The Six C’s of an Effective Bio

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By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit
First impressions are often made before you ever extend your hand to another person in real life. How are they being made? Your online presence, specifically what you say about yourself in your bios. 

Here are six characteristics for a bio that leaves a good first impression:

  1. Concise. Social media forces us to focus on what we really do and what we want to do more of. Start with your Instagram bio—it’s only 150 characters. Once you get a bio you like there, move on to Pinterest, Periscope, and Twitter where you have160 characters. (Don’t worry about SnapChat—for it, your user name will need to be enough as there’s no bio.) Regularly double check what your bio looks like on both mobile and desktop—you want to make sure important information isn’t being cut off.
  2. Compelling. Give people a reason to get to know you. Think of your bio as your foot in the door. What would make you open your door to a stranger?
  3. Credible. Avoid labeling yourself as a guru or an expert unless you have the experience to back it up. You don’t want people to doubt you before
  4. Consistent. Be recognizable. The words you use to describe who you are and what you do should be similar across the Internet. Don’t leave people wondering if you can help them. This extends to your avatar. Use the same photo; the harder it is for people to make a connection the less likely they’ll do so.
  5. Conversational. People do business with people they like. Be approachable in your tone and in the words you choose. While keywords and industry jargon may attract search engines, they may turn off potential customers and partners.
  6. Customized. Complete your social media profiles—you never know who will discover you where. A blank bio might be mistaken for an inactive account or worse a spam account.
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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.