Guest Post: The Simple Guide To Writing An Online Profile That Works

This is guest post by Heather Townsend of Joined Up Business Networking For Busy Professionals whose excellent blog can be found here:

Online ProfileYesterday I was given a masterclass in how to write your online profile by David Stoch of Meerkat PR, who specialises in getting his clients coverage in the national newspapers. I learnt so much I wanted to share what I learnt with you today:

1. Keep it short and sweet

Less is definitely more. You only have seconds to grab someone’s attention – whether they are meeting you online or you are trying to pitch yourself to a journalist or editor. If you try and bundle the kitchen sink into your bio, for example… “so & so is a coach, consultant, speaker, author…”, it will damage your credibility and also switch people off. For example, if you are qualified to do many things, try and crystallise that down to the headline. What value do you deliver to your clients?

2. Keep your basic bio to a simple structure

Your basic bio, which will be used on author credits, and in pitches to editors needs to have the following structure:
One sentence which states up to three things about who you are. E.g.

Heather Townsend is an Author, Performance Improvement Specialist to professional service firms, and Social Media Expert.

A paragraph qualifying your credibility:

Over the past decade, Heather has worked with more than one hundred partners and trained over 1000 lawyers, accountants and other professionals at every level, within the UK’s leading and most ambitious professional practices. She is the UK’s foremost expert on how business people can build meaningful and profitable relationships via social media and has been commissioned to write on key business topics by the Financial Times.Heather is the founder and Chief Coach at The Efficiency Coach, and co-founder of ‘the executive village’.

3. Qualify, qualify, qualify

By the way, writing the qualifying paragraph is tough. You need to strip out any marketing messages and ‘prove’ why you are what you say you are – and why you are credible. I wanted to say in my paragraph something like this:

“Heather is one of the very few people who understands both the commercial, leadership and people issues facing a professional practice”.

But, that’s not qualified and is marketing spin.

4. Use keywords & links

Your online bio goes every where… at the bottom of your articles make sure that you have links to the websites which are important to you. Hyperlink the keywords back to your website.

5. Use a colour professional photo of you

People want to see the real you – and even better if you can use a short video clip of you. Whilst your black and white picture may look very arty, your audience wants to see you.

6. Have multiple versions

Twitter restricts you to 160 characters, LinkedIn let’s you write an essay. You need to have multiple versions of your online bio, depending on the medium. For example, you want to have a keyword rich bio for LinkedIn and Twitter, but a different short bio to be used as an author credit.

What’s your tips for writing your online profile?

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Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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