Episode 127

Dec 1, 2017

A great bio will accurately express your work, capture the interest of your ideal client, make you sound awesome. And it’s really not that hard to do!

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A great bio will accurately express your work, capture the interest of your ideal client, make you sound awesome. And it’s really not that hard to do!

More on Writing a Bio to Use in Your Massage Business

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Michael Reynolds Hey everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.

MR And we are your hosts today. Glad you’ve joined us today. Allissa, what is up? It’s warm and sunny here in Indy, for once, lately.

AH It’s cold and sunny, but I’m sitting next to the window with the shade and the curtains open so that I’m kind of like —

MR You can pretend to be warm?

AH –uh, yes. And I feel very cat-like because it is kind of warm in the sun even though it’s like 30 degrees or 20 degrees outside.

MR Ah. Curled up in the sunbeam like a cat. I love it.

AH Right? It’s good times.

MR Good times. So, by the way, we haven’t talked about my eating habits for a while; so I have to bring this up. There is a Chinese slash — or an Asian food place that just opened up in the food court across the street. I’m super excited. I’ve got to tell you about it, because they serve sushi and teriyaki chicken and noodles and all sorts of things. And I was so excited because I’ve been eating Chipotle every day for the last million years, and this place opened, and I was so excited. I’ve been waiting for it to open for months and months. It finally opened, and it’s everything I hoped it would be.

AH Really?

MR I am so excited. I have a brand-new place to eat lunch.

AH I’m so happy for you. Hey, how was —

MR I know.

AH — you know we didn’t even — we — okay. Everyone, before we started recording, we blew through a whole bunch of business stuff that we had to cover together and logistical Massage Business Blueprint stuff, and I didn’t even say, “Michael, how was your Thanksgiving?”

MR [laughs] It was lovely. We had family in town. Eli got to play with his four loud, boisterous cousins which he loved. It was awesome. How about you?

AH It was really good. We made our own pizza —

MR I saw that.

AH — and watched Wonder Woman. And Dr. Boyfriend’s daughter made a pizza, and it came out — and she just likes straight-up, plain cheese pizza, nothing fancy — and it came out looking like this perfectly classic pizza. I am literally going to print a picture of it and put it in the frame — put it in the collage picture frame of stuff. It was just the most classic and beautiful picture of pizza ever. So that was my Thanksgiving. And then I worked Black Friday, which is so lovely. When you know all the zaniness is going on outside, to just be shut into my little massage office with very happy, relieved people coming in to get massage — it’s kind of an unusual schedule of day, people who don’t normally come in during the day, and everyone’s so happy to be here. It was a delightful couple of holiday days. It was nice.

MR Nice. So my Black Friday win was while Ariana and her sister and her mother went to — went Black Friday shopping, I took the kids to the park all morning, just watched them play. It was awesome.

AH That’s –you’re — you know what —

MR [indiscernible] crowds.

AH –let’s just take a moment to appreciate that we are very different people than we were six or seven years ago when we met. You’re taking kids to a park, and I’m making pizza with children. Good grief. What has happened to us?

MR What has happened to us? In fact, what has happened to us this episode? We are off the rails completely. So why don’t we actually come up with a topic today? Our topic today is “how do I write my own bio?”

AH Aw, yeah. This is a tough one, man. This one’s super tough.

MR Yeah.

AH And we’re answering this because somebody asked it recently. And we’ve written a blog post on this, which I’ll post in the show notes, and you can go back and look at that. But, yeah. It’s really, really hard. And it’s also really, really necessary. You need to have, ideally, a short and a long bio, but at least a short bio, like 40 to 50 words, to slap at the end of an article you might write or include with some kind of ad in some kind of flyer. You’re going to find that you need it, and it’s much easier to not have to do it in a hurry when somebody needs it within the next 10 minutes.

So let’s get started. So a really good bio is going to accurately express your work and capture the interest of your ideal client, and make you sound kind of awesome. So you might use it on your website, in your social media profiles, or on a brochure. So, again, that’s where a short bio comes in, 40 to 50 words. So you want to ask yourself a few questions. Who do I help? And the answer should not be “everyone”. Yes, you want to help everyone, but this goes back to our target client, niche client kind of thing. Specifically, who are you targeting? What’s the perfect, ideal client to walk in your door? Keep that in your head as you craft this bio. So what makes you special? What makes you stand out? Do you have a particular type of certification or a particular type of experience that would matter to your ideal client? Do you have a particular hobby or volunteer activity? Or sometimes this is a little bit about your motivation for your specialty or your motivation for working with that ideal client. It’s also really important to remember that “massage” is not a real clear term. You can ask 10 different massage therapists how they define massage, and you’re going to get 15 different answers. And you don’t want to be using too much jargon or fancy descriptions; you don’t want to be using terms for modalities no one’s ever heard of and no one really cares about. They don’t need to know, necessarily, that you do neuromuscular therapy, they just need to know that you’re really good at working with rotator cuff because that’s the verbiage that people need and that they’re going to recognize.

