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16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio

Are you trying to write your own bio? Then you’ve probably discovered how hard it is to give your bio a personal touch—without sounding like a personals ad—while still making prospects feel like they’re in good, competent, professional hands.

Whether I’m writing my own bio or someone else’s, I find bios the most extraordinarily difficult kind of copy to write. How many of us compress our lives into 200 words or less in real-life conversation? Only the most annoying ones, that’s who. Bio-speak has practically developed into its own language. Spend an afternoon reading LinkedIn profiles and you’ll become a bio-speak master. “Boring is better” seems to be the prevailing attitude. Even a New York Times reporter was unable to remain completely objective about this issue.

Here’s an example of bio-speak at its worst:

Jane Madison is an accomplished, seasoned consultant and thought leader* with 23 years experience creating top-line and bottom-line results for Fortune-1 companies. That’s right–she only works with Fortune’s number one company in any given year, producing millions of dollars in revenue. It’s unclear whether the beneficiary of this revenue is her or her clients. She’s pretty sure it’s her clients, although she does live in an exclusive Woodside neighborhood with her husband and their five pedigree horses. She has a BS in Advanced Psychographic Analytics from Harvard University, where she made the Dean’s List for five years in a row. Although she graduated in a record two years, she remained on the Dean’s List for a subsequent three years because of the vast influence her term papers had on the academic world as a whole.

*Thanks to Nathan Bowers for reminding me of this popular bio adornment.

OK, I made this up. But let’s assume you want your bio to sound a bit less douche-y than that.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bio that sounded like an actual person wrote it—rather than the Bizarro, corporate version of you?

The following 16 questions are designed to help you produce the raw ingredients to write bios like this or like this.

But before you dig in, please read these instructions:

  1. Set a timer for 26 minutes. This is very important. Do not skip this step! If you’re a Level-9 Procrastinator like me, you’ll never start this exercise if you don’t give yourself permission to do it quickly. This doesn’t have to become a 3-hour, story-of-my-life writing intervention. (Unless you want it to.)
  2. Answer the questions in a rambling, conversational style. You might even write them in the body of an email you pretend to send to a friend. Don’t worry about perfect sentences. This exercise is not designed to help you craft your bio. It’s simply to help you dig up all the good, fresh stuff buried in your brain, which you can then use to craft your bio. If you hate writing and are better at thinking on your feet, then speak your answers into a recorder or iPhone and transcribe them.
  3. Let your answers sit for a while. Then bold the answers that seem interesting, unexpected, insightful, profound, or just plain feel like you.

Now you’re ready to go. Here are 16 questions to get you started and to keep you from writing a bio-speak bio.

16 Questions to Help You Write Your Bio

  1. How did you arrive at running this business? What path brought you here?
  2. What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
  3. What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
  4. Who have you worked with in the past? And what have you done for them?
  5. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
  6. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
  7. Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
  8. How long have you been doing what you do?
  9. Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
  10. Any volunteer activities you’re crazy about?
  11. Any nonprofits you love, & why?
  12. Any awards or medals, or even medallions? Personal okay, too.
  13. What would be impossible for you to give up?
  14. Why would someone not want to work with you?
  15. How do you want to be remembered?
  16. Anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?

You can use this bio for your LinkedIn profile, for your website’s About page, or for a speaker bio.

98 Responses to 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio

  1. Hiro Boga says:

    What a great list of questions, Kelly. And a really catchy title for your post! :-)

    xo Hiro

  2. Briana says:

    Oh goodness, douchebaggery is exactly what I’m trying to avoid in the “about me” of my new website. The horrors of describing myself, and then confronting exactly why it’s so scary to express who I think I am. Getting advice on the best way to approach this from a copywriting connoisseur is seriously wonderful. Thank you!

  3. Kelly says:

    @Hiro Thank you so much! You co-wrote this post, you know, by helping me get out of my own way!

    @Briana Your current About page is so warm and friendly and likable. Especially the very last part with the photo and the caption. I don’t think you could sound douche-y if you tried!

