Instagram is a great place for showing off your personality and talents. And if you’re looking at someone else’s profile, they probably know it too.
You can tell a lot about people from their Instagram bios. So here are some tips on how to make yours interesting without being cheesy or boring.
Use the right emoji
It might be obvious that you need an image in your Instagram bio—after all, who wants to see words? But there’s also space for a short sentence of up to two lines with a maximum length of 80 characters (including spaces). You don’t have to use emojis but we recommend doing so because they add character. If your phone doesn’t support them then just copy and paste the text into an app like Emoji Keyboard Pro ($1) which supports lots of other popular symbols including hearts, stars, rainbows, etc. Then pick whichever one you want!
Your best photos will show what you look like today rather than years ago when you were thinner/fatter/older/younger. It’s important not to choose pictures where you’ve been photoshopped or edited heavily as this makes you look disingenuous. Choose photos that reflect your real self…but also remember that everyone has different tastes and likes. Just think about why you upload the photo in question. Is it because you love it? Or do you feel guilty posting something you weren’t really happy with? The latter should only apply to selfies.
Write your own story
Try telling your life story chronologically starting with “I was born” and work backwards. This helps potential followers get to know more about you before seeing any images of yourself. People often assume that celebrities post whatever happens to them each day but most of us aren’t famous enough to pull that off. Instead we often edit our stories to sell ourselves better. Don’t worry if you’ve had several jobs and lived through various experiences; those things happen to everyone and it’s fine. As long as you’re honest and give context for everything you say, it’ll come across well. Try and avoid over-sharing or giving details that could embarrass anyone. For example, don’t share exact addresses or the name of your partner unless necessary.
If you’re applying for a job, don’t lie about anything. Applicants sometimes lie online about previous experience or salary expectations, but lying isn’t professional. Plus honesty is always key. Think about what kind of impression you’d like others to take away from reading your bio. Would you prefer to hire someone who tells the truth or lies to impress themself? That person may not be trustworthy anyway.
Keep your bio concise
A good way to keep your bio brief while still making sure it gets its message across is by using bullets. Start out with your major accomplishments first followed by notable achievements and minor milestones. Keep your sentences short and simple. There’s no need to include every detail about your past career history—unless you really want to emphasise it. In general, try to limit your description of your skills and abilities to three lines max per section. Some experts suggest leaving gaps between sections too. They believe that readers find longer descriptions harder to digest so cut down wherever possible.
Emphasize positive traits
Remember to focus on showcasing your strengths instead of weaknesses. Everyone has faults and shortcomings, but highlight the positives ones you consider to be your strong points. Focus on what you enjoy doing, what motivates you and what inspires you. Share examples of how you help others too. Showcase specific qualities such as kindness, compassion, loyalty, generosity, enthusiasm, patience, creativity, intelligence, humour, passion, leadership, resilience, determination, persistence, optimism, ingenuity, positivity, perseverance, flexibility, adaptability, accountability, integrity, ambition, resourcefulness, open mindedness, curiosity, tenacity, risk taking, reliability, openness, communicator, goal setter, problem solver, team player, coachable, reliable, loyal, hardworking, passionate, persistent, supportive, patient, understanding, humble, helpful, flexible, creative, friendly, innovative, organised, punctual, energetic, optimistic, cheerful, cooperative, friendly & approachable.
Also mention special interests and hobbies
People appreciate hearing about topics outside of work. Tell your audience what excites you. Maybe you love animals, travelling, fitness, fashion, cooking, gardening, crafts, sports, playing music, watching movies, going out, working out, meditation, photography, running, volunteering, hiking, learning new languages, yoga, dancing, visiting museums, listening to podcasts, reading books, writing, socialising, celebrating birthdays, drinking wine, hosting parties, creating art, collecting figurines, singing karaoke, shopping, gaming, exploring nature, walking, swimming, building websites, teaching English abroad, getting tattoos, owning pets, having children, or living overseas.
Include any relevant qualifications, certificates, degrees, awards, memberships, volunteer roles, projects, publications, etc. Be truthful about these, especially if you’re currently employed somewhere else and haven’t updated your resume yet. Also talk about your values and beliefs and explain how they relate to the role you’re applying for. Talk about personal development, growth, change, challenges, lessons learned, mentors and coaches, etc. Always end positively with a call to action. Ask for feedback, ask questions, connect with people, learn more, etc.
Make sure your bio stays true to yourself and reflects your latest appearance. Update frequently. Add recent pics whenever you update your bio. Otherwise people won’t know what to expect next time around.
Consider adding tags
Add hashtags to help your account stand apart from the crowd. Avoid overusing them though. Use descriptive tags (e.g. #wore #blackoutfit), relevant keywords (e.g. #instagood), location tags (e.g. #newyorkcity), event names (e.g. #davethomasday), etc. Most importantly, tag based on relevance. Tags are used for searching posts, so you shouldn’t spam them. Search engines remove duplicate content so tagging is vital. When in doubt, leave them out.
Every few weeks check your bio for typos, spelling errors, broken links, outdated info, unprofessional language, irrelevant comments, unnecessary hashtags, etc. A quick search on Google Images reveals plenty of opportunities for improvement. Check for similar mistakes made by competitors or industry leaders. Once you notice something wrong, fix it immediately.
While clichés never go out of style, they lose meaning after repeated usage. Cliched phrases tend to sound hollow even among themselves. Overused terms become meaningless platitudes. Clichéd statements are usually empty promises. Unoriginality becomes trite. Generic buzzwords start losing impact. Phrases like “passionate”, “excellent communication skills”, “good listener”, “hard worker”, etc. are tired and clichéd. Unless you actually possess unique characteristics or expertise, refrain from repeating them.
The last thing you want is to bore your followers with a serious tone that lacks energy. Make your bio lighthearted, funny, engaging, informative, relatable, entertaining, inspiring, uplifting, thought-provoking, motivational, inspirational, heartfelt, heartwarming, controversial, authentic, quirky, weird, surprising, whimsical, humorous, charming, etc. After all, nobody enjoys feeling bored during their commute or waiting for public transport.
Readers generally skim Instagram bios for a quick overview. Therefore, engage them emotionally. Your bio needs to grab attention within seconds, otherwise, your audience moves onto another candidate. Here are some ways to create a memorable bio:
Ask friends and colleagues for advice. Get ideas from successful accounts.
Focus on a single theme or idea. Summarise your background succinctly.
Tell a compelling story. Give context for each statement.
Talk about your passions and lifelong dreams. Illustrate how you would bring value to a company.
Think about what would resonate with your target audience. What speaks to your ideal client? Who finds you irresistible? Include testimonials from clients and references from peers.
Showcase your biggest successes and failures.
Structure your bio strategically. Break up your header with subheaders. Group bullet points together. Separate facts from opinions.
Create a cohesive visual identity. Create a brand palette. Select colors, fonts, imagery, logos, icons, etc., that represent your core values.
Personalize your bio. Customize font styles, sizes, line spacing, color scheme, etc. according to preferences. Personalized graphics appear more appealing to users.