This Is How to Write a Press Release for a Small Business

This Is How to Write a Press Release for a Small Business

Do you need to write a press release for your small business?

Often, when people think of press releases, they imagine large communications teams with an editor sitting at the head, collaborating on a press release together. But what if you run your business on a much smaller scale? How can you make sure you get the word out about developments in your company?

If you’re wondering how to write a press release for your small business, you’re not alone. You’re also not without help.

Below, we’ll go into the steps to writing a press release for your company, no matter its size.

Keep on reading to learn more!

About Press Releases

If this is your first time writing a press release, you may wonder when you should write one and when you should focus your efforts on other parts of your marketing campaign.

This is a great question since press releases aid your marketing techniques.

The biggest difference between a press release and an e-mail marketing campaign lies in its readership. For your other marketing techniques, you focus on reaching your target audience, which consists of the people most likely to buy your product or service. When you write press releases, though, you write to the press and people with an invested interest in your company.

As such, you want to change your approach to speak to these people.

Press releases also focus on different subjects than other marketing approaches. Since they go to the media, they have to be news-focused instead of sales-focused. That doesn’t mean that your press release can’t include a call-to-action, though. In fact, many do.

Collecting Contact Information

Before you start writing a press release, you need to define your recipients. This involves gathering the contact information of people in the local press.

To do this, find out which newspapers and television companies serve your area. Then, visit their website and look at their contact information. These places often have news desks to which they prefer you to send news-related e-mails. If they don’t have a news desk e-mail, take a look at their employee pages.

Many news organizations provide contact information for their editorial staff. If yours does, send your press release to either the editor-in-chief or a managing editor. It’s better to send news-related items to senior editorial staff because they have the direct authority to assign it to one of the reporters under them.

At this point, you should also think about whether or not you want any key people to receive your press release as well. These could be board members, investors, or even clients or donors with whom you have a close relationship.

Do you want help distributing your press releases? Check out these services.

Consider Using an E-mail Management System

Do you have an e-mail management system in place?

If not, you should consider getting one. They store your contacts for you and give you templates you can use to make your press releases appear more professional.

This takes some of the guesswork out of your press release formatting and makes you appear credible.

How to Write a Press Release

So, what are the essential things you need to know about how to write a press release? How do you make your small business press release look just as good as those who have entire teams dedicated to writing for the press?

Fortunately, no matter the size of your business, you still have the opportunity to follow the same techniques the professionals use.

Let’s get into some of them below.

Deciding the Goal of Your Press Release

As you sit down to compose your press release, you should first determine your overall goal.

What do you want to accomplish with this press release? Do you want to tell of a new person you’ve hired or give an important update on your company? Do you have an upcoming event you need to let everyone know about?

No matter what your purpose is, make sure it’s as clearly defined as possible before you start writing. This will make the writing process easier, as you’ll be able to write toward your goal.

Use the News Structure

As mentioned above, the media becomes a key part of your target audience when you write a press release. These people have the opportunity to turn your story into a local (or sometimes even national) news piece. This affords you the opportunity to gain a lot of attention and potentially get new clients.

Because of this, you need to know how to best communicate with the press. In the eyes of media professionals, your press release needs to be a story that fits their organization well. This means you need to learn to present your story as a news piece.

Reporters use a certain structure when writing newsworthy stories. They always start with the lead and continue with the body. Press releases often conclude with a call-to-action.

Writing the Lead

The lead consists of a few sentences in the first paragraph that contain all the pertinent information. This includes answering the 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, where, when, why, and how).

Think of the lead as a quick summary. Ask yourself what you would want someone to know if they only have time to read the first line or two of your press release.

The Body

Then, write the body, which repeats all of the information in the lead but with more detail.

The important information always goes near the top, with the less crucial information at the bottom. Your body can be several paragraphs long. In general, though, you should try to keep your press release brief and to the point.

Call-to-Action

At the end, include a call-to-action.

This directly ties into the purpose of your press release. If you want to gain more press exposure, invite reporters to call and interview you. Should you want people to give to a certain cause or make a purchase, include a button or link at which they can do so.

Want More Business and Career Advice?

Learning how to write a press release often serves as a crucial part of many business owner’s public relations.

Fortuantely, picking up the technique may not be as daunting as it first seems. If you have robust roster of press contacts, defined the purpose of your press release, and learn to write according to the news structure, you will increase your chances of getting your story noticed!

