Note: The following post is based on my article “The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King.”
Recently, I shared with you a video of Chris Rene the guy who went from hauling trash and addiction to stardom, thanks to his storytelling skills and musical talent.
If you’ve ever watched talent shows like American Idol and The X Factor, you’ll notice talent alone isn’t enough. Charisma and a great superhero story matter, too. The same thing applies in our professional lives.
People work with people they can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure, and that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume. You’ve got to go open-kimono. Your bio needs to tell a bigger story so whoever reads it can resonate with you. Because when you’re in the business of relationships, it’s your bio that’s read first.
That’s why your bio has to answer these five crucial questions:
- Who am I?
- How can I help you?
- How did I get here (i.e. know what I know)?
- Why can you trust me?
- What do we share in common?
Your bio is the linchpin for expanding your thought leadership and recognition – especially online. It frames the conversation and sets the tone. It’s your job to reveal a bit about yourself and how you see the world. Be a little vulnerable and invite them into a relationship, and people will want to engage with you even more.
Here’s a few key tips for reinventing your bio as a story:
1. Share a Point of View.
Chris did it and told his story from a place of honesty and courage. Are you brave enough to do the same?
2. Create a Backstory.
Explain the origin for how you came to see the world in this way. Maybe it was something that happened to you as a kid or early in your career. Consider your superhero origins. How did you come to have these powers? What set you off on this quest or journey? What’s the riddle or greater mystery you are trying to solve?
When you tell the story of who you were meant to be, it becomes an undeniable story. Natural authority is speaking from the place of what you know and have lived – and that’s exactly what Chris did too. He didn’t fake “expertise,” he talked about his experiences and challenges with addiction while growing up.
3. Incorporate External Validators.
Less is more here. We spend too much time trying to convince others, instead of believing in ourselves. Nonetheless, if you’re doing something new, different, or innovative – you have to anchor it into the familiar. Help people see your ideas are connected to things they recognize and trust. That might be your notable clients, press, publications, or things you’ve created. Just enough to show people your story is for real.
Now, this isn’t something Chris had to do, but he nailed the next step.
4. Invite People into Relationship.
Now that you’ve established you’ve got something to share, remind people you’re not so different from them. Vulnerability is the new black. Share some guilty pleasures. Describe what you like to geek out on. Reveal a couple things you obsess about as hobbies or interests. This will make you more approachable and relatable. You’re human, too. Help people find those invisible lines of connection.
Not only did Chris talk about his addiction, he was also open about what he does for living: hauling trash. And if you watch the video and listen, some in the audience actually laughed at him – but it didn’t phase him. He came from a place of vulnerability – a lot of vulnerability – and in the end, he won the audience over.
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