Podcast

Episode: 324 |
Daniel Vassallo:
Monetizing Twitter:
Episode
324

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Daniel Vassallo

Monetizing Twitter

Show Notes

Daniel Vasallo left a great job at Amazon in February 2019 with the idea of working independently.

He thought about building a product, but decided that he first ought to build an audience, so he set out to learn Twitter.

From a base of a couple hundred followers 18 months agao, @dvassallo now has over 44K followers.

He wrote a technical book on Amazon Web Services that generated over $100K in revenue. And then he created a guide on how to build a Twitter following, “Everyone Can Build a Twitter Audience,” based on his own experience – that guide has also grossed over $100K.

After I spoke with Daniel I purchased his Twitter course and I recommend it.  Purchase it on Gumroad here:

https://dvassallo.gumroad.com/

And do follow Daniel on Twitter at @dvassallo

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman 00:01
Hello and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional Unleashed is produced by Umbrex, which connects you with the world’s top independent management consultants. I’m your host Will Bachman and I am so excited to be here today with Daniel Vassallo, who I connected with on Twitter. He has a huge Twitter following. In fact, he has a course on how to build a Twitter audience. Daniel, welcome to the show.

Daniel Vassallo 00:31
Hi, well, thank you for having me.

Will Bachman 00:33
So Daniel, maybe just tell us the quick the story of you were working at Amazon, you’ve left and now you have this whole portfolio career going on of info products and consulting. Tell us a little bit about your sort of what’s going on right now with with your portfolio, what are the different products and, and consulting services, your different revenue streams is kind of give us an overview.

