Daniel Vassallo built a twitter audience from scratch to his current level of 37K followers. Not to mention, he monetized his audience to the tune of $100K in a little over a year. Want to learn how he did it? Here are the top themes from his Twitter course, which you can buy here.
1. Build Credibility
The rate-limiting step for human interactions is trust and credibility.
Credibility = why I should listen to you or pay attention to what you have to say
Here are the top three ways to gain credibility:
Be an expert in something and talk about that thing - There may be things you are already good at. Here are two ways you can find out what those things are if you don’t know:
- ask your friends: “Hey, if I wrote a hit book, what would it be about?”
- or ask yourself: “What is something you can talk about more than anyone else?”.
That’s your area of expertise, now share your knowledge!
Document the process of becoming an expert - This is a low-barrier and highly effective method. For example: documenting how you learn to build a twitter audience -> a strategy Daniel used to great success.
- See Gary Vaynerchuk’s “document don’t create” and Shawn Wang’s #LearninPublic
- The easiest way to be an expert if you aren’t an expert already, take them along on the journey.
- Share the exact strategies you used to do something cool. Sharing your wins, losses, and stumbling blocks will humanize you. People love to root for the underdog.
- Study the successful - Analyze the posts, blogs, etc. of those with high-credibility and look for patterns you can model.
- content with high-res images or screenshots detailing and documenting your process
- content with lots of research, quantitative and highly dense with actionable information
- content that mentions other expert commentary or references more popular sources
One thing to know about credibility:
It’s transferrable. It’s much easier to transfer credibility to another domain. If 20K people trust you on “How to build a twitter audience,” it won’t be hard to trust you on “How to build a SaaS business.” The upshot?
Just start building credibility today by doing both of these two things:
- Start sharing knowledge on what you are most of an expert on, even if you aren’t sure if you’re a real “expert."
- Remember, you only have to be “one step ahead.”
- A college sophomore can teach a college freshman how to pass chemistry class even if they aren’t a Nobel laureate
- You can teach someone who is one step behind you. Maybe you’ve read a book someone else hasn’t read! That counts as expertise!
- Start sharing what you learned in your last accomplishment, or start a project you’re excited about and document the research that goes into it!
2. Understand The Twitter Funnel
“Everything is a funnel” -- Sean Goldfaden, CEO of CoEfficient Labs
This is the funnel Daniel provides on how to go about building your Twitter audience. Let’s go through each and examine how we can optimize some of these steps.
1. Find your profile
The “Finding your profile” step is “top of funnel”, meaning we want to drop in as many people as possible. How to get more people to your profile?
Here are three actionable things you can do to improve your Twitter traffic:
Share your credible content on multiple channels - this reminds me of some content-marketing advice I once heard:
“You should spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.”
- post on traditional channels: medium, your blog, Reddit etc…
- post on any websites that are popular in your space (example: for coding related content, HackerNoon, Dev.to, Hashnode, relevant Facebook, LinkedIn, Discord, Slack groups - etc.…
Use a Call to Action - In each of your content pieces, end with a single CTA driving them to your twitter profile at the bottom.
- end each blog post with a “Follow me on Twitter”
- keep it to just one CTA; any more is a distraction
- Comment on high-profile users’ posts - Turn on notifications for high-profile users by hitting the notification bell on their profile. Then, when they post, comment on their posts. Your comments will likely be seen by their audience, so add some value, and you may draw some users back to your profile.
2. Read your bio
Daniel gives two killer recommendations for improving your bio.
I had never thought the bio plays such a prominent step in the Twitter funnel, but it’s true. Now that people have the attention spans of goldfish, the bio is the single impression that can mean the difference between getting tons of follows or bouncing users like a rubber ball.
“If your Twitter profile is a landing page, then your bio is the headline.” — Ian Geckeler
Two things your bio needs to include:
- Why should people follow you
- you should sell in your bio; you have to stand out and be interesting
- people don’t give away their attention for free. What makes you unique, and what value are you offering them?
- References to your credibility
- what achievements, accolades, or status signs can you share that make you someone people can trust?
Also bonus points for including what people stand to gain or hear from following you.
I changed my bio from:
- reading hundreds of books a year (I do this) sounds douchey but it is also hard, and I know people wish they could learn more, so I put this
- Engineering and Math are respected professions and majors
- USC is a respected university
Why should people follow me?
- I’m sharing everything that I learn!
3. Scroll your timeline
What differentiates valuable timelines from crappy ones?
To answer this question, we need to delve into two types of tweets.
Marketing guru and honey-badger of a man Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Right Hook” likens building social media following to boxing. Your jabs are you PROVIDING value, or GIVING for free. And then very occasionally, you go in for the Right Hook where you ask for something.
Your bread and butter jabs: the "giving" tweet
- Provides actionable advice or help
- Lets your followers know something cool before anyone else
- Offers valuable insight or perspective on something going on
Daniel mentions how he focused exclusively on “giving” tweets until he was at 6,000 followers. That’s patience!
Then comes the right hook, the asking Tweet
- Asks something of your audience
- Sometimes this is a literal question
- Asking them to check out your online course, or signup for your newsletter, or purchase your product
How do I know what a “giving” tweet is?
Daniel recommends a straightforward way to tell:
“If I stopped scrolling to read this tweet, would I be grateful that I did?”
If the answer is yes… that’s a giving tweet. If it’s no, it’s an asking tweet.
Coming up with tweets
So how do you come up with valuable tweets?
Here are two easy things to keep in mind when thinking of ideas: 1. Document, don’t create! - What things are you already working on? Can you document that process and share it for value? 2. Educate or entertain - Focus on either educating or entertaining, or both to make sure you’re “giving” and not “taking”.
Here are a few questions to prime you.
- what was the last thing you laughed at?
- do you have any different opinions or insights on a popular matter?
- what exciting things have you done recently? Can you share them?
- Have you learned anything new recently?
- Have you found any useful resources recently?
- What projects are you working on? Can you share how you’re making decisions and working on them?
- Pay attention to questions people ask you, maybe those answers could become tweets
Final Value-Bombs Lightning Round:
Here’s a few hot recommendations I picked up in my notes and haven’t covered:
Beware the retweets…
By definition, retweets are unoriginal and often don’t help you build your credibility as much as original content.
Provide more of your content in the tweet itself. Don’t just link off-the-platform, include the value in a thread or a post your followers can engage then and there.
Repurpose blog posts as threads
Don’t just post your blog post. Pull some of the high-value meat of the post into the body of the tweet or in a thread below your post. This way, your followers can still engage and get value without having to leave the platform.
Followers !== engagement
You can have a million followers, but if none of them click on your links or engage with you, you’re typing into the void. Better to have a few highly-engaged fans. You don’t want to send your Right-hook to your thousands of followers only to see a big-fat zero people click through and engage with what you share!
Your focus should be on building community and relationships, not pushing follower counts up or down.
Reply to your DMs and comments!
Twitter is a community-building platform, not a megaphone! Make it a two-way street, and you’re bound to increase your engagement and audience quality.
Repost old content
An excellent hack Daniel mentions is to repost old tweets with a new spin. This a great way to get extra mileage out of your prior work.
Some analytics tools you should check out
That's a wrap!
Alright, and that’s all folks. I hope you find this valuable! Follow me on Twitter if you want more curated knowledge like this post. Cheers!