Want more business and career advice? Check out the rest of our articles!

How To Write A Product Review That Sells Without Making Your Site Look Cheesy (Template & Examples You Can Follow)

How To Write A Product Review That Sells Without Making Your Site Look Cheesy (Template & Examples You Can Follow)

In this coming guide, I will show you how to write a product review that does not alienates your readers but can still generate good revenue for your website.

But first, let’s summarise how searching for feedback about a product you are about to buy usually goes…

Step 1: type “product” + review in Google.

Step 2: your eyes melt at the amount of star ratings and review websites appearing on your screen, half the titles read “is a scam? Don’t buy before you read this!”

Fat Loss Factor Review Google Search

Step 3: Tentatively click on a result that doesn’t seem to be an obvious click bait and where the domain name looks trustable (i.e not producthonestreivew.com).

Step 4: Land on a page filled with CTA 100% positive reviews and is obviously completely sold out to the product owner (and, if you’re lucky, some rehashed product descriptions).

Step 5: Close your browser in rage after landing on 3 or 4 such sites not knowing what to do about buying the product or not.

Does this sounds familiar?

It does to me, yet I actually have done that for a while and if you navigate Health Ambition a bit and look at some of our reviews from a few years ago you will see we were playing that exact game.

But the truth is, even when they rank, these kind of product reviews just don’t produce nearly as much revenue as they used to anymore.

The truth is, most people are now fairly well educated about sketchy affiliate sites selling this way and while you can STILL make sales this way, you won’t bank the way you used to.

But with every downturn there is an opportunity.

In that case, being the honest kid in the block and understanding how to write a product review where you are not afraid to be critical about the product and have the reader’s best interest in mind can have a massive payoff and set you apart from all the crappy online reviews.

We have been experimenting with that in the past 12 months with great success and generated thousands of dollars in affiliate earnings both on Authority Hacker AND Health Ambition.

We have cleared the board, forgotten everything we knew about writing reviews and looked around to try and learn from the best. We realised great customer reviews rely on 2 simple things:

  1. Trust with the author
  2. Bridging features and benefits through real life examples

While we don’t publish a ton of reviews (and we clearly should release more), we have had great success with them earning 3 – 5 figures with multiple reviews in the past 12 months.

Here are some of our earnings generated ONLY with reviews.

Thrive Themes Affiliate Program

Buzzstream Affiliate Program

In this post we will be sharing the format we use to write those reviews and earn great commissions on affiliate products.

How to Write a Product Review

  1. Create product review summary box
  2. Empathize with your readers
  3. Identify who the product is for
  4. Introduce the solution
  5. Explain the relationship between product features and benefits through case studies
  6. Offer social proof
  7. List product alternatives
  8. Use the right format for your review

Enjoy.

What you will learn

Part #1: The Summary Box

If you’ve read any of our reviews, you’ve probably noticed a short product summary at the very top of the page.

This summary box is one of the best converting sections on our page.

For example, the summary of our Buzzstream review accounts for nearly 30% of our sales. Same for some of the reviews on Health Ambition.

The summary box does two things:

  • Captures highly motivated buyers who are just looking for a quick opinion before making a final purchase decision.
  • Summarizes the review and gives readers who are scrolling back up the page another CTA to click on.

An ideal summary should at least have the following six elements:

review summary box
  1. A short sentence identifying the product and its intended use.
  2. Product ratings under different headers. “Value for Money”, “Support”, “Effectiveness”, etc. are some common. Make these visual by using icons.
  3. A summary of the product’s pros and cons. Important to throw in the cons otherwise your review will feel biased.
  4. A summary of the review. Keep this limited to 1-2 paragraphs.
  5. A CTA. Use actionable copy on the CTA text.
  6. The product price, since many of your readers will decide to buy or not based on this factor alone.

This specific box was built with the elements available out of the box with Thrive Content builder, you should be able to recreate it quite easily with it.

Part #2: Empathize With Your Readers

For those who are still reading and are here to actually read your content, it’s time to get personal to stand out from the competition.

Have you ever come across a review where the reviewer was more interested in rattling off the product’s features than actually solving your problems?

Such reviews are a dime a dozen online, and usually do a miserable job of helping readers.

Understand that buyers read reviews not to see the features, they can do that on the seller’s website.

