A well-written, personable, and engaging bio can go a long way to differentiating you from other professional service providers. You’ve got to write a bio that builds trust and rapport, answers the reader’s core question, and gives a compelling reason for further contact.
If you’re trying to write a bio that sells your professional services, this before-after comparison will help, regardless of your industry.
Leisel Meminger CFP®, AIF®, came to financial planning after a 12-year career as a river guide, watershed advocate and wilderness educator. (1) Her passion for wild places and the environment led her to pursue studies in Sustainable Community Development and Sustainable Business. After business school, Leisel worked on projects ranging from developing a citizens water-quality monitoring plan to helping entrepreneurs develop and write business plans. (2) Leisel’s interest in financial planning was piqued after fielding numerous requests for financial and sustainable investing advice from friends and colleagues after earning her business degree. (3)
Before starting Fresh Perspective Financial Planning, Leisel worked for Madeline Albright Financial Planning, one of the only other fee-only, hourly, socially responsible financial planners in Eugene, Oregon. (4)
Leisel’s passion for financial planning comes from her desire to support people in their efforts to lead the kind of life they want to lead. Leisel’s goal is to help her clients have money be a positive influence in their lives and in the world. (5) She brings a relaxed, approachable style and a wonderful sense of humor to her work as a financial planner. (6)
Clients are always surprised at the simplicity of my financial plans. In my experience, the real challenge lies in seeing the big picture and analyzing all the working parts. By delivering an approachable plan, I help my clients clarify the path to their goals. (7)
I feel lucky to do this work; I get to help people from all walks of life who are doing good in the world. (8)
I help young professionals balance their long-term goals with their day-to-day choices. I help mature couples confirm that their diligence has paid off and they’re ready to retire. I help others to explore the ramifications of major decisions like a career change or a return to school. (9)
Early in my previous career as a river guide, I advocated for hydropower reform on California’s Kerbie River. We focused on the connection between the river’s health and the economic benefit to the communities along its banks. Discovering this confluence of sustainable community development and business drove me into an MBA program. (10)
After completing my studies, I can still remember a friend confessing, “I want to start saving for tomorrow. I think I want to open an IRA -whatever that is- and I want to invest in good companies. But I have no idea where to start.” My friends’ and colleagues’ questions brought me to the intersection of sustainable business and personal finance, where I founded Fresh Perspective Financial in 2008. (11)
As a river guide, I was responsible for leading clients through wild and unfamiliar territory, managing risk, and helping them enjoy the experience. In many ways, this still describes my work, but instead of scrutinizing river flows and weather, I’m analyzing cash flows and the economic climate. (12)
It’s tremendously fulfilling to help my clients make good decisions for their goals and circumstances. I know I’m successful when money becomes a positive influence in their lives and in the world. (13)
If you could use a financial guide, contact me today for an initial no-cost, no-obligation ‘get acquainted’ meeting. (14)
- Where’s the benefit statement? At this point, the bio depends entirely on the reader’s curiosity about Leisel to continue. Write a bio that begins by answering the reader’s core question; “What’s in it for me?”
- This personal background is great for connecting with a particular audience: outdoors/river advocates. For other ideal customers, this might not to hold much appeal.
- Though it’s good to mention ‘why’ Leisel chose her field, it’d be even better to share a few details about the results from those early requests. Ideal customers who read this bio want to know that Leisel has successfully helped others before.
- This paragraph is a lost opportunity. Though readers want to see experience, they are more interested in the results that Leisel delivered for this previous employer. When you write your bio, make sure to include major results that you have delivered.
- Nice ‘why statement.’ If this were used in the bio’s opening, it might be more effective than the current ‘retired river guide’ approach.
- ‘Approachable style’ and ‘sense of humor’ are great indicators that readers will get along with Leisel, especially in a profession where personal rapport is so important. When writing your bio, be sure to include some personality.
- Notice how the first-person voice creates a more approachable tone. That’s important when you write a bio that has to build trust and rapport for the client relationship. ‘Simplicity,’ ‘approachable plan’ and ‘clarify the path’ all speak to major pain points of the target audience. This implies ‘Leisel will take care of you’ more effectively than an outright declaration.
- Nice, concise ‘why’ statement that opens a window on Leisel’s passion. This tells readers that Leisel isn’t just motivated by profit. Consider your ‘why statement’ when you write a bio.
- This helps ideal clients see how Leisel can meet their needs. It also subtly identifies Leisel’s target audiences while listing the benefits she offers in an understandable context. When you write a bio, identify your target clients, so they understand you can help them.
- Having addressed the reader’s core question ‘What’s in it for me?’ the bio can touch on a bit of Leisel’s personal history. (Mentioning personal passion is a great way to attract like-minded clients when writing a bio.)
- Including the friend’s statement is a smart way of helping other ideal clients find themselves in Leisel’s story. That quote will resonate with many readers, and communicate ‘Leisel knows where you’re coming from.’
- Great way to parlay past -seemingly unrelated- experience into relevancy of Leisel’s current occupation, and even imply that it can be a fun experience. When you write a bio, try to relate your past experience -even if it’s seemingly unrelated- to your current profession.
- Having answered the reader’s core question in the beginning, and subsequently backed up that assertion with other credibility factors, this is a great space to drop in a ‘why’ statement.
- Always close with a clear call to action when you write a bio.
Get your bio off your to-do list now.
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