How to Tweet Like Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrissI’m a huge Tim Ferriss fan and I don’t think I’m alone.  He spoke on two panels at BizTechDay.  Working 4 hour weeks is pretty much anathema to starting a small business, and I get the sense that Ferriss himself works more than 4 hours per week.  Ferriss, author of New York Times best-selling 4-Hour Workweek, angel investor and tech start-up advisor, introduced himself as “about 14 minutes into my 15 minutes of fame.” In any case, he imbued some priceless nuggets of wisdom I’ve compiled here.  They may not be sustainability focused, but this applies just as well to someone getting out a green message as it does to someone selling widgets.

How to use Twitter

  • Ferriss uses twitter for 3 things
  1. To communicate day to day bits of info that are not relevant for his blog
  2. As a microblogging tool to convey useful resources to his audience of 60,000+ followers
  3. For polling and getting feedback from the broader world (i.e. market research)
  • Keep it fun.  It should not feel like work.  And if you’re tweeting and using other social media for business reasons, you better have a measurable output
  • Don’t tweet when angry or drunk.  Even if you delete a tweet, it doesn’t disappear
  • Posting a pic or a video gets massive click through rates (if you’re Tim Ferriss)
  • Ferriss uses direct message rather than @replies to respond

On Blogging

  • Don’t write what your readers want to read, write what you’re passionate about.  Ferriss has found that the single best indicator of a good blog post is if he’s excited, angry, or otherwise passionate about the topic.  That passion translates
  • Maintain a high percent of original content when possible
  • Tell your reader how long the read time is.  If the piece is long, bold key points so that low attention span readers can get the gist in just a few minutes
  • If you have 100 units of time spend 20% creating content, and 80% marketing it  (most people do the opposite, myself included)
  • A mediocre blog is more of a liability than no blog, as he was advised when he first tinkered with blogging.  So make it good or don’t blog
  • Write content that will become more valuable overtime rather than less
  • The best days to blog are Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday morning

Tips and Tools Tim Likes

  • Use Samasource for oursourcing (it also provides “dignified digital work for women, youth and refugees in poverty”)
  • Use StrengthsFinder and Kolbe testing for choosing roles for your employees
  • allows you to survey and vote topics up and down
  • Automate the process of checking email using basic series of questions and then actions.  Check out this post where he describes his process
  • Read Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans article on marketing.  If you have 1000 die-hard followers you’re in good shape
  • Use tool through StumbleUpon  to schedule tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time  and get stats on response to tweets, best time of day to tweet etc.

And to any keen developers out there – Ferriss would like an application that would allow him to split test tweets to different groups of his followers, so that he can learn which work better.  (Oh, and if you’re that keen – I’m looking for a developer, so contact me while you’re at it!)

Amie runs Cobblestone Solutions, LLC, a consultancy focusing on business development, marketing, communications and strategy for mission driven companies. Previously, Amie served as Director of Business Development for Viv (a Bay Area environmental start-up), Program Manager for Social Venture Technology Group (a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring social and environmental impact), and Associate Consultant at Bain & Co (a global management consulting firm). She is particularly interested in innovations that reduce waste, altering consumer behavior for good, and leveraging the power of business to solve the climate crisis. You can read more from her on her blog, on, and on JustMeans.