Daniel Vassallo 00:58
Yeah, of course. So very, very high level background sort of I used to work in software development for all my career, I took the traditional path and went to college studied computer science worked as a software developer for about 16 years. And long story short, I think a few years ago, I realized this probably occurred as a full time employee was wasn’t the ideal one for me. And so then I started thinking about how I could transition to sort of self employment. And sort of Nevertheless, I didn’t want to keep waiting for some big grand idea for me to quit. So I sort of, instead, I put in much one day decided, I’m just going to leave my job is to sort of explore some ideas, you know, inside to make make a living out of them. And, you know, worst case scenario, if they don’t work, I could always go back to the industry. So that’s what I did last year in the beginning of 2019. And pretty much the first thing I remember, I was sitting at my desk the first week, initially, my plan was to try to build a software product, I had some vague ideas, I was going to start experimenting. But fairly quickly, I had a little little crisis that I realized that bit too much outside of the companies that I had worked at, and nobody knew about me, like I had never done anything in public before. I had no online presence, no social media activity. So I started imagining myself working on a project for two months, six months, and then I release it, and nobody sees that. You know, and then and then what. So I chose to try something different, like I had been hearing before sort of about building an audience, that that helps, especially independent, sort of people sort of market their products and sort of be known. But I To be honest, I didn’t say they knew what it meant, or how to go about it. But I was determined to get that slide, I was determined to try to get some attention as fast as possible, and then sort of try to figure out what I can do with it. So the very first thing that I did actually was like a blog post where I described why I chose to quit ACA, by pretty much every traditional metric was succeeding because I was I was in a very cushy job I was calling at Amazon I was getting paid really well I was getting promoted. I the future was bright and teary eyed. I wasn’t like significantly unhappy or something else. But I used sort of text to describe my my motivation lights, why sort of, I wanted to sort of take my car there to a place where I can call the shots to decide what to work on what not to work on, and things like that. And sort of I showed this in a few places in a few online communities where people interested in these topics typically hang around legit and Hacker News and LinkedIn and a few other places. And it’s what quite well initially got me a fifth. It’s basically the blog post and if you if you’re interested in following what I’m going to do next following on Twitter, back then I had absolutely no followers. I think I had something like 50 followers. I just got my first few 1000 followers. I think I did that very, very first blog post, which is pretty amazing. I mean, to get a few 1000 followers from 50 is pretty incredible. Oh, yeah. And I let them get I was probably a bit lucky with with the timing and everything, maybe it’s so much better than I expected. But I think nevertheless, it’s a good strategy like to take something that you think others might be interested in and just documented that give it out for free promoted aggressively, manners, but posted on all the communities that you can. And I think what where it does well was that call to action at the end is basically, I didn’t waste the opportunity for for the attention that I got, I sort of converted it to two followers slides that that I could keep updating. So some some posts on words. Basically, the strategy that I took is that I’ve started documenting what I was doing, right, and sort of in this standard transition, there’s a bit of financial preparation of how I was sort of preparing my finances now that I was living off my savings practically, I was documenting, you know, setting up an LLC, or opening up a business account. The idea that I was typing, I was sort of explaining how I was thinking about this, and why why this this idea and not the other one. And this started to sort of that 1000 followers initially started to grow a few 100 followers a week, I would say, it wasn’t that linear, I occasionally will say something that interests more people, and you get that spike, right. But slowly, but surely, it’s as I kept growing these followings, I tend, I would say pretty much by sharing again, just the behind the scenes of my life and my my professional life, mostly, I wasn’t really talking about anything personal. Mostly, I was approaching this new Kaiser chapter. So a few months passed, and I was still didn’t really have anything concrete I had started, I actually had started on an idea that I wanted to try to do, which was, which is what ended up becoming user base. Now. It’s, it’s a software as a service that helps web developers build web applications with writing as little code as possible. And but this wasn’t something that was going to happen quickly, I imagined that it would probably take about a year to launch, I probably will take even more to start making enough money for me to live on. Basically, about six months later, I had another sort of small crisis, I had already been sort of seeing losses accumulate in my savings account for six months, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. I had quite a decent runway, I think I had about five years worth of expenses saved. So I wasn’t really desperate. It’s like to, to, to find something but still, like I think something subconsciously kicks in and makes you sort of want to find, find some income quickly light and do not rely too much on the expectations of the future. You never know what would happen. I had no guarantees that user base would work or how long would I have to wait. So this prompted me to try to try a couple of other things that I can The first thing I wanted, one of the things I talked about was set to like a self published book, I had no interest. And I think a book in its traditional publishing route, where typically, especially in the technical fields, like in software development, they tend to take years. So my deactive publication, but I wanted to say something a bit more different. So instead of spending a lot of time researching and creating, you know, a comprehensive Reference Guide, I thought I have, you know, 1015 years of experience on upon on a couple of topics. Why don’t I just try to do a brain dump of everything I know. And I try to distill it, and in simplest terms possible, and just announced it on my Twitter account. Right. And back and I think I back in October, I had about 10,000 followers on Twitter by then. I said this was about nine months since since I started. And before I had any anything about this book, I announced that I said I’m I’m going to try to create a technical ebook about Amazon Web Services, which is the sort of the fields that I the technical field that are sort of specialized in when I was working at Amazon and I set it up I

