Not every entrepreneur has the same way with words. Some have little time for poetry; others are too verbose for their own good.
No matter how you choose to express yourself, though, there’s one particular bit of written communication on which you absolutely shouldn’t skimp: your personal and/or company description.
If you’re a business owner whose identity is closely bound up with your enterprise, you’ll need both. Fortunately, you can apply the same general guidelines (and skills, poetic aptitude notwithstanding) to your personal and company description. Here’s how to capture the essence on six popular web platform, including the United States’ top social media properties.
Tell your story — preferably in 300 words or less. The LinkedIn page for Tom’s of Maine, the all-natural personal care products firm, succinctly captures what’s made the company so distinctive for going on six decades.
LinkedIn might feel impersonal, but that’s not to say you should be afraid to let it all hang out, even on your company page. That’s doubly true on your personal LinkedIn profile, where the whole point is to stand out from the crowd.
The whole notability standards thing makes Wikipedia trickier than your average web platform. You can create and edit your own Wikipedia page, but there’s something to be said for allowing a disinterested party the first crack. Once it’s off the ground, edit following a simple mantra: “just the facts, please.”
Ironically for a platform that celebrates long-form writing, Medium bios are brief — really brief. You have 160 characters, give or take, to get your point across. Take the extra time necessary to boil down your essence (or your company’s) into a single descriptive sentence. Or, if you already have a substantial Twitter description, feel free to copy from that.
Quora has devoted to the premise that no question is too obvious to ask — and, by the same token, that every answer is worth countenancing. Use your Quora profile(s) to play up your subject matter expertise, whatever it might be. Make good on your profile’s implicit promise by routinely asking and answering appropriate questions.
For companies, Facebook’s descriptive guidelines hew closely to LinkedIn’s. For individuals, a few extra dashes of personality don’t hurt.
IMDB might seem like a niche platform, but its purview is actually pretty expansive. If you or your company have even a tangential relationship to the film industry, you or it may qualify for an IMDB profile. Make sure yours clearly spells out your creative bona fides, such as this David Mimran IMDB profile.
Subject to Change
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the term “subject to change.” Perhaps you’ve even posted it on your company website or service menu. In business, as in life, nothing is constant — nor should it have to be.
That’s why it’s so important to keep abreast of any changes that could or should meaningfully affect how you describe your company or your personal business endeavours (or both). As soon as you’re ready to announce a change to the broader world, you need to do it. After all, the only thing customers like less than change are surprising.