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How to Tweet Like Tim Ferriss

| Friday October 23rd, 2009 | 5 Comments

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
  • Slinkset.com 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 su.pr 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!)


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  • http://www.secretaryinisrael.com Justin

    Thanks, Amie. I am also a huge fan of Tim’s. He’s part of the inspiration behind my Company, Secretary in Israel (www.secretaryinisrael.com), which provides virtual executive assistants. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • http://social-fix.blogspot.com/ Grampa Ken: Social Fix

    A nice roundup of tips. Regarding “Write content that will become more valuable overtime rather than less.”

    Article reposting has definite benefits if not overdone:
    The material becomes more comprehensive with a general improvement in content, wording, style, images the second time around. Overall the blog just gets better increasing reader interest.
    An important article need not fade into the sunset.

  • Brian

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I gave you a thumbs up in SU, well deserved.
    I disagree on one point – I think TF is only 14 minutes into 30 minutes of fame, not 15. His next book will surely give him another 15.

  • http://www.green-talk.com/ Anna @GreenTalk

    Amie, I wish there was a tool where you could write a little something about your followers when they ask to follow you. (Like an outlook email tool.) This would enable you to go back and ask a question of particular follower. The DM tool only gives you a smattering of your followers. . I know you can make lists but it isn't the same.So, why you are asking..

    By the way if there is a tool, can you tell me?

    I use the DM tool alot when I have questions. I use twitter mostly for questions I have about green building products, gardening, chemicals, etc. It is like having a Verizon group in the background. Doing the regular @ sometimes can be a waste of time unless you have a lot of followers who eat up everything you say.

  • http://www.green-talk.com/ Anna @GreenTalk

    Amie, I wish there was a tool where you could write a little something about your followers when they ask to follow you. (Like an outlook email tool.) This would enable you to go back and ask a question of particular follower. The DM tool only gives you a smattering of your followers. . I know you can make lists but it isn't the same.So, why you are asking..

    By the way if there is a tool, can you tell me?

    I use the DM tool alot when I have questions. I use twitter mostly for questions I have about green building products, gardening, chemicals, etc. It is like having a Verizon group in the background. Doing the regular @ sometimes can be a waste of time unless you have a lot of followers who eat up everything you say.

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