What they want is to learn whether the product can actually solve their problems.

They don’t want to hear about all the cool things the product can do; they want to see how the product performs in real life for someone in the same situation as them.

Therefore, the first step in writing a good product review is to empathize with your readers.

As it turns out, empathy is directly linked with your likability. This, in turn, affects how much people trust and follow your advice.

Empathy And Likability

In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Robert Cialdini says that likability is one of the six pillars of influence.

The idea behind this is simple: you are more liable to follow someone you already like.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

According to The Likeability Factor, how much you like someone is a function of three things:

  • Realness: Whether a person comes across as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’.
  • Friendliness: Whether a person has an open, friendly disposition.
  • Empathy: Whether the person can relate to you and your problems.

How To Use Empathy In Your Product Reviews

Follow these tactics for empathizing with your review readers and making yourself more likable:

  • Friendly voice: Use first-person voice with a casual, conversational style. You should come across as a friend gently guiding the reader through his/her problems.
  • Share your problem: Before you even mention the product, talk about your problems and how the product helped solve it. Try telling a story about how your life was before and after you used the product.
  • Pressure the pain: Ask rhetorical questions (such as “do you feel you’re wasting hours on social media?”) that pull the reader in and make him silently empathize with your situation.
  • Be a real person: People empathize more with a person than with a brand. Address the reader directly as “you” and use real pictures to draw the reader in.

Your objective in the first few paragraphs of any review should be to tell the reader that you’re just an ordinary person like them, and that the review is your personal experience of using that product.

For an example, take a look at this review of Earn1k course from Ramit Sethi:

review of Earn1k course Ramit Sethi

The reviewer clearly identifies that he’s just a “university student” stuck in a dead-end job. If you are in the market for Ramit’s course (which usually targets millennials), your eyes would instantly light up – this guy is just like me!

Another reviewer had the same approach – he identifies his profession, says he was bored and wanted to make something on the side.

Kerti

This is a situation many people in the market for Ramit’s course find themselves in as well. By stating this first thing in the post, the reviewer manages to empathize with the reader.

You are not a nobody in their eyes anymore and the narrative makes people want to know what happens in the end, keeping them on your page.

Part #3: Identify Who The Product Is For

This is something most reviewers miss – they write reviews for everyone, even if they aren’t the right fit for the product.

The result? Tons of tire kickers who waste your and their own time reading the review.

Therefore, the third step in writing the review should be to clearly identify the product’s target market.

This is quite straightforward – simply include a section in the review that explains who the product is for.

For example, our Buzzstream review states in no uncertain terms that this isn’t a product for you if you send only a 100 or so emails a month.

buzzstream target market

This does two things:

  • It qualifies prospects. If someone isn’t a good candidate for the product, he/she can simply leave at this point without wasting anybody’s time.
  • It builds credibility. We identify a few free alternatives or tell unqualified people they should not buy the product. This tells readers that we aren’t just after their money but want them to get the best possible product for their needs. You can earn a lot of trust with that.

Part #4: Introduce The Solution

By now, the reader knows he has a problem and is searching for an answer and trusts you.

This is where you step in and introduce the solution.

You can do this by giving your readers a brief overview of the product. Show them what the product includes, what its capabilities are, and what results users can expect from it.

I like to do it in a video because it makes me more relatable, puts my review on Youtube search which generates traffic on its own and gives a nice multimedia feel to the post.

Essentially, your job in this part is to pre-sell the product.

The Principle Of Pre-Selling

In sales, pre-selling is defined as the process of creating an environment that helps customers choose a product.

By demonstrating the product’s value and answering buyer questions, you can leave such a favorable impression that people buy your product without even being pitched to.

Pre-selling is the process of creating an environment that helps customers choose a product, i.e. sales without selling

Which is to say, pre-sales is sales without the selling.

Pre-sales tactics are very effective in product introductions. It lowers your readers’ guard and demonstrates the product’s usefulness without the added pressure of making a purchase decision. Here are two ways you can pre-sell the product:

  • Demonstrate value: Demonstrate how the product can solve problems by showing off your own results.
  • Educate: Answer questions and doubts readers might have about the product.

How To Introduce The Product

The best way to introduce the product is to show off your results through screenshots and videos, and clear away common doubts they might have about the product.