  4. Kelly, I wish I had your great advice about two weeks ago! I haven’t had to send a bio out in a while, and all of a sudden I had to send it out twice in one week! And of course I hate it.

    Great questions — I’ll try your exercise. Anything would be an improvement!

    Maryann

  5. Kelly says:

    Aww, Maryann, a bio under pressure is the worst. My condolences. I guess the good news is, even if it isn’t as wonderful as you’d like it to be now, it’s probably better than you think. Worst-case, it sounds like a normal bio! Even a hint of personality can go a long way.

  6. emilylime says:

    Hi on your own blog, Kelly! As you know from Havi’s comment section….I really like this post. Very helpful, even though I’m not “there” yet.

  7. Kelly says:

    Hi emilylime! You know, I bet you could use these questions for more than a bio & use them to create your business from the inside out! Forget all those target market exercises. Boring. By the way, if you haven’t read Barbara Sher’s http://wishcraft.com …then I highly recommend it! Helped me figure out all sorts of things before I made the leap. (Please excuse the graphics & just start downloading the book for free, chapter by chapter. It will change your life–seriously.)

  8. emilylime says:

    Thanks, Kelly! I read “Refuse to Choose” a few years back…I loved it although it’s taken me…you know… a few years between reading it and now to integrate the info. I will definitely start reading Wishcraft now!

    ps I was scrolling through your past posts earlier and read about “The Underhanded Basketball Theorum of Marketing” and thought “huh, cool idea for future use.”

    Then an hour later, in the middle of other work-stuff, I had a (supposed) epiphany! I should email all my friends who have been encouraging me on my path-to-my-new-work to ask them what it is they see in me. And then after I sent it, I totally realized that I basically followed the Underhanded Basketball Theorum of…writing my marketing bio. Nice! Double kudos to your blog today!

  9. Kelly says:

    emilytime, that is such a brilliant idea! AAAHHH! Exciting! I’m honored & delighted to have played a small part in helping your birth these wonderful potentially life-changing epiphanies. GO you!

  10. Casey Cole says:

    Oh my gods, yes, yes, yes!
    Every time I’ve read my LinkedIn profile, or when I have to send a cover letter, I throw up a little in my mouth because I have to type something like, “I’m a motivated, cheerful, self-starter who works well as part of a team as well as on her own.” And after writing that description, I am most definitely NOT cheerful. :)
    Thank you for this guidance and the questions. I will be doing the exercise later this week.

  11. Kelly says:

    Casey! Maybe you could write something like, “I’m a motivated, cheerful, self-starter who throws up a little in her mouth when she has to write those adjectives.” No, that probably won’t work, but it would be funny. I’d hire you?

    Did you check out this post, too? http://copylicious.com/2008/03/are-you-making-these-mistakes-on-your-linkedin-profile/ –> There are some good samples there. And there might be one or two in the comments, too.

    Let me know how it goes! Your bio is going to be appetizing & ice-cream-y, I just know it.

  12. Kelly, as I mentioned in my comment on Havi’s blog this was very timely for me, as I was facing the challenge of the about page for my personal branding blog this week. Your guidance from this post was most helpful. It did end up taking me in a somewhat unexpected direction. When I was done, I realized that what I had written was far more bio than about, so I broke it out to its own page, excerpted, and linked from the about page. If you’re interested, check out http://bit.ly/UMqGw and http://bit.ly/12v91f . Thanks tons for your great ideas. They gave me a nice kick of extra inspiration. Naturally if you see any obvious areas for improvement, I would deeply appreciate hearing about them.

  13. Kelly says:

    Mike, wow! You work fast! Thanks so much for sharing your bio here and for the kind words.

    Here’s what I think (and if anyone is reading the comments, let me know if you agree):

    I like the second one so much better. Right from the first sentence you’ve got me hooked.

    Here’s what I’d recommend: Use your new “Bio” copy in place of the “About” copy you currently have.

    Your “Bio” copy isn’t strictly personal–you go through your qualifications (in a very original and memorable way) and I can absolutely see why you’re so good at what you do.