09:59
I opened it up for pre orders, and I had no expectations. Or at least I thought, you know, if something happens, you know, it’s a bonus, but I was willing to fly it, even if I had like, no pre orders. And pretty much the first couple of days, I got about $5,000 worth of pre orders. And this was a book that I put out for $24. And, you know, it was a huge signal. I think, like if people were willing to just, you know, take out their wallet, and pay for something that wasn’t even that high, we didn’t even started yet. I thought this was a good sign that that, that there’s something here. And this was obviously very motivated and glad to get that signal. It’s, it’s also remarkable, to show the power of, of having a Twitter following. So, you know, you hear you see a lot on Twitter about Oh, build a product, you know, go build a product or build a course. But if you don’t have that distribution channel, then it’s, you know, you’re not going to get any sales, but you did the work, you built up 10,000 followers, and then you can announce something and boom, you know, you can monetize that. Absolutely. And I think what helped me understand was what to expect, like, again, like, I don’t have a marketing background or had any identity, I wasn’t really trained up to sort of think about these things. I knew that 10,000 followers wasn’t bad, but I had absolutely no idea whether that would convert to you know, 10 sales 100 sales 1000. So this, this was one of the first moments where I could sort of start to translate that to the attention to sort of to my promotion activities that so. But yeah, definitely lifetime. And I like I had all the knowledge enemy six, when I left at six months before, and I pretty sure that if I had announced this before, I would have sold nothing, right. So that was definitely the recipe was pretty much all my business to that audience like that I had had built up to that point. Anyway, long story short, I released the book a couple of months later, I didn’t actually spend two months working on it, I estimates only about 160 hours, like probably about two weeks of full time work. And either listed on Christmas Day of 2019. And again, like it I ended, the launch day was even better, like I think I made $10,000 on launch day, after a couple of weeks, I had already made almost $50,000. And now six months later, just because I sent out $100,000 I just just that first product, I mean, the the graph of these kinds of products tend to look like you know, it’s it decays as you get the big spike on launch day, and then sort of you get a long tail, but I’m still getting probably about 50 $75 a day of sales of this book, and almost seven months later. So continuing in what I was doing, I pretty much as soon as I launched the product, and I started seeing this is as I kept documenting on Twitter, like what, what I was seeing and what what I was there and then taking screenshots on my my dashboard about the sales and explaining the marketing efforts that I was doing. I experimented a little bit with paid ads. Initially, I failed later, a few months later had some moderate success, nothing spectacular. I think I sold about $12,000 of those to paid ads to be full disclosure. So it wasn’t actually 100% from Twitter, but that’s happened like you know, I say that about two months after the launch. But I was just explaining what I was trying again continuing and instead of my my approach. And one of the most common questions that I was getting, just like what you just asked me like now like this set of people were realizing that instead of my marketing was mostly attributable to having an audience and there was getting lots of questions about how did I How did I manage to build the audience? I’d so quickly like how, what did I do in the beginning and sort of what worked, what didn’t work? And sort of these questions. First of all, I was answering again, like, this is what I do want to tell like I answer. I think nowadays close to 100 comments and DMS a day like I get lots of questions, one on one, and obviously I try to answer them for free. If they can fit in a tweet. I tried to get what I know, away. But I started to realize that this probably is something that I can this was probably an opportunity to say to explain what I learned that could fit in just a few tweets that applies and maybe in a blog post.

