*Article Use Guidelines*
Use in opt-in publications, or on Web sites, but please include resource box.
Please send me a copy, if possible. Many thanks.
Summary: If you want to be a successful freelancer, you need to learn art of bio.
Category: Writing, Small Business
Maximizing The Effect Of Your Freelancer's Bio
Copyright (c) 2003 by Angela Booth
Your freelancer's bio is a vital job-hunting tool.
While traditional job hunters have CVs and resumes, independent writers and other independent professionals have biographies, because as an independent, you're working *with* your clients as a consultant, rather than working *for* them as an employee.
Yes, bios, plural. You need at least four bios of various lengths: 200 words, 100, 50 and 25. Over time, you'll create dozens of bios, as you emphasize your various strengths to suit a situation.
Many writers find it excruciating to write about themselves. If you feel this way, don't despair. You will get over this shyness in time. Until you do, force yourself to write at least three bios. I promise, after you've created your fourth and fifth, writing a bio will be a breeze.
=>It's not about you, it's about them
Self-interest rules. So before you write a word, ask yourself about client and client's needs. You must approach your bio from your client's perspective.
If you're answering a job ad, this is easy. You know what client wants, because she's told you. Make sure that you slant your bio towards requirements expressed in ad.
Usually you'll introduce yourself to businesses without a job ad to guide you. The most effective way to do this is with a mini- proposal. You send a mini-proposal, because you should never, ever send out a naked bio; you must have a reason, other than self-interest, for contacting a business. (More on naked bios below.)
A mini-proposal is a single page, with:
* a description of a problem (or need) you perceive business has;
* an outline of solution;
* why you're person to solve this problem --- what skills you have (your bio).
Mini-proposals are easy to write, and once you've written a few, you should be able to write two an hour.
And because your mini-proposal is focused on your prospect, it will be kept by business you send it to. I often receive calls from companies I sent a mini-proposal to three or more years ago.
Did you notice how mini-proposal focused on client and client's needs? After saying who you are, you talk about client, not about you.
That said, you should start your letter or email message with a very quick statement of who you are. Like this:
Dear Mr Jones
I'm Cindy Cooper, of Cooper Copywriting. I write for business. I found your Web site, and ... (here's where you describe problem or need you think Mr Jones has that you could solve).
After this super-fast introduction, bulk of letter/ email message will be taken up with your outlines of need business has, and your proposed solution. KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE CLIENT.
Finally, after presenting this information, comes your bio, and your bio should be no longer than a quarter of length of entire letter. So let's say that your need/ solution outline takes 200 words; in this case your bio will be no longer than 50 words.
*Your letter MUST focus on client and client's needs. Your bio needs to be short in comparison.*