In this long article, you will learn how one person can earn thousands of dollars by building a personal brand on Twitter.
You will learn how to do Personal Branding right from the founder of Start Selling Stuff himself, James Holt… and the best part?
You can immediately apply the lessons you’ll learn here in your daily life.
I asked James Holt a bunch of questions about Personal Branding, and you won’t believe how this 20-year-old’s mind works.
After making 6-figures from Twitter in less than a year, he’s finally going to tell you exactly what he has learned after doing it.
You will learn how you can start growing your brand on Twitter from scratch — the mistakes you should avoid (that would lead to disaster long-term), what tweets get the most engagement, how you can make people love you – and much more!
But before we dive into how you can grow your personal brand, let’s us first discuss why having it is important in the first place.
Personal branding is at an all-time high and more and more entrepreneurs are getting interested in it everyday… but why? Why do people want to have a personal brand?
People create a personal brand because…
Personal branding isn’t just for CEOs, businessmen, entrepreneurs, etc.
Personal branding is for everyone – whether you’re a 20-year old college dropout or a 60-year old father – if you want to have more visibility, a personal brand is for you.
In a world where billions of people have access to the internet, it’s crucial to have a way to standout. Creating a personal brand gives you that edge. If you do this right, opportunities start coming to you.
Keep bringing out quality content and you’ll get hundreds (or even thousands) of new followers every month.
You’re a 15-year old kid and you know a lot about “X”, but no one listens to you?
Start a personal brand.
Not only will it help you gain visibility, but it will also help you gain credibility and respect.
Remember, you’re not the only one trying to build a personal brand. When other people, doing the same thing, see that you have thousands of followers, they’ll want to reach out to you…
…and if you’re giving out dope content? You’ll earn their respect.
Having a personal brand is one of the best ways to do this because when you start creating a personal brand, you’ll be sharing your knowledge and giving out value to your audience (doing this is extremely important and you’ll know why in a bit).
Have you heard of this yet? Want to know how people really make money with Personal Branding?
Well, there’s actually a lot of things they can do to make money.
They can sell their own products, do affiliate marketing or simply enhance their network and create partnerships/connections with the people in their playing field.
A personal brand basically gives people more opportunity than most guys who simply have a normal social media account.
If you do this thing right, in 6 months, you’ll be able to earn more than $100 a day – for sure…
Personal branding is more than just for selling or leaving a mark. Having a personal brand is a way for you to get your message across – and have an impact on your audience.
Scared of criticism or you’re a “shy-type”? No worries.
When you start putting yourself out there, you’ll realize that your flaws aren’t nearly as important as you think. Everyone has flaws and this is one way to communicate to them that you’re just a human being yourself.
This is what makes a personal brand special.
According to a survey, only 33 percent of buyers trust brands, while 90 percent trust an individual they know. If you have a personal brand, and you want to sell your own products or do affiliate marketing, you’ll know it’ll work.
Before you start posting stuff on your feed, you need to define 1 thing first.
This is extremely crucial for your success because, without a niche, people wouldn’t have a reason to follow you.
You need to ask yourself: “What do I want to talk about?”, “What can I give my audience?”, “What value can I add into their lives?”
Having answers to these questions, and actually implementing it, is the best way for people to become familiar with your personal brand.
Your value isn’t based on how much money you have, where you graduated from, what you do, where you work or what your rank is.
Value is based on what you can bring to the table.
What can you do extremely well? How are you unique? Why would people want to follow you?
James didn’t start with dropshipping, nope. He started out with 2 accounts.
1 about dropshipping and 1 about crypto trading.
He wasn’t really the one who chose dropshipping, his audience did. Unlike crypto trading, he had more experience with dropshipping and he was able to provide more results.
People saw him as the “dropshipping guy” because he was kind of the first guy to talk about dropshipping on Twitter.
This made him the “go-to guy” for dropshipping.
When he started out, he had 2 choices, but people saw the results he’s getting with dropshipping and they wanted to learn more, so that’s what he did. He gave them what they wanted.
Be specific with what it is you can offer and you will attract the right people (your target audience) to your brand. If you’re unsure of what it is, then test things out.
There are 4 big niches you can choose from: Health (Mentality and Physicality), Psychology (Emotionality), Wealth (Financial) and Spirituality.
These 4 are super huge topics so don’t stop there.
You want to be more specific than that. You have to dig deeper and find a sub-niche.
