Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Bio Profile Dos and Dont's

The time has come to tell your story. Okay, maybe you're not interested in composing your memoirs, at least not just at the moment. But your boss has asked you to contribute a bio profile for the company web page, or some association wants to include a blurb about you in their publication, or you've been tasked with taking raw information about key team members and transforming that textual lead into gold. So what do you need to know about crafting an effective, informative, exciting bio profile, either about yourself or about someone else? The following dos and don'ts should prove helpful.

Do Organize Your Points

One problem I've seen time and time again when editing people's bio profiles involves scattershot organization. Key points get shoved down into the middle of the page (what journalists like to call "burying the lead"), while other points pop up in seemingly random spots or get repeated multiple times without much variation. While a bio profile doesn't serve the purpose of a resume and shouldn't read like one, you do want to follow an outline that breaks different subjects into recognizable chunks that follow a logical progression.

Don't Get Lost in Trivia Land

Many companies encourage their team members to include personal information alongside career achievements, work histories, and job descriptions. This information helps to break down the barriers and present each employee as a warm, approachable, real-life human being to clients and prospective customers. But you can always have too much of a good thing, including personal details. for instance, your readers may appreciate the fact that you own dogs without necessarily needing to know each pup's name and breed. Similarly, your personal history may have a direct bearing on your practical experience, skill set, and approach to your work, but we don't need to know about every single twist and turn your professional life has taken. With every point you add, keep asking yourself, "Why does this matter to my reader?" If you can't think of an answer, get out the red pen.

Do Create Long and Short Bio Profiles

If you need to craft a bio profile as a business leader or industry expert for a variety of future applications, keep in mind that some publications, sites, or other organizations will prefer a shorter bio, while others might prefer a longer, more detailed one. The answer to this challenge is simple enough: Prepare both a long version and a short version. It's usually easier to write the long bio first, and then cherry-pick the most important information for the shorter bio. You'll feel much better prepared to participate in a wider range of business opportunities once you've got these options ready for submission.

Don't Try Too Hard to Impress (But Do Try Hard Enough)

Some people prefer not to blow their own horn for fear that they'll appear full of themselves, resulting in a humdrum bio profile that triggers a "So what?" response. Others believe that they have to present themselves as the greatest thing since sliced bread by throwing all kinds of hyperbole into their bio profiles. Try to keep your statements reasonable and realistic, but not to the extent that you fail to talk yourself up at all. It's a fine balance to achieve -- but remember, you don't have to create that bio profile all by yourself. If you'd rather rely on the skills of a professional freelance copywriter, or if just you've got too many other items on your plate to spend precious time sweating over your bio profile, contact me and take advantage of my bio-writing experience You have a compelling professional story to tell -- so let's tell it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Taking Center Stage: Marketing Content for Events and Festivals

After two years of COVID-based cancellations, San Antonio's Fiesta finally returned in full force at the end of March, concluding on April 10th. This festival, which typically draws some 2.5 million attendees, featured over 100 events all over town, from cook-offs and band battles to parades. But of course San Antonio isn't the only metropolis that celebrates its identity and culture through major festivals. Austin has South by Southwest, Albuquerque has its International Balloon Fiesta, and you may have heard about a little shindig called Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A ton of business changes hands during these mega-events, with countless brands getting a welcome boost to their visibility. So how can your own organization get in on the act and grab a slice of all that action? Here are a few routes you can take, along with specific types of marketing content to help you claim the spotlight.

Creating Your Own Event

If you want to generate some serious interest in your company, you don't have to wait for the next big local or regional event -- you can simply create your own. This project might prove as simple as hosting a wine tasting, networking event, business seminar, or some other get-together that combines business with pleasure. Since you can't rely on the kind of public awareness that the big events enjoy, you'll need to generate as much advance word as you can. That means creating and distributing at least one press release announcing your upcoming event, along with direct mail marketing pieces to send to your current client and prospect lists. You'll also want to blog about this exciting development and post updates to your social media channels so your online followers will get fired up and mark their calendars.

Participating in an Existing Event

If hosting your own event isn't feasible, why not participate in someone else's? You might rent booth space at one of the enormously popular local festivals, or you might simply get together with a few other businesses and put together a collective expo of sorts. This approach allows you to share at least some of the promotional burden with these other organizations. You may even piggy-back on another small business's event in return for shouldering some of the costs. Make sure you've put together plenty of print marketing pieces such as brochures and onesheets to hand out at the door. Don't forget to order plenty of branded swag bags and promotional products to accompany those print pieces. Asl your print shop to equip you with branded standup banners, tabletop displays, and other oversized marketing pieces to draw visitors to your booth or table.

Building Event-Related Marketing Campaigns

Okay, so you've decided that you can't get directly involved in this festival or that event. There's nothing stopping you from tying your marketing efforts to that festival or event through imaginative leaps and compelling content. You see this approach all the time in seasonal marketing efforts, with various businesses leveraging Halloween, Valentine's Day, Independence Day, and other big days on the calendar to promote sales. Why not use your local big event for the same purpose? When excitement's already in the air, you want to ride that breeze! Think about how major holidays or seasonal changes might inspire unusual marketing campaigns that nevertheless make perfect sense for your brand. Then promote your event-related sale or public awareness campaign through a combination of blog posts, videos, social media comments, direct mail, and email notices. It sounds like a lot of work, but you can always hire a professional copywriter to produce a lot of that content for you. So contact me, and let's make the big splash your business needs!