How much time do you think someone will spend looking at your social profiles or website before they determine whether or not they want to connect with you?
I realized several things about biographies and introductions this weekend as I was preparing for my presentations at the MPISCC Weekend Education Summit. If you do any speaking, you have a standard bio that you send to the meeting planner that outlines your laundry list of qualifications for being in front of that audience. That is what they want to hear, right? Not really. Wouldn’t they rather hear your story? That is what I tried to do with the beginning section of my presentation. I thought about what circumstances had brought me to that moment in time and how they related to what I was presenting.
Simon Sinek says, start with why. Since this presentation was being given to my peers, I started my story at the point where I started my career in the meetings and events industry and I talked about the time early on in my career when I had a good opportunity to make a major change, but I decided to stay. I decided this was the reason I am so passionately committed to my industry and the relationships I have created with professional connections. Next, I talked about why I was initially drawn to social networking and which circle of people in my life were the first to invite me to use Facebook. I finished with a comparison between myself and other people who do similar work. Again, trying to make my differentiating qualities part of my story.
Make it about you in the sense that it is personal, but make it about your audience. What can you say that will establish some common ground and make them want to connect with you? Here’s a link to a post that lists 5 rules of engagement. Who is your target market? Who do they want to do business with? Does your story make them feel that you genuinely care about people or that you are just looking for prospects?
How often do you update your Summary on LinkedIn? Do you realize how many places on the internet you should have a good bio? You want to make sure your story is current and compelling, but it can be hard to remember all of the places where you need to update it. The About You section of your Facebook profile should be updated with your story and make it public so that when someone searches for you online, it makes them want to connect. Your Google+ profile is similar to your Facebook profile. Go to your About section, update your Introduction and make it public. Your Twitter bio only allows 160 characters so you have to get really creative with telling a compelling story there! Trust me; you need a good bio on Twitter and a picture of you with clothes on. Otherwise, people will think you are a spammer. Your website, your blog and any other profiles you have online should be looked at every six months to make sure your bio or introduction is current and compelling.