14:57
So this time I I thought okay, maybe not The interesting opportunity for another info product. And I wanted to say something different. I wanted to try to record a video, it’s a video course instead of an E book. for a couple of reasons, I think this type of this type of content was probably better. I wanted to share my screen on my laptop and sort of show some examples. I think it’s worked a bit better on Vizio. And so that business side, I wanted to experiment a little bit with site to maximize even more and my my either way, I think, when you’re writing a book, that’s always takes a certain amount of time, like you always have to, you know, they get several times that advice, there’s a, there’s a minimum of how much time you spend. But with the video course, I imagined that I could literally just prepare a few slides, just press the cards on my laptop, and they just talk over them. But it’s like as recorded in a presentation essentially. So much I managed to build this, I think I calculated in under 16 hours. On day one, I spent some time to train the slides. On the second day, I’ve spent about four hours recording and to the playing around a little bit with the editing, nothing major like buzzers of making gets 50. And I’d say a day I spent about again, maybe four hours preparing the product websites, sort of the product description setting applies. And that was it again, like I announced it on Twitter, this time, I didn’t take the orders. I had mentioned that about a week before that I was doing this, but that was the The only thing guidance. And this was even more successful than the other one. To be honest, it was slashing the pricing, by the way, the ebook. Originally, I launched that 20, I took the orders at $24. And then I launched the $28. Whereas the Twitter course I released it as $2. So it was slightly nearly twice, twice the price. And this, this is even even better that I think in the first two or two days it made around $30,000. And it’s managed to class $100,000 in about two months, instead of six months. And it’s still sort of my sales, I’m still getting out $200 a day, roughly, now, three months later from this, which again, like it’s complete a fascinating business, I never imagined that sort of there was an opportunity to monetize knowledge and experiences that we have in this way. And by the way, I learned so there’s a sense of that element of luck and good timing here. Like you know, I got some goods, I didn’t seek for them. But I got some good testimonials from people that were following me like that definitely helped spread the word and divided and gets those very likely my instead of my income would have been significantly different. Right? So but this all ties back to having having an audience I saw this happen because I had some people following me some people have sort of became sort of fans a little bit of what I was doing, they were sort of supporting me. And as I said before some of them became customers themselves. Some of them became customers and also had spread the word. And some of them just have said the words I just because they weren’t necessarily interested themselves. But whenever they hear somebody who might be interested in something that I’ve worked on, they just passed the word. One of the most fascinating things about Twitter is that you actually see word of mouth materialize, right? You know, traditionally, you don’t really, you know, see word of mouth happening like you just imagine that people talking about you. But in Twitter, I pretty much wake up as a day. As I look at my notifications, I see random strangers on the internet saying, you know, you should check out the diverse sallows Twitter courses, check out these asylos ebook, right and then so you see a couple of sales coming in from that from the second mendation which is which is quite interesting. So that’s currently i think that’s that’s pretty much my story that so maybe the only thing I didn’t mention, was doing all of this, I was also doing a little bit of freelance work. It was also part of my strategy. But try to tame the uncertainty that I’ve put myself into it. So I had a friend that was working in a start up in the Seattle area, he needed some help with some software tasks. And I was doing literally just maybe for eight hours a month like nothing big, but it was good to get like almost a small stable paycheck for for, you know, during all this unpredictable period that I was going to So yeah, I was mixing lots of things as I was exploring things, I tend dimensioning, the info product business a lot. I don’t know how, how sustainable it is like to be honest, I don’t know how many other ideas I can have in me, like to keep launching new things, one after the other. But I’m interested to say something goes at some point. I have the other social media service business that again, like it’s a long term bet, and have some open sort of looking for new opportunities that if they emerge, to mix things up. So yeah, that’s I think, that’s my story so far.

Will Bachman 20:40
That is amazing. It’s amazing. I mean, it’s amazing that you your Twitter course, was based on it sounds like about, you know, a year of just your own experience doing it yourself. It’s not like you’ve been doing this for 20 years. But you learn it yourself over the course of 912 months, and you create a course, then you make 100,000 bucks, pretty good.

Daniel Vassallo 21:03
Yeah, I think there’s something to say that I started to realize is that people really enjoy the thing and learning about an approach that works doesn’t necessarily need to be something that I, I don’t consider myself a social media expert by any means. But it’s just, you know, I stumbled on Twitter, I stumbled on an approach that was working for me, and the only reason why I felt justified to generalize it to our courses, because I’ve been following a few other accounts that have took a similar approach as mine, and they were also successful. So that sort of indicates to me that there might be some teaching opportunity here. But it’s I don’t think you necessarily need to be an expert, or something that you sort of, you know, you are something that you know, exhaustively inside out. There’s, I think there’s opportunities I did that is what I called it before, I just have brain dump of something that I’ve I’ve learned, like somebody that like there’s, there’s a guy on Twitter that I that I met on Twitter that lost a couple of ebooks, I use this as a good example, I have a couple of E books on how to take vacations with kids, I basically went on vacations like went to home with two small children. And other work put into preparing was the visit and what is child friendly and what the kids enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. It much did a brain dump of all of the of that whole experience and self published it or using the Amazon Kindle? Though Graham is completely free it particularly as much light to your content in a word, Doc, you send it to Amazon and suddenly starts appearing in searches. And it’s making me know quite quite, quite well with these products before COVID. At least I heard that COVID was a big problem for this type of content. But

