Twitter growth

Starting Twitter at Ground Zero

Tips for building trust on Twitter to power growth, via relationships and giving away content.

Aadit Sheth Aadit Sheth    ·   · 

So you’re right. People indeed are doing really cool things on Twitter. People are buying, selling, making money, sharing stories and most importantly making friends.

I’m Aadit and I’ve grown my Twitter from 0 to 5,000 in a matter of months. It has resulted in fruitful conversations and relationships that will last for a long time 💫

Ahead, I break down the path to starting at ground zero on Twitter.

The Path

I’m not going to go through profile optimisation (the first step towards growing on Twitter) because Aprilynne has done a fantastic job at that! Check out her article on this blog here.

Assuming that you have followed Aprilynne’s advice and made an approachable and attractive profile, you have to start building trust with your audience.

Building Trust

You need to remember that when you are building an audience from ground zero, nobody knows you. It is a given that people in our community on Twitter are looking for value on their timeline. Think about how you are going to provide value to a stranger.

Think from the perspective of the reader. You would only click someone’s profile when:

  • you find something really funny
  • you find something really valuable
  • you are interested in learning more about the writer of the tweet

It becomes much simpler when you reverse-engineer the problem. Don’t forget that the people behind these screens are also human and you can use this to your advantage: experiment with what you think will resonate with a stranger and encourage them to become part of your community.

When you provide value consistently, it will encourage them to hit the follow button! Maybe not the first time; I have received many DMs saying “I had seen you around on Twitter and finally decided to follow you.” This shows that you don’t have to convince everyone on the first try. Consistency is the most important thing.

Here is a quote I love:

“Trust. Takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.”

This is the exact reason why I am so careful and considerate of what I tweet on my timeline. And you should be, too.

With your profile, you are carrying a level of trust. This can be shown by the number of followers you have or number of meaningful conversations you have in the DMs. But something to remember is that when you are building an audience, you are building trust with people.

You are making friends.

But Aadit, how can I accelerate this “trust building” process?

Superb question.

You see some people reaching 5k followers after years of lurking on Twitter. I reached 5k in 7 months. This is not to brag but to show that it’s possible with a couple of easy steps that I’m about to tell you!

1. Build relationships

The real relationships are going to be built in your Twitter DMs. I agree that it begins on the timeline, but it is going to be the DMs and potentially Zoom calls that will allow you to get to know your audience/friends better.

Many people are still shocked when I tell them that I DMd every new follower from 0 to 500, starting a conversation and especially thanking them for hitting the “follow” button.

It’s important to remind yourself that nobody owes you a follow. It’s a pretty amazing thing to realise that someone wants YOU to be part of their information diet. Thank them for that.

2. Share everything you know for free

One of the greatest strategies I adopted early on was to provide EVERYTHING that I knew—or learned—for free in a well curated manner. People really appreciate transparency and your authenticity.

Of course tweets are free to see but here are two other ways that I would share things for free:


People would often DM me asking about how they should go ahead with building an audience or what my content creation schedule looks like. I would happily share my insights (not advice) for free. Those conversations take time but also build a genuine connection with the audience.

Free products

I made a Twitter “Swipe File” (a collection of high-performing content) and analysed my tweets’ success: why, when and how.

This was originally just a personal file that I would update regularly and learn from. I didn’t even consider sharing it with others until I hit 3,000 followers and thought it was a good idea to give back somehow.

Then I took it a step further by building in public. I made the Swipe File completely public (my audience sees EXACTLY what I see) and made it free to access. The free access part was essential for the success of this product.

Besides the fact that I made over $200 through sales of the Swipe File (all generous payments for a free product), so many people discovered my work and Twitter profile. Shoutouts, conversations, and growth.

I will reiterate: the free access was the most important aspect for the success of this product. Over 1,200 customers have downloaded the free Swipe File. It’s human nature to share things that you like with friends and family. This resulted in so many interesting conversations.

If you’d like to checkout the swipe file, click here.

If you want to learn more about starting on Twitter from scratch, check out this thread.

Aadit Sheth Aadit Sheth

Aadit is a student using Twitter to help people build an audience and monetize online by leveraging social media.


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