How to Build Your Bio Video
What does your "About Us" blurb really say about you? Hopefully it's carefully crafted, grammatically correct and not as dull as a 1st grader's pencil. But no matter how you pour over your keyboard, trying to wordsmith just the right combination of "approachable" yet "authoritative", words simply cannot pop off the page like video.
A bio video gives you the chance to tell your story with visual impact. You can speak from the heart. Viewers who may be potential customers have the chance to read your body language and learn more about you than they can reading "About Us." When we decided to create our own Idea Decanter bio videos, we looked around for visual inspiration and found this series of bio videos produced for LinkedIn. They do a great job telling a personal story in a short format with high production quality. Maybe one of these will serve as your inspiration?
Dig Deep: Ask the Tough Questions
If you decide to dive into bio video territory, be prepared to dig deep. This is your opportunity to speak from the heart. For us, that meant showcasing who we are and how we approach work. So we came up with a list of 6 questions that were very specific to our business (you'd want to adjust these to fit your business):
1. What do you love about photography/storytelling?
2. How has your business changed?
3. Do you have a favorite kind of client? OR Is there an aspect about a client that makes them fun to work with?
4. Work you are most proud of?
5. What does it feel like to be a part of Idea Decanter?
6. What’s the best thing you’ve learned from being in business for yourself?
7. If you could give people one piece of photography/storytelling advice, what would it be?
Devise a Script
Next we recorded ourselves answering these questions. This wasn't scripted. It was us talking off-the-cuff about ourselves and our work. Try it yourself with your phone, iPad or computer (red hats encouraged but not required).
When these practice videos were done, we took what we said and turned it into a script. This gave us a storyline that couldn't help but seem natural because it came from our answers and was written how we actually talk. You don't want to be jargon-y or unnatural, but that's often how a written bio blurb turns out.
But wait, you're not done yet. Before you move on, review that script. Ask yourself: Does this highlight the key messages I want to share with a customer? If not, go back and start again with different questions. This is an important process so you want to get it right.
Now that you have your story line, find a visual way to show what you're telling. That probably means some creative video to show how you do your job ... which can be challenging if you sit at a desk most of the day. In Laura's video, we knew that behind-the-scenes video was key so we planned an extra camera on our There Be Monsters shoot. We wanted to give it a real Portland feel, so we came up with coffee and food carts to incorporate into the story.
We had a lot of fun making the video, but we also picked a lot of coffee beans out of a living room rug and had to revise our "vision" for a word appearing on a glass several times. In the end, we've had great feedback from our social community and expect that this one-minute bio video will continue to get a lot of clicks.
For many of our clients, bio pages are the most popular stop for their website visitors. If your "About Us is getting a ton of traffic, is it worth investing time and money in making a good impression?