To build a great biography, you need a game-plan. Whether you’re writing it yourself or working with a copywriter, it’s crucial to articulate the total effect you want your bio to have on readers.
There’s a great scene in Mad Men, where famed antihero, Don Draper, writes, “When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him.” So it goes with your biography. However overwhelming it may seem, your bio is the summation of your life, at least the parts you want prospective clients to appreciate. It serves as your direct statement and a testament to your professional accomplishments. To round out your expertise with a touch of humanity, a particularly strong biography incorporates elements of your interests outside the office.
Your bio is a very personal thing, and while we certainly won’t tell you how to write it, we have a few suggestions you should consider including to put your best foot forward.
Discussed through questions (as Socrates would do!), here are The 3 Necessities Every Advisor Biography Should Have:
1. What do you do?
In face-to-face meetings as in the online world, first impressions are everything. While iPhone-toting readers become increasingly desultory and distracted, the first one or two sentences in any piece of content become essential.
Don’t bury the lead with your bio. Start strong, and hit your readers with your most pertinent information right at the top. If you are a veteran of the financial services industry, start by mentioning your years (or decades) of experience. While creativity is key in any professional endeavor, advisors should lean into their professional accomplishments first, even if it may appear to be less “entertaining” than alternative routes. If you’re a CFP® or an award-winning advisor, embrace those credentials. Now is the time to assert your achievements.
Ultimately, the opening sentences of your first paragraph should include some aspects of your experience and your role in the company. From there, you can personalize your biography however you like.
2. How do you work?
Some firms may want their biographies to evoke a less hard-edged, corporate quality. If that’s the case, and you want your team to have a more accessible appeal, write about your areas of expertise, specialization and client focus.
For example, if a values system drives your approach to planning, then lead with those principles. If you are a gifted listener and have an innate ability to understand client goals, or if building custom budgeting strategies is your forte, then move that towards the front half of your biography.
While it’s important to state your professional focus, go a step further and describe the process that guides your work. Let clients know the way you do business, how your experience informs your approach, and most importantly, how you can help them achieve their goals. By speaking to the way you work with clients, you not only differentiate yourself from the competition, but you create a niche that even defines you amid other advisors in your company.
On that note, if you’re building a gameplan for an office of two or more advisors, take care to delineate the strengths and specialties of each member. It’s all too easy to let biographies blur together on your company’s team page.
3. What do you do for fun?
You know what they say: “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Effective biographies strike a balance between the professional and the personal. With a solid foundation of your industry experience and focus, a sentence or two about your extracurricular interests and family can go a long way. Don’t put pressure on yourself here, just briefly talk about the things that get you jazzed. If you love watching comedies, golfing on Saturday mornings, or spending time with your pets, add that to your bio.
Specificity goes a long way here. Listing general activities can seem a bit bland, but if you specify the comedies you like to watch, the courses you like to play, and the pets you have, you add a bit of flair to the content.
As for community service and philanthropy, these sections are very valuable to rounding out your biography. If you volunteer your time or are involved in charitable efforts, don’t hesitate to include that information.
These are just general guidelines for writing your biography. You know yourself and your target audience better than anyone, and so long as you are direct with what you do and how you work with clients, you’ll be in good shape.
As always, if you need help with getting started and want a second perspective, our copywriting team is standing by. Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.