I started to actively use Twitter in 2020, listening, engaging, and learning from people I respected and wanted to attract. In less than a year I went from 500 followers to nearly 15k and made life-changing connections. It was on this very platform that I met my current teammates at Bloom Venture Partners (and many of our investors came through Twitter as well). I’ve also connected with notable top-tier executives, investors, and influencers across various industries.
Needless to say, Twitter is an incredibly valuable tool. I wanted to share what I’ve learned in my time on the platform and how you can use Twitter to advance your career.
In my opinion, Twitter is the best online networking platform right now. It gives you the opportunity to engage and meet people that you would have never been able to connect with, within a real-life setting. On Twitter, you’re 1 tweet or DM away from connecting with someone that you follow.
From a networking perspective, Twitter is far superior to LinkedIn in every aspect, but there is a catch – you need to put in the effort. Twitter is a meritocracy.
LinkedIn is a self-promoting monologue. It’s all about your credentials – where you work, your experience, educational background, accolades, self endorsements. And content shared amplifies those attributes. On Twitter, no one cares about that stuff. It’s all about your value – what can you add to a conversation, what insights do you have about any given topic, how can your knowledge help or inspire others. For that reason, anyone on Twitter can become a notable person of interest, regardless of their background.
By putting out content and interacting with the right people you can curate a powerful network. The content part is very important, as that is how you build credibility on the platform and induce people to WANT to network with you.
So, if you’re looking to advance your career by expanding your network, Twitter is the #1 platform to achieve this.
I originally joined Twitter to meet like minded people, and in the process, my personal audience grew dramatically. This was never really my intent, but I am glad that it happened. The audience that I developed organically makes it easier for me to find solutions, launch and test new ideas, get instant feedback and generate leads for, well…just about anything (investors, new deals, talent, etc). It also helps me gain instant credibility when I am looking to connect with someone or sharing my opinion on the public forum.
My audience is not only made up of like-minded peers but also people from all walks of life. This has helped me grow both professionally and personally. It’s widely known that one of the best ways to improve on any given skill is to learn and practice it with someone who’s better than you. Listening, engaging, and sharing with brilliant minds on Twitter has inspired me to step up my own game.
Lastly, I believe the quality of conversations place on Twitter is unrivaled to that of any other social platform. You get to openly discuss any given topic with industry experts, like-minded peers, and people that are far smarter than you are. Unlike any other platform, it’s a two-way dialogue which means that there’s mutual benefit. In general, people that I’ve met on Twitter are open to dialogue, quick to help, collaborative, and willing to openly share knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else.
Bottom line, meaningful conversations lead to deeper connections, increased knowledge, and personal growth.
Helpful tips in getting the most out of Twitter
Talk about your experiences with transparency
The only thing better than actionable content is actionable content that’s based on your own experiences. My best performing tweets are what I call ‘my blueprint’. These tweets didn’t provide genetic information, but rather detailed my approach and exact experience. A good example of this is my thread describing how I saved my first $100k, to start my first business.
There’s a lot of value in strategically discussing projects that you’re currently working on. You might be reluctant to share, but just remember that for every 1 competitor that may see your content, you’ll get 10 people that will provide genuine feedback, and share their knowledge and experiences and even try to help you.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your current projects, its easy to speak about past projects/business. As long as you’re not breaking any NDAs, sharing past experiences shouldn’t affect anything you’re currently working on.
People will find your corner of the world interesting
One of the logical fallacies I used to have was believing no one would find anything I’ve done (or am doing) interesting. Especially when I compared myself to all the mega-successful and insanely smart people on Twitter.
But the reality is, there is a niche on Twitter that will certainly find whatever you’ve done (or are doing) very interesting. The goal isn’t to appeal to the masses, simply just appealing to hundreds of loyal followers is enough.
I was always told that accounting and financial management were boring topics and no one finds it interesting. Meanwhile, one of my most popular tweets to date is about cash conversion cycle, a basic accounting/financial management concept.
DM DM DM
As I mentioned, your primary goal for being on Twitter is networking and meeting people that you would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. In order to develop those relationships, you need to have direct 1-1 conversations and build a relationship.
Replies and tweets are great, but real connections are made by DMing. There’s a reason why mega-successful people leave their DMs open – so go ahead, message them!
Before 2020, I would randomly tweet whenever I felt like it. But last year, I made a conscious effort to tweet at least once a day. My consistency paid off. The best way to look at it is, the more swings at-bat the greater the chance to hit a home run.
In the beginning, my tweets didn’t have much engagement, but by consistently putting out quality content the engagement grew. I often leverage content that I write for my personal blog to engage with my Twitter audience. I love the fact that I can share my unique perspective on just about anything, and get instant feedback. The level of engagement with each post also helps me get a sense of the type of topics people are interested in discussing.
Consistency of tweets creates a positive feedback loop, you discover what people like faster and therefore the quality of your output improves.
Don’t overthink tools or automation
I get this question a lot: “what tools do you use for Twitter?“
The honest answer is, absolutely nothing. I save ideas in my Twitter drafts and that’s it. You don’t need any crazy tools and you certainly shouldn’t look to automate or outsource your Twitter game.
Manually crafting tweets, taking time to reply, and conversing with people is the most effective way to use the platform. I know it may sound tedious, but it won’t feel that way once you make a connection with the potential to change your entire career trajectory.
Funnel followers into an email list
Building a network/audience on someone else’s platform is like building a castle in the sky – it could all come crumbling down at any time. Don’t leave your network/audience in the hands of Twitter, they could change an algorithm or ban/silence your account, and you will have lost access to your own network/audience.
Get a mailing list going and have your Twitter subscribers sign up for it. You can have a link directing people to subscribe in your Twitter bio, or simply tweet asking your followers to subscribe every once in a while. No one can ever take an email list from you, it is the safest digital asset you could own.
Twitter is the best online networking platform, yet it’s still highly underrated by many. All it takes is a willingness to share your knowledge to attract a following, build a niche audience, and start networking. It will drastically improve your daily interactions and conversations, the people you have access to, and potential opportunities.
Twitter has certainly changed my career trajectory for the better and I encourage my readers to invest some time and energy into the platform. I hope my Twitter learnings to date can help you get the most out of the social media platform!
Hi there! I’m Jay Vasantharajah, Toronto-based entrepreneur and investor.
This is my personal blog where I share my experiences building businesses, making investments, managing personal finances, and traveling the world.
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