FACT: No one likes to write about him or herself.
I’ve talked to many corporate marketers and small business owners and they all say the same thing, “I don’t understand it, but I don’t think my bio sounds right.” It’s the same story every time.
They sit down to write their website About Us page content or their LinkedIn profile and … nothing happens. Then, once they finally get something on the page, they work on it and work on it some more, but it still doesn’t sound right. And it doesn’t say quite what they want it to. Ultimately, they end up frustrated and irritated.
None of this is a big surprise – it happens to everyone. Face it, most of us were raised with modesty drummed into us. Talking about yourself and how you can help others feels dangerously close to outright bragging. And when you’re so close to your own history, it’s difficult to look at it from your customer’s point of view.
Relax, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s always harder to write about yourself and your own business!
Here are four tips for jump starting your About Us website copy or your LinkedIn profile::
Start at the end, in the middle…or anywhere!
Sometimes it’s easier to write the conclusion to your story and work your way backwards. Coming up with two strong sentences can make it easier to fill in some of the story around them. Don’t worry about writing the About Page in a linear fashion, from start-to-finish. If it doesn’t come to you fully-developed with a defined beginning, middle and end, sometimes the best bet is to start with the part you don’t have a problem writing.
If you’ve come up with a great closing paragraph or line, wherever the ending wraps up – whether it’s a question or the finish to a story – use that as a template for creating the opening.
Make a list of everything important you’ve ever done.
If – when you sit down to write that killer opening sentence – all you’ve got is a blank screen and the deafening sound of crickets, stop worrying about the opening and just start putting words down. Grab your resume and pick out the key activities, statistics and career highlights. But a resume isn’t the whole story. Today, personality is just as important as experience. The act of getting thoughts out can help overcome your writer’s block. Once the words are on the screen, they often gel into concrete sentences.
“But I feel like I’m bragging!”
I hear it all the time – “When I try to explain what qualifies me to do something, I just feel like I’m bragging.” Selling yourself often does…but there’s an easy way around it: pretend you’re writing about someone else!
Think of yourself as a reporter – you need to make this person sound interesting, knowledgeable and accessible. Remember, when we read an article about someone who is portrayed as talented and skilled at their craft, we don’t think to ourselves, “Wow, that person sounds like a braggart.” We generally think, “Hey, that person sounds really talented.”
4. Change your routine.
When writer’s block and frustration take over, take a break. Go for a walk, weed the garden, have a cup of coffee, listen to music, take a shower (there’s something about water hitting your head that really gets things going!) Sometimes you just need to step away and let things percolate. When you start to get frustrated, read through all of your notes. Often, reviewing what you’ve written – along with your notes – before bed tonight will lead to a breakthrough tomorrow.
Of course, if all else fails – you can hire a copywriter. We’ll take care of the problem for you!
What are your biggest writing challenges?