April 1, 2023

3 Game-Changing Self-Promotion Strategies from Under-the-Radar Creators

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“How can I promote myself?” is one of the most common questions I get.

There are a million ways to make people aware you exist. But social media is a crowded place, and there’s lots of noise pollution.

That means the more unique you are, the more likely people will be to stop and pay attention to your message (or follow you, check out your products, or whatever you want).

Uncomfortable as it may feel, self-promotion is your job.

But it doesn’t have to feel cringey.

I recently started building a swipe file of interesting self-promotional content on Twitter, stuff that made me stop and read.

And today I’ll show you three of my favorites.

And the best part about these three pieces of content?

  • They don’t feel promotional, because they are all "passive promotion." (more later)
  • The authors all have fewer than 5K followers. In fact, two of them have under 300 followers.

These folks used three different strategies to promote themselves, without coming off as spammy or self-serving.

And they pulled off some pretty epic content for the size of their accounts.

Let’s take a look.

Tell Your Founder Story

Nick Dyer: 272 followers

Nick Dyer wrote a great piece of content that got 20K impressions. For context, that’s 100X more views than followers. He has 272 followers as I write this.

Despite a small following, he reached a stadium’s worth of readers.

Nick did a few things right here:

First, he used a really solid hook: How I went from a depressed 9-5er to making 14K in one month traveling the world.

Next, he used strong imagery that matched his hook line. Him looking bummed out, which we can assume represents that 9-5 depression, to sharing happier images of him traveling with his partner (I assume).

Lastly, he makes this post his founder story, which I talk about often. The Founder Story is where you bring people through your journey with storytelling.

In the thread, he talks about building his SEO business, but never explicitly promotes it or says, "come work with me" or "buy my thing."

I call this "passive promotion" and it's how I promote myself 99% of the time.

A great piece of content all around.

Gate Something Valuable

Nick Verity: 276 followers

Nick captured attention AND drove followers using a simple strategy.

He opened the post with a perfect scroll-stopper: I’ve booked 153K calls through LinkedIn since 2019.

Then he promised a swipe file of his best scripts.

Cherry on top? He showed us a little video trailer of the swipe file. The video intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more.

Nick whipped up some engagement by telling readers to comment.  He captured followers by telling people they have to follow him to get the goods.

Then, he tacked on a second Tweet to send people to his company's website.

I expect this piece of content will continue growing.

Note: IMO, This isn’t a tactic you can employ very often. It’s likely to turn off your followers if you do it too much. I’d recommend trying it maybe once per quarter.

Use Visuals to Simplify the Complex

Milly Tamati: 3,862 followers

I love this piece from Milly Tamati. I imagine this took some time to create because of the captivating visual. What a great design.

And it worked.

Milly stops the scroll with a strong opening line: Prediction: 9/10 communities will fail.

This line should get anyone with a community (or thinking about starting one) to lean in. And Milly runs a community, so a lot of the people who will stop and read are likely to be in her IFP (ideal follower profile).

Beyond the solid opener, Milly took a complex idea and simplified it with an eye-catching design.

Then she added some friends onto the thread that likely helped spread the word, before closing out the short thread with a call to check out her generalist community.

If you want to use visuals to support a message (and you’re not a designer yourself), look for designers on your social networks and find someone to partner up with for collaborative content.  You can provide the text, and they can visualize it.


I so often hear that promoting yourself is for the “big accounts” and that “getting attention is hard”. Of course, it is. We’re all vying for it.

But these are 3 great examples of people with a small following getting unique to stand out in the crowded mess of social media.

If they can? You can.

If you're looking to promote your brand or business on LinkedIn, check out my course The LinkedIn Operating System. 20,000+ students and 50 LinkedIn Top Voices have used it to generate 11B+ impressions for their business.

If you have a newsletter, consider checking out The Content Operating System, where I'll show you how to create 6-12 unique pieces of high-performing content that helps you monetize your products through your newsletter.

Well, that’s all for today.

See you next week.

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

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3. The Content Operating System​:  Join 10,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.

4. ​Promote yourself to 215,000+ subscribers​ by sponsoring my newsletter.

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