How to write a better website bio

Juliette Mitchell photo

Heads up: I send out occasional emails with writing tips and other tricks of my trade, and this quick-fire guide is one of these. If you’d like emails like this to come straight to your inbox, get in touch here and let me know. I’ll add you to the list, and of course you’ll be able to unsubscribe (with no offence given or received) at any time.

You’d think the little descriptions of people would be the most interesting part of a website: real people, real interests, and a real insight into the practice. But often they’re a mixture of hard facts and lifeless job descriptions.

If you pick apart a bio, it often goes from qualifications, to experience, to skills and professional interests. That means a journey from hard facts through to the specific.

Much better, though, to turn these on their head and lead with the most relevant and interesting. So instead we have:

Skills and professional interests (What do you bring to a project?)
Experience (What shows that you can do the job?
Qualifications (What qualifies you to do the job?)

(Thinking about those three parts as questions helps to focus the mind on what people actually want to know.)

Let’s road-test this. Here’s a typical architect’s bio:

Jack Hobbs trained at the University of Liverpool and at the Bartlett (UCL). He has worked across a range of sectors at various practices in both London and Manchester. He became Managing Partner of Hobbs Smith Architects in 2011 and now leads the team specialising in affordable housing. He believes working closely with residents is key to developing successful residential schemes.

And here it is again, the other way up (with minimal tweaks):

Jack Hobbs believes working closely with residents is key to developing successful residential schemes, and he now leads our affordable housing team. He became a partner at Hobbs Smith Architects in 2011, after working across a range of sectors at various practices in both London and Manchester. He trained at the University of Liverpool and at the Bartlett (UCL).

Now we’re kicking off with something that people will relate to. And everything that follows slots into place, adding credibility and context to what grabbed our attention in the first place.

I’m always happy to talk through what you could do to make your website more human and more engaging. Just get in touch here or call me on 07813 097727.