Will Bachman 22:59
But I like this example. Because it’s literally just an interesting experience that I that you have left, right, it doesn’t need to be anything super sophisticated or anything extreme. But if you said other people are interested in it, I think it’s a good opportunity, at least to consider. And I think one of the tests that I like to use is if my friends and colleagues and the life start asking me about something right, you know, like, what do you think about this? Like, how did you do this, I think it’s a good

Daniel Vassallo 23:38
it’s a good chance that, you know, the internet will help you find 1000s of other people, like your friends that either are interested in your perspective or your experience about this particular topic, right. Nevertheless, as we said before, that it’s very important, it’s almost impossible to just write it and wait for people to come. It’s very hard, at least, I think what I had sort of what helped me stack the odds in my favor, was that I already had a few people listening to what I was doing. So when I put it out there sort of it had gotten generate some momentum. So I have so many questions. Let me let me start with some just some technical questions. So your ebook product about AWS, Amazon Web Services? Is that something that people will buy and get as a, you know, through Amazon and get as a, you know, Kindle ebook, or do they buy it directly and get a PDF? Like how mechanically Did you set that up for people to buy? Yeah, so it’s not available on Amazon and I did this intentionally. So I’m using a platform called gamma notes, which as you described is pretty much a direct way of selling digital content, PDFs and other things. One of the reasons So I think the Amazon Kindle program is a good program. But first of all, they’d be the cut is significantly different. So gamma only takes 2.5% of my sales, because they’re just pretty much a payment processor and the hosting service that they’re not helping with the distribution, right, I had to find my customers as Microsoft, so they can Amazon. What’s takes 70% that for a book, that is plies over 999. So I would only take 30% cut, which is, which is a big difference. And one of the other benefits of going direct, like decided Is that pretty much my customers and they give they they enter their email list, when they purchase, they become my customers that I can email them later, I can sort of keep updating them, and so on and so forth. Whereas if you publish something within the much Amazon’s customers, that you’re basically just you getting a loyalty for your own content. You don’t have your customer list, you don’t even know who purchased and whatnot outside. So I chose to go direct, but mostly because I think in the circumstances that I was in, it was just better financially and better for such as future, you know, gaining gaining getting my own customer list. So let’s say that I buy it through gumroad. How do I actually read the read the read the book? Do I get it? Do I can still download it and add it to my Kindle? Or do I just read it as a PDF? Yes, so you can. So basically, the way it works is that with gumroad, I get a link, I share it on Twitter, and whenever I want to promote it, people, you know, go to click on it, basically product page, just like it would look on on Amazon, they click Buy, they put their email address and tennis card details, and that they receive an email where they could either download the PDF, download the EPUB version, which is the apple books format, and that goes into your Apple books app, or sends to kindle button which you put your sort of Amazon account details and it sends it to your Kindle account. So I think the experiences is very similar to both for buying and consuming to, to Amazon. The main difference is that people that put people that put their ebooks on on the Kindle toggle, they appear in the Amazon search results, which is which is important, right? It says good distribution model. And I don’t have that. So that’s what I’m what I’m missing out on, like To be honest, I do have the option like Kindle doesn’t require you to be exclusive. I do have the option of publishing on Kindle again, as well. My only concern is that it’s potentially starts to cannibalize a little bit my other sales I think currently the way the way sort of my business, I haven’t been promoting my, my my edibles work for quite a while now it’s pretty much all word of mouth. And I’m still getting a few $1,000 a month out of this. But it looks like what’s happening is that people talk about it like in real life probably at work and whatever word of mouth and then people go and Google Google that service or somebody says you should check out the good parts of AWS, then people Google it, and pretty much my first thought is my download link. And then I get this test from there. I worry a little bit of all those organic sales started go to Amazon instead, I pretty much lose 70% of my business out of my revenue, basically. Because of the bigger cut. And I don’t think that the distribution that Amazon would give me but the reality is that if you were to search Amazon Web Services and Amazon right now there’s like 2000 differences. It’s hard for me to stand out and many of them are applies like you know, 899 below bill much, much lower than my you know, $35 that’s what the current price is. Book like so, I think I’m tempted to say eventually I think maybe if my sales is up to almost nothing, eventually I might decide to put it on Kindle as well. But I think right now it’s probably not not the best option for me. So yeah, that’s a bit bit of technical tactical optimization, I think. However, if you if you don’t have an audience and you want to experiment with FL products, probably putting it on pin then is probably a very good, good option because you get some distribution and that hear from I have no first hand experience but I hear others doing low $100 a month lights just pretty much completely passively.

