August 15, 2013

How to Entice Your Twitter Followers to Explore Your Design Portfolio

How Graphic Designers Can Entice Twitter Followers to Explore Their Design Portfolios

You want potential clients on Twitter to desire your design work, don't you?

However, most visitors spend at most 20 seconds on any web page before they decide to stay or leave. 20 seconds aren't really enough for someone to dive deep into your art, is it?

Normally a potential client needs to see multiple versions and uses of your work to develop a somewhat deeper desire for it. He or she needs to spend at least a few minutes with your designs.

On Twitter, that's a problem.

What to do? On Twitter, you back up and focus on the two first steps of persuasion!

1. Catch attention on Twitter

The first step is to grab your visitor's attention. Now we are talking attention on a very basic level – not necessarily for something specific.

You catch a person's attention by putting something out-of-the ordinary in his way.

On Twitter that might be a stunning background (forget about neutral backgrounds, or clip art), an impressive in-your-face client list, or something as simple as a Twitter layout in eye-catching colors.

2. Awake interest on Twitter

Within the next 10-20 seconds you must awake an interest for further exploration of your design work. Those precious seconds of attention, and every available pixel, you must focus on clearly expressing what makes you outstanding. That is, outstanding as a graphic designer in the eyes of your potential (target) client. The marketing term for your outstanding quality is USP – your “unique selling proposition”.

Things that can make you stand out (your USP) are:

  • You have a signature style (a one of a kind, well-developed artistic style)
  • You have lots of relevant, industry specific experience to show (e g from the music industry, or the car industry)
  • You have an impressive client list (e g Coca-Cola, or Pepsi)
  • You have won prestigious design awards
  • You have client testimonials praising your services
  • You have a fantastic personality that makes you an absolute joy to work with
  • You have a service promise that sets you apart, e g 24 hour turn-around, or a 120% money back guarantee
  • Your prices are extremely competitive

Whatever makes you outstanding your job is to customize Twitter's page elements to express (and if possible, even sample) your outstanding quality – nothing else – within 20 seconds.

3: Invite to visit your home page

The visitors that liked your USP will now be interested (and they that don't like your USP aren't part of our target group anyway…)

Make a clear, very strong call-to-action! Invite to click through to your home page.

Since you've been extremely clear about your USP a click-through clearly indicates interest. Actually, this particular visitor is a potential, qualified client, since his or her motivation to click through resonates with your USP. The chance that he or she is a potential dream client is higher than average.

This particular visitor suspects you to be a fit for what he or she is shopping for.

Now you must prove that you are.

How do you prove that? What content will deepen the just awaken interest?

The simple answer is: Follow up with more of what initially attracted the potential client, and in the same style. Remember, you are still in the 20 second window.

Consistency and clarity is the key.

Don't be timid.

Designers that get it right

The three designers below don't leave anyone unsure.

From first contact on their Twitter page they communicate with clarity what they are about, and continue to do so on their websites.

Already from their Twitter pages a potential client immediately knows – or at least has a strong feeling for – what to expect if they choose to commission this particular designer. That feeling is confirmed on the website a few seconds later.

These designers will attract radical different clients (the operative word here is “attract”, not “different”), but they will all attract clients just right for them. You can too.

Suck My Skullz!

Jeremy A. Packer @ZombieYeti is a “gun-for-hire” that's all about twisted, bizarre, messed up works inspired by comic books and metal music imagery.

Jeremy's USP is his signature style.

  • On Twitter, Jeremy grabs attention through his customized background
  • He clearly identifies himself by exposing his logo/alias on both his Twitter page and website.
  • The background also demonstrates Jeremy’s signature style, and awakes interest from Twitter visitors liking this particular style
  • There is no clear call to action on Jeremy's Twitter page (weakness)
  • Then, on the first page of his website, Jeremy further proves his USP by exposing a full portfolio of pieces in his signature style


Ink! Ink! Ink!

Johanna Basford's @johannabasford USP is a signature style.

She is all about intricate, monochrome pen and ink drawings.

  • Johanna catches her Twitter visitor's attention with her background – a big picture of a porcelain dog head adorned in her signature style
  • On both her Twitter page and website Johanna clearly identifies herself by prominently repeating her name
  • Already on the Twitter page she begins to awakes interest by showing three pieces in her signature style (again, the background, and also in her header and profile picture)
  • Johanna has included a call to action on her Twitter page, although it's somewhat weak (it's about buying her new book, and it's encourage people to visit Amazon – not her website)
  • On her first page of her website Johanna further demonstrates her USP. You immediately land on a big-sized slide show showing five other uses/variations of her signature style

Johanna Basford

Promote My Party!

Icyy @COLDDESIGNS is all about producing album/mix tape covers, promotional flyers, logos etc. for the music and party scene in bright and vibrant colors.

Icyy's USP is a lot of industry experience (combined with very competitive prices, I might add).

  • Icyy's in-you-face Twitter page clearly catches attention
  • Icyy clearly identifies both herself and her brand Cold Designs on both her Twitter page and website
  • She awakes interest already on the Twitter page by bombarding you with a lot of industry specific design samples she has made
  • Although a bit weak, I would say Icyy's bio text claim of being “Best female freelance graphic designer since 06” is a call to action rather suited to her target industry.
  • On her landing page Icyy again bombards you with industry specific samples, and continues to do so in her portfolio.



  • Does your Twitter page grab attention?
  • Do you identify yourself? With a photo of yourself, your logo, or your company name?
  • Do not confuse your visitor! Do you identify yourself in the same – or at least similar – way on both your Twitter page and your website?
  • Do you clearly express your USP – your outstanding quality as a graphic designer – on your Twitter page? Ways to do this (depending on your chosen USP) could be: Illustrated Twitter page elements in your signature style, industry specific projects, client logos, or client testimonials in your Twitter background etc.
  • Do you clearly express the same USP – in the same way – on the primary page of your website?
  • Do you have a consistent look and feel on both sites? Do both sites convey the same level of professionalism?
  • Do your Twitter background and/or header demonstrate your design skills? This is important for all, and vital to those designers whose USP is a signature style.
  • On Twitter, do you clearly tell the visitor what to do next? Invite your Twitter visitor to your website in an obvious way.