September 9, 2021

This content originally appeared as part of the Medalist Athlete Branding Guide. Get more tips and insights from Medalist here!

Making a good impression on visitors to your Instagram Bio is a great way to increase your followers, increase engagement and to represent your brand how you want to be seen. What works best will be different for everybody, but there are some tried and true techniques and tips that can help you optimize your bio to help you build your brand and get visitors clicking that follow button!

Optimize Your Instagram Name

Instagram Names factor into their search algorithm, so you want to make sure that everyone can find you easily by typing your name into the Instagram search box. This one is fairly simple for most athletes as just your Full Name will work best.

In addition to your name you can also add something extra to either boost your credibility or to help get found from Instagram searches. If you have any special designations, usually ones that can be an acronym, you might want to include it. Examples are PhD, OLY (Olympian), CPT (certified personal trainer)

Bonus – you can also put your discipline if it might be something people search for like Fitness Coach or Weightlifting, etc.

Alexandra’s bio show’s a casual personality with lowercase font and also features her Olympian designation

Feature You ‘The Athlete’, Your Brand and Partners

In your bio you only have 150 characters to represent yourself, so you want to be brief and focus on the key items. We recommend focusing on these three topics;

You ‘The Athlete’ = your sport, the league, team or country you compete for and 1 or 2 major accomplishments

Your Brand = this could be your personality, hobbies, interests or a summary of what type of content you post

Partners = sponsors, charities you support or other Instagram accounts you have. These are usually best represented by Tagging their specific Instagram account so it is clickable

In the image above, notice how Alexandra clearly states her sport, nationality, accomplishments, a company that supports her and even shows some personality by showing her love of dogs and coffee with space saving emojis – another great strategy if there is an emoji that works for you.

Additional bio tips:

  • Tagging too many brands or sponsors is overwhelming and each one that gets added ‘devalues’ the tag of another account, so choose wisely
  • If you are open to sponsorship opportunities, ask for a DM! Even better if you can specify the type of sponsor; apparel, shoe, supplement, etc.

Use a Recognizable Profile Picture

The profile picture is pretty small, so you should think of it more as an icon that you want to be recognizable. By making it memorable it will trigger familiar feelings for your followers which makes them more likely to pay attention to your posts if they usually enjoy your content. A close up headshot, you in your athletic gear, a logo, a photo with a specific color in the background are all ways to stand out and be recognizable.

We don’t recommend changing the image too often, as you want to build this brand familiarity with your audience and that will only come with time and consistency.

Both of these athletes use color in their profile picture to standout 

Link to your Website

Including a link to your own website as your profile link will help your site show up higher on Google searches and it will give you the ability to link to many different websites with your own Links page (example:

Another bonus is the simple fact that it just looks good. Your brand looks much more attractive to sponsors and fans when they can see that you have invested in your brand instead of having a link in your bio that supports another brand (I’m looking at you, ‘link in bio’ companies). For info on how to use a Medalist made website for your bio link, click here.

Emma understands the importance of featuring her brand as her profile link and not someone else’s

Use Story Highlights

If you use Instagram Stories then you should also be using Story Highlights. Highlights allow you to pin stories to your profile so that they appear directly under your bio. This way you can keep your best stories around longer and also organize them into useful categories. Organizing them by specific categories allow different profile visitors to get a quick example of the content they will see if they follow you, hopefully making them more likely to hit that follow button!

Some athletes will create Story Highlight images to create a consistent look to their profile, but unless you really want to or unless you have a very ‘polished’ brand look then it is not necessary.

Examples of some highlight categories:

  • A major event or competition
  • Hobbies or interests
  • Your pet
  • Brands you work with

Here a a few examples of athletes using Story Highlights effectively:


The best Instagram bio is one that represents you, your brand and the content you post most accurately, but using these general tips can be a great starting point if you are looking to revamp  your bio.

The bio doesn’t need to be updated often, but as your brand and following grows you may want to review your bio every few months to make sure it is an accurate representation of you and your content.

Stay tuned to our own Instagram account for more useful content!

 Written by Geoff Wolfer, Medalist

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