Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Twila's Tips for Building Your Platform (Part 5 of 8)

Two things are extremely important for us as communicators—a bio and a link.

1. The bio. Our bio works for us. It introduces us to our readers and helps connect us to our audience. Bios are used on websites, articles, book covers, profiles, proposals, and promotional materials. If we’re a speaker, a bio helps the event planner publicize us and gives the emcee something wonderful to say about us. Before an interview, our bio familiarizes the host with who we are and helps him relate with us better.

Bios come in a variety of sizes and forms. They can reveal our personality. They can showcase our professionalism and credentials. They can be short for articles and long for proposals. When writing a bio, we want it to have the proper length and tone for the occasion. By studying other people’s bios, we can get a good feel for how to write one.

2. The link. We need to make it easy for people to find out more about us. We should always, always, always provide some sort of link with our bio and on our promotional materials. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you don’t have a website, use your blog address, social network URL, or even your email address.

Here’s an example of how a bio and a link can work in our favor. I wrote a series of devotions for The Upper Room Disciplines, a daily devotional book based on scripture passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. The pay wasn’t huge, but my bio blurb and link led to a nice opportunity for me. An elderly woman—a matriarch of a Methodist church in South Dakota—read my devotions and liked them. She thought I would be a good speaker for their women’s retreat, and she gave the committee my name. Because my bio mentioned that I’m a speaker, and because I included a link where they could find out more about me, they contacted me and I became the speaker for their fall retreat.

(As a side note, keep in mind that you can write for denominations other than your own. I wrote for a Methodist publication, which turned into an opportunity at a Methodist church, but I’m not Methodist.)

Often we’ll have opportunities to write articles for little or no pay, but if our bio line and link are included, it can profit us greatly.

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Twila Belk, aka The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves braggin’ on God. She works full time with best-selling author Cecil Murphey and enjoys teaching at writers conferences across the nation. Twila has written or co-written five books and contributed to several others. For more info, visit www.gottatellsomebody.com.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Twila, this information is priceless. Thank you so much!

    I realize you wrote this more than 3 years ago -- I just recently discovered Mr. Murphey's blog and now I'm reading my way through from the beginning. But the wisdom here is a timeless treasure and I appreciate it so much. You and Cec are two of the most generous people I know.

    Lynda Lee aka @LadyQuixote


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