These days, personal branding online can have a transformative impact on your life and career. Much like branding a business, personal branding influences how others perceive you both on and offline. 

If you’re like most professionals on Twitter you want to develop a personal brand in order to: 

  • Establish legitimacy in your niche 
  • Build professional connections 
  • Generate income 

With a whopping 134 million daily active users, Twitter is an extremely popular platform for working professionals and the perfect place to establish yourself as a brand online. 

If you’re attempting to drive traffic to a particular project, or if you’re simply using social media as a way to establish yourself in the professional market, branding yourself effectively on sites such as Twitter is key. 

Follow the steps below in order to develop an authentic and believable branded persona, which will generate income and build the online connections that will result in explosive professional growth for you and your personal brand. 

#1 Create professional visuals 

You might not have a blue tick just yet but that’s not the only way to make your Twitter profile look legitimate. 

Do you have a branded motto, colour or logo? If yes, be sure to incorporate these into the design of your Twitter page. 

Think about your profile as your online business card. We are visual creatures and potential clients and work connections will make a snap decision about you based on what they see on your page. 

Use sites such as Canva to create professional cover photos and profile images. 

It could be worth hiring a photographer or roping in a talented friend to get a professional headshot to use across all of your social media channels. Of course, a selfie is also fine, but make sure that the image is representative of you and your brand. 

Whatever photo you do decide to choose, remember to keep it consistent across all of your profiles. This way you will be easily recognised.

That said, change up your profile image every year or so. If your photograph is eight years old and you’ve changed beyond recognition, it might be time to shake things up.

#2 Pick the right handle 

Your Twitter handle should be carefully picked out before you create your account. Keep it professional and easy to recognise, and much like your graphics, your handle (or some variation of it) should remain consistent across your channels. 

A good twitter handle should not be overly long, it should be easy to remember. Keep it as short as you can. 

The chances are the first name that you hope to use has been taken. If you find that your Twitter handle name is available, don’t wait around to take it. Even if you are not ready to set up your Twitter account just yet, this handle may be gone by the time you come back to it. 

If your name is already taken, consider shortening it somehow. Add your middle initial or your location. You can also use characters such as an underscore to create a handle that is available, although this isn’t the best-case scenario as it can make your handle a little tricky to remember. 

#3 Develop a voice 

Developing a branded tone of voice is an essential way to ensure that you are building authenticity. 

This means that checking everything you post is in line with your brand. Ask yourself the relevance it poses for those working within your particular niche. 

While content should be personal enough to allow your followers to get to know you, it should also stick to ideas that foster your brand and engage your audience. 

Twitter doesn’t need to know what time you went to bed last night if the rest of your posts are based on developments in the financial field. 

#4 Engage within your niche 

Effectively developing a personal brand means becoming a leader in your niche. This means that people will look to you to start discussions and answer questions. 

Make use of the social elements in social media and engage daily with others in your professional community. 

Be sure to reply to any mentions, shares or retweets of your posts. Ask questions and answer the questions asked by others in your area. 

Twitter chats are an effective way to engage with other professionals and if you’re discussing an article or the work of a particular person be sure to tag the publication or person in your tweet. 

#5 Effective Twitter bio 

This is one of the first things potential followers will pay attention to when they come across your page. 

Your bio is only 160 characters long, but in that time you should effectively convey who you are as a brand, what you have to offer – and inject some personality in the process. 

Your bio should let your audience know what they can expect from you, so it should be as clear-cut as possible. Humour can be an effective way to draw followers in via your bio. But if you can’t think of anything funny enough, or humour isn’t required in your niche, don’t worry too much. 

Most importantly your bio should reflect what you are about as a brand and what you do, it should also represent your business and spark conversation. 

Some takeaway points for an effective Twitter bio are: 

  • Let your followers know what kinds of tweets they can expect 
  • Use hashtags (but don’t overdo it) 
  • Let people know who you are and what you do
  • Add humour if you can 
  • Include links (but don’t overdo it) 
  • @ mention companies that you are affiliated with  

Follow the five steps above and kickstart your personal brand’s presence on Twitter.