I gave up after being rejected four times with the same email, “Sorry we cannot verify you.” All hope was lost until, on the 16th of December 2021, when I was boarding my flight, I received an email that my account on Twitter @chiragbarjatyaa had been verified at 10:25pm. While standing in the passenger queue, my phone beep left me ecstatic! My wife was also elated. The entire passenger boarding line witnessed us in that moment of happiness!
That day, as I got off the flight, my phone wouldn’t stop beeping. It was like a social media storm out there. My DMs and mentions were flooded with greetings and inquiries about my coaching services. My followers increased by a whopping 300, immediately. I now had various other verified profiles following me!
This is the win that I am sharing with you, but what about the work that went into the process? How did I achieve this? How did I build my business on Twitter? How did this platform help me build a team of 8 people besides several other freelancers and vendors? How did my team (aka ProjectFitCo) and I end up coaching more than 2800 people, only through Twitter? How did we end up coaching loads of celebrities and politicians? It all started out at zero. I was like anyone else, back in my time, randomly using twitter.
I joined Twitter in 2010 when I was in high school. There was no app on my phone. I would use Twitter on an app called Nimbuzz. It was just out of curiosity that I was there. I was just experimenting till 2013. I was active on Twitter, later, due to my interest in politics related campaigns and due to my work in the entertainment industry.
Social media skyrocketed in India while I was working as a cinematographer in advertisement and weddings. I would constantly travel across the country. I ended up meeting various Twitter users. The most intriguing thing that I noticed about these people was that they had a Twitter persona, completely in contrast with their actual personality. In fact, they had the same opinion about me. This was revelation for me.
I realised due to this revelation, that being true to my own self and creating a distinct social media personality can help me reach as many people as possible. Initially, that was my only goal. I had no plans of creating a business on this app; instead, my focus was on – how to reach maximum people, how to get good RTs and how to gain followers. I won’t lie; the follower boost was my biggest validation at that time. Social media felt powerful.
While I was barely getting used to the social media boom, there was discomfort in my personal life. My busy schedule with shoots did not let me focus on my fitness. My health was at stake and to mitigate any further loss, I had to quit my cinematography job. I took a break to focus on my health. During this break, I was always researching to better my own body. In this process, I learned a lot about fitness and I shared this knowledge unapologetically on Twitter.
I had nothing to hide. I was very honest on twitter, about the usage of whey protein, creatine, etc and this brought outrage and quarrels. For almost 20 months, there was a constant battle. I was arguing with people about protein, I was inviting people for debates and was constantly blocking unblocking them. In this chaos, many intelligent people understood my argument and approached me for coaching.
Slowly I started coaching these people and they followed my guidelines with dedication. I could see the change and so could they. We were progressing together. I posted this on Twitter and this was a head-start to my coaching business. This is how it all unfolded for me. It was hours of hard work on and off Twitter, every single day.
Twitter wasn’t an easy bird to crack. I’ve been through my own ups and downs. I have jotted down a few things that worked for me, which can help you, make it big on twitter:
- NO EXPECTATIONS: I never expected anything from Twitter or its audience. This is because expectations bring hope and once it is shattered, you get sad and frustrated. These feelings show up on social media and the audience can sense it no matter how much you mask it.
- NOT MONEY BUT VALUE: I never used twitter to make money. You will not find me advertising my coaching services on twitter. Instead, I use twitter to provide value to my audience and share my knowledge. I neither pressurise my audience to buy anything from me nor do I see them as a market opportunity.
- KNOWLEDGE IS KEY: My awareness about world affairs definitely helped me on twitter. I still watch at least two videos of StudyIQ or World Affairs every day. Now, I am learning about NFTs and Web3. It gets fatiguing sometimes, but it helps me to not get stuck in an echo chamber.
- CUT THE CRAP: Twitter lacks culture. It is not a closed community where people respect boundaries. It is filled with anonymous criticism. I have faced a lot of it and it has affected my mental health. So, block such accounts straightaway because nothing comes and should come before your mental health. You don’t want to end up thinking about what that anonymous account with 0 followers said to your content. Do not give them a chance.
- TWEET MORE: One or two tweets a day will not increase your engagement. Sometimes I tweet more than 60 times a day. Yes, you read that right.
- BE AUTHENITC: Your authentic self will help you go big on twitter. The audience can sense what’s fake and what’s not. The ‘fake till you make it’ attitude will not work on social media. Sell and show only what you are; nothing more than that and nothing less than that.
This was the story of my struggle to find an identity on social media. I hope these pointers help you get a clearer picture of what it takes to grow on twitter.
My old guide of twitter is still active, do give it a read: The Ultimate Guide to Twitter dot com – 1 (Display Picture)
To get a coaching from me and my team, connect here : https://projectfitnesscompany.notion.site/Get-Started-with-Project-Fitness-Company-c00169c83de9468d9446b4b612bc9f26