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August 29, 2011

Growing Your Personal Brand – Writing a Profile

by Marketing Made Easy

I found it really difficult to write my first profile and perhaps writing a bio has at some stage overwhelmed you.  If it’s any consolation, I’m sure seasoned wordsmiths find this intimidating also!  But writing your profile really doesn’t need to be a difficult experience.

As with any self-portrait, it’s difficult to capture the perfect angle and all of your best attributes.  By honestly answering a few important questions with detail can provide you with an engaging picture of who you are and what you do.  As an online seller, an articulate and creative bio is essential.  It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you make or sell, or what you do, it is worth investing the time to get the nitty-gritty of who you really are and put it all together in a well written bio!

Unlike a retail-shopping outlet, your buyers experience begins with the look and feel of your Etsy or online shop.  Customers can’t talk to you at the checkout!  Your images and the information portrayed in your bio is your only means of engaging your customer in conversation!  Think about it.  If you walked into a shop and you didn’t talk to your customers and ignored their questions, what would happen to your business?    A bio helps establish trust and helps your target audience feel ‘safe’ to purchase.

Etsy is slightly different from your other online vendor platforms, in so far as to say, that there is a greater community feel to the experience.  It’s as close to brick and mortar as you can get online and your bio is one of the most humanizing portions of the Etsy sales experience.  The more you can make this experience feel personal, the more first time buyers will go from window-shopping to a purchase.

This is a time where you can shine, pat yourself on the back or toot your own horn shamelessly.  You manufacture beautiful products that take an enormous amount of time and energy to develop.  The profile safely allows you to give yourself a little credit.  Be as humble as you wish, however talk about your creative inspirations or ambitions as we all know that a lot of thought and energy goes into each and every one of your products and this is your time to really SHINE!

But how do you get started?  The Etsy ‘Featured Seller’ questions are a great way to open the can of worms and these questions should help you to overcome any writers block.  Remember write first, edit later, put your pen to paper and let it go, don’t think about it, just do it.  You can always discard, revise and add to your bio later.

Questions, questions, questions

1.  Who are you and where are you from? Where did you attend university or are you self-taught and if so what are your artistic motivators?

2.  How did your business get its name?  My business name ‘Jumping Biting Flea’ and my positioning statement Childhood Naturally came from my five year olds favorite book called Mr. McGee and the Biting Flea.   Humor is important, however I needed a positioning statement ‘Childhood Naturally’ to engage my customer professionally also.

3.  What do you make and why? Do you have a funny or touching story behind one of your items or do you have a signature product?

4.  What makes you different from the other sellers that make what you make?  Or if you make something that no one else makes why should your customers need OR want it?

5.  What questions do your buyers ask you?  Do you have a product that a buyer may wish to try before they commit to buying?  Attempt to answer some of the questions buyers are likely to ask.

6.  What other services do you offer your customers?

7.  Do you provide your customers with an added value benefit?  If you have an added value benefit describe why you provide this service.

8.  Have your products appeared in magazines, art galleries or have you been a featured seller with Etsy?  Acknowledge your accolades – it secures trust.

9.  Are you considered an expert in your field, have you won any awards for your work both nationally and locally.

10. Do you sell or encourage your customers to buy?  Encourage your customers to buy is different from selling.  For more information read our thought provoking article “Stop Selling and Instead Encourage your Customers to buy.”

11. What makes your job fun?  How has handcrafting changed your life or been a rewarding career choice.

12. Do you work full time in your Etsy shop or do you have other interests?   What are your hobbies?

13. How do customers get in touch with you?  Do you have a web or blog site or social media profiles or a newsletter whereby buyers can contact you?

14. How long is the purchasing process?  Other Etsy shop owners offer discounts and incentives that include free shipping on orders over a certain value.  Do you offer these services to your buyers?

15. Are your products environmentally friendly? What type of materials do you use and where do you purchase them?

16. If you have any shop policies such as returns, exchanges, guarantees, shipping, damage, gift wrapping, payment types these should be placed in your policies page.  I’d make a link from the bio, about you or shop announcement to your policies page.

Your profile of personal and professional information is a crucial step to creating a lasting relationship with your customers.  Relationship building creates trust and customers must feel they can trust your brand before they’ll agree to commit to a purchase.  Create a lasting impression by writing a professional yet personal bio and start building great customer relations.


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