Why Your Bio is Everything
Since the dawn of time (or really, the dawn of this website), I have passionately hated my bio. It sounds a bit harsh, but really, it's the truth. Whenever friends or relatives would peruse my website in front of me, when they would reach the bio page, I would quickly say, "oh, there's really nothing to see there. Go back to the portfolio."
When I thought of my bio, the words, "uncomfortable", "long", "boring", and "bland" came to mind.
What's the point of a bio, anyway? How much of this is really about you? You're the one behind the camera, your likes and thoughts really barely affect your work, right?
The turning point for my wretched bio came during a time of deep reflection on my business. I was struggling with my style, editing, and areas of focus in photography. It was when I finally realized that my business has everything to do about me, my likes, and my passions that overnight my bio became my most important website page.
Today I want to share why it should be your most important page and how it can become your favorite page as well. I'll make this short, fun, and hopefully very applicable. I'm all about practical paired with fun. It's like eating gummy vitamins. You're taking in your needed nutrients but also having fun doing so. Gummy vitamins are the soul reason I actually get up in the morning. I just thought you should know this.
While everyone's why's can be different and personal, there should be some basic "why should my website include a bio" for everyone:
1. The Face Behind the Talent
This is SO important, especially if you want your clients to view you more than just a service. You ARE more than just a service- there's a soul and a heart behind the art. There's a person filled with dreams, goals, and a need to be able to afford their gummy vitamins. The bio is your way as a business owner to make your clients care about you, not just what you can do for them.
2. Your Style Affects EVERYTHING
Your personal style is important. The way you interact with people, the way you edit a photo, and the way you conduct your business are all unique reflections of you. When we look at our bios as an opportunity to let loose and essentially create an "open house" for what gets you excited, you'll in turn get your client excited too. If you start the positive, excited vibes, it'll be hard for your clients to not feel the same way.
3. Show the Heart
Believe it or not, you really do affect your business in ways we often forget. By showing you're a people person who has a passion to not just capture a moment, but get to know the person in the moment, you're showing that your business is so much more than a way to afford your gummy vitamins. You're essentially saying, "yes, I would very much like to buy gummy vitamins. But getting to meet you, know you, and provide services that you will love and cherish is just as high on my totem pole."
4. Connections Over EVERYTHING
I'm not sure why I keep capitalizing EVERYTHING. It's just one of those words I feel should be emphasized. This point may simply be most important to me thanks to the fact that I am an enneagram two. And as a proud two holder, connections, people, and feelings- I do not take lightly. They're the bread and butter to my existence. Therefore, realizing that my bio was essentially the first way I connect with my clients made me stop wanting to hate my bio. It made me want to open up about my passions and loves in the hopes that world wide web passer-bys would read my heart and feel a connection.
5. You are the Bee's Knees
This last point is just the reminder that you do have worth. Your talent is worth something. And even if you are cringing right now at your bio, people want to read it. Crazy enough, the bio is one of the first places I head to when I pop on someone's website. People in love with your work will fall in love with you too...if you'll let them. Stop doubting that your passions are sub-par. Stop thinking your obsession about gummy vitamins is stupid. It might be a little stupid, but guess which girl isn't getting sick in the middle of wedding season? This one.
Now that I have properly convinced you to give a crap about your bio, let's do some major remodeling to that bad boy.
1. Name and Claim
Start by writing down some words that come to mind when you think about you. Honestly, this was one of the hardest parts for me, and why it took me so long to revamp my bio. It's like I knew the design I wanted and how I wanted it to flow, but when it came to the actual text and meat of the page, I was stuck. Here's a couple easy starters:
-Name the state- state where you're based, or show that hometown pride
-Your meyer's briggs personality- let that extrovertedness shine bright!
-Your ennegram- because the world now revolves around numbers
-Your favorite animal- pet, wild beast, or brand of fish
-Your nickname or something that is known about you- a catch phrase for yourself
If you're still feeling stuck, grab your phone and text the besties. If you don't have opinions about yourself, they certainly will.
2. Let it Flow
While your bio is the chance to let loose about yourself, there should be some reining in on that creativity. People may enjoy learning you have a passion for health and gummy vitamins, but that doesn't mean you need to include how you spend 45 minutes in the vitamin aisle lining up the nutrition facts of eight different brands to study and compare. Think of your bio as the appetizer, not the meal. The blog is the meal, the bio is the, "hey this is what lights my fire, but go to the blog to see how I grill it." That makes sense in my mind....I'm praying that makes sense in yours...
To ensure your bio is flowing well, create categories. This enables you to stay on topic while also displaying different parts of you. For example, my categories include why I'm a photographer, my likes, my dislikes, how I define my style, how others talk about my style, and a sneak peek into my life. I chose these categories so I could relate to my viewers, explain why I do what I do, how I do it, what it will look like, and show my drive and love for my business.
3. Paint with All (three) the Colors of the Wind
To incorporate your style even more, don't just list your favorite colors- utilize them! Create a theme for your bio by selecting three colors that you can use interchangeably throughout the page. Decide what color you want to use for your headers, select another for the text, and a third for quotes and what nots. If you want to take this to the next level, research the psychology (or just click here, you're welcome) behind certain colors and select the colors that will stir a certain emotion in your viewers. For example, the color green creates the desire to go or do or react. If you are wanting your viewers to click a link, or respond to your contact page, try throwing it in a shade of green.
Personally, I did not do this. Pastels are my life; therefore, I stuck with what I know and loved and prayed it would have a similar effect.
4. Make it Write
Similar to the point above, don't be afraid to utilize different fonts. If you're looking to make a bold statement, a bold font that is big and dark paired with a bold color takes your style to the next level. Take for example:
Did you find yourself reading the same phrase in different ways simply based off the font? The right font is just as important as what you write.
5. Make it Zesty
Once you decide on what to say, how to organize, select theme colors, and pick the font that best fits your style- add the flavor! Select photos of yourself that show your spirit and passions. Maybe you're not only a photographer, but you're a volunteer passionate about a certain cause. Maybe you're married and always looking for an excuse to post those wedding pics. Maybe you've climbed Mount Everest or swam the coral reef or traveled Peru on the back of a Llama. Upload that content! Slap a frame on that baby!
If it's been forever since someone's snapped a photo of you, let this be the reason to change that.
I will be the first to admit I am the last to get a photo of myself. I'm so busy capturing my food (face palm because it's true) or my friends, that I oftentimes forget to ask for someone to take my picture in the moment. All the photos on my bio page, I snapped myself. I assembled my tripod and self-timer, snagged some balloons, and through trial and error I captured photos that capture my personhood. Literally, if I can figure out how to utilize a tripod and a self-timer, anyone can. I believe in you.
WIX will forever be my website builder. Not only is it user friendly, the options and styles and ways to incorporate your style into a website are endless. WIX has enabled me to add the craziest icons to my site that I didn't even know existed. Like a taco. A TACO vector graph. That not only could I include on my site, I could stick some pastels on that baby and make it mine:
Let me end with a before and after- a before that hardly showed my personality and an after that might as well have my full name as the background of that page:
I laugh as I compare these images. The most ironic part is that my old bio ended saying, "I would love to meet you and get to know you on a personal level". My bio was actually screaming just the opposite. What's your bio actually saying about you?
I hope this post sparks some magic in you. The magic and creativity has really been inside of you all along, I just hope it's stirred up now.
Believe it, dream it, create it. You got this.