Once you have an idea who you’re helping, what makes you special, you want to put that in a logical order and form complete sentences. And you want to ask for help. When I get started, I do bullet points; that helps me — I do bullet points of what I want to say, totally incomplete, just barely cohesive or coherent sentences, and I just make a list. I’m good at lists; lists work for me. And then you kind of put that in logical order, and then you form that into complete sentences. Or, I have a totally bio-writing Mad Libs — again, I’ll put this in the show notes — that make it super easy for you to fill in the blanks and polish it up.

And it goes like this: “Name is a Year graduate of School.” So it would say “Allissa is a 2005 graduate of Bancroft School of Massage Therapy.” And then — the second line — and that’s it, it’s a two-line bio — “She helps people dealing with Issue Number 1, helping them then you name the result.” “She helps people dealing with rotator cuff injuries, helping them recover faster and perform better.”

And that was off the top of my head, I actually did not make notes on this. So, let me look at the one that’s a little lower that I actually thought through.

“Allissa is a 2005 graduate of Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. She helps people dealing with rehab after surgery or injury, helping them rebound faster and with less pain.” And then you just add in your contact info. So “Find more information and online scheduling at hainesmassage.com.”

And I have a couple of different templates. One I just read to you. The other is where you name your ideal client more specifically. “Allissa has been treating runners in Plainville since 2005. Specially trained in,” I don’t know, insert your name of technique for runners here. “She helps people run faster. You’ll find more information at her website dot com.”

So we have these little templates, and that makes it much, much easier. But I also — before I jump into my last note and ask Michael what he thinks, I don’t want to skip our halftime sponsor, because, Michael, who’s our halftime sponsor today?

MR It is jojoba. Thanks for giving me a chance to say it again. I appreciate that.

AH I know. I know how much you love it. I like to bring you joy.

MR I do.

Sponsor message The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that is carrying 100 first-pressed quality jojoba. Other companies are going to squeeze the heck out of that jojoba and try to get as much extract as they can from the seed. The Jojoba Company does a light pressing — that’s what they call a press on the seed — and they don’t get as much quantity, but it’s the better-quality jojoba and the best quality jojoba available on the market. And what I want to mention today is that jojoba is a fantastic carrier if you’re using any essential oils. Because it’s super light and it doesn’t go rancid, you can not worry that your essential oil is going to get wasted because that bottle of oil goes rancid because it’s not going to happen; it’s a wonderful carrier for essential oils if you use essential oils in your practice. And if you don’t, keep in mind that jojoba is non-allergenic; so it is safe to use on everyone. To get some, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. That’s J-O-J-O-B-A. massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

AH So I want to pop back to my notes about writing a bio. And the bit of advice that I want to give, before I ask Michael for his advice, is to use a temple like this to get started. And also calm the heck down. Your bio, your short bio especially, is not going to say everything about you. It’s not intended to. It’s intended to introduce you and direct people to your website where you may have a longer-form bio. And we’ll get to the longer form bio in another podcast, or maybe I’ll do a blog post about it. And keep in mind that getting this short bio, just getting it done — put it in your calendar right now that you’re going to work on this, whatever, next Tuesday morning at 9am. And get that 30-, 40-, 50-word bio just written down. Save it in a document in your Google Drive; save it on your actual laptop if you want; email it to yourself. Have it somewhere where it’s super-fast and easy to access, because when you need it, you’re going to need it, and it’s better to have it handy. Michael, what are your bio-writing tips?

MR So I actually don’t have a whole lot to add because you’ve covered everything very well. I will interject an opinion on things I like to see in bios, and that’s I like to see a personality. A good professional bio is great if it’s just kind of formal and professional and kind of normal, so to speak. But I also think it’s kind of fun to interject your personality and some fun stuff into it, too, and some fun facts. So in my bio, for example, I mention that I use one space after a period, because that is a polarizing topic among grammar nerds who will die on this hill of one or two spaces after a period; so it kind of rallies people to kind of have fun with it. I mention that I studied the cello with a real-life Klingon, which is actually true because my old cello teacher from back in high school actually dresses up as a Klingon and gives weird concerts dressed as a Klingon playing the cello; so it’s really actually kind of fun. So I have these little, fun bio-things that I just kind of pop in there and make it kind of fun and personal and interesting. I say don’t be afraid to — if it feels right, if it feels appropriate, go ahead and drop in some fun things because those can be conversation starters. And to this day, when I’m speaking at a conference or something, people come up to me and say, “Oh, I use one space after a period, too. You’re absolutely right.” And it kind of develops a bond. You never know who’s going to latch on to a fun fact and develop that connection with you. So that’s really all I would add.

