One of the questions we get asked most often is, "How do I write a Twitter bio to get people to want to follow me?"
So in today's Deep Dive, we wanted to walk you through the different types of Twitter Bios that work, and explain why they work the way they do.
Why Your Bio Is So Important
Think of your bio as a "mini sales pitch" to your readers.
- "This is who I am"
- "This is what I do"
- "And this is what you can expect to hear about from me"
If you do not tell your readers who you are, what you do, and what sort of content you create, the likelihood of them wanting to follow you falls off a cliff. Not because you aren't "worth following," but because *at a glance* they don't have enough information to make a decision.
And as we say often... IF CONFUSED, READER GONE.
So give them a reason to hit that follow button.
Now listen, there are a LOT of people on social media who have hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers and bios that break all these rules. (And instead, their bio says something like "Degenerate 😇" and a link to their Onlyfans and that's it.)
But we just don't think this is a very viable strategy for the everyday person.
In addition, we also notice (quite often) creators will follow these rules when they are first starting out, only to grow and grow their audience and then one day decide, "You know what? I don't need to say who I am or what I do in my bio anymore."
If you know Jack Butcher on Twitter, then you probably think, "He doesn't need to say who he is or what he does anymore. Everyone knows him!"
But if you DON'T know who Jack Butcher is, who is he? And more importantly, what can you expect from him?
(No shade at Jack: we love him & his content!)
When creators get to a point where they feel like they don't need to say who they are anymore (either because they accumulated a certain number of followers, or achieved a certain level in their business, etc.), they start to operate under the assumption that their follower count or "achievements" now speak for them. And, in a sense, that is true. When you see someone who has 200,000 followers, you sort of assume "they're someone" because of that number.
But even with 200k followers, unless you tell readers who you are, what you do, and what they can expect from you, the likelihood (%) of them converting goes down.
Because their clarity in WHY they should follow you (or care about the content you create) goes down.
So we want to plant this idea early: do not (ever) get to a point where you feel like you don't need to educate new, prospective readers.
You always want to optimize your bio for the next new potential reader/follower.
With that in mind... here are the 5 biggest mistakes people make when trying to create bios that hook readers and encourage them to follow.
Mistake #1: Only listing "what you do."
A huge mistake people make when crafting their Twitter bio (or any bio) is treating it as a list of "here's everything I do."
You see this with entrepreneurs, investors, and "business-y" people most often, but it happens in every industry.
Their bio looks like this:
CEO @companyname, Board Member @companyname, Investor @companyname, @companyname, @companyname.
This is a bio that has over-tilted on credibility, and is basically telling the reader, "Hey, I don't need to tell you who I am OR what you can expect from me. You should just know. See all my credibility?"
And this is a giant mistake.
Because credibility, itself, doesn't answer the question, "Yea but, what sort of content do you create? Why should I pay attention to you?"
Mistake #2: Trying to be Clever, not CLEAR.
The next BIG mistake people make when crafting their bio is (sort of building on the above) assuming the best way to hook the reader's attention is by proving how clever they are.
Their bio looks like this:
Netflix, Pancakes, And Stephen King novels. Don't bother me, I'm writing.
Who are they? No clue. What do they do? No idea. What can you expect from them? Who knows.
Being clever in your bio is such a wasted opportunity. It's like having 30 seconds in an elevator with someone who has the power to change your life, and instead of pitching them on who you are and your big idea, you decide to start rambling off random movies you love and jokes you've heard on TikTok.
So, don't overcomplicate it. More importantly, don't waste the reader's time.
Just be CLEAR and say who you are, what you do, and what sort of content they can expect from you.
Mistake #3: Saying "just sharing what I'm learning."
When you're first starting out, it can feel comfortable to not state anything too directly in your bio—and to instead say something like:
"Just sharing what I'm learning along the way."
The problem with this is (whether you realize it or not) you are subtly telling readers, "Hey, just a heads up, I don't really know who I am yet. Or what I do. Or what sort of content you can expect from me. So, if you want to follow me, go ahead. But honestly, I can't promise you anything yet."
Are you excited to follow them?
Of course not!
They haven't given you a reason to be excited!
Even if you are just starting out, even if you feel like you have a lot of learning to do, even if you feel like you are a complete and total beginner, you do not want to announce that to each and every potential reader & follower who clicks on your profile.