For example, in our Buzzstream review, we start off by talking about why we don’t have any link building product recommendations on our website (short answer: they’re mostly crap).

Then we talk about how Buzzstream is different – it’s a relationship building tool, not just a link building tool. Then we get people interested by posting a few relevant emails that resulted in a backlink:

Buzzstream outreach success

This way, we’ve managed to tell the readers what the product is all about, and how it can help solve their problems.

In our Thrive Leads review, we accomplish the same with a short product walkthrough video:

This demonstrates the product’s value, and hooks them in for the rest of the review.

Moreover it shows them I actually own the products which pushes trust a little further.

Part #5: Explain The Relationship Between Features And Benefits Through Case Studies

A big part of writing a review is explaining the product’s features and benefits. Most reviewers (and vendors) simply list them out one by one.

The results from this approach, as you might have guessed, are less than inspiring.

The right way to explain products and features is to actually show how they help solve problems. You can do this by creating a case study inside the review. This accomplishes two things:

  • It shows how the product works in a real world setting.
  • It gives value to the reader, builds trust and they feel compelled to do something in return (buy from your link)

The second part – doing something to get something back – is actually called the principle of reciprocity.

The Principle Of Reciprocity

Robert Cialdini

Author of Influence

“We are human because our ancestors learned to share their food and their skills in an honored network of obligation”

Which is to say: if you do something for someone, they feel obligated to give back. This is the principle of reciprocity in a nutshell.

We’ve seen this principle at play firsthand on Authority Hacker. We give away so much content that we often get comments from readers asking why we’re doing this in the first place.

Authority Hacker post comment

That’s not all – we’ve even received emails from readers asking us to share our affiliate links. People have read our reviews and got so much value from them that they feel like they owe us a sale.

Thrive Theme Template Affiliate Link
Thrive Theme Template Affiliate Link

This is a powerful concept. Use it in your reviews and your conversion rates will skyrocket.

How To Create High Value Product Case Studies

The purpose of a case study inside a review is twofold:

  • To demonstrate the product’s features
  • To help potential buyers picture themselves using the product and improving their lives doing so.

The best way to do this is to create a short tutorial that walks readers through a sample use case of the product.

For example, in our Buzzstream review, we show readers how we used the product to get backlinks for Health Ambition. Not only do we list out the steps we followed, we also show our results:

Buzzstream Link Partners

For your own reviews, follow these steps:

  • Identify core features: These are the features that readers care about the most. Whether they decide to buy the product or not will depend on how well these features actually work.
  • Show core features in action: Use a video or screenshot walkthrough to show how the product actually works. For inspiration, take a look at our Buzzstream video review.
  • Give value by explaining how to use the product: This is where you can give value and trigger the principle of reciprocity. Your aim should be to walk readers through a short tutorial explaining how to get real results from the product.

In our Buzzstream review, we offered readers a quick overview of the outreach process, then showed them how to use Buzzstream for successful outreach.

outreach process copy

We never tried to hard sell the product. Instead, we just focused on helping people with the outreach process. Selling Buzzstream was just an added benefit.

This does not just work with software tools though, you could do the same with blenders by showcasing some smoothies you have put together with it or showing a case study of how you applied the learnings of a course you are reviewing.

Part #6: Offer Social Proof

Social proof is the third pillar of persuasion, and it can really set you apart from the dumb review sites using spun user-generated content.

According to Robert Cialdini, quoting results from the Asch conformity experiments, he shows that people are more likely to follow something that is already popular.

People are more likely to follow something that is already popular.

As you’ll see below, you can use this fact to your advantage while writing reviews.

How to use social proof in your reviews

Follow these steps to add social proof of the product’s success to your reviews:

  • Add reviews and quotes from other users: To show how others perceive your product, simply add reviews and quotes from other users. You can easily find such reviews on sites like Amazon, Clickbank, or speciality sites like GSMArena, etc.
  • Add reviews from power users: “Power users” are bloggers, reviewers and other recognizable online personalities. If they’ve already reviewed the product, use their quotes in your review. This gives readers a nice balance between what lay users and experts think of the product (the same format used by MetaCritic and RottenTomatoes).
  • Incentivize comments: A large number of comments on a product shows that it is popular. You can get people to comment on the review by offering incentives through a contest. Check out our earlier post to see how to run a contest.
  • Get more social shares: Higher social shares = higher popularity. Buy some ads on Facebook or Twitter to pump up the share count on your reviews. This subtly shows readers that the review is already popular.
  • Use giveaways: Another tactic to get more social shares is to run a giveaway on the review page. This will pump up the social activity as your social media followers jump in to take the reward.