Say you want to be in the health niche since you know a thing or two about this area… but what specifically can you talk about? Is it something about mentality or is it about physicality?
Maybe something else – but whatever it is, you have to choose.
For now, let’s assume you know more about physicality… but what specifically?
What exactly can you do to improve your audience’s physicality? Can you help them lose bodyfat? Can you help them gain muscle quicker? What about diet?
Notice how I asked so many questions? This is how you choose a niche.
Dig a little deeper inside the 4 big niches. Do it until you reach a point where you can’t get any more specific than what you already want to talk about.
Still don’t know what niche to choose?
Have a lot of ideas/topics in mind and don’t know which one you’re gonna start talking about?
Here are 3 things you can ask yourself when picking your niche:
1) Does this niche excite me? Can I talk about it all day long?
2) Do I know a lot about this niche? Am I an expert on this topic?
3) How many people want to learn about this topic?
These 3 questions alone will help you easily find your niche… but if you still can’t find it since you know stuff on a lot of niches, then talk 3 different topics at max…
…as long as you just start!
Do it for a month or two (time is relative to the number of followers you have) and compare the results while doing it. Once you find a winning niche, double down on it.
Want to know what it takes to have a fast-growing growing personal brand? Want to know how you can be ready to take this challenge?
1 word: Experience.
James had two and a half years of experience with online business.
“It’s not a massive amount by any means, but it’s enough to give me some useful experiences to share, connections to utilize and proof to back up my claims.”
This is why it was “easy” for him to grow his personal brand.
That’s not all.
His understanding of human nature and more importantly, of his market, was a huge help to his success.
Understanding what your audience wants and needs is crucial. If you know what content they resonate or relate with, you’ll win their hearts and gain a massive following.
He knew his market, he knew he had something they wanted, and he knew he could deliver that value to them… so he leveraged it.
The point? You can do the same.
With a personal brand, anyone can show their value by creating meaningful content relating to their areas of expertise.
However, there are crucial points people need to remember for them to succeed in building a personal brand.
I asked James about the common mistakes people have when starting out a personal brand. Learn what they are and why they’ll be costing them a lot of money long-term!
Hate to break it to you, but not everyone is born with charisma, humor or simply awesomeness.
This means not everyone is interesting at first – but anyone can be.
You just have to learn more and practice.
“Why? What can that do? Can you state an example?” Sure.
In order for you to have good, high engaging tweets, you first need to have the foundations of a good life.
Not only that…
You also need to show your personality.
What makes you stand out? Why would people want to follow you?
We’re not talking about the value you can bring to that table here… we’re talking about who you really are – your personality, your attitude, mentality, etc.
Whatever you do, be interesting!
For people to follow you, your content must be dope.
Say you want to be in the fitness niche. The problem is, you don’t know anything about that niche. Would people want to follow a beginner? No.
Remember, to gain a massive following, you must give your market a reason to follow you in the first place. If you’re not an expert on anything, I suggest you learn first. You read books, you buy courses, anything that would help you gain knowledge on a certain topic.
Remember, James started a personal brand after 2.5 years of experience with online biz.
People followed him because they want to know more about it. So find a niche, deliver dope content and people will follow you.
How to counter it? Don’t be fake.
There are so many fake people on Twitter – people who copy their “idols”, steal other people’s tweets, do a follow for follow tactic, etc.
This isn’t how you do it…
I think we all live a unique life. I think everyone has something interesting in their lives that they can find if they really think about it.
It’s just a matter of looking for it and letting it out.
When you build a personal brand, remember, you need to be authentic. Embrace who you really are and share that with the world.
Polarization helps you attract the right audience while keeping the wrong ones out. This is what a lot of brands do and it would be a smart move to copy this strategy.
However, some people try so hard to be polarizing that they end up looking fake.
This will hurt your brand.
Instead of focusing on these “tactics”, you should focus on what makes you unique.
If you’re not a really polarizing person, then don’t try to be. You don’t need to be polarizing, but you need to be different. You can’t be like every other person in your niche and expect to build a following.
Have a unique angle and personality – and they’ll eventually come.
Talk from your voice and add your personality to everything you do. Polarization will come naturally when you take a stance and it doesn’t resonate with others.
Your network is important. Arrogant people who think they’re too cool to engage with their followers will soon lose them.
So talk to your audience.
Building a personal brand is not about yourself alone. It’s about networking with people, giving out value to people, and connecting them to one another.
