The secrets to creating a good Twitter bio

Kevon Cheung

Before we talk about your profile, let me ask you a question.

Why should you learn to make friends and interact with people online?

The answer is simple: people run our world.

Have you once thought about if you can make a living online without having to talk to anybody? You probably have . We all dream about having success without any human interactions.

But if you’ve dug into the successful stories of founders and creators, you'd find out that behind every story, there is always a group of people who are helping out to make it happen.

No one can be successful alone.

The truth is even online, you need to learn how to deal with people and improve your relationships with them. The best way is through video which is closest to physical interactions, but you can always start with text-based.

Discover yourself first

If you’re itching to get started to talk to people, pause!

Before we get there, we have to work on you.

Let’s make sure you’re able to represent yourself well on the Internet, and that includes finding your own interests, knowing what you stand for, and making it appealing for others to be interested in you.

Your profile makes or breaks everything else

This step of discovering yourself goes beyond the art of online interactions, so it is too important to skip.

OKCupid did a study in 2011 to understand how online profiles affect interactions and engagement on its dating site. It shows us the importance of crafting an outstanding online profile.

When men and women see pictures on a dating site, they have a scorecard in mind that rates each person’s appearance.

Let's look at the graph for women above.

Data showed that Ms. Left was considered slightly more attractive based on average score. And Ms. Right had a lot of 1s.

But... what surprised the OKCupid team was that Ms. Right gets 3x as many messages!

Why?

They found out that most messages and reactions came from people who rated Ms. Right a 5, so it turned out when people had varying opinions about one thing, it drove more responses.

What it means to your online presence

If you're aiming to improve your online relationships, you don’t want to play it safe. At the start, we all try to imitate someone else because we don't know where to start. But by being just another person, you're getting all the 3s and 4s which means less attractiveness and interactions.

You're better off showcasing something unique about yourself and not worrying if everyone likes you

If you can play up the parts that make you a special person on the Internet, you'll attract a lot of 5s. And these 5s will be your biggest fans of all time and they’ll be there to help, give feedback, and cheer for you.

You've probably heard of the 1,000 True Fans concept? That's right, you only need a group of people around you. You don't need to please everyone on the Internet (don't fall into this trap).

This is why you need to discover and present your own unique traits.

Find out what represents you

Honestly, people don't care who you are. They want to know what you can give them (what you talk about) on Twitter, so it is important to use your bio to elaborate on that.

And since our brain finds it much easier to grasp threes of something, let's focus on presenting 3 topics you'll frequently tweet about! And then we'll add a bit more color to your bio.

This is CLEARLY not a one-off exercise. As you'll evolve as a person, this will be an iterative exercise where you revisit every now and then to tweak it. Don't worry about having the perfect version today.

Let me show you how I wrote my Twitter bio. This was a snapshot at the creation of this course (I've changed it since then). I wanted to be known for these things:

  1. "Tweet about" - People are less interested in your company, product, and title. They follow you because of what you stand for and what they'll learn from you regularly. So I use "tweet about" to focus on what I share, not who I am.
  2. Thing 1 I often talk about: "using transparency to influence people" - I live the value of transparency and I want to get more people to use transparency to tell their stories. I don't see anyone else having a strong association with this word, so I want to own it.
  3. Thing 2 I often talk about: "building stuff" - I’m all about building. It used to be building venture-backed startups, now building my independent business. I share lots of content around building a business, so I want to attract people who are on the same page.
  4. Thing 3 I often talk about: "newbie fathering" - I’m a new dad and I enjoy mixing this in my social presence. I don't believe that work is all work. I'm also not afraid to admit I'm inexperienced; it shows that I'm a genuine and down to earth person.
  5. "#BuildingInPublic" - I'm the author of an extensive #BuildingInPublic guide and people know me for that in the early days. I want to own this topic space.
  6. "my mind library" - I think and write a lot. I want people to know that I care deeply about thoughts and I have a library that they can check out. This also brings people to check out my content.
  7. Broccoli is favorite emoji as I enjoy simple and nutritious things in life. I use it often in my tweets, newsletters and forum posts so people can easily associate broccoli with me. Lots of people kick off their conversation with me "I have to ask - why broccoli? " Sweet!
  8. "DM Open" - The reason I launched this course is because I deeply care about interactions. I say it loud and clear that my inbox (DM = Direct Message) is open so people will not feel intimidated to reach out.
  9. The banner image - Lastly, I don't like banner image that is aggressive, getting people to see your product or encouraging you to click "Follow". When you're desperate and push for it, people back off. Don't listen to Marketing wisdom like "You need to remind people to take action". Sure - but not that desperate. I want to use a simple visual to show that I'm a deep thinker.

As you can tell, I've maximized the 160 characters Twitter allows to fit in all the things that represent me. They all come together to shape who I am.

TL;DR

  • Be interesting - Think from a stranger’s perspective, when they read your bio, are they going to say “Wow! Interesting person, I want to hear more!” or are they going to say "Founder of XYZ or Full-Stack Developer or Building SaaS - who cares?"
  • Be human - No one ever wants to interact with someone who is all serious and robotic. I added newbie fathering and a broccoli emoji to do that. How can you display your human side?
  • Have a clear offering - every one follows or connects with a new person to get value for themselves. If it is unclear what they can get from you, they bounce right away. Imagine having a vague “Make the world a better place” in your bio, do you think people know who you are? Not really.
  • Optimize your profile picture and banner image - You should always have a human face as your profile picture. It signals that you’re a confident person with nothing to hide. As for banner image, don’t be salesy and put up a banner of your company name. Use the real estate to convey a message you deeply care about

If you want to impress people with your Twitter profile, I can help you review and craft an action plan.

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