Instead, PLANT YOUR FLAG SOMEWHERE. Claim where you are. Own it.
"I write about productivity hacks for total beginners."
Under no circumstances should you show up to the party with a name tag on that says: HELLO, MY NAME IS I Have No Idea What I'm Doing Here.
That's no way to make friends on the Internet, and puts you at a severe disadvantage when trying to capture and keep people's attention.
Remember: You can always change what you write about. You can always rewrite and tweak you bio. Everyone does it. Even established writers and creators change their bios as they progress and decide they want to write about different things. It's not marriage decision.
Just own where you are today—and steer your ship moving forward.
Now, here are a few examples of credible, compelling Twitter Bios to give you a sense of what you should be aiming for.
Example #1: Nicolas Cole
- Who am I? I'm a Digital Writer
- What do I do? Co-Creator of Ship 30 for 30, Category Pirate
- What can you expect from me? "I will teach you how to write in the digital world"
This bio leans less on credibility and more on "here's what you can expect from me." Because the vast majority of the content that gets Tweeted is educational and directly written to people who want to learn.
So it makes sense to say: "Here's what you're going to learn here."
Example #2: Dickie Bush
Similar to the above, Dickie's bio is very similar.
- Who am I? Formerly @blackrock, now unemployed
- What do I do? "I've helped over 3,000 people start writing at Ship 30 for 30"
- What can you expect from me? "I talk about digital writing and digital leverage"
Dickie's bio is also designed specifically for people who want to "learn," but since he recently quit his job at Blackrock, he made this tweak to his bio. The reason this works here is because, for people who have been following him for a while, this is a fun "update" (so they feel "in-the-know"), and for people who don't follow him yet, "formerly @blackrock, now unemployed" is actually a signal of credibility.
It's saying: "I used to work for one of the largest financial institutions. Now, I work for myself."
That's someone worth following! (Especially someone who also says they're going to teach you about digital writing & digital leverage.)
Example #3: Greg Isenberg
Greg's bio checks off all the boxes:
- Who am I? CEO @latecheckoutplz, advisor @reddit
- What do I do? "Invest with me: link"
- What can you expect from me? "I talk about web3 communities and community-based products."
Something to notice here: look at the specificity of how Greg frames what sort of content he creates. "I talk about web3 communities and community-based products."
He's not saying... "I talk about communities."
He's not saying... "I talk about digital products."
He's being SPECIFIC and saying he only focuses on "web3 communities" and "community-based products." And it's this specificity that makes it easy to decide whether or not you want to follow Greg.
Example #4: Michael McGill
Ship 30 for 30 alumni, Michael McGill has a terrific bio.
- Who am I? "The Stoic CIO"
- What do I do? "What do you get when you cross a CIO with a Stoic? Me!"
- What can you expect from me? "I tweet about Stoicism and Tech"
Michael also has a great credibility statement woven into his "Who am I?" where he says: "20+ years in tech, 7+ years in Stoicism."
His entire bio is aimed at that direction: tech and stoicism, tech and stoicism, tech and stoicism, over and over again.
NOTE: Michael did not start with this level of clarity around his bio and his category. His bio has changed several times since his first cohort of Ship 30 for 30, and will likely continue to evolve as he grows online. This is all part of the process.
Example #5: Elymar Apao
Another Ship 30 for 30 alumni, Ely has a terrific bio worth studying and replicating yourself.
- Who am I? "Founder of a 5000+ FB UX Design community"
- What do I do? Visual Zettelkasten practitioner
- What can you expect from me? "Writes & Sketches about Learning, Productivity & Design"
This is a great blend of credibility and specificity. It also makes it very easy for potential followers to decide: "Am I in the right place? Is this someone whose content I want in my feed on a daily basis?"
And that's the goal.
One Final Thought
Do not overthink your bio.
Go through this short checklist, PLANT YOUR FLAG wherever you are today, and remember your bio can (and probably should) change over time. The more you write, the more you learn about what readers want to hear about most from you, the more clarity you will have as to how to tweak your bio to catch their attention.
Remember: your bio isn't supposed to be "something for everyone."
The whole goal is for you bio to speak directly to the SPECIFIC type of reader you want to attract, based on the type of content you are creating (and data is telling you readers are most likely to engage with).
This is the forever journey of writing online.