The 7 Key Ingredients of a Powerful Twitter Bio

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Your online reputation is your reputation. And it better be good.

The way you describe yourself on Twitter has everything to do with how people perceive you online. So how the heck do you do it right?

In this post, we’ll go over the 7 key ingredients of a powerful Twitter bio–whether you’re a novice or a social media pro.

But before we get into that, let’s first discuss the challenges of creating a Twitter bio.

Seven challenges to creating a Twitter bio

It’s a little bit challenging when it comes to a Twitter description. Here’s why.

1. You only get 160 characters.

Not a period more. That’s not a lot of room to tell the world how awesome you are, and that you also love bacon. And coffee.

Shoot. That’s already like 63 characters.

2. If you’re on Twitter, your bio will appear in the search results when people search for your name.

When I Google “Neil Patel,” Quicksprout is listed first, then my personal site, then my Twitter. It even beats out Wikipedia!

wikipedia

In other words, your Twitter profile will be one of the most visible descriptions of you on the Internet.

No pressure or anything.

3. You are destined to be predictable, not outstanding.

If you read a dozen Twitter bios, you’ve read them all. They tend to be pretty predictable. Everyone loves coffee and is an entrepreneur and an “aficionado” of something. What does “aficionado” even mean?

If you want to go the easy route, you can try “The Twitter Bio Generator.” Simply click “Generate Bio,” and voila—out comes your canned description. Here’s what I got:

bio generator

It goes to show you that Twitter is a place where even a bit of originality can get you maximum notice.

4. People might think you’re a fraud.

Business Insider reports that 5% of users are fake. NBC News pegged it at 10%.

Sorry about this, but if you fall into the seething masses of ordinary Twitter users, people might just think you’re a fake. Especially if you still have an egg as your profile pic.

egg

Pretty sure this person is unreal. Thanks for the follow, anyway.

5. Even if you try to be funny, you might not be.

Some people have some really hilarious Twitter bios.

greg

jonah

tim

calvin

Some of us aren’t quite as gifted.

6. Being creative is tough.

There’s a pervasive belief that you must have a really creative Twitter bio. After my comment about the millions of wannabe “aficionados” on Twitter, you may be thinking depressive thoughts about your not-so-creative streak.
It’s true. Being creative is hard to do.

7. Being self-promoting is tougher.

Another hard thing is trying “sell” yourself on Twitter. It feels kind of selfish or arrogant, or narcissistic, or whatever it is that people aren’t supposed to be.

I get that. Self-promotion isn’t comfortable, but it’s not an entirely negative thing. After all, you’re writing a bio. That’s what’s supposed to go there — stuff about you.

The world is full of a bunch of people who may not like you, regardless of how cute your bio is, and a lot of people who will like you even if your bio is crap, and a lot of people who won’t care one way or the other.

So, whether you’re facing your critics, reveling in the stardom, or snubbing the apathetic, you need a really good Twitter profile.

Challenges, be gone. Here are the ingredients for success.

The 7 ingredients of a compelling Twitter bio

Now that I’ve finished setting the table with all the challenges, I’m going to sketch for you what an awesome description looks like.

1. It’s accurate. Tell what you really do or are.

You want to pitch your true identity on Twitter. While it’s true that you may have a zombie obsession or a Star Wars hobby, you don’t need to call yourself “Jedi” or something. It could be funny to some people, but it’s better to actually tell people what you really are.

Accuracy is the key here. People are interested in following you because of what you actually do, not what you think is going to be clever.

2. It’s exciting. Make it sound cool. Because it is.

Twitter is a place to generate excitement and buzz. If you consider yourself boring, Twitter is not the place to show it. Add some pizzazz to your bio with an upbeat tone and optimistic verbiage.

3. It’s targeted. Attract people like yourself.

Twitter is a place to interact with people who are in your niche. In order to be considered part of this niche, you have to use words that this niche uses.

The people who follow you will do so because they see those targeted words, and know that you share some commonalities. It doesn’t matter that she’s in Dubai and you’re in Dorset, you are both “bloggers.” Use specific words that describe someone in your role or occupation.

4. It’s flattering. Tell about your accomplishments.

Here we get into the idea of self promotion. I like to think of a Twitter profile as a sort of modern day resume. You don’t have to go right out and say “I am very awesome,” but you should communicate the value that you can provide.

The goal of a resume is to get hired. The goal of a Twitter bio is to get followed. But both resumes and Twitter bios should communicate a degree of accomplishment. What have you done?