AH And I’ll — actually, I came across one of my old short bios as I was prepping for this, and I’m going to read it because it’s a great example of I was earlier in my career and trying to say a little too much, but I actually did a good job of adding that personal touch to it. So it was,

“Allissa Haines is a massage therapist with a practice in Plainville, Massachusetts. Her clients are mostly weekly warriors, pregnant mommas, and children with Autism spectrum disorder. She graduated from Bancroft School of Massage in 2005, and, since then, has received advanced training in both prenatal and pediatric massage. Allissa can be found rocking a 12-minute mile in local 5k races or, more likely, snacking at her desk between clients.”

So you can see that I —

MR Love it.

AH — It wasn’t too bad, right? It was a little too much. Trying to add three ideal clients into my bio really distracted from all three of them; so I have honed that down since then. I mentioned where I went to school and the year because I do like to emphasize my longevity in the business. Now, I don’t feel the need to mention the school; I’ll just say 12 years in- or almost 13 years in-. I did note advanced training in prenatal and pediatric massage, but I didn’t feel the need to name the classes that I actually took because nobody cares about that anyway. People in massage know that Elaine Stillerman is awesome at prenatal massage, and Tina Allen is great at pediatric massage, but they don’t need to know the names of my teachers in my bio. Sometimes people get a little too caught up in credentials that don’t mean much to the average Joe and are much better left to the long bio on your website or to your own resume or whatever. And then I added in that bit about — I was running for a couple of years, but I really never broke an 11- or 12-minute mile. I just did it to stay a little healthier, but I really did snack at my desk between clients. And still do. And that’s a thing clients– if they walk in 5, 10 minutes early, they’re going to catch me having a snack at my desk, and that’s just a thing, and everybody’s cool with it. So I wanted you to see how my bio has evolved and gotten better and gotten worse and — but again that template makes it super easy. So if you want to check that template out, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com and then click on the little podcast button in our header, and you will find this episode, which is Episode 127, and it’s called “How Do I Write My Own Bio” or something like that. You’ll get that template; there’s a couple of different ones; you’ll see the templates. It will help you get started. Put your bio in the comments. We’d love to read what your bio is, and we’ll even give you a little help with it if you want to toss your bio into the comments of this podcast episode. All right. I’m done.

MR Love it. Awesome.

AH Thanks.

MR This is probably one of the most useful episodes that we’ve ever done just because it’s something everybody needs.

AH I hope so.

MR Yeah. Well done. Thumbs up. High five.

AH Thanks, Michael.

MR [laughs]

AH I did all that with only 2 sips of coffee in me. Woo!

MR [laughs] Well you can have some more. You take a break and have some coffee. That wraps it up

for today. Don’t forget our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can visit us there for a bunch of free and premium content; so if you want to check out being a premium member, we’ve got a great community of premium members. It’s $9 a month, which many would say it is way underpriced for what you get; so check that out, and you can learn more there. And we just got a new iTunes review last week. We appreciate iTunes reviews. I think you do too, Allissa. I read every single one; they just make me so happy. I just — every week or so I go in there and wonder “Oh. I wonder if we got a new review.” And I look in there and it just warms my heart because we have so many massage therapists who are giving us feedback that they love what we’re doing; they love the information we provide; they love making Massage Business Blueprint a part of their podcast listening routine. And we really, really, really, love that. So thank you, thank you, thank you for that. We appreciate it.

AH And sometimes we get people who email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com to tell us how wrong we are, or to tell us that we totally —

MR [laughs]

AH — Really —

MR — There’s that. There’s that.

AH — They tell us that we have completely missed some important element of a topic that we covered, or they’re like “Hey. You haven’t done jack to help people in this particular situation; could you answer some questions about this,” and we also like that. So if you are just, in general, like me, kind of an angry person filled with rage, feel free to just drop us an email at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com and be like “Hey. You totally stink on covering this; make it better,” and then we will. We like that.

MR [laughs] You weren’t all that ragey today. I was pretty proud of you.

AH Minorly ragey.

MR Minorly ragey. Well, the coffee helps, I’m sure. So with that, thanks again for joining us, and we will see you next time. Have a good day.

AH Bye.

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