Will Bachman 30:00
From from Kindle products, wow, so interesting. It makes me wonder if there’s, you know, certain customers, I mean, particularly, I would imagine the people that are buying an E book on how to optimize the use of Amazon Web Services are probably going to be a more technical audience. And more comfortable buying a book on gumroad versus your average everyday consumer, who has absolutely has never heard of gumroad. And, you know, and likes low friction. So you’re probably product is probably ideally suited for that more technical audience. On the other course, the Twitter, the Twitter audience course, how technically Did you set that one up? How do people go ahead and access it?

Daniel Vassallo 30:47
Yeah, tell us about those. Say, same exact thing I was coming out with basically, gum nose doesn’t really care what you what you upload, you can upload a zip file or a video for PDFs, and, and videos, it has a few nice features where, which allows you to play either the PDF, read the PDF, or play the video, as much as soon as you download as soon as you receive the email of the purchase. If you have something more, you know, like a presentation or things like that gumroad offers offers you to download that stuff, and then you can play it from your computer. So yeah, same thing, I cannot I think it’s probably one of the easiest ways to put something out for sale, any digital product, you literally just type your description, type type, the title that applies that ends up your file, then you get a link. And when people buy it, the money lands into your bank accounts as a side that is quite, quite fascinating. I’m a big fan of the platform. Although I agree with you, like as you said, like I think I think it’s important, it’s helps that most of my audience is comfortable, right? putting their credit card and somewhere that they’re not accustomed to. And then just other things. And did you record it? Is it just a one straight 90 minute video? Or did you break it up into little chapters? So with maybe exercises or questions or? or any kind of No, yeah, I kept it super, super, super simple. My plan was to record it all. In one go. In reality, what I ended up doing, I, I hit the match, I hit stop and cried again, like after every second mentally, it was actually broken down into about eight, I think seven or eight different parts, mostly for me just to take a break. Big because to be honest, I had never done video recording before it wasn’t something I was, I was particularly familiar with. And by the way, but then I pretty much stitch this all together. And I uploaded this in single file, which is very different from again, like I just wanted to keep it simple, like this, just the value proposition that I’m offering is, you know, just take an hour of your free time and just learn everything I know about this topic. Because again, this is just like watching that talk at a conference site, but it’s just the core that beforehand. So the way the way, the way when if you were to watch it, it’s just one long talk. But you might find a few scenes where I stopped and play the game, but I didn’t know know the editing, I didn’t really stop and re record the cuts. If I if I said an arm or you know I coughed or whatever, I didn’t really cut it out. I think I kept sort of I think some of the scrappiness sometimes. There’s always a bit of charm, I think underrated charm and some of discrepancies in these types of products. It’s very hard to describe, I don’t know what it is, but just feels a bit more genuine. That I think the fact that I didn’t see let’s like to over polish it. I think it’s almost puts more emphasis on the content. Right and, and this the way I marketed it as well as when I described it like this is just a brain dump of everything I know. And I and by I think the fact that the production quality is the way it is where again, like I didn’t really obsess on lighting or again, like this is just a very basic PowerPoint presentation, the default template, just bullet points and just just talk over them. I think it’s a again, like it’s very hard to put your finger on what it really is. But it seems like it worked and it works, which is very different. I Had I other video course creators that spends months like on a one hour or a few few hour video content. So it’s again, like, fine tuning the details. And you can tell like your production quality is obviously much better in that case. But it was part of my strategy. As I said, Before, I wanted to keep my ROI very low. I wanted to keep it enjoyable. Basically, I didn’t want to feel that after I finished doing this, that I would feel like I would never do this ever again, just because I’m excited