What’s in a good Instagram bio, anyway?


A little while ago, I was combing through the internet, and searching Instagram for the perfect outfit for a friend who had an event coming up. 

If you know how the internet goes, you’d know you don’t have to search and view over two profiles before you’re swarmed by ads of a similar subject. It can be annoying but this time, it saved me by presenting a brand I’d never seen on my feed. 

I remember when I first clicked on the brand’s page. It seemed like I’d stepped into the purest haven. The feed was clean and consistent with monochromatic hues and obvious brand elements.

On a good day, my process in discovering a new brand online, especially on Instagram, would be to read the bio section first. I was desperately running out of time, so I was fixated on looking through the items on this page. I scrolled through their account, desiring the pieces on her behalf while doing my [other] due diligence – reading the comments, clicking profiles of clients they tagged on their page, viewing hashtags they linked – all to affirm this might be a good deal. 

It didn’t take too long before my subconscious whirled me right back to the bio section. I couldn’t for the life of me understand what I’d read. What was this brand about? Do they own the pieces? Where can I get them? Are they manufacturers? Are they retail? Are these shoppable? Are they real? All the good existential questions of life flooded my mind.

I developed mixed feelings which stemmed from a history of lived and witnessed terrible shopping experiences on Instagram and other social media platforms. In the end, I never purchased and simply exited the profile.

With the state of social media being what it is—and with my desire to shop and discover more from the platform—it feels like there’s no better time to talk about having a good bio.

Bios are an important first step to meeting and keeping someone. Writing a good one is a lot easier than it may seem. Although I never know which popular strategy is better when approaching bios, I know each bio should be factual and represent what your profile is about. 

Let’s go on a mini dive into what makes a decent bio and how you can achieve one. 

First, you need to understand that Instagram profiles take on two major categories: the personal profile and the general profile. A worthy mention is a profile that sits in between.

The personal profile

This profile is your individual leisure profile. Over here, you post personal content that could link to a brand or not. There’s a lot more freedom to do and say what you will with this profile. 

For some people, their personal Instagram profile doubles as their portfolio. If you fall into this category, a sample bio template for you can include your role, the company, or a phrase of something descriptive.

Format 1

“Editor @myfavemag”/ Building codes with cool people @myfavecode

Format 2

“I blog about people who dress nice and go to all the fun places.”/ “Stay if you’re cool and like book covers”

Format 3

+ Editor @myfavemag”

+ I blog about people who dress nice and go to all the fun places.

You can pull either/or with the formats. You can infuse all. What you want to do most especially, is communicate what your page is all about and lead people to where you need them to be. 

The public profile

This profile is a brand profile. This brand could be a person (I.e., a celebrity), a product, or a service. With this profile, you want to be more careful as most of what’s on the Instagram page often would tie to marketing targets. So, you want to pull people in. You want them to discover you. You want them to walk with you. Make them move to action. How can you do that? 

For a start, stick with the truth.

Format 1: If you’re a service- based business, you can write out your tagline, mission, or vision statement.

Consider our bio: “We are set to impact women across the continent and beyond, with women just like you.” If it were your first time on our page, you know what our plan is. You already have a sense of who we are.

Format 2: If you’re a product-based business, you can mention your stockists/store locations 

“Find us at @hinyc @globalng”

Format 3: You can mention your offerings.

“Global shipping. Orders take 3-5 working days to process. Refund policy”

Format 4: You can mention a directive

“Click the link to order (no DMS)”

Format 5: You can write out a phrase that speaks to your brand’s offering 

“Being naked is the #1 sustainable option. We’re #2” – @Reformation

There’s a tendency for brands to fall into the trap of modern-day speech . It’s a growing obsession with ‘aesthetic’ and ‘sustainable’ words that have little or nothing to do with expressing a brand’s offerings and values. If your brand isn’t even the slightest bit sustainable, for instance, stay away from the terms.

If you want to appeal to a modern crowd, it’s okay to be quirky as a brand. Like Diet Prada, with a simple “Fashion etc lol” as bio. The main goal is to not lose the plot and trying too hard can make you do just that. 

The profile that sits in between

This profile is a perfect mix of personal and public. Over here, it’s one individual or a few, running a page with the content of an existing brand or theme. These are often curation and fan pages.

The best route for a bio like this would be:

Format 1

“curated by @nameofcurator”

Format 2

“All credits to real owners”

Format 3

“Fanpage of @xoxo/ an ode to @hihihi”

It’s always a good idea to hint at who’s running the page. It also helps keep Instagram’s paws off you. 

Bios are a symbol of personality. It’s always important to consider how you can tell the world about yourself in 150 characters or less.


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