As promised, here’s some insight into what it’s like to work with me one-on-one and three quick and dirty tips to steal from a client:
The lovely Kimberly Kinrade agreed to let me parade her before and after bio to the public. Everyone give her a big round of applause.
When Kimberly signed up for her Twitter Critique in October we talked about her main goals, which included landing an agent, connecting with other writers and promoting herself for freelance opportunities.
Let’s take a look at her bio before we started working together…
Kimberly Kinrade: Before
I didn’t have a hell of a lot of complaints about this bio because it stated what she did and highlighted how passionate she was about it.
However, because she’s looking for an agent and wants to land more freelance work, I emphasized the importance to her of being clear about those goals. People can’t read minds and she could shout about being writer but that word doesn’t really clarify anything. On top of that, it’s great that she loves reading, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a writer who doesn’t.
Plus, as I mentioned in last week’s post about the sentences we should cut from our bios, her children are irrelevant. You have 160 characters to make your case on Twitter and the bio is the first thing most of us look at. Prime. Twitter. Real Estate. Did Kimberly really want to spend half that space talking about her kids when she could be making her work look super appealing?
So my advice was to cut the sentence about her daughters and be more specific about her writing. What kind of stuff does she write? Is she available for hire? What kind of book is she trying to get published? If an agent comes across her bio, awesome, but if that agent represents nonfiction and Kimberly writes fiction, it becomes kind of irrelevant.
Kimberly Kinrade: After
The second bio, while less about her life, does a better job of subtly telling followers what she’s looking for and what kind of writing she does. The fact that she mentions “YA fantasy” is key and will result in a better “return on her investment.”
For those of you who may be thinking, “Well, that’s not much of a change, how could a few words make that much of a difference.” To you I say, “Ha! I win!”
Just to show off my mad skills, and Kimberly’s amazing go-getterness, here are her Twitter numbers before she implemented my strategies (sorry for the crap photo, it’s a screenshot from the video I made):
If you can’t read that, she was following 1,142 people but only had 328 followers in return. She had been listed 21 times. This was in late October, 2010.
In less than three months and after a bio change and an overhaul of her tweeting style, look at her stats now:
For those of you who sort of suck at math, Kim has grown her followers by 2,511 people. And no, not through some scammy autofollow program. As you can see, she’s been listed 226 times. That’s an increase of 205 – meaning people are really listening to her, making sure they don’t miss a single tweet.
Tips to steal from Kim’s bio:
1. Be specific. Are you a writer or a photographer or a doctor? Avoid generic words and down on exactly what it is you do so you attract the right audience.
2. Cut out the extraneous. Think twice before adding any irrelevant info. I’m all for random facts that will spark discussion, but sometimes you’re just adding info no one cares about.
3. Tell us what you want. If you’re looking for a job, tell us. No need to act desperate or shout from the rooftops, but remember this: How is anyone supposed to give you want you want if you don’t make it clear what that is? Social media is mostly about serendipity, but sometimes you need to nudge fate in the right direction.
Want to experience the same results? Click to book a profile critique with yours truly. I’m now only accepting five critiques a month so be sure to reserve your spot!