For example, in this review of the Earn1K course, Dave clearly mentions results from other reviewers:

Other Reviews

This was a great try but something that works even better is to actually quote the other reviews. This way you both earn more trust and avoid “review shopping” because all the important information of all the major reviews are on your page.

No need to go and read anything else until you make your decision about the product and click the link on that page (your affiliate link) if the answer to “should I buy this?” is yes.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Part #7: List Alternatives

We included listing alternatives as one of our 17 most effective affiliate marketing tactics in 2015.

This holds particularly true for reviews where listing alternatives accomplishes two objectives:

  • Increase sales: If people are not interested in the reviewed product, they might still be interested in the alternatives. More importantly, it changes the question from should I buy it to which one should I buy. This is a powerful change in frame that can have a profound impact on sales.
  • Show impartiality: By offering readers multiple alternatives, you subtly tell them that you aren’t partial to any particular product.

Listing alternatives is a rather straightforward process. You can simply include a section titled “Alternatives” or “Competitors” and list out candidates.

We did something similar in our Activecampaign review where we offer Convertkit as a decent alternative.

Same thing happens With our Ahrefs Review and KWFinder review.

Shane from Activegrowth goes a step further and offers an entire ‘Do Not Buy’ list, along with alternatives for each product.

While most people try to shy away from doing that because they’re afraid of not making a sales, remember that alternatives may also have affiliate programs so if you are playing smart you will make more money doing this not less.

Part #8: Use The Right Format

By now, you have a powerful, persuasive review that gives tons of value to your readers. But before you can hit publish, you also need to format the review for maximum impact.

We have already established the power of formatting in our previous posts.

Follow these formatting guidelines in your review:

1. Use Plenty Of Pictures And Screenshots And User Generated Images

Pictures are crucial for creating great reviews, especially if you believe in the “show, don’t tell” philosophy.

Use them generously in your articles, but make sure that you only use real pictures, not stock images lifted from the product creator’s website.

Try to aim for a 3-4:1 ratio between pictures and images. That is, for every three-four paragraphs, include an image.

Image Use

This gives much needed visual flow to your review.

Sites like Trustedreviews.com use this tactic with great success and a study has shown that user generated images greatly improves conversions by a lot.

2. Divide Review Into Sub-Sections

Writing a great review isn’t enough; you also have to make sure that it is easy to navigate.

You can do this by breaking down the review into separate subsections. We do this for most of our long posts.

Authority Hacker Post Navigation Example

Try to use both headings and pictures to mark subsections.

I must admit I have skipped that one for Authority Hacker and have had complains about it, so I will take my own advice and implement those soon!

3. Use Symbols And Icons

When listing out features, benefits and ratings, use symbols and icons to add visual flair to the page.

It won’t make a bad review great, but it will definitely make your review easier on the eyes, and faster to scan through. Use a plugin such as Thrive Content Builder to make this process easier.

If you are using Thrive Content Builder like we do here is how you can add icons to your content and help increase it’s readability:

1 – Go In Your WordPress Dashboard And Click On Icon Manager.

WordPress Dashboard Icon Manager

2 – Go On Icomoon.Io And Click On Icomoon App

IcoMoon

3 – Select The Icons You Want To Import On Your Website

IcoMoon Icons

4 – Once You Have Done Your Selection, Click On “Generate Font” At The Bottom Right.

IcoMoon Font

5 – Then Click Download

IcoMoon Font donwload

6 – Take The Zip File You Just Downloaded And Import It Back In The Icon Manager On Your Website

IcoMoon Icon Upload

7 – Refresh The Page You Are Editing And Pick The Icon Element. This Time It Should Work!

Thrive Architect Icons

4. Offer Star Ratings

Star ratings or scores out of 5 or 10 are used in almost every review. Your audience implicitly understands what they mean.

They know that 4/5 stars means an almost great product, while a 1/5 is universally recognized as “don’t buy” product.

You can either use star ratings:

Authority Hacker rating stars

Or you can use a score

Authority Hacker review ratings

Both work equally well. You can also add your star rating to your search results with the all in one schema.org WordPress plugin.

