Day 7 - Tackling Your Bio + Tagline
Welcome to Day #7 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here and find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything. I am by no means an expert but after hearing a lot of the same questions, I figured others could benefit from a few lessons in branding. Hopefully it will give you a place to begin or even just a few tips to improve your business and bring you more clients. Feel free to add in your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments!
"Tell me about yourself."
Ugh don't you hate this question? I can't stand it because very rarely can I sum myself up in a sentence or two. So then the answer is always really half-hearted like, "Um...I'm...nice??"
The BIO or About Me page or even just a tagline can be just like that question and so difficult to write. But they are really important because people will read it and know right away whether working with you will be a good fit for them.
The tagline is basically just a sentence that answer two questions. "What do you do?" and "How do you do that?"
And ideally you want it to be able to be read and understood in 10 seconds. If you use complicated terminology, chances are people unfamiliar with it will just move on. So first just answer those two basic questions and then add details. Here's my example...
What do I do? I help photographers.
How do I do that? I design templates.
That gives me "Templates for Photographers."
Now that is my skeleton to work with, but I don't want to leave it there. I want to add in a few details that will help narrow my market.
So here's the third question you can ask yourself. "What kind of people do you want to attract?" And then add in a few descriptive words to help sort them.
BUSY - That includes the photographers who know what they're doing in Photoshop but they don't have enough time to design, and also those who are busy because they are just getting started running their business.
FRESH & MODERN - If you remember from day #5, I like creating bright, fashion-inspired designs with clean layouts and bold type. Summing that up in two words would be fresh and modern. I want to attract clients that also appreciate that style.
So my tagline is "Fresh & Modern Templates for the Busy Photographer."
I want busy photographers who love my style to happen upon my website, Etsy shop, Facebook page, etc. and be able to see in seconds that they are in the right place.
So now it's your turn:
1. What do you do?
2. How do you do that?
3. What kind of people do you want to attract?
The BIO or "About Me" Page
If you finished Day #6 and figured out how to use your voice, this should be much easier.
When most people click on the About Page, they are usually asking, "Is this someone I could work with or relate to?" and "Is working with this person going to benefit me?"
So the last thing you want to do is sound like a robot, mechanically listing your accomplishments. Let's answer those questions...
1. Is this someone I could work with or relate to?
Always, always share a photo. They will relate to you a lot easier if they can see who you are! And if it feels like you're having a conversation in person, really meeting for the first time. So if you can, always use first person: "I like watching cat videos" is better than "She likes watching cat videos." (What if there's a team of people? Then you could feature a picture of each team member and give them each a paragraph to introduce themselves in first person.) Then fill it in with details about yourself. And keep in mind there are some things you can show through your voice. Instead of saying "I'm funny and spontaneous." Be funny and spontaneous in your writing to prove it. That will leave a longer-lasting impression.
2. Is working with this person going to benefit me?
While sharing your awards and accomplishments is great, you don't want to do that without giving a thought to how those strengths benefit your clients. So tell them why it matters. "I was featured in such and such magazine" is nice. But if you change it to, "I was featured in such and such magazine because I am really good at doing _____ for people." your readers can see how it applies to them. The same thing works with details about you. For example, on my About page I could have said, "I tend to lean toward fresh and clean layouts." That would have been fine, but I wanted to show clients why they should care. So I added "I tend to lean toward fresh and clean layouts so that the focus is where it should be: on your photography."
Keeping it creative.
The fun part is that it doesn't have to read like a boring research paper. If you need some creative ideas, I really like these 5 cheat-a-licious tricks to finish your 'About' page already! by Alexandra Franzen. You can start from different angles. Tell a story. Share a list. Make an infographic. Think about what lines up most with the clients you want to attract and what you want to say about your brand.
Homework: Spend at least 20 minutes hashing out your bio and tagline. Remember you can always change details later. Just get it done! Have fun!