How You Can Get Retweeted 50 Times To 130k+ People – Even If You Have No Following And Don’t Know Jack

Wow. This week has been amazing for a whole lot of people at the MicroConf 2013 in fabulous Las Vegas – I was lucky enough to be one of them. And to share at least some of the great insights with you, you will learn in this post how to:

  1. Get retweeted  at least 50 times to a global audience and mentioned over 80 times
  2. Get in front of more than 130,000 people all over the world
  3. Get a ton of attention from successful entrepreneurs such as Hiten Shah, Rob Walling, Mike Taber and Josh Kaufman (to name just a few) – and their gigantic following

And you can achieve all this, even if you don’t know jack about marketing and don’t have an outrageously big following.

How It All Started

I have been following Mike Taber, Rob Walling and MicroConf for over one year – mainly through the Startups For The Rest Of Us Podcast. This year I got my big chance and was able to attend MicroConf.

The only trouble being: I practically know nothing about marketing (aside from implementing different ideas with my product TerminRetter). I can not just go to a conference, lurk around and not give something back to my fellow attendees or the hosts.

So I wrote Rob and Mike a week or two in advance and told them, that I would be in Vegas early, gave them my number and told them, that I would be available, if they need someone to run an errand or needed help otherwise.

However, the conference came around and I hadn’t provided any value to anyone.

I decided on the morning of the first day, that I could do something else. I planned on taking notes anyway (because speakers at MicroConf are famous for shelling out great actionable advice) and figured, that others might find those notes useful as well.

After all, I might not know anything of value, but I sure as hell can type pretty fast.

What You Can Do To Delight Attendees At The Next Conference You Visit

You are reading this article, so I am going to assume that you have at least one blog (based on WordPress) and a twitter account.

What you are going to do is pretty simple and straightforward: You are going to write the best, most detailed notes you possibly can and provide them to others in a timely manner.

If you do a good (enough) job at this, you will be approached in the hallway by other attendees, who recognize you as “the guy who shares those detailed notes” – something I did not anticipate.

How To Prepare For This

To take good notes you need to be able to reproduce the structure of the talk into a (somewhat) formatted blog post.

To make things a bit easier for you, I recommend you do the following:

  • Set up a “hub page” on your blog, where you can put links to all the posts you will write (mine is here: MicroConf 2013 Hub Page)
  • Set up a scaffold / template for every post you are going to write (I didn’t do this in advance due to a lack of time – please be smarter than me and do this). Things to include in the scaffold:
    • Title of the post – You should use a common structure – e.g. “[Name of Speaker] – [Title of Talk] – [Name Of Conference]” (ExamplePatrick McKenzie – Building Things To Help Sell The Things You Build – MicroConf 2013)
    • Make sure the URLs for the scaffolds are good from the SEO perspective (again, I messed this up, but you will surely do this way better than me)
  • Link to the scaffolds from your hub page. You might want to skip this step. However, I recommend you put all the scaffold posts and the hub page out there. It saves you time during the conference
  • Talk to all the speakers and inform them about your plans, ask whether they are good with the information being public and if they will put the slides online (where and when?) – Again, I failed to do so; Learn from my mistakes

If you get all this set up before the conference starts, you should have a pretty relaxed time putting together the actual notes.

Let The Talks Begin!

Now, when the talk begins, all that matters is, that you type like a boss. Seriously, you will need to follow the talk, put the content into good, short, yet detailed notes and add some formatting here and there (headings, lists with different levels of indentations, some bold and italic text).

During the talk, just focus on putting the content into your post. Try to follow the speaker and especially put the information into the notes, that is not on the slides.

Most speakers will put their slides online, so that information will soon be available. But what the speaker says, is not immediately available online – and it might well never be.

If you don’t manage to take good notes on a talk, just try to settle on a lower standard – don’t give up (Thanks to Nathan Barry for giving me this advice). Put out whatever you can, focus on the most important bits of advice the speaker gives. Try to add the missing information later on from the slides.

What To Do Between Talks

Once the talk is over, you have a few things to do:

  1. Take a maximum 5 minutes to finalize your post – bring it into an acceptable format; add some information, if you can
  2. Publish your notes on your blog
  3. Tweet a link to the blog post, make sure that you include the conference hashtag (#MicroConf) and CC the conference account (“/cc @MicroConf“). Keep the tweet short and sweet and leave room for ReTweets – aim for a length of less than 100 characters. Example: “Notes on Patrick McKenzie’s #MicroConf talk: http://bit.ly/10wabZN /cc @MicroConf
  4. Go to the restroom, seriously! Don’t miss part of the upcoming talk because you had to go outside

Now Go Out And Crush It

That’s it. If you follow this guide you will be able to make great friends with a lot of amazing people.

Out of 18 speakers at MicroConf 2013 at least 12 tweeted a link to the notes at least once. Many of them even came over to personally thank me and shake my hand and talk to me. That was probably because of the atmosphere at MicroConf, where everyone was very approachable.

I also got 70 new followers (which means +56% for me!) in just 4 days!

Now, are you up to the challenge and will make sure that the wisdom of the speakers at your next conference will be stored for eternity? Are you prepared to give something back to the community, even if you don’t know much about the topics (yet)? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

PS: the initial version of this article was named “How I Got Retweeted 50 Times To 100k+ People“. But it eventually dawned on me, that I would let my mentors (and idols) – most notably in this regard Joanna Wiebe and Nathan Barry – down, if I don’t put what they taught me into action. That’s why the title of this blog post is now all about YOU instead of ME. And that’s why there’s the ‘Even If…’ in the title. And that’s why this blog post has more than 1,000 words, because I want to be at least half as successful as Nathan Barry (who writes 1,000 words EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.).

PPS: Follow me on Twitter @itengelhardt

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About Christoph

Christoph lives in Munich, Germany and is bootstrapping his own SaaS application as a part-time entrepreneur.

He likes to write on this blog about anything of relevance to single-founder bootstrapped software startups.

Comments

  1. Great post. Let me thank you again for putting together so many good notes. I’ve already shared them with those from our team who weren’t able to attend MicroConf. There’s no magic formula for success. It usually involves lots of work, discipline, and providing incredible value.

    Thank you for providing great value, for putting in the work, and not giving up on it.

    • itengelhardt says:

      Hey Luke, Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      I hope you and your team get a ton of value out of the notes and become incredibly rich 🙂
      Would love to stay in contact with you (and all the other MicroConfies)

  2. Christoph, the notes are a fantastic resource. I took as many as I could but you do a much better job than me so I’m already referencing them to go through action items. Great to meet you and hope to see you at a future MicroConf (can’t make Europe this year but maybe next).

    • itengelhardt says:

      Hey Phil. It has been my pleasure to meet you. Hope you crush it this year and drive up in your Ferrari to the next MicroConf 🙂

  3. What’s your twitter handle? Couldn’t see it in the post, apologies if its there already.

  4. Christoph, thanks for this post. Got me thinking laterally about how more ways to add value – sometimes the simplest things are best!

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