    The one tweak I’d make would be to move this message from the middle up to the very top (I tweaked your words a bit so you can use them as an introduction.): “I am a technical fire fighter–in other words, I help companies solve really hard IT problems. I also translate geek speak into English so those who aren’t technology-obsessed can understand their options.” [or please edit if I've changed your meaning]

    Then, I’d go into your charming story about the Space Invaders and continue the bio as is.

    Yes, I LOVE this second bio! It’s very human, filled with engaging details, and makes me feel like I know you.

    Thanks so much for sharing your process here!

    Kelly

  14. melissa says:

    I needed this sooooo much. I HATE writing bios. I never know what to write!

    I saw this on Havi’s blog and made certain I stopped by. I’ve updated my ‘About Me’ on my blog to hopefully not sound so… dumb. I’d appreciate any feedback you have =)

  15. Kelly says:

    Melissa, I love this line:

    “Melissa realized one of the best ways to keep dogs out of rescues was to help restore the original spirit that caused dogs to bond with humans in the first place.”

    Such an amazing insight! This rings true, loud and clear, and it’s a really good mission statement. It connects with your background–in reading the whole bio, it’s obvious that this was what you were meant to do.

    The only thing I’d recommend adding is a simple call to action. If this is (one of) your businesses, then what if I wanted to hire you? You might consider adding something like “Click here to request a free dog training session.” Or whatever it is you want to offer them. Make it a bit easier for them to work with you—because they’re totally going to want to after reading this bio!

    Thanks for stopping by & I’m so glad this was helpful!

    Kelly

  16. Kelly says:

    P.S. to Melissa,
    If I was going to describe your blog to a friend, I’d say you were like Oliver Sachs for dogs.

    Kelly

  17. Spike Jones says:

    Thanks for the shout-out and link to Brains on Fire. Here’s our philosophy when writing bios: We take what we do very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. At. All.

    Keep on fightin’ the good fight!

  18. melissa says:

    Thanks for the feedback Kelly! (And thanks for the compliment!)

  19. Kelly says:

    Spike, you are my hero & I adore your blog & also Brains on Fire is the best name ever.
    Thanks for inspiring this post & for stopping by!

  20. [...] and brilliant Havi Brooks. She mentioned that Kelly Parkinson from Copylicious recently posted a killer awesome guide to writing an online bio. That was just what I needed. I actually followed Kelly’s process without skipping steps and [...]

  21. Kelly, thanks for your detailed feedback! It was very appropriate, and I implemented pretty much what you suggested. Your compliment about sharing the process inspired me to go ahead and write up what I did as a blog post.Check out http://bit.ly/CWqfw.

  22. Alicia says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!

    After finishing an advertising Account Planning boot camp, we had to compile our best work into our “books”. These were to include an introduction to ourselves and/or our planning style. Everyone wrote these verbose, yucky, I guess… Douche-y intro’s making themselves sound WAY more fabulous than they are. I just took 4 thoughts,put them in a square and called it a day. Felt more like me…

    Thanks for writing this post!
    .-= Alicia´s last blog ..Hello, I’m an Idea Planner =-.

  23. Kelly says:

    Alicia, I love the idea of putting 4 thoughts into a square and calling it a day! Such an excellent shortcut, and it’s more memorable (and refreshingly readable) than paragraphs of impressive-sounding copy. Yes, yes, yes!

  24. sandy says:

    Thank you so much! I love getting your feed. I’ve used these, and now my daughter’s boyfriend is using them. You are great!
    .-= sandy´s last blog ..slideshare =-.

  25. [...] had to write a bio has wished for something easier–spinning straw into gold, for example. Copylicious, who blogs on writing, gives you an easy way to write an interesting, engaging bio. I used it to create the bio for my keynote for Art Unraveled, and it sounds natural and more like [...]

  26. What a great article on how to write a bio. I think for most people the hardest part of writing a professional bio is choosing what to put in and what to leave out. Because after all, a bio is supposed to be short. But most of us have done lots of different things in our work careers. How do you decide what to focus on? There’s a simple answer: focus on what’s going to be most relevant and impressive to your target reader!

