Did you know, we introduce ourselves more than two times a day on average?
Twice a day, every day.
Whether at an industry event, on a Zoom call, or in an email, writers and authors need to introduce themselves with impact.
An effective biographical statement can decide whether clients and suppliers choose to work with you or someone else.
But how to effectively introduce yourself in English can be tricky.
As a multilingual writer, it is likely that your writing is read by speakers of other languages with different cultural expectations, so brevity and simplicity are crucial. So is creativity.
If your introduction is too bland, you won’t demonstrate your true value.
Switch cliché or overused phrases for unique or eye-catching ones. Not ‘avid reader’ but ‘book hoarder’. Not ‘experienced professional’ but ‘lexical artist’ or ‘content commando’.
Before writing your introduction, think of the context. Is it a first-contact email, a conference introduction, a Twitter bio?
Formats matter because bios form the first impressions of your clients, colleagues or employers.
3 Elements of Great Intros
1. Who you ‘are’
The key word here is ‘are’, from the verb ‘to be.’
Use the first line of your introduction to state the main activities that define you.
Example: Kwame Alexander is a poet, an educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine books. (taken from kwamealexander.com)
Build authority by adding more than one facet of your work and by choosing key adjectives to strengthen your value.
Fix your bio:
❌ - Terrie Typer works as a content writer for Magazine X.
✅ - Terrie Typer is an award-winning content producer who writes dynamite articles for Magazine X.
This can still apply to micro bios. Here is Kwame Alexander’s Twitter bio:
NY Times Bestselling Author: The Undefeated (Caldecott Medal), The Crossover (Newbery Medal). Father of 2 Headstrong Girls! Exec. Prod., The Crossover/Disney+
He’s managed to squeeze in three roles, three accolades and use two adjectives!
2. Your History
Another way to add authority and value to your work is through including key moments from your past. This can be demonstrated with time, quantities, money or accolades.
Example: Gutenberg was founded in 1982 by Mr Frank Spiteri with an investment of around €420 for an Adana Letterpress printing machine … In 2019, Gutenberg invested €7 million in its two factories in Tarxien and Bulebel to meet soaring customer demand.
This corporate bio from the Gutenberg Press website demonstrates their success over 40 years of history by using investment figures. Be specific to build trustworthy claims.
Fix your bio:
❌ - Cam Copywriter has many years of experience and always delivers results for clients.
✅ - Cam Copywriter wrote his first successful campaign aged six-and-a-half. It was for a garage sale which netted his family a massive $216.25. Last year, one of his email campaigns generated over $26,000 in revenue. It was not for a garage sale.
We care about characters. We care about people. Don’t forget to personalise your text so people can connect with you as a human.
Bios that make us smile, connect and empathise are written by wordsmiths we want to work with. Typical examples mention food, pets, or children. These are themes that most of us have in common, wherever we are from.
My own writer bio ends with this line:
‘Philip hates oranges 🍊, but likes orange cats 🐱'
You’re probably thinking ‘Everyone like oranges, don’t they?’ or ‘I prefer dogs’, but it engages the reader and humanises the writer. You know something personal and real about me.
Fix your bio:
❌ - Edward Editor lives in Madrid with his family and his dog.
✅ - When not travelling to book fairs, Edward can be found chasing Frank the pug away from the house plants, or having tea parties with his five-year-old daughter.
Next time you introduce yourself in writing, say who you are, shout about your achievements, and show your personality.
Be creative. Be memorable. Add value to your work.