Your Bio page is an essential part of your photography marketing plan

Saw this post on PetaPixel today discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of how a photographer should write a good bio page for their web site.

Most of my photography marketing consulting clients come to me with Bio page copy that they wrote themselves. And almost all fail to write bio copy that is helpful to a prospective client. Most contain copy that talks about their first magical connection to photography. That data point means a lot to the photographer and their personal life narrative, but it usually means nothing to a prospective client.

I mean really… how many prospective clients base their decision on hiring a photographer based on the answer this question: “How old were you when you first fell in love with photography? 10 years old? 15?  25?”

I’m familiar with why there are so many bad photo bios out there. Heck! Even I had to have some outside help with writing my own bio. It’s primarily because we’re all too close to ourselves to see ourselves objectively. Others easily see our strengths and assets while we often only see others’ strengths and compare ourselves mercilessly and often erroneously against that idealized perspective.

Crafting a bio reflecting the personality of the photographer is one of the most challenging aspects of creating an effective online marketing presence. I’ve ‘ghost written’ most of my clients Bios or About pages as most photographers find writing about themselves excruciatingly difficult. Most are pure image makers. Only a few are wordsmiths as well. 

When a client speaks with a photographer for the first time or meets with them in person  “what they read, should be what they get.”

There’s a universal debate on whether a bio should be written in the first person voice or the 3rd person voice. While I usually discourage writing 3rd person bios, Sometimes they’re appropriate. E.g,  I’ve one introverted, obsessively-detailed, still-life, product shooter where the 3rd person voice actually makes the most sense; a warm and connected personality is NOT part of his personal brand. His personality is cool and a bit distant but his images rock when it comes to detail! Clients should know that up front.

Some clients feel it’s important to have a social connection with a photographer and to like them as a friend; i.e., they’ll want to hang out at the shoot, have a beer together.That’s fine if that’s your brand. Others clients just want the job shot perfectly, at the best price, on a tight deadline and could care less about having a personal connection.

I want photo buyers to get a sense of my clients strengths as well as the passion they have for creating their imagery. After we’re working together a few months I really get to “see and hear” who the photographers are and I want their online Bio page to reflect that “truth” about them.

Sometimes I trick them into talking about their photographic passions and/or aspects of their career while taking good notes. 🙂  Capturing their natural and  authentic voice is the “personality essence” of the photographer and is an important component to brand integrity. 

My advice when writing a photo bio? It all comes down to marketing fundamentals: who’s your target audience and what are their needs and what are they looking for? In your Bio page you can align what you do with what they need.