  • If you’re a parent, that’s a pretty cool accomplishment. “Dad” or “Mom,” depending on your specialty, will do just nicely.
  • If you started a company, welcome to the ranks of  the “entrepreneur.”
  • If you helped a company, you are a “problem solver.”
  • If you run sometimes, maybe you can be a “fitness guru.”
  • If you give to charity, perhaps you’re a “philanthropist.”

The idea is, you’re doing something of value, contributing in some way. You’re not on Twitter as just a taker. You’re there as an active participant. You have value.

5. It’s humanizing. Prove that you’re legit.

Remember those millions of fake Twitter profiles? Don’t be them.

Along with a legitimate headshot as your profile picture, you should have an element of the “real you” in your bio. This is where you get to talk about coffee, craft beer, and whatever other connoisseurness you possess.

Jamie Crager evidently loves chips and salsa, which is great. I’m very inclined to believe that he is a human being.

jamie

The real you is the you that people want to follow. Authenticity will make you stand out. And you’ll stand out in a good way.

6. It’s intriguing. Invite people to follow you.

“Oh. Another one of those.” Is that what people think when they read your profile?

If so, then maybe you can add some intrigue. Here’s how Julia Rosien did it.

julia

Right off the bat, she tells us that she’s a “globetrotter.” Assuming you’re interested in traveling (lots of people are), then this is intriguing. Where is Julia now? Where is she going? Where has she been? Has she visited Singapore like I have? That single word “globetrotter,” not to mention the cool airplane image, are intriguing.

7. It’s connected. Use hashtags, @s, or links.

Twitter bios can help people branch out into various facets of your identity.

  • Hashtags: If you are an “SEO” for example, you can add “#SEO” to connect your bio to mentions of #SEO on twitter.
  • @s. If you work at a company, have started business, or are otherwise connected to some other Twitter accounts, link to them.
  • Links. You can add outbound links to your Twitter profile, too. I recommend this with caution, because it can take up valuable character space and make your bio look a little tacky. But it does work.

This is what I do in my bio:

neil patel

If you’re incredibly creative or outstandingly hilarious, then you can dispense with the “exciting” part. And if you’re unbelievably famous, then you can dispense with the “accurate” ingredient. And if you’re not a human, don’t worry about the “humanizing” element.

But for the rest of us, this is what we need — a bio that accurately conveys our ability, excites the user, attracts our niche, asserts or non-botness, and invites people to follow us.

Recipe for an amazing Twitter Bio

So far, I’ve given you a description of a description. You have seven ingredients. That’s only marginally helpful. Now, I’m going to give you not just the “ingredients” but the recipe. How do you mix these ingredients together into the secret sauce of an awesome Twitter bio?

7 ingredients of a great Twitter bio

Here’s how:

  1. It’s accurate. One professional description.
  2. It’s exciting. One word that is not boring.
  3. It’s targeted. One niche descriptor.
  4. It’s flattering. One accomplishment.
  5. It’s humanizing. One hobby.
  6. It’s intriguing. One interesting fact or feature about yourself.
  7. It’s connected. Your company or another social profile.

You don’t have to have seven sections. In other words, your exciting word can be the same as your flattering word. Your humanizing section can be the same as your intriguing appeal.

Let me give you some a few fictional examples:

Blogging about Biometric Devices | Founder of @biometricblogs | Companion of 5 Cats

Social Media Manager for @UptownPro. I love building massive Twitter followings. I drink only Merlot, and live in a castle with @JohnEyeAm

See how those descriptions use all the ingredients? And all within 160 characters.

Here are some real ones:

john

chuck

hiten

Conclusion

Ready to unleash some a powerful Twitter bio? Keep a few things in mind:

  • You don’t have to fill all 160 characters.
  • You don’t have to feel bad talking about yourself. That’s sort of the idea of a bio.
  • You don’t have to follow conventions.
  • You don’t have to use descriptors. You can use sentences.

It may take a few tries before you feel like you’ve nailed it. That’s okay. You’re allowed to change your Twitter description as often as you like. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to do so. With every change, hopefully you’ll get closer to perfection.

What are some of your ideas to create a powerful Twitter bio? Let’s talk about them in the comments.

  • Andrew Pyott

    Cool tips Neil! Inspired me to try and improve my own bio. Here’s my updated version:

    “Pixel-pusher at @GeometryGlobal. Co-creator of @SiestApp. I love playing with my son’s LEGO when nobody’s watching. I ocasionally tweet in Spanish.”

    Here’s the old version:

    “Creative at @GeometryGlobal. Co-creator of @SiestApp. Proud dad. Tweet in English/Spanish.”

