In a world where personal branding is king, no component of your image should go neglected. This truth applies to everything from resumes and cover letters to business cards and letterhead. It also applies to Facebook and Twitter accounts – social media platforms that offer opportunities to strengthen your brand and remind others what makes you unique as a designer.
This blog post aims to remind you of one personal branding opportunity you may have missed: the Twitter bio.
As the mere existence of a website entitled, Twitter Bio Generator, suggests, crafting a memorable bio involves some forethought. An extension of your personal brand, this bio should tell others who you are in an informative, entertaining way that encourages all who stumble upon your account to click “follow.” And, like most quality writing, it needs to be concise – 160 characters to be exact.
Take Austin Kleon’s (@austinkleon) for example:
Author of two best-selling books, Austin Kleon’s bio intrigues readers with his interesting description as “a writer who draws,” while simultaneously providing information about his current professional endeavors and links to relevant sites. All in all, a good role model for aspiring Twitter bios everywhere.
If your existing bio only reads, “graphic designer,” “social media guru,” or worse sits empty, check out these steps from Robin Landa’s latest book, Build Your Own Brand, to craft a Twitter bio that’s interesting, informative, and let’s face it, probably a little ironic.
1. Start with an extreme point of view
This extreme statement should hook your readers’ interest, so the more outrageous the better. Odd combinations or juxtapositions work well.
Ex: Lee Clow’s (@leeclowsbeard): “Musings on advertising and facial topiary. Usually daily. Often dandruff-free.”
2. Write a straightforward bio statement
This straightforward statement is the informative part of your bio. Use it as an opportunity to tell readers about your work, hobbies, interests, etc.
You may also consider using this part of your bio to reference current projects and/or companies you work for. This lends credibility to your Twitter handle and suggests what readers can expect to find in your tweets.
It’s also worthwhile to include links to your blog, website, and other social media sites. To keep your bio at the 160-character limit you can include one website in your bio and another in the designated website section.
Jessica Walsh’s bio (@jessicawalsh) provides a good example. She links to her studio’s Twitter page (@sagmeisterwalsh) within her bio, and also includes the studio’s website in the aforementioned section.
3. Find a way to relate the two
This step can present a challenge. Try thinking of ways to relate the extreme hook and straightforward statement that would surprise and entertain readers. Write several different versions.
Ex: Margrethe Lauber (@profLauber): “I teach art history and graphic design to impressionable (and sometimes brilliant and talented) young minds at a small ag/tech college in rural NYS.”
4. Refine your statement
Pick a few of your favorite versions and edit them to adhere to the 160-character limit. Try it on friends at the end of your e-mails and see if anyone notices or comments.