Writing is Not Your Bottleneck in Audience Building. This is.

By Kevon Cheung in

Growth Marketing

April 24, 2021

When it comes to audience building on Twitter, it comes down to producing high-quality content to attract readers. We call it - writing tweet threads to get followers.

I've come across so many people who want to build an audience, but they either don't start or give up in a few weeks.

At first, I thought it was because they didn't know how to write good tweets or tweet threads.

But ever since I started running the #30DaysInPublic challenge, I found out they can all write. In fact, they can write well.

The things that are holding them back are accountability and consistency.

Holding yourself accountable

8 years ago, I was trying to pick up coding myself. After 6 months of grinding online materials, I gave up and joined an in-person coding bootcamp. I even flew all the way to New York to take it.

Some people can hold themselves accountable and do self-learning, and some people cannot. This is how I see how we should approach learning.

Skills & Experiences vs Difficulty of What You Try to Learn
Skills & Experiences vs Difficulty of What You Try to Learn

Choosing between self-learning or cohort-based learning depends on your skills and experiences measured against the difficulty of what you're trying to learn. And the accountability line determines whether you'll be able to hold yourself accountable.

For example, if you've been a software engineer for 10 years, then picking up React JS and Node JS should be something you can do yourself. But if you're a lawyer trying to learn how to build a community, it is likely you need a group of people to do it together, or else you'll give up quickly.

So if you want to help yourself increase accountability, figure out where the topic you're learning fits on your graph.

Results can only come when you're consistent

In my newsletter last week, I talked about my way of overcoming shiny object syndrome. You might be driven by emotions, which means you prefer to work on ideas that are exciting. When a new idea pops up, you go after that.

What I see is a lack of consistency.

And honestly, this is super hard. About 7 months ago, I started a new project and I was 90% finished. But I didn't publish it because I came up with a better plan to focus on my blog. Despite how experienced you are, wanting to move to new ideas is a challenge that will keep coming back to all of us.

Taking #BuildingInPublic as an example, if you see value in it yet find it hard to keep up, I observed that it usually comes down to 2 major challenges.

Unclear what you're building

If you have a company or product that you're currently building, then building in public is straightforward. You're sharing your journey to build up your authentic brand and grow an audience. But if you're in a transition period and do not know what to build, it is super hard for you to stay focused.

There are 2 ways to tackle this.

  1. You can create a new project in a space you know you'll be around in the long run, and start building your project and share it in public. This might not be your ultimate project, but it can help you start building a relevant audience.
  2. Or you can be like me. I didn't know what to build back then, so I started off writing content about what I'm learning to deep dive myself into a new space (hint: #BuildingInPublic). And you can talk about your journey creating that piece of content. It is writing in public, which is essentially building in public.

Either way, you're creating so that you have real insights to share, not making up things. The key is to pick a topic carefully so that you're building the right audience.

Not able to form a Twitter strategy

Most people I talk to think Twitter is extra work. They understand the powerfulness of the social platform and the importance of growing an audience, but they fail to see Twitter as part of their business model.

This is the biggest threat to your consistency. If you don't see it in your plan, how do you stick to it?

I love mind mapping and I constantly revisit my business model on my online whiteboard. This is my marketing funnels at the moment.

Kevon's marketing channels

Twitter is a beautiful platform with a high volume of users and activities. It is the perfect place as a top funnel to expose yourself to new people every week.

This means you're consistently placing relevant high-quality content into the right people's hands.

Then when they finally see your tweets or land on your profile, it is your chance to get them into your middle funnel. This could be your website, blog, newsletter, free courses, etc.

This is where you do your best to communicate the values you can bring to this person.

Then your middle funnel is responsible to highlight your lower funnel lightly (you don't want to be salesy) which is mainly your paid products.

This is a marketing strategy that leverages audience building on Twitter as a top funnel channel. Some would say Twitter is also a middle funnel because your existing followers also get value from you. Yes, marketing is not black and white. Often times there is a lot of overlapping.

When you look at it this way, you can see how building in public on Twitter is a key part of your marketing strategy. It is not extra work. And as you start to see people move from top to lower funnel, you'll not want to stop writing these tweet threads.

The reason why you stop is that you don't know where Twitter fits in your marketing strategy.

Writing and storytelling are still crucial

I talked about how people write well, so does #30DaysInPublic focus less on writing and storytelling?

Absolutely not. I created 15 challenges that span across 30 days, and they represent different ways of building in public. Each of them comes with a real example on Twitter and I broke down the storytelling technique so the #30DaysInPublic builders can still work on their writing and storytelling.

Overall, if you're struggling to build in public, I highly recommend you figure out a plan to tackle accountability and consistency first. Once you do that, the rest will come together to help you attract your own audience.

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