When building a personal brand, it’s really not about bringing yourself up. It’s about bringing other people up.
This is the foundation of a strong personal brand. The more you do this, the better the quality of your following will be.
Before anything else, the first thing you have to do to have a solid personal brand is by setting up a solid profile.
Here’s a list of things you can do to achieve that.
Having these 3 things incorporated in your account is a way of persuading people to follow you. They will help your audience visualize what you’re really all about (who you are and what they can expect from you).
Having a well-built Twitter account makes you look trustworthy and credible. When you pair it well with the content you bring out, you minimize the friction your audience might have when they decide to follow you or not.
By showcasing professionalism with your profile, people with subconsciously believe you’re an authority figure in your niche.
Do these things right and you’re on your way to growing a helluva lot of followers.
I asked James what his strategy was when he was just starting out. Here’s what he said:
“I’d start by interacting with larger accounts I enjoy. I’d take time out of my day to respond to 1-2 of their Tweets every single day with a value-adding comment.
Keep in mind, it only works if you actually have something to add.
Whether you agree or disagree with them, it barely matters, but you need to bring a fresh perspective one way or another.
This approach will often get you Retweets.
In addition to posting replies to other people’s tweets, you’ll also want to have 2-5 tweets of your own every day.
Reason being, if I land on your profile after seeing your insightful reply, I will only follow you if you give me a legit reason to do so.
Without unique content of your own, very few people will follow you.”
When building a personal brand, there’s only 1 main thing you need to do.
Give people a reason to follow you.
If you don’t give out your own, high-value content, you limit your possible reach. Not everyone who goes to your profile will click the “Tweets and replies” section.
Don’t limit your uniqueness.
Show your value not only through your replies or your bio but also through the unique content you give out to people everyday.
You’re already at 1000+ followers? No worries.
The same principles apply. Here’s what you need to do to reach your first 10k followers (this is the exact same method James use!)
To summarize? Be more active in twitter, keep providing value and build strong relationships!
Want to know what resonates more with your audience?
Analytics is a very useful tool to find out what your audience wants and needs based on what the metrics are showing. You literally get immediate feedback with this.
Low CTR? Maybe what you put out isn’t something your audience wants or resonates with.
High CTR? Maybe they like the content. Create another one like it and see if it still gets a high CTR. If it does, make more content just like it.
Feedback is super important when you build a personal brand. You’ll learn when to adjust and when to double down on something based on what the feedback you receive.
Now that you know feedback is important, here’s what James has to say about tweets that get the highest engagement:
“In the early days, the highest engagement Tweets were generally the highly actionable ones. Tweet threads on one specific topic are another popular option.
As I’ve grown, my actionable Tweets have received worse engagement than the motivational stuff, which is amusing to me…
I finally understand why the big gurus on YouTube all post motivational BS. It’s not because they don’t know anything about the specifics of online biz, it’s simply that they know that stuff doesn’t get the same engagement as motivational content.”
As your personal brand grows, the types of tweets you bring out won’t always deliver the same results. When you’re just starting out, nobody cares about your “motivational” tweets.
You’re not someone with enough credibility yet. There’s no social proof.
Why would people listen to someone who barely has a thousand followers? They don’t. Build your brand by giving out real, actionable content and people will eventually follow you.
Not necessarily. James spreads his tweets throughout the day fairly evenly using Buffer.
Back when he was just getting started, he scheduled Tweets too… but when replying to larger accounts, he tried to see a trend in when the owner was online and replied during those times.
“If I could figure out when the best time to get large account owners’ attention, that would be a big deal, I thought. I was right.”
Lesson in there.
Threads are good to show your knowledge on a certain topic. It’s like a mini blog post where you’ll be able to fully explain something.
Unlike a single tweet, you won’t be able to explain it all. There’s a limit with the characters after all.
It’s not all the time that threads are better than single tweets though. Sometimes a tweet is more powerful too – especially when something doesn’t need any more explanation.
“Are there any other reasons why threads would do well?” There certainly is.
Twitter makes it really easy for people to share content. If you want to widen your reach, threads help you do this.
If you’ve seen a lot of threads, you’ll notice they usually get more engagement and impressions than average tweets. If people like your thread, they will like and retweet it.
Threads are lengthy, so you need to have lots of tweets. The reason you get more impressions is that some of the tweets you have will also be liked and retweeted.
Threads are powerful if you use them wisely.
