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How to Brand Yourself

October 5, 2009

As a marketing consulting company we are often asked to help companies find and define their brand statement. Recently it seemed that a number of friends and business associates were looking for help in re-positioning themselves or providing a bio that fit their current experience level.

As I read the typical/standard bio which contains information like:

Ø Business successes

Ø Personal interests

Ø Tenure in your job market.

I was asked by these people how they might re-define themselves in their bio's. I started to look at a series of bios on line on websites for information. I also pulled out a copy of the book Be Your Own brand by David McNally and Karl Speak.

Here are some quick tips and tricks for helping you create or update your bio...

Rules about bios.....

Bios are written in complete English sentences in the third person, unlike a resume, which is written in an abbreviated first-person style (on a resume, "managed company" stands for "I managed the company"). Bios tend to be written more tightly than a resume. They often comprise only a single page and emphasize selected roles and achievements rather than offering an inventory of your entire career.

Well-written bios have a "voice." As pitch-pieces, they make a targeted, persuasive argument about what to think about you. This is a departure from conventional resumes, which should come across as dispassionate factual recitations that allow readers to draw their own (hopefully inescapable) conclusion.

A biography repeats your name throughout, making readers feel they know you on a first-name basis. By its very nature, this document can get away with using more stirring language than is appropriate for a resume. As Carleen McKay, a consultant with Right Management Consultants in Atlanta, notes, "A good biography is a factual document, a great bio is a factual and creative document and an exceptional bio is a factual, creative and memorable document."

That said, the tone of your bio shouldn't cross the line from being confident and positive to inflated puffery, unsupported self-praise or a wowie-zowie sales pitch. It should never compromise your image of professionalism merely to grab a reader's attention.

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For more information contact:
Tricia Ryan
Phone: 416-259-6611

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