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How to write your own bio without sounding like a jerk

It’s not as easy as you’d think. Out of the whole three-page article it was the most difficult thing I had to write. There isn’t really a set format in Graphic Arts Magazine, which would have made it much easier. Article bios range from the full-featured and descriptive:

Barry Siskind is North America’s foremost trade and consumer show expert. He is author of Powerful Exhibit Marketing. Visit www.siskindtraining.com and learn how you can dramatically improve the bottom line at your next show.

To my favourite, the minimalist:

Tony Curcio, editor

This is in no way criticizing Barry Siskind’s bio—his is probably one of the most restrained and best written. But it’s not me. If I wrote that people would think I’m being a jerk. Also I’d be lying. I don’t think I could write more than 140 characters on trade shows, let alone a whole book. So how do you find the balance between promoting yourself  and not sounding like a jerk? I tried a few variations to help exorcise my frustrations. I think it helped. My first attempt was a semi-serious placeholder. I used a friendly and adorable pic, and the text was a nod to a buddy who called me a “jack of all trades, master of none.” It seemed appropriate since I contributed more to this issue in different ways than I have before.

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Then I figured I might as well take that and run with it. I didn’t think anyone would understand what I meant by it. It sounded more like if someone had asked me what I do, and I replied, [sigh]  “what do I not do.” What a jerk.

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That didn’t work too well, so I flipped through a facebook album and came up with a few fantastic photos for ideas.

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I finally settled on this, which hopefully doesn’t sound too jerky.

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