Responding to tweets is easy. With that said, having long, valuable threads will give you faster feedback.
You’ll know what type of tweet/content your audience resonates well with because they will like a specific tweet with its own idea in it.
This gives you a great idea of what things you can expand on afterward.
Don’t know what to tweet? Go back to your threads, look up those that got a lot of engagements and expand on it on another tweet.
Twitter makes it extremely easy for people to read threads. You don’t need to click on a link and redirect to a different website to read a thread. Nope.
Everything is right there on the spot. All you have to do is click 1 tweet and the thread expands.
People want instant gratification.
They don’t want to go to another website and wait for it to load just so they can read something.
You give a lot of value when writing a thread. You can expand a certain topic to teach your audience something they want to learn about.
By doing that, asking them something in return wouldn’t be hard (a.k.a. subscribing to your email list). The law of reciprocity is at play here.
By having a really good hook and CTA, people will join your list in no time.
All the things above are important. However, to pull it off, you need to be good with 1 thing: writing.
Writing a good thread is similar to writing a good blog post. The only struggle with it is the character limit. You’re only allowed to write 280 characters in 1 tweet.
To have a great thread, you must organize what you’re trying to say. The tweets must be connected – but make sure they’re distributed properly.
Reason being, people can retweet individual tweets. If they like something, they’ll like or retweet it. Not all your ideas/tweets will be retweeted so make each individual tweet something worth retweeting.
Other than that, you need to write a good CTA at the end – this one of the reasons why copywriting is a great skill to learn. You’ll know how to persuade people to do something.
When you write a thread, you can do things: Publish the tweets separately or publish it all at once.
Which is better? The first.
If you publish it all at once, your followers would only see everything once.
When you publish it one by one, your tweets will be seen in different places and time. Your followers would then see you constantly tweeting something and eventually click a tweet since you’ll be top of mind (basic psychology, ey?).
End your thread with CTA. What do you want your readers to do?
Is it to go to your website, to follow you or subscribe to your email list? Whatever it is, don’t forget to add a CTA.
People only do something if they’re told. If you don’t tell them to do anything, chances are your thread will be gone to waste.
So give them something to do especially if it’s something that would give them more value. Remember, they read your tweet in the first place. This means they like your content.
If you give them something similar – and maybe much more in-depth – then they’d do it.
I asked James this question and he answered it with 2 lessons.
“I’m fairly happy with my growth on Twitter and don’t really see much I would have done differently in the early days.
I could have pushed dropshipping a little harder on some of the big names in our sphere who were interested in it.
However, I gave them my honest opinion that I didn’t think dropshipping was necessarily the right choice for them. This cost me some powerful potential testimonials, but ultimately earned me the respect of those same people because I gave them my honest opinion – even when it went against my own best interest.”
Building personal connections is crucial for the success of your brand – and that’s exactly what James did.
He wasn’t interested in short-term gains. He was interested in the long-term relationships he was building because he knows it will eventually pay off as those relationships develop further.
“I could have continued to share revenue screenshots from my stores.
I decided to stop doing this early on because of the trend I noticed on YouTube with, ahem, let’s call them “dubious” screenshots.
The truth is, you can’t really tell whose screenshots are real.
With how the incentives are set up, logically some people will cheat the system and fake their Shopify revenue screenshots.
I wanted no part of that so I came up with the tagline “Credibility through content” which never really stuck, but is still a fundamental part of my brand to this day.”
Credibility is an important factor for your Personal Brand – but you have to build it the right way. Keep providing value everyday and you’ll eventually get there.
One of the key components of having a successful personal brand is by staying consistent with it.
You can do minor edits to it here and there slowly, but as much as you can, stay consistent.
If you change your image all the time, your followers will get confused, and not know (or trust) you. If you talk about different things all the time, you’ll mix up your “target” audience with others and they’ll eventually get annoyed by it.
Remember, you want to make it quick and easy for your audience to follow you and stay loyal to you. By changing a lot of things constantly, you’re making it hard for them to do so.
Heck, your followers might even unfollow you because of that… so do your changes slowly and subtly, and you’ll be able to avoid these things.
Imagine having a handful of opportunities because of the value you give out.
Imagine all those things… wouldn’t you want to experience that? Doesn’t it sound exciting?
If that’s something you’d like to experience someday, then definitely build a personal brand. The returns are extremely amazing, not only in terms of money but also in terms of growth.
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