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Why Your Bio Won’t Sell You

By Ann Hosmer of Building Winning Teams

We all do it. We shine up those bios and resumes with hard-earned credentials we hope will sell our expertise and attract people flocking to us for our services.  Things like our degrees, certifications, selected professional experiences, awards and publications are our “professional insurance” to prevent business scarcity—or so we think.  When business doesn’t come, we feel discouraged even helpless.  “Hey, I may not be the best in my field, but there is no one any better.” While whining may soothe us temporarily, it does not bring us business.

So what has to happen to bring us what we most want? We have to send the RIGHT message.  While someone may admire us for our accomplishments, they fail to connect emotionally with us through that door.  What they do connect with is our journey—how we got there.  Think about how you felt when you first started your business.  Can I really do this?  Who can I find as a mentor?

So, tell your story complete with the challenges and set backs?  What kept you motivated when times were tough?  How did you cope with the voice inside that told you to go back to your J.O.B?  After all, you were really good at what you did, and happy too. And it paid well. Right?
Well, maybe.  But even if all of the above is true, you still longed for a greater experience.  “Good” wasn’t good enough.  You wanted EXCELLENCE!

So, you took the plunge, possibly to a chorus of “are you crazies” from friends and family. Think about all those movies you’ve watched at holiday time.  What kept you glued to the TV with your box of Kleenex beside you?  This is the same stuff that connects your reader or listener emotionally with you.  They are looking for the chance to say, “Wow, this wasn’t easy for her either. If she can do it, I can too!”  The connection they make is at the feeling level.  Tell your story in every speech, workshop you present, and somewhere in articles you write.  Sorry, but your bio or resume can’t do that for you.

“So, have I been sold a bill of goods?”  No. These credentials are useful when someone off-handedly asks, “Just what qualifies you to do this work anyway?”  Compose that bio or resume showing RESULTS that support the Q & A section of your website.  “What Q & A on my website?”  The one that you design that contains every question a potential client is likely to ask so that you can build your credibility before you ever make the first appointment with them.  Be sure you have testimonials that give you know what—RESULTS. They are part of your story too.  Match the quote with the smiling face that said it.. Post a testimonial on your home page and at the top of every sales page, proposal, or hand out.  This is how others connect with you.

So stop thinking about the next degree you really ought to have to become credible, and start focusing upon what you have already accomplished.  Share your RESULTS, and talk about the road that took you there.


  1. Excellent point Ann- thanks for sharing such wise thoughts. I do believe a good/well written bio is a valuable TOOL to promote yourself, but it’s not the only tool – and telling a story with integrity – can only help to better connect you with the right client. Thank you for sharing!

    • Right on. This is about connecting with people, not from the head, but the heart. People connect with our journey, and our journey is ongoing. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes.


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