(Photo by Kelly L from Pexels)
It used to be job boards. Ever since @levelsio revealed that you can make mad cash with a simple php page and niche jobs listings, everyone and their cat has thrown the dice with one. Billions of desperate, freedom-seeking hoards(this one included) have all tried their hand at a "job board for X". Fine, I'm being slightly hyperbolic, but you know what I mean.
I'm not to trying blame or poo-poo people, it's very understandable - we're all conditioned to imitate those we perceive to be in a position to teach us something. Since early childhood we've learned to achieve things with the strategy of imitation.
But at a certain stage, when it comes to market dynamics, too much imitation starts chopping down marginal returns down to nothing. The late, "inspired" masses miss the boat, and the situation becomes winner-takes-all.
The latest expression of this phenomena seems to be Twitter Growth products. I've realised this, you see, while developing my OWN Twitter growth tool. Good job, reticular activation system, you might have spared me some pain.
This morning I was researching some stuff related to what I wanted to do and, gosh-darn-it, there it was, clear as day. I saw like 5 other people laying down the ground-work for pretty much the same thing, all within a few minutes of scrolling!
I'm not the sharpest cookie in the box, but repetition is an excellent training tool for the slow. And ever so slightly this one's bulb grew brighter. "That there is an emerging trend," I said to myself.
Even the nocode peeps will see it soon and surely jump on this too. "Grow Your Own NoCode Twitter Growth Tool In 2 Weeks". And watch Indiehackers and Reddit - there'll be more Twitter API questions bubbling up pretty soon.
Now this gave me pause. Am I getting lost in the crowd here? Do I really want to venture into the next up-and-coming crowded space? Why, no, Your Honor, I don't think I do. I have social anxiety.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect) - Mark Twain
This latest little gold rush came from the culmination of the success of the two Danny's and a Tony. Over the last three years or so, these guys have been making a splash with their Twitter related info products and tools. The Danny's made Gumroads courses and the Tony is a newcomer with a sort-of Twitter productivity browser plugin(He just launched, go check it out)
They've been relatively open with their revenue figures, and Hmmm uhmm, does it look good. Fat figures, my friends. AND a side of back-pats & accolades. Who doesn't want that? We all do.
Definitely me, and at least 5 others in my timeline this morning. Like cockroaches, us scrappy makers and indiehackers; if you see one, know that there's at least 10 more you haven't noticed yet.
Now don't get me wrong, we all individually probably thought that we have our own, unique reasons for starting these projects, that we're not just following a trend. None of us were like "I'ma copy Danny/Daniel/Tony and retire". No, we rationalised that there's clearly demand, and that we could offer something good with a different spin on it.
In my case, for instance, I saw and tried out the DDT's offerings and thought it was great, but didn't quite fit what I needed to the T. I wanted something to help guide and optimise my own usage of Twitter, since my paltry following is only at <700. I had some grand plans scrawled out on GDocs here, believe me. No domain name yet, sure, but I was still highly motivated. Got up at 4:30am this morning to work on it and everything.
As, I'm sure, the other 5(and the multitude unseen ones) are doing, too. Snowflakes, all of us, but that won't matter. The trend is gaining momentum nonetheless. And you know what trends do, they average out results.
Yep, to me it's starting to look like Twitter Growth Products will be the next "job board for X" and only the incumbents, those who's names start with explosive consonants, will survive to prosper.
Sure, there might be more space left for some smaller fish. If you get creative, and hustle your ass off, you might even turn a small profit.
But let's be real, I'm a very, VERY small fish. Those 5 other ruffians for instance, they have at least 1500-50K followers each. Man. I won't stand a chance. They'll out-social-proof me with their network effects in no time. This won't end well for me. I need to reconsider.
So I'm bowing out of the Twitter tool movement, at least in the general sense. Maybe I'll niche my concept down more, or just look for another project. I'm not sure. But fighting it out in crowded markets with just a toothpick as my weapon is not for me.
I'll close this post off with some ideas on how I think you can grow your Twitter following too. Yes, I'm no expert and have a following for ants, but you've read this far anyway, you might as well finish it.
Rik's tips for People who don't Twitter well.
- Treat your profile page like a landing page - Optimise so that whoever lands on it knows exact what to expect from following you. Use a photo of your own mug, in a friendly expression, as your profile pic. Leave the NFTs for when you're rich. Don't neglect the space offered in your banner, use it! Finally, write your profile like it's your landing page copy - think headline, hook and CTA
- Choose a niche and stick mostly to it - If you want people who are into web3 stuff to follow you, tweet, share and talk about mostly that. You can get cute with other topics later, when you've gained some momentum. But for now, focus. People will unfollow you if your content is too random. Remember they chose to follow you because you set an expectation. If you stray from that you 'lied' to them.
- Don't tweet into the void - When you have less than, like, 1000 followers, tweeting your own stuff will garner minimal responses and results. Instead, find, follow and chat with larger accounts in the same niche you chose in no.2 above. You can use my advanced search tool to hunt for them. Just filter by keyword(niche) and 20< likes and 10< reshares. Don't tweet alone in your corner, go socialise with the bigger accounts, learn the ropes, steal some of their eyeballs and make some friends.
- Funnel in followers from outside of Twitter - Write content elsewhere, and share fun projects and progress of stuff you're doing outside of Twitter. Like I'm doing here. One good post on HackerNews or Indiehackers could send quite a few likeminded people your way.
Thanks for reading.