5. Divide Comparisons Into Columns

If you’re offering comparisons (say, a pros-cons list, or a feature list across two products), it’s useful to place them into separate columns.

Contests Sweepstakes column

This is a simple, visual way to make a comparison.

Users can juxtapose two features/benefits side by side and better understand the product and have been used by magazines forever, it’s a classic visual code.

6. Use Multiple CTAs

Lastly, make sure to use multiple CTAs throughout the review. You should have at most 3 CTA – one each at the top, middle and bottom of the post.

Use simple, value-driven text on the CTA. Don’t write “buy now”. Instead, use something like “Try the [product name] free trial”, or “Learn more about [product name].

AH CTA

Don’t go beyond three and maybe a few links inside the content otherwise readers will think that you’re trying too hard to sell.

Make sure that the CTA stands out on the page. Use a bright, bold color that isn’t used heavily elsewhere, and give it a big enough size to attract attention.

I have also noticed that animating the call to action and the call to action alone increased the number of clicks on our affiliate links.

To Animate your CTA’s with Thrive Content Builder follow the steps described below:

1 – First Select Your Button And Click On “Event Manager”

Thrive Content Builder Event Manager

2 – In The New Window That Opened Click “Add Event”

Thrive Content Builder Add Event

3 – Then Select Trigger “Comes Into Viewport”, Action “Animation” And Pick Your Favourite Animation For It.

Thrive Content Builder Event Triggger

On our own reviews, we use Thrive Content Builder to create all the above visual formats.

From CTAs to star ratings, it has everything you need to make highly readable, visually striking reviews.

Conclusion

Writing reviews isn’t quite as easy as getting the specs and stringing together some thoughts. If you want your reviews to sell products (and rank well), you’ll have to do some legwork.

Don’t be like one of those spammers who write fake reviews and get banished from the SERPs every week.

Instead, offer real value to readers and they’ll thank you by buying from your link.

Master the art of influence to create reviews that not only deliver value, but also sell products.

And lastly, make sure to organize and format your review well – it’s the difference between a review no one will read, and one that gets hundreds of shares.

How to Write About Your Professional Background

How to Write About Your Professional Background

A great way to share more about your background is to have a prepared document, like a professional bio.

A professional bio can be shared with prospective employers, your colleagues, included in your social media profiles, used for speaking engagement announcements, or used as an author bio on a blog.

Writing about your professional background for the first time may feel challenging or awkward, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here, we’ll explore some tips to help you feel more comfortable when writing your own professional bio. Let’s dive in.

What is a professional background?

A professional background is a summary of your professional experiences —coupled with any relevant personal information, including interests or passions — that you’ll use throughout your career as you network with industry peers, apply for new roles, or seek out thought leadership opportunities. 

This includes previous jobs you’ve had, successful projects you’ve worked on, significant accomplishments like promotions or awards, professional networking organizations you belong to, and anything else you’d share with someone who wants to know more about you professionally.

Not only is sharing more about your background a great way to tell more about yourself to others, it’s also an opportunity to wholly reflect on your professional journey and the goals you’ve achieved — plus, what you hope to achieve in the future.

Next, let’s dive into how you can get started. 

How to Write About Yourself

1. Don’t start from scratch.

If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, try using a professional bio template to guide you. Templates, like the ones featured below, make it easier for you to focus on your personal information and accomplishments, without having to worry as much about the structure.

Featured Resource: Professional Bio Templates and Examples

Download the Templates

2. Know your audience.

Take into consideration who will be reading your professional bio and cater to your reader.

You may also want to draft different versions of your document to best fit specific audiences. For example, the version you post on your LinkedIn may not be as detailed as the version you post on your personal website, and if your reader is a potential employer, it would help to include details that specifically highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role for which you’re applying.

HubSpot Founder Dharmesh Shah uses different bios for different platforms. On Twitter, for instance, Dharmesh’s bio is short and sweet, which is perfect for Twitter’s character limit.

dharmesh twitter bio

Alternatively, on INBOUND’s website, Dharmesh’s bio is written in third-person for attendees. This bio makes Dharmesh’s current role clear while providing some key background information.

inbound dharmesh bio

Finally, in his OnStartups bio, Dharmesh’s voice is personable since he’s speaking directly to the reader. This gives readers more insight into Dharmesh’s background directly from his perspective.

dharmesh's onstartups bio

The best part about this approach is that you can create as many versions of your bio as you’d like, or simply recycle a general version whenever you need it.

