Writing an online profile or bio for yourself may seem like a relatively simple task, but it’s important to keep in mind that your online bio is really the first opportunity to make a good first impression for potential clients, employers or publications that may want to feature you. Keep in mind that over 80% of Internet users will do their research before buying a product or service, so odds are they’ll be reading your profile before taking any next steps.
If you browse online bios of Financial Advisors, you’ll typically find a pretty standard format, dry copy, and a generic profile photo. Working on an effective yet interesting financial biography can be challenging, especially when you’re writing about yourself.
A winning biography in the financial industry should give your clients the right information for them to determine if you’re a good fit for their needs based on your achievements, unique qualities, and strengths.
Essential information to include in your online bio:
1) A strong headline should include your name, title and company.
- For example, “About John Smith, Senior Financial Advisor at Globex Corporation”.
- Keep titles realistic. If you own your own business, stay away from large corporate titles. Similarly, if you have a title on your LinkedIn profile, make sure what you list elsewhere is consistent.
- If you’re unhappy with your title at your company, it never hurts to ask for another one! Have a look at other successful financial professionals and see what type of titles work for them. The convention of titles is always changing so do your research.
2) Always include your professional finance experience and list your certifications.
- Let your reader know how you’ve climbed the professional ladder in your industry, what firms you’ve worked for, what you specialize in, and what certifications you’ve earned.
- If your certifications are governed by 3rd party groups or organizations, make sure to be a part of them on your profiles (i.e. LinkedIn) or list badges on your website.
3) Include your greatest achievements and milestones as a financial professional.
- Adding any concrete numbers, statistics, or victories that showcase your success in the financial industry will help boost your credibility and instil confidence in your expert ability. Quantifiable information speaks for itself.
- Don’t shy away from a few case studies. Let others know how you’ve gained success for your clients.
4) Adding information and details of other professional experience that would be relevant or validating to your target market.
- For example, if you work with entrepreneurs, include details of other businesses you have started yourself, since your knowledge of small business is relevant to their situation.
- Other designations or certifications, such as a real estate licence, law degree, etc. are still relevant if your target audience can relate.
5) Mention your educational background and degrees.
- Tell the reader where you attended school, what you studied, what committees or clubs you have or do participate in, and what degree you received.
- Consider uploading your profile or your current work to alumni groups.
6) Add links to your profile.
- Linking other sites to your website or professional profile will give you a better chance of being found online and give you a better chance of being found on search engines.
- Link to or from your website, link to any articles you’ve been featured in, mentions of accolades you’ve received, conferences you’ve attended, or events you’ve spoken at, etc. You can even include a quote from a colleague or client that praises you, and hyperlink to that source as a testimonial. If you have video of yourself speaking, you can embed that video from Youtube or Vimeo.
7) Tell the reader a little bit about your life outside of work.
- Give your bio a human element. List any hobbies, committees, or social causes you participate in outside of work.
- Studies have shown email signatures with personalized headshots of professionals with their families or pets get more responses than standard email signatures. A personal touch never hurts!
Other helpful tips to consider:
- Use the inverted pyramid technique, always starting with the most important and relevant information and funnelling down to the less important information.
- Avoid a first sentence that starts with your name for a more professional feel. For example, you can say “As a professional in the Financial industry for over 10 years, John Smith….” or “Named by Forbes as a Top Advisor to Watch in 2018, John Smith…” instead of “John Smith has been in the industry for….”
- Don’t use fancy description words for yourself like “powerhouse” or “expert” or “guru”, let your resume and experience speak for itself.
- Writing in the third person allows your bio to be picked up and used by other sources.
- Be concise, don’t use filler language, and focus on the most important information that will help boost your credibility.
- A little humor or personality never hurt anyone. Even though your clients are shopping around for a Financial professional, they’ll likely want to build a relationship and work with someone they can get along with.
- Finally, don’t forget to have your colleagues in compliance review it. While this may or may not be the case for you, some regulators require the regulated entities to supervise all marketing communications.
Here is an example :
About John Smith, Senior Financial Advisor at Banking Wealth Corp.
Named number six in Barron’s “New York City’s Top Ten Advisors to watch in 2018”, John Smith has been described as the ‘planning pioneer’ behind Banking Wealth Corp.’s Personal Trust 2017 product launch. Since joining Banking Wealth Corp. in 2012 as an intern, John quickly climbed the ranks as an Analyst to Financial Advisor, and in 2016 became a Senior Financial Advisor. He has grown the company’s investment services revenues over 2,000% and has built a team of 28 full-time employees.
After earning his CPA certification, John has worked with hundreds of high profile clients in the New York area. Smith graduated from NYU Stern School which a Bachelor of Science in Business in 2011, and has been on the board of FPA-NENY as their Membership Chair since 2016. In his spare time, you can find John training for the latest half marathon or playing fetch with his Golden Retriever, Charlie.