Building a business or career around your personal brand is a great way to create value attached to nothing but your name. In many ways, a strong personal brand is more secure than most jobs — you can lose a job or a client, but as long as you keep your brand intact, you’re never far from the next one. So, before you dive into the depths of Twitter, LinkedIn, and other brand-boosting platforms, you need to invest time and energy into your professional bio. Here’s why:
The Importance of Trust
Brands are both built and dismantled on trust. The stock markets themselves are essentially massive trust exercises between companies and investors. When your business, your brand, and your name are synonymous, that trust is even more crucial. Your professional bio won’t be read unless a person — either a prospective client, partner, or employer — wants to know more about you. This means that, when they click on your bio, they’re doing it for a purpose.
When people read your professional bio, they want answers to questions that all center around trust. If they’re looking for credentials and don’t find them, they’ll see little reason to trust you. If they’re trying to find out what your values and personal history are and all you’ve got listed is education and work history, they won’t make the trust-building personal connection they’re looking for. A well-written professional bio succeeds at building trust with anyone who reads it.
It’s Your Foot in the Door
Most people will never give a chance to a company or person that they can’t trust. It’s what gets people’s guard down, no matter what your goal is. Think about it: you aren’t the only person vying for attention — not by a long shot. Every day, people are bombarded with offers for products and services that, too often, are completely useless or downright dishonest. Trust is what makes the difference between you and everyone else.
When you put your brand in front of potential customers or clients, you need your professional bio to help you stand out as trustworthy. People want to know who you are, what you do, and whether or not you mean what you say. People say the “about” page on a business’ website is the most important thing on their website, more important than service or product pages.
In fact, 81% of people say that they don’t feel comfortable buying from a brand unless they can trust it. The same goes for your personal brand and professional bio. The bio is often what makes the difference between being offered a job or landing a client and facing yet another rejection.
It Defines Your Brand
If you’re looking for a new job or client, it’s likely that somebody else with equal or greater credentials is gunning for the same thing. In those situations, your resume might hurt you more than it helps. A professional bio, like this expansive page about Paul Esterhuizen, can help you stand out by giving people the story between the credentials. By sharing your values and philosophy right alongside your education and work experience, you can demonstrate that you’re more than just a resume, you’re an asset.
Professional Bios: Final Thoughts
Many people focus their efforts on their resumes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. For people who want to stand apart from the competition or build a business around their brand, though, there’s nothing quite as powerful as a professional bio. So, spend the appropriate time sculpting your resume and crafting your social media profiles, but don’t forget to give equal attention to your professional bio.