3. Show professional progression.

As you’re writing, think about structuring your professional bio in a way that creates a timeline to show your progression. Explain what your different roles were like, and emphasize responsibilities that set you up for success in your latter roles.

It’s important to note that your timeline doesn’t have to be linear.

“Look for a theme that runs throughout several of the jobs you’ve held, and present your choices in a way that shows common threads running through each of your career decisions,” explains career strategist Jenny Foss.

The goal is to clearly show your audience the different roles you’ve had, and how all of your experiences have contributed to your overall professional development.

4. Highlight your accomplishments.

One of the best things about writing about your professional background is that it’s the perfect opportunity to brag about yourself — and I don’t mean humble brag.

Think of the most successful projects you’ve been part of, the strategies you’ve helped develop and execute, the deals you’ve closed, the revenue you’ve generated, and anything else that stands out as a major accomplishment.

“A former manager once told me to keep a ‘brag sheet’ in a document on my computer. The idea was to create a running list of noteworthy accomplishments, media mentions, awards, and letters of recommendation that I could reference to make it easier to write about myself. It also doesn’t hurt to open up this document whenever you’re having a tough day to remind yourself what you’re capable of,” Carly Stec, HubSpot’s Manager of Channel Monetization, told me.

It’s also important to consider how success was measured in your previous roles — and how that might shape the way you write about it.

If success for you tends to be measured in quantifiable metrics include strong statistics, it might look something like this:

  • “In my first six months I was able to sign up X amount of customers that generated an average monthly recurring revenue of $X.”
  • “I helped boost customer retention by X percentage.”
  • “With the strategy I developed my team was able to lower customer acquisition costs by X percentage.”

If your role is primarily measured through qualitative goals, share a highlight that speaks to skills you excel at:

  • “I successfully managed executing a major project with strong time management skills and excellent communication with several stakeholders.”
  • “I was able to complete a project that was projected to take an entire quarter in half the time because of my organizational skills.”
  • “I was selected to lead a database cleanup project due to my attention to detail and strong team collaboration skills.”

5. Be personable.

Timelines and accomplishments are great, but being personable is even better.

Readers should feel like they’re getting some sense of who you are from your professional bio. This gives readers the opportunity to know more about you beyond a professional scope. If you have any cool niche hobbies that you enjoy outside of work, this would be the time to share.

Here’s a list of prompts to help you brainstorm the right “fun facts” to highlight:

  • What TV show are you currently binging?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • What’s something most people don’t know about you?
  • What languages do you speak?
  • What are you most proud of yourself for?
  • Share something you’ve done that bucket-list worthy
  • What do you do to relax?
  • What are three of your must have apps?
  • What would your favorite colleague say about you?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and how do you apply it to your life?

Being personable is also a great opportunity to address any unconventional moments in your professional background. For example, maybe you’ve made a drastic shift in your career path, or you took a sabbatical at some point.

These types of stories can really help make you more relatable to your audience, and you never know who you may end up connecting with over one of your hobbies or more personal moments.

6. Ask for feedback.

Constructive feedback is key when you’re writing about yourself. While many choose to source feedback after completing a draft of their bio, it’s just as beneficial to get feedback from your peers at earlier stages of your drafting process.

Oftentimes, our peers can help identify our strengths and where we have opportunities to improve. If you’re having trouble developing a clear timeline or pinpointing which highlights you should mention, get together with a peer to brainstorm ideas.

Reflect on successful assignments that you’ve collaborated on and ask your peer to provide honest feedback about what you did best — and include that feedback in your bio.

If you need help getting started, here’s a list of discussion questions to use with your peers to uncover professional strengths you might be overlooking in your own self-assessment:

  • What role do you think I tend to play in group work?
  • How have I helped you be more successful?
  • What do you think my most impressive project has been?
  • What was your first impression of me?
  • What do you think my strengths are?

Ready to start writing?

Keep these tips in mind as you’re writing about your professional bio. Your final product should be a written statement that boasts your most notable skills and achievements. As you continue to progress in your career, take time to update your bio like you would your resume, and continue to impress your readers.

And remember, if you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to leverage our free professional bio templates to help you get started.