How I Became the Mind-Maps Guy on Twitter and Boosted My Follower Count

How I found what makes me special in content creation

I started my Twitter journey in December 2020. I joined Twitter after noticing how connected it is with Indie Hackers. Yep, I was ignorant for a very long time.

The first couple of days I started following other indie hackers. I then started noticing some trends around Twitter. There were different spaces and groups where people had similar interests. Let's call them Indie Twitter, Design Twitter, Marketing Twitter, and so on.

The newfound community seemed incredibly supportive and helpful. I was not ready for this, but I was grateful.

I felt like stumbling upon a treasure. So, I started giving back to this community.

I started small, writing thoughts, what I learned and what I'm working on and then I discovered another trend. Building in public.

This building in public trend made me share more about my personal project that I currently work on (at that point, podots.com).

I was engaging more and more with people.

Soon enough, I was having a sort of circle of Twitter friends, with various interests and skills.

The circle got bigger and bigger, and more people were sharing cool stuff.

I kept engaging more and more with no particular target. I guess I wanted to be part of the indie hacker community that seemed to boom on Twitter.

At some point, I was thinking of redesigning my landing page on podots.com. It happened that @harrydry posted an article about that on all his channels.

Since the topic was pretty big, I wanted to synthesize the information. How do I do that? Using mind maps!

I posted that mind map and got good enough feedback based on that. At that point, my mind maps were still using the default theme from xmind 8. They were kind of ugly.

I tried the online version of xmind, because it had more themes, and it looked cool. The performance was better as well. That was totally unexpected. And now that’s what I use.

I then started posting mind-maps created with the new theme, and the feedback improved.

I noticed that mind-maps are not that popular in this space. Everybody is creating threads, blog articles, visualizations, illustrations, software. But what I do here are visual threads!

And then I had the inspiration to create a mind-map of @arvid's thread about Twitter Growth. You can guess what followed next. My first "viral" tweet.

This tweet basically spring boarded me into doubling my followers real fast.

And that was also the moment I knew I found what makes me special on Twitter. This is how I build my personal branding now.

I combine my power of removing fluff from a text with the power of representing it in trees. Put it all together in an eye-candy picture with some cool icons and throw it into the world.

Yep! That's how I roll now!

My content strategy now on Twitter is to post mind-maps. The topics from the mind-maps are varied, from personal development to business development.

I can represent anything with a mind-map. So that's what I'm going to do.

It's probably not the best practice to plug-in products, but I'm currently working on my first online course. You guessed right, it's about creating mind-maps!

I don't have an ETA yet, but I'm pretty sure I can get it ready before the end of February.

But enough about my success. Here's what you can learn from my experience. @jackbutcher has a nice explanation of what I basically did here. I created a personal monopoly.

The idea was present there before. I knew what to write about. I know what my style is, more or less. I already used my personality and my niches to create a space for my idea.

What was missing was the package, or the format. As @AlexLlullTW puts it, while content is king, format is queen. I was missing the format side, the package part.

This made me different - the format. When the content around is either an illustration or a thread, seeing something that combines both of them, probably attracts people to it.

This might not be the end of how I do stuff on Twitter, but for now, this gives me my identity.

In the end, finding your identity is a balance of exploration and decisions. You need to explore what you actually like. Then you need to go down the rabbit hole. See what you find there, and if it fits your style. 

Your style is also a decision. Do you go dark mode? Do you go into light mode? What is your dominant color? What does that color even mean? What does it transmit to other people?

Or ignore all of that and just throw as much content to the public as you can. See how your audience reacts to different contents and styles. I guess that’s the best thing you can do.

At some point, though, you still need to decide what is your style and stick with it for some time.

I’m pleased for now with my visual identity and my newfound style. But maybe I get some better ideas in the future, ideas to make my content better looking. Or that expresses my personality in a more precise way.

Until then, I will keep bombarding people around with my mind-maps!

Practice:

  1. Try different formats for your content.

  2. Can you express the same ideas in pictures or videos?

  3. Decide on a format and try it for a week.

  4. Get feedback, repeat!