that it’s over. I wanted the opposite side, I wanted to be looking forward to have another opportunity to do another thing like this. That’s I think keeping it keeping get scrappy, sort of helps and keeping attention and not sort of become frustrated and polishing it and obsessing too much over it. That’s awesome. So people that are interested in building a Twitter audience should buy your course. Let’s say that. But let’s but maybe you could give us some of the kind of some teasers here. So what are some? What are some of the key principles that that you would share for someone who, who wants to build a Twitter audience? Yeah, so a couple of things. I think, first of all, one of the things I really realized is that people really enjoy following a story as it happens. And I think Twitter is a perfect medium for that, unlike writing a blog post or an article or something else, which is, by the way, another approach of building an audience that you don’t obviously have to use Twitter that you could just write on medium, or just blog posts, or any other form. But Twitter’s sort of helps you put updates in almost real time. Right. And I think this, it’s very interesting from from the from the consumer side, I just following something as it happens, and I think it was also, in my case, very compatible with with my preferences, I would say I enjoy that as soon as I find something, I think it sends this thing, even something as mundane as, for example, I filed for a trademark legislation. I had never done this ever before in my life, I found that a trademark attorney, they quoted me so and so much, and I just shared what I learned. It costed me this much and there was a previous name, but we got this, so and so forth. So I like the fact that as soon as I see something interested, I just tweet about it in a few minutes. And, and that sets like I don’t have to worry too much about it. But the other thing that I think is super important that many people do, don’t do well in Twitter, is that I think you need to have some credibility, on the topic that you talk about that. I could, for example, I could start talking about nutrition, or health and fitness or whatever. I like those topics, and I take them seriously in my personal life. But nobody would take me seriously like Who am I to be talking about? What’s the best diet? Or what’s the best exercise or whatever, like I have no credibility on the topic. So I think it’s really, really, really important sites to before you start talking about something, is that some people or that it believes that you’re credible in that topic, I then did this a bit hard, because there’s there’s, there’s a clear measure, you have to sense it. But you have to sense what are people asking you about or like, for example, the first blog post that I posted about why I chose to leave my job gave me a little bit of credibility and starting to work like in taking the plunge, I just put it that way. And this is basically I put my site active and that I was somebody who just abandoned a good car there to just go figure it out. So again, I it’s hard to put a label on what that what that topic is. But it allows me to keep talking about it, about how I how I sort of reasoned about it, what I was doing about it and so on and so forth. Later, which we talked about it before when I launched my first ebook, and I started to show my results. It immediately gave me credibility in the in the social media feeds that other would have never imagined. There would be something that we’ll be talking about this topic like just a year and a half ago, and had absolutely no experience. But the fact that I was able to take screenshots on my dashboard and show My results and basically be able to show you an iPhone 6000 customers, just on my Twitter, basically Twitter followers. Sort of, it was clear that I had some credibility, people were asking me questions every day about it, which says, which allows me to keep talking about it. Before I created my course I had this much. My Twitter feed was mostly talking about audience building, right? And what worked and what didn’t work and so on, so forth. Yeah. Now, when people are just know it when people are just starting out, right? So if you start out, you have zero followers or 10 followers or 50 followers.

Will Bachman 40:38
You could post about things, but there’s like no critical mass to then, you know, share that. So how do you recommend people kind of start, you know, building an audience have enough critical mass that then they’re gonna share it? So should you like try to follow other people and retweet their stuff? or comment on their stuff? Or how do you kind of get to some initial critical mass?

