Surely you've seen that little blue check mark beside the Twitter name of your favorite actor, artist, or website. It means they're the real deal, not some copycat, impostor, or satirical account. For a long time, there wasn't any sort of application process for getting that verification badge. For the most part, the honor was only bestowed upon accounts that were considered of "public interest." Yesterday, however, Twitter announced that finally, anyone is free to apply to have their account verified. This is what you need to do if you want that little blue check mark alongside your name. Before completing a necessary form, your account must include a verified phone number and email address along with a bio, a profile and header photo, a birth date (if you’re an individual), a website, and your privacy settings set to public. If you don't have those all set, don't even bother applying. Twitter also made a few profile suggestions that aren’t necessarily deal-breakers if they’re absent, but including them will help your chances. The company recommends having an account name that matches your actual, stage, or company name. At least one of your photos should reflect the person or company brand. And, finally, if you’re trying to verify a company account, it’s useful if the email address associated with the account is operated through the company's domain. In addition, you may also be asked to scan a copy of your government-issued ID and give an explanation of why your account is newsworthy and how it impacts your field. Of the new verification process, Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter's vice president of User Services, says, "We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience." So if you have the time and you think your account can make the cut, why not try? Just because you're not Hollywood-level famous doesn't mean you're not notable enough to be verified. And who knows? It could lead to more followers, more fans, and more respect in your industry.