There you are! I was hoping to see you today! I think you’re just marvellous.
Recently I’ve been researching biography copy of coaches and consultants. Some really stand out. They have the right credentials, case studies, perhaps a best-selling book, or a proprietary method unique to them.
And then there are others. You can see they try to make all the right points, but you just don’t believe them. 10-15 years ago, if you wanted to position yourself as a business coach for example, it was probably enough to say you’d spent X years as a corporate executive working with Fortune 500 companies.
But then everyone else came onto the internet saying the same thing, and so today, you have to work harder to make your bio stand out and be believable.
Unfortunately, I see a trend where some coaches and consultants mention things that ‘sound’ impressive, but probably won’t pass muster with cynical prospects. I’m talking about people who reference their corporate background without saying what it was, or the ‘6-figure business’ they created… without giving you the name, or the massive results they got for a client without… you get the picture.
It’s meant to be impressive, but it doesn’t effectively communicate that you’re good at what you do.
It’s one of the reasons I don’t talk about my experience as a model.
But I’ll tell you about it, because you’re special to me.
I was having a routine check-up at the dentist. I’ve been very lucky with my teeth, and the dentist was complimentary. In fact, once the check-up was over he said:
“Actually Amy, we’re putting together a brochure to market the business. Would you model for it?”
Of course I said yes. I was twenty, insecure, secretly vain, and massively flattered.
“I’ll go get the camera…”
The minute he left the room, I dove into my handbag to grab a brush and make up. I fixed my hair, powdered my nose, touched up my lip gloss, and sank back into the leather chair feeling ready for my close-up.
The dentist returned—camera in hand—while I tried to subtly practise an expression of sultry contemplation. Before I could master my pose, it was his time to dive… straight into my mouth. With the rough precision of a car mechanic he crammed in a variety of plastic and rubber scaffolding so that my lips and cheeks were stretched wide open, leaving a gaping view of teeth and gums.
Satisfied, he grabbed the camera, leaned in and snapped a rapid succession of photos. This was indeed my close-up.
So close in fact, you couldn’t see any other part of my face, just my gnashers.
My family howled with laughter at my vanity when I told them what had happened. I mean, technically I had been a ‘model’, but to ever claim this as proof of experience would be ridiculous.
I mention this because the biography copy of coaches and consultants that lack credibility, tend to use vague terms to describe their role and experience in the hope that prospects will interpret a more glamorous / experienced / accomplished background than what is actually there.
The sad thing is that some people DO have great backgrounds, but their bios let them down. In the absence of specifics, prospects won’t over-estimate your accomplishments, they’ll likely under-estimate your abilities.
In episode 32 of the podcast I look at a couple of examples of biography copy that on the surface may sound okay, but don’t withstand cynical scrutiny. I also share an example of strong biography copy—don’t be put off when I tell you its from a neuroscientist marketer – you don’t need a Ph.D to craft an impressive bio, you just need to showcase the achievements and experience that make you great at what you do.
Till next time, keep believing.
P.S. If you missed episodes 30 and 31 of the podcast, I cover how to build a portfolio if you’re just starting out as a copywriter, and also share a pragmatic approach to using emotion in your copy. You can check out all episodes of the podcast here.
P.P.S This was originally emailed as a weekly(ish) note – want to get them straight to your inbox? Sign up on the form on the right.