Daniel Vassallo 41:01
Yeah, I think two strategies worked well, for me. And I think what for many other people, one of them is, like what I did initially, I didn’t really start with Twitter, as I said that I just wrote a blog post. And, and I think the important thing to do is to that many, many places on the internet where people are pretty much refreshing that page for the 15 minutes looking for interesting stuff, that this is one popular one. But there are many other sub communities niche niches and manifests like in the software development phase, there’s a site called Hacker News, where anyone can publish anything like and if people like it, they have voted. And if you if you do well, there, you can get like 100,000 visits in a day, that if you ended up on the front page, which I did for a few minutes with my blog post. But there’s LinkedIn and there’s like, and many other places where I call like the sort of, for them side by just people already hanging around which are interested, which may be interested in something you want to share. So I think the way I would look at it is, first, I would think of what do I have like that might be interested to other people? What experiences do I have? What knowledge Do I have, I just try to articulate it in a way that people in these other places, that’s where they’re like people hitting refresh, looking for something interested, might be interested to know about. So I think this is the probably the most effective strategy to start with. And as I mentioned before, I think a good thing that happened to me was this call to action at the at the end of my post where I just said, if you want to follow more, just follow me on Twitter, like if you don’t want to use Twitter, maybe you could say subscribe to my email list or something I but I think it’s it helps to, to convert those those sort of the attention you get from these places. The other thing that really helps, and I think these two things are best done sort of simultaneously on Twitter, is that if you follow some interesting accounts that talk about things that you know something about something that I did this, I did this in the early days, I set up tweets, notifications, this is something that’s very few people know, you can do like on the Twitter app on both iOS and Android, you can choose an account and you can press the bell icon. And then every time they tweets, you get a notification on your phone. And this one, this is a good opportunity to jump into that comments I can just support was obviously it gives you the opportunity when you have something useful to say that’s what supports their tweets. Like it’s good to be early. Either way Twitter works, that just sort of helps the viewer one of the first commenters but it’s really helps if you can support a tweet with something related to you something is related to your story. You know, for example, if somebody in my case, for example, talks about you know, self publishing or whatever, like somebody is making a point about how self publishing an E book is better than going with us as a publisher and I might jump into the comments and give an example of you know, of the of the results that I had. So my my book like, sort of its has the original poster because you’re giving an example supporting them and it helps people that are reading that tweets that night to see or to see upto financial click canoe and then maybe they land up in your profile they see a link to your blog or whatever you posted some more details at this With a sales funnel, I just started I talk a little bit about my Twitter course, getting building an audience is not very much difference on marketing funnel, where at the top, you just pretty much just eyeballs on your profile. And then people take a look about what you’ve written some people’s past, but some people keep looking, and then some people end up following you. And then obviously, some people keep following you for a long time, like they don’t have follow you, and so on so forth. There’s like all these steps. So I think in the beginning, you just need to find strategies to get attention, right. And the two things that worked for me, I did this to almost like just go, go where people already are, right, and where people literally are already just thirsty for interesting stuff. And post things there that you can talk about the deliverables you’ve left if you’ve left them yourself, so you have like first hand experience. And then I think like the sides, strategy that we can just keep keep your eyes open for opportunities where you can jump in and add value by linking to your story or adding more detail and just opportunities to get just more eyeballs on your on your profile.

Will Bachman 46:22
That is amazing. So Daniel, where can people go and find your courses? Why don’t you share your twitter address and your how people can can sign up for your for your course and your book?

Daniel Vassallo 46:36
Yes, so the best way to find me and to interact with me is probably on Twitter and I’m at the Vassallo the VA s s a l l o, on the Twitter profile bio, just the link the gumroad link to my to my ebook and my course and everything else I’m doing. But yeah, watch on Twitter, I’m stilted much post almost daily updates on my, you know, what I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing, what’s not working experiments I’m doing and sort of what I’m documenting my professional life. I try to reply to pretty much every question that I get either publicly on Twitter or in DMS over email. So the listeners feel free to ask me anything. I’m happy to give my perspective. I don’t have all the answers, but I can happy to share how I’m thinking about it.

Will Bachman 47:32
That is so generous of you. So those links will be in the show notes. Be sure to follow Daniel. Daniel, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Thank you. Well, thanks. This was great.

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