If you could only choose to grow one, which one would you focus on? I see differing opinions, some people like @dvassallo say Twitter is best, while others like Sam Parr say email is best because you control your audience.
Email by a long shot.
Don't build your house on rented land.
Don't let algorithms decide who gets to see your message, and when.
And nobody, including people like Daniel, consistently see 10% follower-to-sale conversion rates but its totally achievable (and repeatable) with an email list built by ebombs.
I had 9,200 sales in 9 months from 46K Twitter followers. So about 20% conversion in my case. About $4.78 per follower in net profit, from 2 products.
More details here: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/how-i-made-210-822-selling-a-pdf-and-a-video-on-the-internet-028d5b0a2c
For me this depends on the product.
For B2B and any product that needs continued engagement, email by a long shot. For the most engaged customers, we often even move to higher touch platforms such as WhatsApp and Skype.
For B2C one time sales, I have seen Twitter work very well due to the built-in virality. People retweet much more easily than they forward emails.
I'd definitely focus on a platform where YOU have full control over everything.
Twitter is great and definitely something you should focus on but at the end of the day the goal should be to transfer that value onto your platform. Too many times big Platforms let you down.
Another fact to keep in mind is that when you Tweet something only a very small percentage of your following will ever see your Tweet (the same applies to Facebook). One algorithmic change and you're Tweeting into the void.
My TL;DR version would be to use both but try to transfer the value you created to a place you control.
BTW this also applies to Newsletter platforms which make it easy to start "building your list". One of the most important assets you can have is your very own Domain name and E-Mail address.
Building an audience is hard enough already. Start by going where people already are (Twitter, YouTube, IG, etc). You can always ask people to join your email list when you have a few followers.
Email, for the reason you mentioned.
I love email, because I can interact directly with the subscribers if they have any question or suggestion.
Now, I begin to share my Twitter threads on my newsletter, so I guess... I do both?
Email. Besides "owning" the platform, it also just lends itself to more 1:1 connections and discussions.
I've had more meaningful discussions with people over email from an email list of 3K than a following of 11k+.
Twitter is a great tool for connecting with people but email wins by a long shot for most purposes people want an "audience" for.
What you own is always better but Social Media wins because it's easier... It's the waterhole in the savannah. When you are really hungry you look for your meat around the waterhole.
Email-first. With Twitter I cannot:
a) Reach out to a single member of my audience
b) I'm limited in my reach (Twitter may not decide to show my newest posts to all of my audience)
c) Twitter may shut down anytime, or may limit my reach anytime, or may ban me anytime. It takes 1 click for my audience to be gone. This is not the case with email.
IF twitter shuts down, we have bigger problems than our audience.
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