Today’s post is short and sweet (well, shorter than usual…). I wanted to try and offer one simple solution, rather than inundate people with a “57 Tips” or “Top 18 Things”-type post. There’s a time and a place for all of that, but this post isn’t it.
If you’re reading this blog for the first time, there’s a lot more on this subject (for example: The Ultimate Guide to Social Media). I encourage you to sign up for the newsletter–I often send things to the list that doesn’t ever get posted here.
Anyway, here’s the secret:
Develop an “In List.”
I’ve written about it before, but it’s worth mentioning again.
If you’re just starting out online, and with Twitter (or any other social platform), having an “In List” can significantly increase your productivity. Here’s the strategy, in full detail:
Any avid Twitter user has at least dabbled with the usage of lists. Maybe you’ve set a few up called “social media people,” or “business guys,” or something.
But your lists probably haven’t gotten much traction, or helped with making sales, promoting your work, or even people’s attention.
That’s because while lists are great for organizing huge amounts of followers into digestable chunks, they’re not very good at helping you zero in on the people who truly matter in your network who can help build your platform.
For every online marketer, internet “guru,” or budding online entrepreneur, there’s a short list of people who are capable of hearing your message, responding to it, and sharing it with their own followers.
The “In List” methodology is something I’ve created to leverage this fact.
First, find 8-10 people who are:
- “Larger” than you by a factor of 10. If you’ve got 100 visitors per day on your site, shoot for people who are attracting about 1,000 visitors a day.
- In your niche. You can find people who are in a similar corner of your market, but it’s best to find people who are aiming for the same market as you–if you’re in the “productivity” niche, find people who are as well, even though people in the “motivation” world would be close enough.
- Active on Twitter. You want to help these people promote their message, but you also don’t want to waste your time with people who don’t care enough to tweet often, share content, and connect with readers. Look for people who post at least 2-5 times a day.
Second, add these people to a list, and mark it “Private.” It’s up to you if you want them to know they’re on your “In List,” but I’ve found it doesn’t really matter and there’s no reason to promote it.
Your In List is your short list of people who have slightly larger audiences than yours, but are also looking for great content to share–hopefully yours!
To make the In List work for you:
- Always add value. Connect with your In Listers, promote their blogs, and let them know you care.
- Use the 80/20 principle. 80% of the time, promote your In Listers’ content, and 20% of the time promote your own.
- Stretch your relationship beyond Twitter. Since you’ve subscribed to their blogs/websites/newsletters, you’ll have a good idea for what they’re looking for in the sense of content.
Eventually, your In List people will start to recognize your name. They’ll respond to emails, guest post opportunities, and RT your tweets more often. At that point, you can start to ask for small favors (“Please RT”) and build a nice connection with them.
Twitter is all about building trust, making connections, and adding value. These things take time, and they’re impossible to fake. Spend the time and effort cultivating and building your In List, and reap the benefits down the road!