    Is it an improvement? Would love to hear what you think! :)

    • David Pearson

      Yes, an improvement. Would be even better if you spell occasionally correctly though! (forgive me)

      • Andrew Pyott

        *blush* thanks David, guess that’s what tweeting in English and Spanish does to your brain. Will go and correct that immediately :)

        • ritadshreve

          just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
          didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
          there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
          about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
          bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • Clark Lagemann

      I think your new bio is a good start but depending on how you are using twitter you might want to state what your company does.. I also like the personality of the “i play with my son’s legos…” that for me says more about what I can expect from you then “proud dad”

      Here are my thoughts:

      Creative @______ making awesome______. Co-creator @______ delivering _____. On the weekends I play with my son’s LEGO collection and tweet en español.

      I could toss out more suggestions but it hard without knowing how many characters you’d have left.

      • Andrew Pyott

        Thanks Clark, I think your bussiness oriented tips are spot on. At the moment I’m using it for a more personal touch, so I’m going to go as is. Who doesn’t love LEGO, right? Right? :)

        • sylviadstrong

          as Thelma
          explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
          on the internet . more info here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

      Love it!

      • Andrew Pyott

        Thanks Praverb! :)

  • jamielynne82

    Helpful tips! Do y’all have an article for tips for business twitter bios?

  • http://www.SueCollier.net Sue Collier

    Hmm, interesting Neil, may have to have a go at mine; filled it out years ago and not really thought much about it since……about time then :-) Thanks for making me use my brain yet again!

  • Eco Teams

    Nicely written.

  • Clark Lagemann

    Good content… In my opinion, it really comes down to what do you use Twitter for.. is it general promotion, follow celebs, keep in touch with your favorite brands, or generate sales. I have tested my bio constantly (as I use Twitter to generate sales) and noticed that even the smallest changes (saying “I am a founder of ____ instead of “founder of _____ made a 5% difference in my conversion rate)… I’ll stop short of calling myself an expert on twitter bios but I do have a huge spreadsheet that tracked exactly what order and what words were best to have my prospects open my direct message… and being a startup founder knowing that landing your first few clients and getting to a point of sustainable revenue I am happy to help anyone with their bios if they are interested. Send me a message on twitter @clarklagemann:disqus

    • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

      Following you now

      • http://kajoler.com Kajoler

        I will make sure I come and say hello over on Twitter too @clarklagemann:disqus :)

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Love this post Neil. Going to spice up my bio now. I am tired of having a boring bio haha.

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Can I help craft a post on Twitter Bios for Musicians?

  • http://www.chuckaikens.com Chuck Aikens

    Neil, thanks for using @chuckaikens as one of the Twitter Bio examples. If you saw me attempt to play golf, you would see how funny the last statement about being a ‘Pretend scratch golfer’ really is!

  • Guest

    Awesome, actionable tips here! I just went ahead and rewrote my bio. Whatcha think?

    “Writer on #SelfLeadership, #Productivity, & #Bitcoin. Chief at @Bitcoin101HQ. Allergic to pretty much everything.”

    • http://johnrmeese.com/ John R. Meese

      That was my comment, that I tried to delete… there was a glitch when I added the image. Only wanted to add one! Feel free to delete that comment and this.

  • http://johnrmeese.com/ John R. Meese

    Great, actionable post here! I just went ahead and rewrote my Twitter bio. Whatcha think?
    Old bio:
    “Productivity enthusiast, Self-Leadership Advocate, and Bitcoin Aficionado. Writer on this and more at http://johnrmeeese.com
    New bio:
    “Writer on #SelfLeadership, #Productivity, & #Bitcoin. Chief at @Bitcoin101HQ. Allergic to pretty much everything.”

  • Mark Aaron Carlisle

    great article Neil.
    My bio came from the heart and pretty much sums me up as a person. It’s been edited once in 4 years. The feedback I receive from new followers is encouraging and often surprising, in that a few well placed words can have such a positive impact. With so much ‘digital noise’ around, getting yourself noticed and followed may seem difficult, being yourself as a good role model is not :)

  • Agnes Dadura

    Now I’m scared to go re-check mine… but I love the examples! Once you see a good bio you just know it and it’s simple, and yet it’s not easy to write one like that yourself :)

  • Lauren

    Great article, I found it to be really helpful. Are there any services out there that will curate your bio upon request? I just started a Twitter account for my hobby and I am looking to engage and gain a following. Does anyone have advice for improving upon this?

    “USPSA competitive shooter, athlete, web designer and Star Wars geek.”
    @lcshooting

    Thanks!