  27. Kelly says:

    Sandy, thank you! May your daughter’s boyfriend go forth and bio-create!

    Barbra, yes indeed! You make a great point — many of us might even need a couple of different bio versions, one for each audience or medium.

  28. Iain Gray says:

    Hi Kelly,

    This has been cathartic, to say the least. I changed career totally about 12 months ago, and I’ve never really been over my history in detail since. 2200 words and counting :-)

    I know I’ll need to cut it down, but this is giving me some great material.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    Iain
    .-= Iain Gray´s last blog ..July Marketing Plan Seminar =-.

  29. Kelly says:

    Hi Iain, it sounds like you’re doing much more than just writing your bio right now. Very exciting to think about what might come of this! I’ve got chills!

  30. Robin Sagara says:

    Kelly, thanks for helping me do what I’ve been putting off for a long (long) time – write the dreaded bio! I took your advice and went to the kitchen to get the timer and came back with strawberries. Did finally remember the timer and after about an hour and half had a really l-o-n-g bio. If I’d had more time I would have written a shorter one ;D But it’s there and ready to be pared-down to its essence and tailored for various uses. So thank you, thank you, wouldn’t have done it without you and couldn’t have done as good a job of it without you!!

  31. [...] read a great post over at Copylicious a couple of months ago by Kelly Parkinson about how to “write a douche-free bio”. It was based on writing a bio based on answers to questions rather than just blathering on about [...]

  32. [...] a copy paste of "16 Questions to Help You Write Your Bio" below. The rest of the post is here with additional tips. How did you arrive at running this business? What path brought you [...]

  33. [...] amount of time with Kelly Parkinson on her blog, doing what I had been avoided because ewww talking about myself in third person. After doing the exercise, I did have a better understanding of what the integration issue was [...]

  34. Joy wilder says:

    Excellent ideas about how to write a bio. Constructing a bio about myself was difficult! Your post will come in handy when I sit down to rewrite it.

    Catchy title for the post, too :)
    .-= Joy wilder´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  35. Larry-bob says:

    Don’t you think this could lead to misrepresentation, though? If someone is a douche, don’t you think they should have a biography that honestly describes them as such?
    .-= Larry-bob´s last blog ..larrybobsf: RT @madisonyoung Sat. @feminapotens @8pm Sizzle featuring my hero Patrick Califia, @ritaseagrave, @essinem. get tix today http://vb.ly/254c =-.

  36. [...] amount of time with Kelly Parkinson on her blog, doing what I had been avoided because ewww talking about myself in third person. After doing the exercise, I did have a better understanding of what the integration issue was [...]

  37. [...] a list of questions for bios (our colleague Kelly Parkinson has a great one here) and answer them stream-of-consciousness style. People often have a hard time writing because they [...]

  38. [...] more guidance? This questionnaire from Copylicious may provide some helpful direction, as might this analysis from the Content Marketing Institute on [...]

  39. [...] more guidance? This questionnaire from Copylicious may provide some helpful direction, as might this analysis from the Content Marketing Institute on [...]

  40. [...] you? Struggling to write a bio that feels like you, but that isn’t too corporate-y? Check out 16 questions to help you write a douche free bio from Copylicious and do the exercise straight away. You’ll need about 30 minutes max. Just [...]

  41. [...] you? Struggling to write a bio that feels like you, but that isn’t too corporate-y? Check out 16 questions to help you write a douche free bio from Copylicious and do the exercise straight away. You’ll need about 30 minutes max. Just [...]

  42. [...] include and why, written in an approachable way. The second, which was incredibly helpful, was this page from copylicious.com. It lists 16 questions to ask yourself. They’re more for inspiration, to [...]

