Twitter Teardowns: 3 Low Hanging Fruit to Massively Improve Your Twitter Presence

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ever since I offered to tear down my followers’ Twitter profiles on a whim a week ago, I have been inundated with requests. At $100 each, this has been a very popular offering, and I have recorded dozens of videos diving into Twitter profiles and pointing out the small changes that can make a whole lot of difference.

Today, I’ll share the most common problems I have encountered during those teardowns.

The Purpose of Your Profile

The biggest misconception of all is fundamentally getting wrong who your Twitter profile is for. It’s not for presenting yourself. It’s not there to sell your product to people or get them to subscribe to your newsletter — particularly when you’re just starting out. At some point in the future, when you reach critical mass with your following, you can make it about who you are and what you do.

But in the beginning, your Twitter profile is all about what a prospective follower can expect to get from you.

It’s not about who you are: it’s about what’s in it for THEM.

Experience this article as a podcast, a YouTube show, or as a newsletter:

Think about it like this: your profile on Twitter is one big promise of a Twitter relationship between you and the person who just found their way to your profile for the very first time. A good Twitter profile aims to convince its visitors that following you will pay off.

Consider that no one goes to a Twitter profile to buy an eBook or sign up for a newsletter. People go there because they think interacting with you is worth their time in the future. They consider following you for their own gain. What’s in it for them should be answered in every section of the profile.

Wasting Real Estate

And that brings me to the second issue I’ve seen almost everywhere: people get at least one of the three core components of their profile wrong, even when they understand that it’s about their future followers and not just themselves.

Twitter beginners often waste incredibly valuable “real estate.”

Your Twitter profile is the only place on the whole platform that you have visual and content-related control over. Nowhere else can you add things people will reliably see when interacting with you. This is your only chance to set up a cohesive presentation that people will see.

The three core components are your visual header, your descriptive section (containing your bio, your link, and things like your location), and your indicative pinned tweet (which is an example of what people’s experience with you will be on Twitter.)

Your header image is a chance to visually communicate what people can get from building a relationship with you.

The text-based descriptive section is a chance to describe what they will get from it.

Your pinned tweet is a chance to show what they can get from it, either by example or through explanation.

Yet, people put some random background image as their header. They write only about their past accolades and how they want to present themselves in their bio. And they pin a tweet that went viral, hoping to get more people to like it.

Don’t squander your Twitter real estate. Create a header image that conveys the journey you promise to take your followers on. Communicate clearly what they can learn from being your Twitter friend. Highlight your most authentic work in your pinned tweet.

Show them what you got.

Outgoing Links

Among the mistakes people make in their descriptive section, one stood out the most: people often misunderstand the purpose of the bio link. I’ve seen it all:

  • a link to a newsletter
  • a link directly to a purchasing page
  • a weird short link to who knows where

They all have one thing in common: they’re an ask. They demand from your prospect to move somewhere else to do something for YOU.

Look at this from the perspective of someone who has never seen you or your work before. They come to your profile, and the first thing they see is you asking them for something — usually something that costs them money or requires them to hand over personal information, like an email address.

Is that the first impression you want to make? To take something before you give? That tends to be the worst foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.

And even worse, it’s completely against the spirit of the platform. A link to an external ask is a clear sign that you don’t care about connecting with people on Twitter. It’s a sign of wanting to move people off the platform as soon as possible.

It’s greedy. It’ll make you look like you’re only there to advertise your newsletter or product. Again: that’s not why they come to your profile. They want to see what they can get from a relationship, not a transaction.

Think long-term here, and be personal. After all, this is your personal Twitter profile. If you want to have a link in there, make it a LinkTree or BioLink. Give people the option to learn more about you instead of funneling them to your monetized products.

Here’s the thing about long-term relationships: they start slowly, build strength over time, and then massively outperform any short-term transactions. A person who trusts you won’t just buy your work eventually; they will make sure their friends, peers, and colleagues do the same. Don’t go for the quick sale. Allow people to WANT to buy your work over time.

In a way, all three big issues here are about giving before you take. Making it about your future Twitter friend instead of yourself.

What I just did here is an example of this. I could have started with a URL to my $100 Twitter teardowns (that led me to all these insights), trying to get you to buy one as soon as possible. But how would that look? Super-selfish, right? I want you to understand what you might be getting before I ask you to even consider getting one for yourself. And if you’re unsure about this, don’t get one. I’d rather have a follower than a customer.

Because I know that once you’re ready, once you’ve seen me share enough insights about audience-building, entrepreneurship, and applied kindness, you might check it out because you want to.

Treat your Twitter profile the same way.

Because when you promise a fruitful long-term relationship, people will take you up on it.

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