Help: How did YOU get your first 100 followers?

Recently I listened to a few Indiehackers podcasts this one, this one, and this one) (fantastic job btw @csallen) and the discussions around building an audience first before building (or releasing) a product really resonated with me.

I've researched the marketing channels for my domain of knowledge (Laravel, Vue, self-improvement) and Twitter, Github, blogging and newsletters seem to be good contenders.

While I have some ideas on growth (I currently have 0 followers) I don't really know the which channel to go after first and it's hard to research what worked for others, so I'd love some inspiration and ideas on your journey.

How did YOU get your first 100 followers

  1. 5

    I joined Twitter over a dozen years ago and I can't remember how I got my first followers.

    But, in the early days of social, it was relatively easy to get at least a few hundred followers with little or no effort as everything was new, there were fewer interesting people, and it wasn't hard to get attention.

    The other social platform I spent significant time on was Google+. I actually went there daily from day one to the platform's very last minute. In 2011 it was still easy to get a following, especially on a new and then hot platform.

    When I reached 3-4K followers, Google's algorithms kicked in. I ended up being recommended to new users and my followers grew to 35-40K. Then Google noticed my work, invited me to join a program for Google+ creators, and the algorithmic juice brought up to about 240K followers to one of my collections (yeah, at Ghost Town).

    Fast forward to the past few years.

    I have about 2.8K Twitter followers and they grow very slowly. Since launching a blog last year, I have been using Twitter to promote it and I have an average of a few hundred views per day. The blog's audience grows very slowly too.

    Less than a year ago I launched a newsletter and, you guessed it, Twitter is the main platform where I promote it. Right now I have 53 subscribers and I got my first 10-20 by emailing friends. Again, the subscriber base is growing very slowly.

    It's been quite a while since my early Twitter days. Organic reach is long dead, and growing is hard.

    1. 1

      Hey @PaoloAmoroso! That was great to read, thanks for sharing!

      I took a few things from your story:

      • Audience growth is easier on 'hot and new' platforms/communities (well at least it used to be)
      • There is some inflection point where it can become easier (a.k.a Getting the Algorithmic Juice). What were you posting about on Google+ out of curiosity?
      • "Organic reach is long dead, and growing is hard." this is a good quote

      Look forward to checking out your stuff :)

      1. 2

        Thanks, those are indeed the main takeaways.

        Like I do today elsewhere, On Google+ I posted about my work and interests: astronomy, space, Google, tech, blogging, digital publishing, and more.

        1. 2

          I almost forgot another bumper sticker quote 😀

          It takes an audience to build an audience.

  2. 3

    I actually wrote a post on building a Twitter audience from scratch on my Twitter growth hacking blog!


    1. 2

      Thank you for this! This is extremely helpful. It's like a pot of twitter gold birdies :)

    2. 2

      Hey @simplisticallysimple :)

      Thanks for the link. I actually came across this article from your blog when doing some research. You have some really great content and I'll be referring back to it a lot no doubt.

    3. 2

      This is great. Thanks for sharing.. Its almost lunch time here and going to start what you suggested straight away. "snipe list" incoming :)

  3. 2

    You can get first 100 follower by actively engaging in the Social Media and providing consistent value. Also follow others, comments on the post, help people generously then they will follow back.

  4. 2

    If you have 0, then you start with the basics:

    1. Friends and family (personal message to each one)
    2. Facebook friends, Instagram followers (share what you are going to do)
    3. Colleagues (or ex-collgaues from previous jobs) + Linkedin post

    Those above are quick and easy ones which can get you up to 50 followers already. Then you need to move on to a more long term approach as now you would need complete strangers to start following you.

    My advise:

    1. Build your profile on Indie Hackers

    Start asking questions, sharing your knowledge and commenting on other peoples posts. Persoanlly, I found this to be an ver effective strategy in getting followers from other IH members as they check my IH profile.

    1. People have to follow for that you are doing

    Yes, build audience first, but nobody is going to follow you if you are not doing anything. That means you probably need a website, a blog, a newsletter or even a Youtube channel. Adding these additional layers will help strengthen your credibility and thus can get you more followers.

    These techniques should be enough to get you your first 100 followers.

    1. 2

      Hey @benas11 :)

      Thanks for the actionable input, will aim to crack that 50.

      Your second point is great. From what I've seen from content that is working, is people want to keep updated on what your doing and how it's going. That's is impossible if you aren't doing anything.

      Good luck on your $300k journey!

      1. 1

        Thank you! And good luck to you too :)

  5. 2

    In April 2020 I've created a new Twitter account to promote my UX/Usability consulting services. At the moment I have 102 followers and have attracted a few clients through this channel.

    What I did exactly?

    1. I made usability reviews for existing digital products and published them in my Twitter to show my expertise.
    2. I mentioned the founders of the products in my tweets.
    3. Sometimes founders liked, commented and retweeted my reviews (I even got a like from Naval Ravikant when I did the review for AngelList).
    4. Their engagement in my tweets has worked as a promotion for my account (their followers started noticing me).

    This strategy has generated 78K tweet impressions since April. The number could be bigger but I barely tweeted anything new for the past three months.

    You can check the account and the content of the tweets here:

    1. 2

      Hey @egorev :) Thanks for the input

      Providing upfront value for users (and companies) and triggering the urge to reciprocate a favour sounds like a great strategy.

      I checked out your Twitter and I'm curious, have you found that growing your audience as a 'brand' rather than an individual (i.e Egor Gorev) has had its own challenges?

      1. 2

        Hey Harlan,

        the main challenge for me is the feeling that I'm obliged to post UX content on a regular basis – it's like I've made the promise to my audience that they can expect such usability reviews from me on a weekly basis. And if I don't have a new review there's literally nothing else that I can tweet about to somehow interact with my audience and to continue growing it. I find it extremely uncomfortable and the rapid growth is impossible :)

        I'm actually thinking of moving my UX audience to my individual account, since I also have a blog about productivity, sometimes write about design, work on a few side-projects (UI/UX related), explore career opportunities, etc. This way I'll have more topics to tweet about and hopefully get rid of the extra pressure.

        Hope it helps!

  6. 2

    I'd start on Twitter. I just signed up this year and have had so many great connections and followers from there. Has helped me to build an email list at finlister.substack.com to over 230 subscribers in 10 weeks.

    1. 2

      Hey @stusim :) Thanks for sharing.

      Great to hear your newsletter is doing well. Making great connections through Twitter is one of my goals, do you have any tips from your experience for doing that?

      1. 2

        Tweet daily around the niche you are building in but still try to be a real person by actually talking to and engaging with people. I do feel like a bit of a dag having a conversation in a thread sometimes but met some great people.

        I'd keep an eye on https://twitter.com/SimonHoiberg and his audience for devs doing a good job on twitter

  7. 2

    If you know Laravel/Vue then you could pretty much every marketing channel (see the link in my profile, I have a pretty big list).

    A channel is just a place where people go. Google..to search. FB groups..to learn about a topic. Without defining the audience you want to reach, defining a channel doesn't make sense (because your job will be to a) check if your audience is on that channel b) see if there's a cost-effective way to reach them on the channel).

    1. 1

      Hey @zerotousers

      Thanks for the overview and have got your report :) I was more looking for individual users journey with this post but your input is still helpful.

      The audience I want to reach is those in the Laravel / Vue / self-improvement, as it's something that I can add value to.

      I guess the thinking is:

      1. Build an audience
      2. Engage with audience to validate problems
      3. Sell something

      I may be wrong in this approach but this is what I've been hearing lately

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