  43. GeekWriter Michelle says:

    I had this as a summary on LinkedIn and found that referrals were not coming my way, specifically, because of the paragraph about my crushes. I know it’s not quite professional, but I don’t want rigid, stick-in-the-mud clients who don’t think like me. I don’t have fun with them. Was it really so bad? I went ahead and took off the personal stuff, but wanted to see what all of you thought.
    —USED TO BE:
    I find myself fascinated with studying the relationships between politics and the economy with the music and hair/fashion industries, eating unpronounceable foods that require The Food Lover’s Companion for definitions, tasting and re-tasting different wine varietals, giving manual turn signals and wearing my helmet when riding my bike, and identifying with the protagonist when reading books or watching movies. I like jobs where I get to mark up documents with a red pen or where I get to socialize, get people drunk and talk about food.

    My favorite animated crushes are: James Bond Jr, Link from Legend of Zelda, Bruce Wayne as Batman in The Animated Series, Laura Croft from Tomb Raider, Prince Ashitake from Princess Mononoke, and Jake Sully’s Avatar.

    One of my lifelong goals is to promote changes for human equality, animal rights, and environmental responsibility. How a person treats others, animals, and their environment is an indicator of their core ethics and values.

    Professionally, I am a meticulous aspiring copyeditor and proofreader experienced in managing multiple tasks and meeting deadlines. I possess superior editing and proofreading capabilities, with successful completion of numerous projects for a major Raleigh-based marketing firm as well as other clients including restaurants, property management companies, and non-profit groups.

    Technically proficient in: MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Access, Outlook; Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Acrobat; Quickbooks; Apple Mail, iCal and iwork ’09 (Pages, Numbers). Experience in Mac OS and Windows OS.

    My hobbies revolve around increasing my knowledge on the things that fascinate me so I can build a foundation for subjects to write about, and therefore educate others based on my experiences.

    Please view my portfolio and blog articles to learn more about me.

  44. Dev Basu says:

    Great work Kelly – I need to get to work on reworking my own bio immediately.
    .-= Dev Basu´s last blog ..10 Lessons I’ve Learned from My SEO Career =-.

  45. Best. Thing. Ever.

    (And yes, I *am* cyber-stalking you right now.) :)
    .-= Cali @caligater´s last blog ..Gater Snacks =-.

  46. Reinis says:

    Hey, Kelly!

    Great questions – really got the ideas flowing. And it’s really about positioning – if you don’t like me as a person (with such a bio), then how can you expect to have a good time working together?

    Thanks! :)

  47. [...] Kelly’s tips can help you, or if you’re really stuck, you can hire her to write your copy. Click here to read Kelly’s blog post, “16 questions to help you write a douche-free [...]

  48. [...] all gives you a good starting point for writing your About Me page.  But, if you’re still stuck here’s a neat little exercise I found that helped me to write my bio page.  Maybe it can help you too.  It basically gives [...]

  49. Ryan says:

    Thanks for posting this tip! I’ve always struggled to write a compelling bio. My industry – wedding photography – has its own set of bio cliches. I’m hoping these answers I wrote down will help me craft something revealing and engaging!

  50. This is great! Thanks for the thought provoking questions!

  51. Suzanne says:

    Glad I found this article!!!
    Only 26 minutes and douche free. Sounds WAY better than a night of anxiety filled staring at the laptop screen and doubting myself!
    Don’t know about you, but the fact I had to look up how to write a BIO, makes me feel like a douche.
    So, thanks for helping make this process a TON easier. (sharing the <3)
    Wish me luck!
    Thanks,
    Suzanne

  52. Sherene says:

    Thanks for your great tips. I love reading the insights that people have shared around what you learned about yourself and your side hustle with this exercise. Remember that the great thing about a bio is you get to highlight your strengths related to your side hustle (whether it be formal education and expertise or simply raw passion).

  53. Shannon says:

    I was at a complete loss where to even start writing a bio on myself – ewww! Hate writing, especially about myself. I answered her 16 questions in the alloted 36 minutes and have a great start for my bio. Thanks!!

  54. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the tips, been trying to write a non-douchie profile with little success.

  55. Actually, this stuff can be applied to a lot more then just your bio or about you page. These tips can easily be used to write great resume, facebook page, but the great use would be during an interview.

    I always hated the tell me about yourself question interviewers asked, might be able to use these questions to craft a good response!

