3 months ago, with no active followers, my early days on Twitter were tough.
I made up my mind to find ways to grow to 400 followers asap.
I look at this number as a milestone to make me look like a "real Twitter person" and unlock further engagement.
So I thought about it from a human behavior perspective and used a few things I knew about making friends in the offline world.
Here's how I did it.
Both online and offline, people always find similar, like-minded, friendly people to hang out with.
Once you know what types of friends you want to make on Twitter, go to key influencers that match your description.
I looked at who was replying to the influencers' tweets and followed them. The action of replying to tweets shows how active this person is and how likely she is looking for people to engage with.
People come from all walks of life, I didn't want to follow all of them.
I wanted friends that we could help each other grow.
So I only followed people with <600 followers, they're likely to be on the same stage as me, maybe a few steps ahead. They still want to grow, so they'd dedicate time to engage with anyone who just follows them. This means, they'd care about me.
They'd notice me and potentially follow me.
Imagine today is your first class at a university. You go into the classroom and have exactly zero friends, you can either pick a corner and sit with no one, or you can quickly scan the room to see who is smiling at you and sit near this student. The person who is smiling at you makes the first move in the relationship.
When one person makes the first move, the other person appreciates it.
So I followed them and engaged with their tweets first.
They then checked out my profile.
I had to grasp this opportunity to win a new follower. I needed to present the best, authentic version of myself in my profile.
I had a genuine profile with my photo, simple words, and some values I care about.
I wanted to be a friend, not an influencer.
When they followed me back, I took the chance to turn a cold relationship into a meaningful one.
I asked questions, joked, and helped because we were, at this point, Twitter friends.
I didn't rush to exchanging DMs as that is very pushy.
I now don't have to look like a crazy guy poking my face everywhere.
I'm more focused on creating valuable content. After reaching 400, I got to 743 now after another 4 weeks just by sharing good content. You can see my account here.
This is just a tactical "hack" to get a jump start, it doesn't mean you can forget all the genuine things about making friends and building an audience. The downside is you should also set aside some time to clean up your follower list because it can go up quite quickly... and it doesn't look good to others when you're following 1342 and have 179 followers.
Hope this can help all of you out there who are just getting started!
Obviously, this is a short version, so for a full story you can read here :)
I'm sure many builders/creators here have other ways to grow, happy to exchange thoughts!