centre.
Should you write a profile in first person or third person?
Which approach is ideal will depend on the location of your bio. On a company website among other bios, third person would be appropriate. On a LinkedIn personal profile, either is acceptable. My preference is for third person as I feel the profile is a corporate representation of a business brand. Some prefer the more personal approach of first person because it’s a personal profile. Whichever you choose, stick with it so your copy is consistent, and remember to keep it professional - you are the ambassador of your company's brand.
It’s still about the business
In the description section make sure the content highlights the essence of your business and what it does, even if you are using first person. This is an opportunity to add calls to action as well as information about your services e.g. “Contact us to find out how we can help you”. You want your profile to appeal to be of interest to prospective clients. If you aren't sure who your ideal clients are and what's important to them, consider engaging a business consultant to help you nail that down.
Consistency is important
What people read about you on one platform they should see echoed across all other mediums. That includes the images you use.
A professional headshot is essential
You should always have a profile image on any business page/platform that you have a presence on. It’s good for people to see you’re human, but if it’s a selfie of you on holidays, or in your car, then it doesn’t really convey ‘professional business owner’ to your potential clients and referral partners. Professional headshots are not as expensive as you think, but not having one costs you business.
Don’t make grammar and spelling mistakes
This is your opportunity to set a first impression. If you need to arrange for someone to review what you’ve written before it’s published, do so. Get help from a good copywriter if you’re having trouble articulating what you do. Especially if English is your second language - people can be very harsh judges of your expertise based on whether you attend to the details of language.
As a business owner you possibly wear many hats, especially if you help local charities and clubs, or serve on boards. For each situation that you’re writing your profile bio for, consider what matters to the reader. Just stick to the parts of your bio that matter to that audience and what will make them buy from you and your business.
Structure your content so its easy to read quickly
Keeping things short, clear and simple avoids confusion and increases engagement. Here’s an example format guide:
Position Title: (Focus on the primary position and company name, PS. those cute fun sounding company titles are annoying and confusing, keep it simple)
Managing Director at Foundational Business Pty Ltd
Summary Intro Paragraph (Max: 5 lines apx 50 words):
Kerrie is the Managing Director of the small business solutions company Foundational Business Pty Ltd. She has worked with micro and small business owners helping them grow their businesses for over 10 years as a business consultant through our service divisions the Foundational Business Centre, Foundational Business Consulting, Foundational Non Profit Consulting and Foundational Retail Consulting.
Background Content Summary (Max: 2 lines 25 words)
Prior to starting her own business, her career in large corporates included senior management roles for PwC Australia, MCI Worldcom, AAPT and Optus.
Personal Touch or Professional Credentials (Max 50 words) Kerrie is passionate about business and community connection. She is actively involved in the Sydney Hills Business Chamber and local BNI groups, serves on the board of charity organisation Men In Action Inc, and as chairperson of the Hills Mental Health Interagency.
Your Why (Max 40 -50 words)
Kerrie’s key business driver is to increase the effectiveness of small businesses, reducing the rate of failure by providing practical and achievable help to small business owners, to empower and equip them to succeed.
Bullet Style Summary of Experience/Skills (100 words, in easy to read short sentences or Hashtags)
Experienced Specialist with a demonstrated history of working with micro and small business owners | Skilled in Negotiation | Business Planning | Operations Management | Software & Process Documentation | Practical Sales & Marketing Strategy | and Risk Management| Strong professional with a Post Graduate Certificate in Business from The University of Notre Dame Australia | Works actively on several charity boards and Preventative Mental Health Service projects in the community
Make the most of your marketing opportunities for your business and set aside a couple of hours to get your profiles and bio’s written and published online so people can find you this year.
About the author: Kerrie Sheaves is a business consultant, and Managing Director of small business solutions company Foundational Business Pty Ltd.