  56. [...] 16 Questions to help you write a douche-free bio [...]

  57. [...] 16 Questions to help you write a douche-free bio [...]

  58. I think the 3 preperation points are of the most importance. If you take the time to write your bio, then let it set and come back later, you will find that is turns out so much better. If you can actually work on it a day later and then come back and do this a few times it will turn out the best. This will give you time to rethink things and change the wording that might have sounded good at first, but just doesn’t now. I find that getting started is the hardest part and then going back and revising is easy at another time in the future!

  59. May says:

    I just found this and it was a great help trying to write a bio that is not dead boring. Brilliant.

  60. [...] Johansen provides the basics of writing a business bio . Here’s a couple other resources: 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio and A Great Professional Bio. Rate this:Share this:ShareEmail Pin ItLike this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  61. [...] 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio I’m not entirely sure what I think of this approach, but I find bio-writing extremely difficult so it’s worth a try… [...]

  62. natalie says:

    Thank you Kelly!! You rock!!
    Great questions, LOVE the title!!

  63. [...] 16 Questions to Help You Write a Douche Free Bio (from Copylicious) [...]

  64. [...] you want to write about yourself (a bio, for example), try this exercise: 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio (thanks, Kelly!) This entry was posted in Blog and tagged Communication, Writing. Bookmark the [...]

  65. [...] it. It works best when I need to solve a small, complicated problem, like the ending, a tagline, a bio, or choosing this vs. that. I can’t use brute brain-power to to this type of problem. I need [...]

  66. [...] good friend recently sent me an article on how to write a good bio for yourself. I had previously told her that I’m terrible at [...]

  67. Dana says:

    WOW, that REALLY helped!

  68. [...] be some very thought-provoking questions you haven’t considered.  Check out Copylicious’s 16 Questions To Help You Write A Douche-Free Bio and Alex Franzen’s 5 Cheat-a-licious Tricks To Finish Your About Page Already. Resist [...]

  69. Elaine says:

    really helpful article love the egg timer idea

  70. [...] Every month, I do a walk-through. Is my website up to code? Can people even see my offers from the street? Do I really have a douche-free bio? [...]

  71. SandhyaWPG says:

    This has been surprisingly helpful. I am a freelance writer and didn’t expect to have such a hard time writing a 50-word bio. Thanks!

  72. [...] short concise bio’s on a group of people. In googling for some question ideas I found this: 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio which although isn’t exactly what I was looking for I thought the title was rather [...]

  73. [...] like you are bragging or being so modest that people don’t know what you’ve done. Copylicious helps you out with some questions and [...]

  74. [...] lead to fun and interesting opportunities. I’ve heard from so many random people because of the douche-free bio post. Who knows how many more random people might discover [...]

  75. [...] > writing your bio or artist’s statement can be a painful process.  if yours is in need of an update, check out “16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio” [...]

  76. Stephanie says:

    I just stumbled upon this today and LOVE it! I was researching tips for writing a bio as I am working on my photography website and was in desperate need of a new bio. Your guide definitely got the creative juices flowing for me and I was able to write a bio for my page that feels like me, instead of the normal, boring and expected bio. Thanks for the amazing tips!

    Stephanie

  77. Thank you so much! My boss has asked me to create a Bio for several months now & everything that I came up with sounded so sales pitchy. As if I was tooting my own horn. These questions helped & I really enjoyed the time limit! :)

  78. Ashley says:

    I came across this list a couple of months back, I send it to all of my clients to help point them in the right direction! Thank you!

  79. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness. You were spot on. I set my alarm on my iPhone for 26 minutes exactly and brainstormed my first thoughts in answering those 16 questions. Now putting it all together won’t seem like such a daunting task. Thanks so much for the advice. Much obliged!

  80. Walter Akana says:

    HI Kelly!! These are great questions. And based on the comments, it looks like they helped a lot of people. Awesome!! Still, I’d love to see how you’ve applied them in your own bio. Have you posted that someplace? Just wondering…

  81. Kelly Parkinson says:

    Walter, WHAT? You want to see MY bio? Never! It is too glorious to be witnessed by mortal eyes.

