If you are on any social media platform, you’ve no doubt been bombarded by “about me” or self-description sections of varying lengths. These websites want you to narrow down your beautiful, unique, multifaceted personality into a few short paragraphs — or even more difficultly — a few short words or phrases. Of course, this limited space is never sufficient, and in truth, no amount of words could ever fully encompass any of us. Thus, we must simply select the parts of ourselves that we want people to see and toss them out into cyberspace.
Nowadays, as social media becomes increasingly “Twitterized,” many writers (and other professionals) are branding themselves with tag lines. These are short phrases, usually consisting of three to six words, meant to describe A) the person’s job, B) the person’s interests, and C) other interesting/memorable facts.
As you can see from this site, I have chosen to follow this model and brand myself with a tag line. In this post, I’m going to explain why I chose these four descriptors and provide tips for creating your own tag line. If you want advice on writing a full author biography, read this post.
Be Specific about Your Job: Writer.
While it seems like an easy choice, I was very intentional in selecting “writer” as my “career descriptor” word. At first, I wanted to choose “author.” After all, my ambition is to write and publish novels. However, as I thought about “author,” I realized it is a very limiting term. In the same way that “poet” implies exclusivity to writing poems, “author” implies exclusivity to writing book-length prose.
To be frank, I don’t want or intend to only write books. I want to write blog posts, literary essays, and maybe even an occasional poem. Therefore, I chose the word “writer,” because it is the most accurate descriptor of what I do. I write — a lot of different things.
Expand on Your Interests: Storyteller.
Storyteller goes along with what I do as a writer, but it gives a slightly broader insight into my creativity. On the writing side, my prose is always more “story” (or theme) focused than character-focused. However, I do not only like to tell stories through writing. I like to tell them in conversation, I like to create them with crafts, and sometimes I just like to weave them in my imagination. In short, I just like to live a life that is gives me inspiration and provides a good story to tell later.
Share a Source of Pride: Globetrotter.
As a middle-class Midwesterner, I’m extremely proud of the traveling I’ve done. At 22, I’ve been to eight countries on three continents (not counting the USA, my home country). I love experiencing new cultures and learning about how other people live. The traveling I have done has shaped much of my world view and helped mold me into a person who appreciates different cultures and is not afraid to take risks. I’m proud of that, and I want to share that side of myself with my readers — first through my tag line, and eventually, through my writing.
Give a Glimpse into the Personal/Say Something Memorable: Cat Mother.
In case you cannot tell, I have a feline son. His name is Thomas, and he is adorable. While this is very stylish of me, as cats are “in vogue” on the internet, it also gives my readers a sense of my values. I value family, mine most-immediately consisting of my fiance and our cat son. I also love animals, and I have always considered the pets in my life to be family members. Giving this personal look into my life, in a hopefully memorable phrasing, allows readers to get to know me in a different way, or at least smile at my silliness.
Simply put, your tag line should just be a preview of you. It should explain your career/internet ambitions, give a taste of your personality, and grab the readers’ attention. After all, while you are probably a super-interesting person with a wealth of talent, you’ve only got four words to get that across. Just think specifically, clearly, and creatively, and you’ll do just fine.
What is your social media tag line? Do you think of your tag line as branding? Did you get the impression from my tag line that I wanted to get across?