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==> Don't send a naked bio!
I can't emphasize this enough: keep focus on client's needs! Don't send a naked bio - that is, a bio on its own, which you've simply decided to send a business, hoping that business will have work for you.
This message in a bottle stuff doesn't work. Freelancers get into habit of whizzing their resumes, CVs and bios to anyone they think might be remotely interested in hiring them. Then of course they wonder why there's no response. THERE'S NO RESPONSE BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THEM, A BIO OR CV ON ITS OWN IS NOT ENOUGH.
Yes, I know I'm shouting, but this is important. Never, ever, send a bio on its own.
=> Your bios' style
Every book you own has a bio of author, so take a few books off your shelves and study author bios. Most are short. Novelists' bios mention writer's interests, partner, children and pets. The bios of non-fiction writers emphasize writer's academic credentials if it's important to writer's credibility, or writer's experience in field book covers.
So what do you emphasize? This is where your bio's slant comes in. If you're sending a mini-proposal, emphasize your experience/qualifications/ interest in business's industry. See why you need many different bios, and confidence to crank them out quickly?
==> HELP! I haven't got any experience!
Freelance consultants in areas like graphic design, financial services, and management have employment experience to draw on, so this plaintive yodel usually comes from freelance writers.
A lack of experience in a specific area worries new freelance writers, and it shouldn't. You're a writer. You can create SAMPLES of your writing capabilities anytime, to order. Write a sample, and hey presto, just like magic, you've got experience.
I write for several editorial agencies, and often they'll send out messages to their stable of writers asking for a 200 word bio, and a work sample for a particular job. It takes me about an hour, research included, to crank out a fresh sample.
This is where a Web site or blog (Web log) is important. It gives you instant credibility, because you can refer people to it to check out your work samples. And as explained, those work samples don't need to be work that you were paid to do.
=> Where to use your bios
Your longest bio, of no more than 200 words, can be posted on your Web site. You can also use it in a presentation folder, with a photo, that you give or send to clients. It's also appropriate to use this long bio in a media kit.
You can send your 100 word bio to editorial and other agencies, so that they have some information about you on file.
The 50 word bio is one you'll use most. Tack it onto direct mail letters, and mini-proposals that you send to companies.
Your short 20 word bio is ideal as a signature file --- a few lines that you tack on to end of your email messages. You email program will take on your sig automatically; read Help file to see how to set one up.
If you haven't created a bio yet, do it today. Your bios are a vital freelancing tool.
***Resource box: if using, please include*** Veteran multi-published author and copywriter Angela Booth crafts words for your business --- words to sell, educate or persuade. E-books and e-courses on Web site. FREE ezines for writers and small biz: http://www.digital-e.biz/
Writer, journalist and author Angela Booth has been writing for print and online venues for over 25 years. She also writes copy for businesses.