When you write your online bio, you face a lot of decisions. The biggest decision relates to how you position yourself. That gets shaped by what you choose to say, how you choose to say it, and when you say it.
The before version of Maria Horstmann’s business bio puzzled me. The first paragraph seemed to be about her marital status. In the second paragraph, we get a glimmer of something about healthy lifestyles. The third paragraph contained a description of the life she wanted and also a rather graphic description of symptoms she suffered. That she was gassy, bloated, and worse at one time seemed like way too much information. Describing how she was a victim of her lifestyle seemed like the wrong message to hit people with so early on.
You may think your business bio should be all about you. But, actually, your prospective client’s needs should be front and center—even as you write about yourself.
Address the most pressing questions
First and foremost, prospects want to know what you can do for them. That first paragraph should convey the results your clients will get from working with you. In my rewrite, I made sure to mention the benefits of working with Maria right up top. She “transforms lives from the inside out, helping her clients become healthier, happier, and more productive,” I wrote.
My second paragraph drills a bit deeper, telling the reader what Maria helps people with. You learn that she is a health coach, a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and a blood sugar/insulin resistance coach.
The reader quickly gets a sense of what working with Maria involves, what differentiates her approach from other health coaches, and her credentials.
Many people make a mistake when they try to unload mounds of information about themselves and their journey at the wrong time. People who know nothing about you may not want to learn everything at once. In fact, they probably don’t have the bandwidth to absorb it all. When you throw a lot of detail at prospects, you risk overwhelming them. And they may flee your website, never to return.
Maria’s “before version” traces her evolution as she learned what a healthy lifestyle really meant. Most of it is about her and what she learned. In my rewrite, I kept Maria’s bio focused on her prospective client’s needs.
Get to the point
At 1,100 words, Maria’s “before version” rambles. My version is 444 words. These days, it’s best to assume your readers don’t have much time. Remove any “throat clearing” paragraphs. More words do not confer more status. Brevity makes you seem more approachable. For your bio, two to five paragraphs are enough.
After getting more information from Maria, I was able to distill her bio to five paragraphs, down from 14 in the before version. Because not everyone reads to the end, I made sure to pack the most important information in the first two paragraphs.
Below is my revised version of Maria Horstmann’s bio.
The “after” version
Maria Horstmann, owner and founder of Be Fab–Be You LLC, transforms lives from the inside out, helping her clients become healthier, happier, and more productive. With her coaching, busy professionals lose weight, get fit, and reclaim their energy.
When Maria tailors her training or wellness program for you, she factors in your fitness level, goals, and commitment to change. As a health coach, she makes the science behind weight loss easy to understand so you can get beyond losing the same 10 lbs. over and over. As a nutrition coach, she helps you learn which foods will serve you best. As a personal trainer, she designs workouts that get your heart rate up, modifies exercises to prevent injuries, and corrects your form when something is off, so that you can optimize your results. As a corporate wellness coach, she encourages you to take a holistic approach to health and well-being. And as a blood sugar/insulin resistance coach, she helps you get your blood sugar under control so that you can say “goodbye” to cravings and fatigue—and “hello” to more energy.
Maria excels at listening closely and is quick to spot resistance. Besides providing accountability and tools to live a healthier life, she supports you each step of the way by helping you work on mindset, clear “debris” that blocks progress, and motivates you to push to the next level. “A big part of transforming your body,” she says, “starts with transforming your thought process.”
Maria knows what it’s like to not take care of herself. She was once so highly addicted to sugar that she would drink condensed milk out of the can. Vegetables never landed on her plate. Nor did healthy fats. She suffered from chronic digestive and intestinal tract issues. But after experimenting with diets and digging deep into the research, Maria learned how to make more thoughtful food choices, use self-healing to nip problems in the bud, and exercise regularly to achieve optimal health. The result? She turned her life around—180°. “If I was able to do it, you can as well,” she says.
Maria has trained with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology, Metabolic Healing, and the Corporate Health & Wellness Association. She has earned certifications in personal training, nutrition, and insulin resistance coaching. Maria worked 20+ years in finance before following her passion for health, wellness, and fitness. She holds an MBA from Emory University. Volleyball, nature hikes, and bungee jumping are among the many physical activities and sports she enjoys in her free time. “Living life with joy, energy, and health,” says Maria, “is the best gift you can give yourself.”
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