The easiest, most positive way to build a personal brand

Kindness and curation will get you past the sticking points
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· 5 min read

It’s no exaggeration to say that Twitter changed my life. I’ve tweeted my way to lifelong friends, three different jobs (including this one!), discovered my favorite bands, and connected with my heroes. The benefits of Twitter are immense. You’ve just gotta tweet.

I want to walk you through the easiest, most positive way to start building Twitter relationships for your career through a non-controversial approach to online connection.

Step 1: Finding the nerve

For many, actually tweeting can be the scariest part. For all the good I listed above, you’ve read plenty of the bad: celebs quitting Twitter due to harassment, the potential harms of social media, internet addiction. Make no mistake, just like reaching out a hand IRL, tweeting means putting yourself out there. It’s not at all silly to say it may take bravery for some.

The method of tweeting I’m sharing is specifically built to be non-controversial. I’m not talking about growth hacks, or emotional triggers, or even the most effective way to build your Twitter account. It’s a simple, focused way to keep your experience positive and manageable!

Step 2: Setting up your voice mail

Before you toss words into tweets, you’ll want to make sure your profile is completed and true to you. You’ll be a stranger when you’re first making new friends. A great photo, bio, and details about you will help cement those connections.

The question to ask yourself is: What do I want new connections to know about me?

Here’s what I’ve landed on for my personal Twitter account.

Let’s break down these elements:

  • My real name as my Twitter username
  • A clear shot of my face as my profile pic
  • A header image that depicts an interest of mine, vinyl records
  • A bio that explains who I am, what I’ve done, and how I hope you’ll interact

I play with the above formula constantly. This latest form is based on my current goals: getting the Future Social name out there; building a community around social, content, and creators; and driving subscriptions to my newsletter. For you, the goals might be getting to know people in your industry, building a subscription list, or sharing your work!

Step 3: Find and share work that inspires you

You want to connect with more professionals on Twitter! Those professionals are tweeting great work every day from their company and clients’ accounts and often from their personal Twitters.

Highlighting those that inspire you is as simple as it sounds. When you find something creative that you like, share it! The two best ways to do that are:

  • Quote tweet the content with what you love about it
  • Share the image or video in a new tweet, tagging the brand or creator
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No one’s better at this than Jess Smith, head of digital and brand strategy for Stewart-Haas Racing. She’s a legend in sports social media, a leader in the space who’s worked for the Yankees, Under Armour, and more, amassing 28,000 Twitter followers along the way. From this side of the tweets, I’d say her positivity and focus on curation over critiques led to her sterling Twitter reputation.

Take a look at this example from her account. It’s become a badge of honor in the sports social media community (often known as #SSM) to get your content featured by Jess. I assume every single person working in sports social knows Jess at this point. She’s as kind as she is helpful as a curator.

That’s the approach I want you to focus on: highlighting work you like and sharing why you like it! I promise the brand, company, and creator will all be tickled to hear their work’s appreciated.

Step 4: Figure out who’s making the content and make a friend

This part’s easier than you think.

Let’s take Duolingo, for example. The brand’s TikTok shenanigans have become legendary in professional social circles, amassing over 4.7 million followers.

I wanted to find out whose brain is responsible for one of the most successful brand TikTok accounts ever, so I googled it. Literally, I googled “Duolingo social media manager” and found Zaria Parvez. So I tweeted her! And DMed her! And had a few conversations with her!

You can do exactly the same. Most employees are overworked and underappreciated. I promise that reaching out and highlighting them for their work will be incredibly validating. Giving out compliments is free, especially on Twitter. While you’re highlighting great work, you can tag the creators and social media managers in that tweet!

Extra credit: Sharing your own work and thoughts

The strategy I’ve laid out is built around creating a more positive Twitter experience, connecting you to as many kind and talented industry folks as possible, and getting you involved in a professional community of your choice. It’s not about building followers—it’s about connection.

If you’d like to start sharing your thoughts, I highly encourage you to. Friends, bosses, and clients begin to notice you more and more when you share your brain. But it’s scary! That’s why all the above suggestions are focused on curation and bringing good energy into how you form connections.

Let me know if you have your own ways of using positive vibes to grow connections!

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Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.