I posted my first Tweet on January 19, 2023.
Today, more than 12,000 people follow me.
I didn’t pay for ads, retweets, or promote gimmicky Excel tips.
And creative writing certainly isn’t my forte.
So in today’s issue, I want to do two things:
Highlight the benefits of sharing online
Show you how to organically grow on Twitter
Let’s dive in:
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The Power of Sharing Online
Most aspiring “creators” are doing it to generate income.
Their goal is to build a large following and eventually monetize it.
But that is just one reason to “build an audience” — and arguably the least valuable.
The real power of an audience is in the network you build.
Doors open that weren’t there before.
Let me give you one example:
I recently came across an interesting business for sale.
My partner and I knew very little about the industry, so I posted the following Tweet:
Within an hour of posting, I was on the phone with someone doing $15 million of annual revenue in the sign industry.
The call was free and the information was invaluable.
He synthesized what would have taken us months to learn into a half-hour chat.
We decided to submit a Letter of Intent days later.
How to Grow Organically on Twitter
I’m no expert, but here are 5 steps that worked for me:
Step 1: Optimize Your Bio
Your bio is a 10 second sales pitch. No one will follow you if it sucks.
Luckily, there is a proven formula to do this right:
Clean Headshot: Take a simple photo on your iPhone and send it to a designer on Fiverr. Give them my profile photo (or any creator you like) and ask them to copy the format.
Simple Background: Don’t overdesign this. The best background photos are clear and concise. Use a background color that complements your profile picture. (Pro tip: optimize for mobile)
Compelling Story: You have 150 characters to explain what you have done and convince others to follow you. Again, be clear, not clever.
The best way to nail your bio is to emulate the pros and add your personal touch.
Here are 3 accounts with strong profiles:
Step 2: Comment Strategically
Commenting on posts is the best way to get your first 100 followers.
I recommend the 3x3x3 formula.
Every day, leave a comment on 3 different accounts in each bucket:
But here’s the catch: be thoughtful.
Write something that demonstrates you spent at least 30 seconds thinking about it.
The “thanks for sharing” comment doesn’t cut it.
Add real value and people will click to view your profile.
If your profile is optimized, a portion of those profile visits will convert to followers.
For 100K+ accounts, you want to comment within the first 15 minutes of their Tweet (use notifications).
As you grow, continue to comment (and retweet) daily. It is an important signal to the Twitter algorithm.
This takes me ~20-30 minutes each day.
Step 3: Write Fewer (Better) Threads
Before you get to 1,000 followers, don’t waste your time with daily Tweets.
Tweets rarely drive followers and take time away from more productive things.
So in the beginning, focus on creating extremely valuable threads.
I wrote the thread below when I was under 500 followers:
My follower count tripled.
Here’s why I think it did well:
The hook is compelling. It uses the AIDA framework: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. I still use this framework for almost all of my hooks.
The content takes a complicated process and makes it simple. Always write on Twitter like you are explaining something to an 8th grader.
The thread is educational. When the reader feels like they learned something new they are 10x more likely to (1) share the thread and (2) follow you.
A few other thread strategies that work:
Curate interesting stories about other successful people -
Breakdown complicated recent events into simple takeaways -
Write a simple, 10-step guide about a complicated process -
Step 4: Build a (Small) Tribe
Twitter is a social media app.
Networking is just a part of the game.
I hate networking. It feels transactional and extractive.
So I reframed how I think about it.
I am not networking.
I am building authentic relationships with other creators on Twitter that align with my core message.
Practically speaking, here’s what that means:
Reach out to 1-2 creators each week via direct messages. Let them know their content resonates and thank them for putting out valuable content.
Prioritize accounts that align with your core values. Even if they aren’t in your specific niche.
Support one another by commenting and occasionally retweeting content that resonates.
Step 5: Repurpose Your Winners
This one is huge and not enough people talk about it.
When a piece of content performs well, spin the hook, add new (incremental) value and repost it 2-3 months later.
The reality is, most of your followers never saw the original post (because your account is growing) and those who did probably forgot about it.
Here’s an example where I repurposed the thread above:
Lastly, please remember this: not everyone online has good intentions.
There will be strangers who attack you on a personal level.
If you’re going to put yourself out there be ready for the haters.
(It means you’re doing something right)
There you have it.
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown.
If you have any questions, just hit reply.
Until next week,