    • http://blog.terakristen.com/ Tera Kristen

      The questions I have when reading your bio:

      1. What kind of athlete?

      2. What’s ‘USPSA?’ If you link to their Twitter account (by writing @USPSA_Shooting – it will allow ppl to learn more about the assoc)

      3. What kind of web designer? You could add some of your personality here (e.g., Web Designer with a penchant for white space)

      I hope that helps with your next version. Over the years I have had no less than 6 different versions of my Twitter bio and each one was written and re-written – but it was always fun!

  • http://www.revenueassociates.biz/ Louis Gudema

    As you said, you only get 160 characters (c’mon – if they were sincere it would have been 140, right?). So that really, really limits it. Be informative or cute, but hard to be both.

  • mayhemstidios

    Thanks for including my bio too. :)

  • http://www.SmBizMastery.com/ Kymmberly

    NO. Ya gotta keep pixel-pusher. That’s great.

  • http://www.SmBizMastery.com/ Kymmberly

    Great article. Now we are all checking our bio’s and feeling like dweebs. Though I am proud to say, I did NOT mention coffee-which I love- I did mention bacon which is also used by many, but…well, It IS bacon, and bacon RULES

    My head is firmly entrenched in business and hasn’t a creative lobe to call its own, so creating witty stories in 160 characters or less makes my hair hurt, but you gave some good pointers for us to try yet again.

  • Cass

    I openly admit to being crap at twitter – probably because I’m a waffler. I have a twitter account for my business with a massive 347 followers, of whom maybe 5 are my target customers. (Im doing well so far, right?) I seem to have a more B2B following rather than the B2C one I had hoped for. My twitter profile is my business and not me personally, so where do i go from here? Do I keep this profile and alter it to be me projecting my business or do I start again? My current bio says:

    Fantastic Greek Villa Holidays in Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Lefkada. Come and choose yours today at http://www.boutiquegreece.com

    using your tips I came up with:
    Provider of fantastic Villa holidays in Greece. The best Boss in the world at http://www.boutiquegreece.com Honorary Greek, Entrepreneur, animal lover and dog rescuer

    and I havent figured in how to include my 2 teenage daughters, but I’m working on it!

  • Joan

    Thanks for the wake up call. I need to look at this from a new perspective.

  • http://twitter.com/Aleperdido Alexandre Nogueira Zovico

    Aleperdido
    Paraíso – São Paulo, SP
    Lost among humans, Highly Sensitive, Extremely Hedonist with Impetuses of
    Iconoclastability, Savage, Evolving… Yeah! Also, Superior Intelligence
    :]p

  • Sean Nichols

    Great post with very helpful tips on improving a twitter bio. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sean Nichols

    This is a great post, thank you. I am going to overhaul my bio accordingly. I guess your right it is boring and regular.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com/ Donna Merrill

    Thank you for these golden nuggets Neil.

    I can see that my bio is so boring now! I have to improve it by adding a fun personal flair. This post gave me the AHA moment I needed.

    Many thanks I sure do appreciate this.

  • Gareth Price

    Really enjoyed the freshness and realism on this buffer planet…

  • http://kajoler.com Kajoler

    Hello Guys…. thanks for a great post Neil… what’s really is nice is to see a healthy discussion here in the comments too :)

    I am trying to put together a new bio for my company “Kajoler” would anyone have any tips or thoughts about how to approach a company bio ??

    I feel this should be slightly different than the suggestions for a personal account ??

    This is what I have so far;

    “To be Kajoled is to learn and develop through change and action. We are Kajoler a training and education company specialising in business.”

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment

    Kind Regard

    James

  • http://aaronbushell.com/ Aaron Bushell

    I’d love to get some input on the changes I made:

    OLD:
    Hi, I’m Aaron & I tweet about things I like- motivation, leadership & failure. Tweets are my opinion, no one else’s. More here: http://aaronbushell.com/about

    NEW:
    Husband, father, speaker, writer, award-winning Toastmaster & VP at @BankOfTheWest. I like my coffee so thick you could chew it. http://www.aaronbushell.com/about

    • http://unbounce.com Tia Kelly

      I like how the new one shows off a bit more of your personality :) You also get the gist of qualities from the original without being so obvious, which is nice (motivation, leadership = comes across as Toastmaster, VP).

      • http://aaronbushell.com/ Aaron Bushell

        Thank you for the feedback, Tia!

  • charlesjdion

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    …that…my neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their
    apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by
    now cleared the debts on their house and bourt a gorgeous Ford . visit this
    site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­