Everyone’s got a story to tell…in 160 characters or less. Twitter is a network that’s all about speed and brevity. People that say too much get left in the dust, yet people who don’t say enough leave people wondering who the heck you are. The answer lies in creating an effective, yet short bio that conveys who you are and what you do.
1. Write out your bio in its entirety
To start out, create your bio as if you had an unlimited amount of space. Write to your heart’s content, but try to be reasonable with size…the more you write, the harder it’s going to be to create the bio that goes on Twitter. Ultimately, you’ll want about a paragraph or so that discusses who you are. Here’s a sample:
Johnny Awesome has been an ostrich rancher for more than 40 years. He perfected the art of ostrich grabbery, and is an avid follower of animal rights who cares for his ostriches. Awesome has several books that discuss ostrich farming for beginners and experts alike.
At 334 characters, this clearly is not getting anywhere near Twitter. It’s the fail whale of bios. I think you can probably guess what the next step is…
2. Eliminate unimportant information
Remember to keep your audience in mind when creating your bio. Now, do you care that Johnny watches Jersey shore? No, probably not. Easy kill. Ostrich eggs? While relevent, it really doesn’t say anything about Johnny’s abilities, so we can toss that out too. That gives us 264 characters, or 104 to eliminate. Remember to keep anything unique about your abilities. That could be things like creating an app that saves paperwork with the IRS, or developing a process for managing social media. For Johnny Awesome, it’s his art of ostrich grabbery.
You also want to make sure people know you’re an authority on a subject when you are, so indicating you’re a published author is a big plus. Animal rights are good too, but unfortunately it falls a little short of being important and needs to be eliminated. With that eliminated, we have this:
Johnny Awesome has been an ostrich rancher for more than 40 years. He perfected the art of ostrich grabbery, and has several books that discuss ostrich farming for beginners and experts alike.
Unfortunately, it’s 194 characters, which means we need to cut a little more…
3. Eliminate word clutter
After getting rid of useless information, it’s time to get rid of the word clutter. Anything repetitive, or can be reduced or linked together can be done. Extra words such as “easy, nice, great,” etc can be removed. Use abbreviations wherever possible. Basic grammer is important, so keep it in mind. There really isn’t a cookie cutter method to do this, unfortunately. Chances are with this step you’ll get much different results than what I got:
Johnny Awesome has been an ostrich rancher for over 40 years. He perfected the art of ostrich grabbery, and has several books that discuss ostrich farming.
At 155 characters, the bio is fit for a Tweet. Note that you can now add information as desired up to 160 characters, and/or further edit for more brevity. You could simply place Johnny’s most popular book in the bio instead of saying he wrote several, and you can also incorporate SEO in mind too, but that’s for another article.
- Do step 3 of Johnny Awesome’s bio yourself and see what you get. Post your response in the comments.
- Think about your bio and apply these steps to it. How can you reduce your bio to the bare bones?
- Post your created bio in the comments for critique.