How can I use Twitter to grow my audience and sell stuff?

Since I’ve widened my scope in my writing including here on this blog, I’ve really been digging into Twitter.

Facebook, I generally despise. Although, I keep using it to stay in touch with a few friends and family who don’t use anything else.

Instagram, I do like. But I kinda have a love/hate relationship with it due to the fact that it tends to promote narcissistic behaviour that I also don’t like.

Not that Instagram has a monopoly on narcissism either, but hey.

Which brings me to Twitter… Well, Twitter is something else.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2011. I’m not an expert though. In fact, I still don’t really understand it.

However, the thing about Twitter is that it’s probably been the platform that has delivered the biggest return on investment for me in lots of different ways.

This is especially in terms of meeting new and interesting people as well as generating opportunities. Many of these opportunities I haven’t really written about here but I’m starting to.

Most people think of Twitter as a place where angry people shout at each other about politics.

This is true enough. But I think I’ve been lucky enough to find a corner of Twitter where all the things that interest me converge. This includes business and entrepreneurship, education, motivation and inspiration, philosophy, science and science fiction – to name just a few areas.

It was in this corner of Twitter that I met Ryan Felman (@pathtomanliness). He’s written a series of short e-books that continue to influence me in positive ways.

I reviewed one here on branding and business. That one gave me the kick in the pants I needed to look at my overall brand and start thinking down some different paths.

This post looks at another short e-book that Ryan has written on how to actually be smarter about using Twitter – The Path to Twitter Dominance – How to grow your Audience.

First of all, this book is short and actionable.

Like I said, I’m not a Twitter newbie, but I’m not a guru either. So as someone looking to understand more about how the platform works this was an easy read with advice that I could implement immediately. 

The focus in the book is on growing your twitter following with a view to using it to make money online. Again, something I’m keenly interested in.

Just a quick note: This does means that to make the most of this information, you should really have something you want to sell. Or at least you should be working on something that you’re planning to sell.

And this means that you’ve made (or are making) the switch from consumer to creator

This is a big deal and it’s why I’ve changed my whole online and social media strategy.

With that in mind, if you do need a kick in the pants regarding making the switch from consumer to creator then check out the other book I mentioned by Ryan Felman called How to NOT fuck up your brand. You can read my review here.

Back to this one though… There are 10 chapters across about 35 pages covering guidelines for everything from:

  • what type of content to tweet
  • what sort of images to consider for your profile picture
  • what kind of copy to write for your profile and bio, and
  • how to get in front of new audiences. 

I should add that since reading the chapter on how to capture readers’ attention with a great bio, I’ve spent more than few hours now messing around with my bio copy.

It’s not perfect, but I’ve changed it up quite a bit and I’m gradually tweaking it and refining further based on Ryan’s suggestions in the book. 

Also I’ve started experimenting with my Twitter header and I’ve changed the bio picture too.

I’m still working with selfies, but I need to get some good photographs done with good lighting – another one of Ryan’s tips. 

I’m not anon so I don’t mind having my mugshot in the bio. Ryan’s motto here is “Always judge a book by its cover” which rings true on social media.

He says there’s a certain authenticity that comes with using your face so I’m going to roll with that as well. 

One interesting side benefit for me from reading The Path to Twitter Dominance has been that I’ve started reflecting more on what my mission is.

Or should be.

That wasn’t the purpose of his book, but I think the time spent trying to re-craft my Twitter bio triggered this. 

I ran an education and training business for 10 years between 2007 to 2017 so it was very clear during that time what my mission was.

But since then… well, I’ve felt that I’m kind of “in-between” missions or haven’t really been able to articulate what my current mission is. 

Helpfully, Ryan has three questions for crafting an excellent bio which also relates to this question of mission.

I’m still struggling to answer these but most of us could do worse than have a long hard think about answers to these three questions for life in general:

  1. Can you explain succinctly what you are about?
  2. What value are you offering?
  3. Why should anyone follow you?

Facing these questions made me uncomfortable. But in a good way.

Keep in mind, too, that a Twitter bio also has to conform to the 160 character limit.

I feel now, that if I can answer these questions in less than 160 characters I can probably tell you what my mission is.

There’s more to chew on though. We’re just scratching the surface here.

Click through to the Gumroad website and download Ryan’s book to learn more about:

  • how to get in front of new audiences
  • when to retweet others’ quote tweets
  • how to deal with time wasters, and
  • be more engaging.

Now get out there and buy the damn book.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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