Your freelance writer bio is the elevator pitch at the end of any article you write. Make sure it encourages others to hire you.
One of the challenges that I faced when I first began writing online was creating a bio. A freelance writer bio is your chance to hook other potential clients. Other than networking, my best sources of high-paying freelance gigs are through inquiries stemming from the work I do everywhere else online.
As a freelance writer, all the content published with your byline has the potential to boost your visibility and attract new clients. Your bio is a quick way to let clients see a mini-resume, as well as learn how to contact you.
There are six essential parts to your freelance writer bio.
1. Craft a One-Sentence Summary of What You Do
The first sentence of your freelance writer bio should be an elevator pitch. You want to be clear about who you are and what you do. Anyone reading the first sentence should have a clear idea of what you provide.
My first sentence is usually something like, “Miranda Marquit has 15 years of experience as a freelance financial writer, specializing in content related to investing, small business, and long-term financial planning.”
Summarizing what you do at the outset works well for short bios, and you can add more detail for longer bios.
2. Provide a Professional Headshot
When you are asked for a headshot, provide one that looks professional. A well-done headshot can portray an image of confidence, competence, and ensure potential clients that you are serious about what you do. It's an important part of your branding as a freelancer. In the past, I used my webcam to take images for headshots. However, when one of my clients told me I looked sad, I realized it was time for professional images.
Now, I make it a point to use professional headshots. I pay someone to do my hair and makeup and have an actual photographer take a variety of images that I can choose from. It's a good way to highlight your professionalism, which is important when you are building a business as a full-time writer.
Try to use the same headshot on all your profiles. This can be difficult sometimes. If you update your headshot every few years, you might not always have it cycled out. Some websites might have an older picture than others. However, as long as all of your headshots are professional, you should have a relatively consistent vibe.
3. Include Your Qualifications
If you are allowed to provide a longer freelance writer bio, include your qualifications. Some of the items that can “prove” that you know your stuff include:
- Prestigious publications
You don't want to cram in a list of items, but it can help to share a few important items that can boost your credibility. If you're given extra room in your bio, take advantage of it to show people the kind of value you can add. For example, I've started adding that I'm working on my MBA.
I also include specific publications, like Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, that are well-known and can provide social proof. Depending on the publication, I might tweak my qualifications to talk about companies, like Fidelity, State Farm and Capital One, that I've done had relationships with.
4. Use Keywords
Don't forget to use keywords in your bio. Figure out which words you want associated with your name as you write. I like to use phrases like, “financial writer,” “freelance writer,” and “money expert.”
At some point, a potential client might decide to Google you after reading your work and seeing your freelance writer bio. You want the words associated with your name to highlight your expertise, and let people know what you do. Using keywords in your bio is a powerful part of your personal branding online.
Not only can using the right keywords provide potential searchers with an idea of what you want to be known for, but they can also help you be found. This is especially true when you use them in your bio on a site like LinkedIn. You're more likely to show up in searches with those keywords. Don't forget to include them in your bios and profiles on websites where you look for freelance writing gigs.
5. Make it Personal
Don't forget that you can add a personal touch to your freelancer writer bio. Depending on the website, you might be able to humanize your bio. We like to feel as though we're connecting to others, and you can do that as a freelance writer. I don't usually get too personal, but I often share my love of reading, travel, and the outdoors, and mention that I enjoy spending time with my son. You can also include where you live if you want.
These details can create a connection with readers who want to learn more about you. They can also make you seem more interesting as a writer. Plus, these are items that potential clients can use to determine if you might have knowledge of a specific specialty that could provide you with extra opportunities.
6. Call to Action
Share where else you can be found. You can use a phrase like “Read more of Miranda's financial writing at MirandaMarquit.com.” Part of your freelance writer bio should include direction for potential clients to find you, whether you point them to a specific related piece, or whether you send them to your website.
Consider creating different versions of your bio. Focus on different lengths so that you can quickly provide what is needed for different clients or websites. You can also emphasize different qualifications, depending on the piece and the audience. I often consider who might read what I write on different sites, and tailor my bio slightly to match. Just as you tailor a resume, it makes sense to tweak your bio depending on where it will appear.
In the end, your bio provides others with an idea of who you are and what you can do. With your freelance writer bio, you can encourage potential clients to become true clients and help others find you quickly and easily, resulting in more work.