6x NBA Champion. 6X Finals MVP. 5x NBA MVP. Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee.
His Airness, Michael Jordan
Often touted as the greatest basketball player of all time, he played like no other. His tenacity on the court accompanied by his raw talent made him an unstoppable force. His achievements both on and off the basketball court make him a worldwide icon. He is easily one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of history. And one of his most prolific attributes is ability to trash talk.
Wait, trash talk?
Yep. One of our most vaunted and highly decorated sports heroes of our time was a major league trash talker.
Jordan’s trash talk was more than just friendly jawing. It was a form of psychological warfare he used to demolish his opponents. It is even speculated that he single-handedly destroyed Muggsy Bogues’ career with it. A thought backed up from Muggsy himself.
The power of psychology can make a serious impact on others. Some for good. Other times for bad. But the point remains the same, psychology is a powerful tool.
You see, we can use the power of psychology as authors. Sure, we try to write it into our novels to grab hold of the reader’s attention. Or into our sales copy in order to sell more books. But what about our author bios?
Let’s talk about 3 ways that you can psychologically boost your author bio today!
#1. The Law Of Reciprocity
Now, I’ve written on this before because I believe that it is a monumentally important concept.
The Law of Reciprocity is a simple principle that states people want to return a favor. Studies have shown that according to human nature we do not like to be indebted to another.
That whole, “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” kinda thing.
So, how do you apply this to your author bio? You should create a situation where individuals should want to return a gesture. The trick is to making it so it doesn’t feel like you are holding something over their heads.
One way of doing this is to offer your readers a good or service. For example, you can say something like this in your author bio.
“When Hurley isn’t stuffing his face with Mr. Cluck’s finest fried chicken, he’s writing memoirs about his time on Membata. Check them out at hugoreyes.com and receive your copy for free!”
A free copy of memoirs sounds great. In fact, free anything sounds pretty cool. But are you really going to give them out for free?
Well, yes and no.
This is a golden opportunity to build up your mailing list! When they sign up to get their free copy, they should submit an email correct? How else will they get their copy? Now the next time you have a new release, you already have a jump-start for a paid product, allowing you to more quickly recoup the cost of writing it.
Not only that, you can ask for reviews! There are lots of people out there who will leave reviews on your Amazon page for something you have given for free. These particular reviews tend to lean more on the positive side thus drawing in new readers. Win-win for everybody.
#2. Validate Your Writing
Your author bio may be one of the best places you can validate your writing. This is where you should humbly list your accomplishments. The keyword here is humbly. No need to over embellish. Here’s a sample:
“Jake Peralta was a highly decorated detective with the NYPD before becoming a bestselling mystery author. His real-life experience lends an extra dimension to his work making it some of the most gripping around.”
By establishing that Jake was a detective for the NYPD, it adds real credibility to his writing. Especially if he writes mystery or police thrillers.
#3.Get Your Readers To Like You
This might seem like a no-brainer but… people are more prone follow you if they like you. The best thing to do is to humanize yourself.
Yes. Humanize yourself.
As authors, we tend to have a small creator’s complex. We construct worlds full of adventure, drama, and mystery. We give life to characters and create their personalities. Needless to say, sometimes we get may get a little smug.
Your author bio is not the place to do this. Instead, try to relate to your readers. A tip that I like to use is to put pieces of me into my bio. For example, I love spending time with my kiddos. That’s why I like to start my personal bio off with this:
“When I’m not lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, or sipping tea with princesses, I’m testing new book marketing tactics and helping authors improve their book sales.”
The first part shows the human side of me. Whereas the second part shows exactly what I love to do. Help authors.
Personally, I find this to work better than saying, “Everyone sucks, so they should listen to me.”–Just for the record, I don’t actually believe that. This is just an example folks.
Time to Implement
I know many of you out there are already doing this. I read great bios each and every day. But if you ever find yourself feeling that your author bio is a little bit lacking… go ahead and level them up using the power of psychology. You’ll be happy that you did.