Who Are You?
I always hated the first meeting of any group. Each person, one at a time was expected to announce their name, why they were there, and a little something about themselves. One-by-one people would speak and one-by-one I would cringe at the thought of my turn coming ever closer. Eventually, I would stand and recite the ritual done by those before me. When I was younger I would make the tasteless joke of mimicking an AA meeting, “Hi, I’m Ryan and I’m an alcoholic” or something rude to elicit a cheap laugh.
Writing or speaking has never been an issue for me. I love both and will gladly discuss or write about a topic I’m interested in for hours. Speaking in front of crowds or writing these articles comes easy. The moment I have to speak about myself is when everything shuts down. It’s not that I don’t like talking about myself, but what can I say to sum up my entire being in a one-minute speech to a bunch of strangers that would impact how they look at me for the rest of the event? The same is true for social media bios and I don’t think I’m alone.
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How could anyone possibly sum themselves or their business up with Twitter’s 160-character limit for a bio? I’ve spent 25 years trying to figure out who I am and the length of an average sentence is not enough space to summarize it. Or is it?
Show, Don’t Tell
“Show, don’t tell,” is something I tell my clients all the time. It’s important for authors but also for business people. List your previous achievements and leave some mystery so people can go and check out those businesses or product lines. People are drawn to others who are in motion. Show that you are constantly taking action and trying new things.
What’s in It for Your Audience
Be thinking about your audience or the person who stumbled upon your profile. They may or may not be your ideal customer, but you have their attention for a brief moment. Does your bio give them value and make them want to establish a relationship with you? The bio may be about you, but it’s really about them.
There is a difference between using industry jargon and throwing out buzzwords for SEO rankings or to sound like you’re in the know. Your bio is not the place to be throwing out the following terms: guru, professional, or hacker. If you’re a marketer, then say you’re a marketer and give your viewers content in the rest of your profile indicating you are a marketing guru. You already know how I feel about the G-word. Avoiding buzzwords will also help you be conscience and fit within that 160-word limit.
Show Some Personality
You’re a real person and your company is made up of real people who do business with other real people. Gone are the days of stuffy formality during business. This is the two-way communication world with the Internet and social media. People don’t want to do business with a personality-less entity. Write something that will bring a smile to their face or something they would never expect. Gary Vaynerchuk hires stand up comedians to write social media bios. Laugh a little.
Writing a social media bio, like any other writing, is going to take time. It takes practice, intention and some iteration. With some focus, you will be able to write an engaging bio that will connect with your viewers as well as convert to sales.