When it comes to setting up a social media presence, one of the areas that most lawyers overlook is the bio section of the various social platforms. The bio section is often filled out almost without a thought, in haste, and rarely updated. This is a big mistake.
Although it may seem like an afterthought, the bio section of your profile on any social media platform is often viewed more than any content you share. It will be the final piece of information that readers look at when they are deciding if they should trust you or not, if you will be useful to them or not. It’s your last chance to make a good impression and draw them in.
Writing your social media bio is not something that should be done off the top of your head and as fast as possible, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated either. Following are some tips to help you create the perfect social media bio for you, as a lawyer, and how to implement it on the big three social media networks.
Keep It Short and Sweet
The first rule of writing your professional bio is to make the most of the very limited space you have. Some platforms give you more space than others, but most will only give you enough room for a few sentences. You need to get right to the point and let people know why they should care what you have to say.
Think of your bio as a sort of headline above all of the content you share. Just like the headlines of articles are designed to grab a reader’s attention and pull them in, your bio should do the same thing when someone follows the content you’ve shared back to your profile.
Showing vs. Telling
If someone is looking at your professional profile, it’s because they think you might be able to help them with some kind of problem. To put it bluntly, the people looking over your professional profile are more interested in what you can do than who you are. To help you stand out from your competitors, think about “showing” versus “telling” when writing your bio. Demonstrate that you are a leader in your niche versus telling someone. The trick here is to try not to sound like everyone else.
You should take advantage of the available space to highlight events or skills that make you stand out as a lawyer in your area of practice. Explain what you’ve done, major accomplishments, professional and educational background, etc. In a humble manner, find ways for your accomplishments to speak for themselves through your body of work.
Take Your Time And Be Original
Just because your social media bio is short doesn’t mean that it has to be written quickly. Take your time. Think about what you want to say and how you might be able to get your point across in an original way. Again, the point is to try to stand out from other lawyers.
Most lawyers have very bland and impersonal online bios. Law firms want everyone to sound and look alike. It’s really important to break the mold and take off the professional mask. You can accomplish this by including a personal statement about what you do and why you do what you do. It’s an opportunity to say something more personal in your profile by explaining why your work is important to you (instead of just telling people you’re good at it).
Furthermore, if you look through a few bios of people in any given profession, you’re sure to see the same overused buzzwords repeated over and over again. Creative, innovative, dedicated and devoted are just a few of the words that come up when two out of three people talk about themselves. When someone is browsing profiles looking for help, they see these words so many times that they lose their meaning.
Remember, social media is, after all, about being social. You want to project an image of friendliness and approachability. Don’t be afraid to use the words “I” and “me.” Your bio is personal. It shouldn’t read like it was written by someone else.
Your overall goal, of course, is to promote yourself as a top notch attorney, but there’s a fine line between looking professional and seeming unapproachable. Your skills and accomplishments should be a priority, but make sure that you also include something that shows a little bit of your personality and lets people know you are human. Say something about your interests outside of work, including community involvement, hobbies or family life.
A Well Written Bio Is Naturally Full Of Keywords
Your social media bio is a great way to incorporate all kinds of keywords relevant to your services and the problems you help to solve. As you’re talking about yourself, you’re naturally going to mention the services you provide, your education, notable past cases, etc.
Even a short bio is going to be rich with the keywords that your target audience will enter in a web search. When it comes to SEO, social media profiles have a very good chance of ranking well for large numbers of different keywords and phrases. So by including relevant industry keywords, your profile will be instantly more discoverable.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to make your social media bio so keyword-stuffed that it reads like a robot put it together.
Best Practices for the Big Three
So now that you’ve got some general tips on what to include in your bio as a lawyer, let’s look at how you can maximize your bio space on the big three social platforms — LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
With LinkedIn being designed for professional social interaction, this platform gives you the most space to promote yourself. Like Facebook, the key is to take advantage of all of the options available to you.
LinkedIn automatically monitors and gives you feedback about your profile. Follow the suggestions and make sure you’ve got everything 100% complete. Reference your website(s) and anything else that’s relevant to what you do as a lawyer. More than any other platform, LinkedIn gives you plenty of opportunities for SEO boosting links and keywords.
Here, you can be a bit more verbose and get into more details about your professional life, but as we said above, don’t forget to include some things here and there to express your humanity as well. In most cases, you’re creating your profile to attract new clients, not to impress other lawyers. Don’t forget that.
Make use of all the options available to you. On your main page you can write a short introduction. Beyond that, though, click on “About” at the top of your profile and make sure you’ve thoroughly filled in the various sections there.
You can include links to your personal and business websites and even other social profiles. Take advantage of those linking opportunities and be sure to include relevant keywords where you can for an SEO boost.
Twitter is the tightest space, with only 160 characters to say everything you have to say. First, make sure you’ve filled in the URL and city profile sections. For the bio entry itself, include short and relevant keywords that will make you as easy to find as possible. Don’t be afraid to include relevant hashtags but not too many.
You can squeeze a bit more into your page by including things like contact information or other URLs in your header image.
Don’t Stop There
The tips we’ve laid out above should give you a solid foundation for creating a great social media bio. Don’t stop there though. You should come back from time to time (at least once per quarter) and see if there is anything you’d like to change or update. Just like the content you share, your bio should always be up to date and relevant.
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Originally published on Jul 20, 2017.