I frequently get asked about bio length. The quick answer:
- About.me bios have a 2500 character limit
- Twitter bios have a 160 character limit
- LinkedIn Summary bios have a 2000 character limit
- Speaking bios are typically 75 to 100 words
For checking character or word count, I use charcounter.com
For your own About page (if you have one) or your Branded.me website, length is not as much of a consideration as is good writing. If your bio is interesting to read, then it will be read by the people who matter. Especially for online reading, I like using catchy subheads to break up longer text and to entice a reader to delve into the corresponding paragraph.
Consider Each Word
That said, if the same thing can be said in fewer words—the most accurately describing and persuasive ones—all the better. Clearly, brief writing has become the trend in this era of communication via text, Tweets, and email.
When writing your branded bio, I think about the impact of each word. We often have choices of words with similar meanings in the English language, and the nuances of those meanings can make a dramatic difference. Sometimes, we can find one word that perfectly expresses several things that are important to your brand. I aim to use words that more uniquely represent you and aren’t overused.
These words (in the outline of my branded headshot) are important to my personal brand.
You can see how many of them are weaved in to my bio here.
I write a rough draft and refine it—in collaboration with you—so that it uniquely represents you. Because it is easier to write long and edit down, I finalize a one-page version of your bio (around 2500 characters) before turning it into a version for LinkedIn, Speaking, Twitter and/or an Author box. Because each version is a spin-off of the primary bio, your brand will be consistently represented across platforms.
Begin with the Brand
The words don’t come first in my bio writing process, however. Before I can write your bio and pinpoint the right words, I need to uncover your brand. To do that, I typically guide you through a very focused interview that is derived from my extensive experience taking hundreds of entrepreneurs and executives through an in-depth personal branding process. I discover what is important to you, what drives you, how you are known today and how you want to be known, and the themes that emerge throughout your career and life.