    No, I’m rebranding and my old bio no longer fits. It’s coming! Also, my own process is a bit more complex than answering 16 questions. It’s also evolved a bit since I wrote this post. So, when it does get posted, it won’t be easy to reverse-engineer it to see which of the 16 questions is answered where.

    The thing is, these questions are just a starting point. Some people can get a quick bio up with JUST these 16 questions. Others, like me, won’t be able to stop themselves from trying 20 more approaches until one of them sticks. Your bio will always be a bit of a work in progress. So all you ever need to do is start it again.

    Sometimes it can start to seem like all bios sound alike, so here are a few I’ve written recently, so you can see how the same fundamental questions can inspire totally different bios:
    https://www.getpantheon.com/about/team/zack-rosen
    https://www.getpantheon.com/about/team/david-strauss
    https://www.getpantheon.com/about/team/scott-massey
    http://www.williamsburgdds.com/doctors-staff/dr-ray-henley/

    Hope this helps!

  82. Walter Akana says:

    Hey Kelly!!

    Great response!! I really do love the questions, but also realize people will use some or all of them — and may even add questions of their own!!

    In working with multiple clients on bios, I also know that without a structure they can have great answers to the set of questions, but get stuck — or totally mess up — the drafting of their bio!!

    Yes, I would love to see your bio!! I bet it is (or will) be very cool!! And why do I say that? The examples you point to are awesome!!

    So, yes!! This helped a lot!!

    Have a terrific weekend!!

    Best,
    Walter

  83. Thanks for the helpful advice, Kelly. My business partner should be happy; this will help me write my bio to give to him before the deadline, hopefully. I do have a tendency to procrastinate… Jk! Thanks again! :-)
    Tiffany

  84. [...] There is a TON of great material on the internet about writing a bio, this is one of my favorites 16 questions to help you write a douche-free bio. If you don't like that one, just google "how to write a bio" or "how to write a [...]

  85. Kalea says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful questions! I feel like you have given me a wonderful start to writing a wonderful bio. Thank you!

  86. Donna says:

    Thanks for getting me started. I’m supposed to have this done by 3pm today.. ugh… but at least its a start and probably can have it done by tomorrow. I will share when its posted on my website. Thanks again for getting me started!

    Donna

    • Kelly Parkinson says:

      Donna! Permission to write a good-enough-for-3pm version, & perfect it later. You’re probably discovering right now that starting is the most important thing. I’m glad to have helped with that!

  87. Stephanie Garner says:

    Kelly – This is a fantastic resource! One of my LinkedIn connections shared this today, and I’m glad I read your post. I need to re-work my summary on LinkedIn as well as craft content for the “About” page on my WordPress blog. I see lots of other intriguing posts on your site, so I’m going to bookmark and reference it when I need to.

    Stephanie :)

  88. Thank you, Kelly. This post is a tremendous help to me.

  89. Jessica says:

    I love your work! I’ve just been engaged to write a corporate bio for a friend. Using your questions I was able to focus on the essence of my client and distinguish these facts from my feelings about my friend.

    Bookmarked. And I look forward to reading more of your insights!

  90. [...] Some tips about writing a bio whether for your publications, your social sites, or the “about me” page of your website. It’s a little more oriented to business than writing, but still it’s a good start:http://www.copylicious.com/2009/07/16-questions-to-help-you-write-a-douche-free-bio/ [...]

  91. Tanya says:

    Kelly,

    Great questions! And yes, I am also the victim of “last minute bio-itus” so many times I could pull my hair out! Simply put, you’re questions exercise is not only going to get me to redo mine, but I’ve also challenged two business partners to redo theirs.

    Thanks again!

    • Kelly Parkinson says:

      Tanya, glad to hear it! May your procrastination be rewarded with last-minute inspiration. Just this one time.

  92. [...] Marketing specialist Kelly Parkinson suggests pondering the following questions in order to create what she charmingly calls a “douche-free bio”: [...]

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