I woke up to this gem this morning. Tony Dihn grew his Twitter followers from 100 to >30K in a year. This is incredible.
He then released a short guide on exactly how he did it. This is even more incredible. Get it here
Let's have a look at what you'll get.
What you'll get
Tony documented his entire journey up to 30K followers in a Notion document, which he described as "not a Twitter course". It's more like a blow-by-blow account of how he figured out what works, what his strengths were and how to provide value.
He highlights specific tweets over his journey, why he thinks they did well and what he learned from them.
Early on in the doc, he provides a short TLDR too, for the time-strapped;
- 100 → 200: extremely difficult, demotivating, and I had no idea what I was doing.
- 200 → 1,000: committed to build an audience seriously on Twitter. I bought a * Twitter course, learn the basics, get to know the “algorithm”, tried everything.
- 1,000 → 6,000: stay consistent, leverage my advantage, build in public, get lucky.
- 6,000 → 10,000: still stay consistent, build in public, share my journey, threads, memes, giveaways, advice, etc.
- 10,000+: did all of the above, but with less time as things are easier now.
At this stage, I'm on step 2 , so this is definitely something I'll be studying over the next few weeks. Maybe I'll write a similar guide of my own one day 😄
This post is a quick summary of each milestone to peak over, but after you've wetted your appetite, go ahead and get it straight from the source.
Going from 100-200 followers
From the guide it was clear that he already put some thought in his profile description, and this is something you should do too.
You need to tell your profile visitors, in a short and direct way. Remember, no one cares if you're a parent or that you read books and like the beach, they want to know what to expect when they follow you. Make it concise and clear what you are about and what you will tweet about. Then add some links to the stuff you're working on.
During this period, Tony focussed on engaging with other Twitter users and sharing the progress of some of the cool stuff he's working on.
From 200-1000 followers
At this point he started making small, free and useful tools and sharing it. This resulted in larger accounts retweeting him, which lead to faster and faster audience growth.
He also started experimenting with tweet threads.
If you spend the effort to collect valuable information into one place and publish it in the form of threads, people will appreciate it (most likely).
Some people also retweet and like as a way to “bookmark” the thread, so it’s super helpful!
At around 700 followers he started testing what he call engagement hacks.
These are tweets that reward his audience for sharing, following or liking his tweets. This was super clever. All the positive feedback helped him stay consistent, and this is also key his growth.
This phase of his journey took 60 days! This is insane! I've been on Twitter for years and am only at around 700.
From 1000-6000 followers
At this stage the cool stuff he was building started coalescing into a Twitter product. He decided to keep it free, in order to drive more audience growth. He also also continued to focus on engaging with others.
He started refining his engagement hacks even more, and things started blowing up!
My followers shoot pass 2K with in 24 hours. Then it went pass 3K in a few hours later. After 48 hours, that tweet gained me ~4,000 new followers.
His Twitter audience growth appeared to be exponential at this point. The larger his audience, the quicker it grew. IF you provide genuine value and entertainment, they will come.
At ~4.5K followers, my “regular tweets” started to get more engagements. Tweets that previously went nowhere, now have a better chance to do well. It’s the compounding effect.
Other tips he offers is to share your small wins. Most people are supportive and and want to share in your excitement. You should definitely try this, everyone likes a winner, even if the wins are modest. 😅
Another form of tweet that helped nudge things along were memes(just ask Dagobert about memes)
At the end of this stage, Tony focussed on consistency, threads, memes and wins. He also started a newsletter.
6000 - 10000
Memes, story-telling tweets, and threads continued his audience growth. And along with the small wins, he did regular launches too!
... and then he made threads about the launches. 😆 It seems it's a good idea to have your successful tweets feed on each other.
Between 7000-8000 followers, his Twitter tool BlackMagic started making enough revenue for him to quit his day job.
Courage to take risk, inspiring, love and support
Before 10K, I spend almost 3 hours every day on average to focus on growing on Twitter. After I reached 10K, I didn’t spend as much time anymore, partly because it was not healthy to use Twitter that much, and I also wanted to focus more on coding.
At this stage Tony focussed on tweeting less, but making each tweet much more impactful. This meant super in-depth threads, condensed tweets and celebrations/small wins.
He continues encouraging engagements with his audience by asking open ended questions too.
And, of course, by building cool stuff.
(Make a) creative idea that they have never seen before. They can play interactively by replying. Replying makes the tweet even more popular.
He experimented with giveaways, with mixed results.
I tried giveaway a few times, and I don’t think it work as a way to build engagements. The giveaway tweets usually do ok for a short time, but not much retention.
And notices that tweets with specific numbers in them garnered a lot of response.
Why it worked: Numbers are attractive, transparent about revenue, good screenshot
He also start doing "name drop" tweets, where he mentioned specific tools or technologies to help his audience relate with him.
These are types of tweets that worked for Tony that you can start trying too.
- share cool stuff you're working on
- celebrate small wins
- name drops
- open-ended questions