#8: Did someone say personal branding?
How to build your personal brand on Twitter
Hi, I’m Erifili Gounari, and this is issue #8 of The Digital Native. This newsletter is aimed at driven, curious and inspired Gen Zers, interested in mindset, entrepreneurship, business, marketing, and more!
No, you’re not hallucinating, this is not a drill! This really is a new issue of The Digital Native hitting your inbox for the first time since April. Pretend you didn’t notice. 👀
This time I’d like to share my thoughts on the highly-relevant topic of personal branding: that is, the act of “branding” yourself in one way or another so that everyone online knows what you’re all about. The right personal branding leads to people making subconscious connections between you and your areas of expertise, so when someone mentions, say, “accessible UX design” or “Gen Z social media marketing”, your friends/followers/random online people will immediately think “Oh, I know someone who does that - let me connect you two”.
If you’re one of those people that are not at all active on social media, or that mostly use Twitter to retweet other people’s tweets and never participate or take up space in their sector, building a personal brand can seem daunting. But when you witness the benefits of it especially in the areas of business, marketing and entrepreneurship, I think you might start tweeting right away. 🤷♀️ (fun fact: I literally got my full time Head of Social Media job at SafetyWing just because of my Twitter presence and the Slack communities I participate in. Without Twitter I genuinely wouldn’t be doing half the things I am now!)
One of the best and most effective ways to build your personal brand is to start becoming active on Twitter and participating in the online spaces where the people in your sector are. So, much like in marketing, you have to identify where the cool kids you want to target hang out and go to them (instead of expecting them to come to you first; that happens later).
It’s actually not as difficult or complicated as it might sound - and the benefits could be anything from you getting a new job, invaluable new industry connections, referrals for new clients/a network you need, and lots more. Here are my top tips on how to build your personal brand on Twitter and start seeing the benefits asap! 👇
Give your profile a makeover. Choose a good profile picture and header, and none of that single-color-background-that-matches-the-header stuff. Make sure your bio accurately explains what you do, while keeping it concise and showing whoever stumbles upon your profile what topics they can expect you to talk about, and what your expertise is. Some examples:
Interact with others. I cannot stress how important or beneficial this point is. Get yourself out there on Twitter by responding to tweets you see that you have something to add to. Don’t be afraid at all to reply to random tweets on your timeline and get acquainted with the people you follow and those who follow you- no one can grow on Twitter without engaging with others!
Share value. It’s a well-accepted fact that you can learn something from everyone you meet. In that way, everyone can also learn something from you. Understand what it is that you do well, and how your unique experiences translate into valuable learnings, and share that insight! The examples below are cases where people created Twitter threads to share their experience/advice/insight on a specific topic. Threads are a super popular and beneficial way to share value on the platform:
Threads are a great tool that gets more engagement- use it! (For those reading this who don’t use Twitter, threads are when you reply to your own tweet multiple times to create a large string of connected tweets, to say more things without Twitter’s character limit stopping you). Here are some quick tips for successful threads:
- Use a free tool like Typefully to send out a whole thread at once
- Communicate information as simply and concisely as possible
- Make the first tweet attention grabbing: appeal to people’s curiosity
- Compress everything you know about a topic into a thread, make it count!
- Use good formatting and a clear structure: either numbered/bullet points, or something easy to read and skim through
Pick a niche. If possible, pick a niche so you’re always attracting new followers that are interested in the same topics. It will help your account grow faster as it will be very clear what your Twitter is about, and what your personal brand represents. You can’t appeal to everyone, so define who you can appeal to and make content that will resonate with that audience!
Curating is good if you balance it with creating. Curating content is an excellent way to stay active when you’re not sure what content to create. Simply share the online resources and content that you like with your followers: it could be a Twitter thread you liked, a book, podcast, article, etc. People can grow a lot on Twitter just by being great curators!
👉 And that’s all! If you start implementing these 6 tips I promise there will come a time where you’ll be very grateful you ever started. There are tons of different aspects in personal branding, but beginning by acing your Twitter game is a great place to start. The most important thing to remember is to not overthink it: don’t treat a simple tweet like an important LinkedIn post - just have fun with it. If something inspires you when you talk about it or research it, that’s a good sign that you could be sharing your thoughts and findings on that topic and attracting a like-minded network. So why not try?
This Twitter thread is a little digital goldmine where hundreds of people contributed the best advice they would give to their 23 year old self, in 10 words or less. Highly recommend scrolling through some of the tweets on this thread as you never know what will resonate with you! (If you’re over 23, you could even contribute your own. What did we say about interacting with others on Twitter? 😎)
I hope you find something inspiring!
Thanks for reading this issue of The Digital Native! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. Feel free to comment any thoughts below or email me! ☺️
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Drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org. 💌