Twitter and I have been in an on/off relationship since 2010.
This year I'm going all in.
This post explains how it clicked for me and what my current workflows are 👇
Not Creating Value: Lurking and Passive Consumption
2010 - 2013: Public Chat
In the early days, I primarily used Twitter as a public chat tool.
We organized startup conferences and my job was to take care of programming and speakers. Twitter was our public communication channel.
2014 - 2016: Accelerated Learning About Industries
In 2014 I worked as a venture developer and was building FinTech businesses for a living.
Twitter was and still is a fantastic tool to quickly "onboard" into a new industry:
- Follow industry-specific influencers: You can  search blog posts with top accounts to follow,  search for existing Twitter lists, or  create your own Twitter list. If you do  start with a handful of accounts you like and then just add to your list people who have valuable tweets.
- Follow the discussion: See what the main topics are. This helps you to get an 80/20 understanding of the industry.
- Participate in the discussion: Once you have built a basic understanding start participating to  get your thoughts out and  refine your understanding through discussions.
In FinTech it worked quite well. I landed on many FinTech lists - despite being a 🤡 - and even was invited to speak on a FinTech panel at a conference in Dublin. I didn't go since our CEO was one of the headline speakers and would have asked me "WTF are you doing here".
It shows that Twitter can have a strong signal value. If you randomly land a first gig (e.g. conference appearance) you've created an additional point of credibility and off you go.
In 2015/2016, rinse and repeat the same approach when starting my own business in HRtech.
This time I joined public discourse with executives of competing companies. The most absurd moment was when one of them wanted to show me their roadmap. I guess after some more googling he realized that I'm a direct competitor and never reached out to me 😂
Despite the learning aspect, I didn't stick with Twitter once I've learned the 80/20 of an industry. We never used Twitter as a tool for our business (networking; hiring; etc.).
Creating Value: Less Like Insta, More Like Linkedin
Since January 2021 I'm opportunity scoping again.
This time around I'm interested in the Creator Economy (aka Passion Economy).
I flocked to Twitter again to learn about the industry and see what's going on.
This time though I am the product. I need to build an audience.
Twitter: Relevant Audience at Scale
Compared to a blog, Twitter's advantage is that you have a built-in audience on the channel:
I wanted to test my blog (where I have been publishing since 2017) vs. Twitter.
Here are my February 2021 stats:
I know it's not apples to apples but on Twitter, I generated 165,000 impressions with ~570 followers this month. WTF.
Hence, I decided that my strategy going forward is going to be:
- Build an audience on Twitter
- Funnel audience to blog/newsletter/online courses/etc.
Finally, I understood that Twitter is more like Linkedin and less like Instagram.
If you use it actively it can be extremely valuable.
In 2021 Twitter seems to double down on the Creator Economy by acquiring the newsletter platform Revue.
Packy McCormick's article summarizes it quite well. Read it.
A couple of weeks after the article, Twitter made the first move and introduced Super Follows.
Step 1 of the platform update ✅
All of this is good news if you are a Creator and want to grow and monetize your audience on a single platform.
My Workflows: How I Use Twitter to Build in Public
Here's a collection of my favorite ways to use Twitter:
Use Twitter to Gather Data and Feedback About Your Writing
More touchpoints = more data.
It's easier to write a tweet than it is to write a blog post.
Use Twitter to Build-in-Public
One of the coolest things I've found this year was the Build-in-Public (BIP) movement.
The idea is to document your project/company development in public (ideation; development; ups and downs; etc.). The benefit is similar as for the writing: you create more touchpoints, generate more data, and your feedback loops are shorter.
I started building my first online course in public:
The benefits for me:
- Documentation: I have a timeline to look back at
- Distribution: More eyeballs on my project
- Feedback: People are giving me objective feedback and improvement suggestions for the product
- Networking: I have connected with course creators who are building themselves - that's a cool journey and accountability group
Use Lists to Curate Your Feed
I curate Twitter lists to focus on certain topics.
This makes it faster to interact with the most interesting accounts.
Create Twitter Threads for Summaries
If I'm reading something interesting I summarize it publicly in a Twitter thread.
I use these as references and as outlines for future blog posts.
Use Typefully to Create Twitter Threads
Typefully comes in handy when you want to pre-write a thread with 2+ tweets.
- You have a preview of the thread
- You can publish all tweets at once
- You can proof-read the entire thread before posting
Use Link in Bio to Route your Traffic to your Other Destinations
I'm currently experimenting with a tool called beacons 👇
The idea is to have a single link re-direct your traffic to multiple destinations/SKUs.
In my case:
- Gumroad page for my online course
Use Twitter for Networking
In the past month, I have connected with more interesting people on Twitter than in the past year on Linkedin.
Each connection is just a DM away. Don't be shy and say hi to me.
Use Twitter Search
Best thread on the topic
Switched to Revue for my Newsletter
I decided to switch from Mailchimp to Revue.
I explained my reasoning in my first Revue issue.
The way I see it:
- Top-of-funnel: Twitter/Linkedin
- Middle-of-funnel: Blog/Newsletter
- Bottom-of-funnel: Paid products (online courses; etc.)
Video Walk-Through of the Workflow
This post is a work-in-progress and will be updated on a regular basis.
I hope it helps you. If you have feedback or want to connect, please ping me on Twitter.
- How to Crush it on Twitter: David Perell and Matthew Kobach Workshop - Good workshop to learn the basics of productive Twitter usage
- How Twitter Got It's Groove Back - Good analysis of potential Twitter roadmap
- The Passion Economy and the Future of Work - Seminal blog post on the Creator Economy
- Ship 30 for 30 - Monthly online cohort to develop a writing habit on Twitter by publishing 30 atomic essays in 30 days
- How to Unfuck Twitter - Automation workflows explained