I'm Blake. I took Float to $14k before launch & gained 49k Twitter followers in 10 months. AMA!

Blake Emal
67 replies
In September, I had a few hundred followers on Twitter. Now, I'm about to reach 50k. In February, my personal brand and content helped me land my dream job as CMO at Copy.ai. In March, I started building Float to help creators turn their docs in Notion into fully operational online courses. We made $14k on lifetime deals before ever launching! Now, I'm launching a cohort-based course called Launchables to help you launch a digital product in 15 days (and make money on it!) I'd love to tackle questions about marketing, writing, social media, online learning, and productivity! AMA 💥

Replies

Marc Garcia
Hi Blake! Awesome job. How do you sell a digital product, with no ads and no social media followers? Just calling your possible leads?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@magarrent It's definitely a lot harder to do without any audience or community. I would definitely focus on building that up so you can understand what topics and ideas people ACTUALLY care about in your audience, before putting time into building a product blindly. I will say that your audience does not need to be as big as you think to sell digital products. I've seen small accounts do tens of thousands in sales quickly because the product was amazing. I've seen big accounts (myself included) put out products that completely flop and make no sales. The audience is a leverage point, but the quality of the product is everything. A lot of folks on Twitter actually grow their audience BECAUSE of the product, not vice versa. If you build in the open and create great things, people will take notice.
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Marc Garcia
@blakebemal but what about b2b sales. You can't build a community of companies, or am I wrong? Thanks!!
Fitz Maro
Creative Technology Lead @ Pinterest
Edit! Update: Confusion abound! But I follow you on twitter and have stolen some great ideas from your tweet threads about landing pages :)
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@fitzmaro Hey Fitz! Thanks for hopping in here. That actually wasn't me, but I super appreciate you taking some time from your day to post here!
Fitz Maro
Creative Technology Lead @ Pinterest
@blakebemal my bad hah! Edited and updated :)
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@fitzmaro Haha no worries! Appreciate your kind words!
Gabe Perez
Community @Genies 👽🅰️🖖
It seems like a lot of success came after you built your digital brand on Twitter. Would you say this is true and what advice would you give to someone who would want to follow in similar footsteps?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@gabe__perez Yes and no. I had been posting on LinkedIn for years before diving into Twitter, so I actually owe a lot of my success to LI. It all ties back to content creation, though. When I consistently create content that is helpful for other people, I see cool opportunities come my way. I try to give 99.99% of everything I know away for free. Twitter growth has accelerated my ability to sell digital products and it is a huge benefit in getting opps like podcast interviews, AMAs (hint hint), conference invites, public speaking gigs, etc. The process is pretty simple: - Start posting content on a topic you could speak about for days on end - Analyze if your audience cares at all about this - Create even more (insane amounts) of content - Analyze what works and what doesn't without ego or hurt feelings - Double down on what works, scrap the bad stuff
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Marcos Ortiz
Data Engineer by day | Streamer by night
Gabe Perez
Community @Genies 👽🅰️🖖
@blakebemal Awesome Blake, thanks for sharing with the community! The formula is much like content planning for Social and it makes 100% sense. Thanks for the great tip!
Miss Max
slot online Indonesia terpercaya
@gabe__perez @blakebemal i post a lot for years on LI but i get nothing.. i wonder what method did you use there
Andrew Baisden
Software Developer
Hey Blake nice to see you doing so well. Question what tools and methodologies are you using for managing your social media presence and work projects? How much scheduling and automation do you currently have and how do you decide which projects get higher priority?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@andrewbaisden Howdy Andrew! I use Typefully to schedule my tweets. I use Buffer to schedule LinkedIn posts. I don't automate at all outside of this. I've tried that a bit before, and found it to actually be harder and more time-consuming than manually doing what I do. I don't automate idea generation or engagement at all. A couple of tools I use for my social game include: - Typefully for tweet scheduling - Buffer for other platform scheduling - Brandbird for graphics - Tella.tv for screen recordings - Notion for thread compiling - Command browser for highlighting interesting things on the web
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Eddie Shleyner
Founder @ VeryGoodCopy.com
Hey Blake, great to see you here and congrats on the new arrival! I'm about to be a dad, too. Wondering how you manage to stay so productive while on newborn duty? :) Cheers, man -- and congrats again!
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@verygoodcopy Congrats Eddie! That's awesome. Truth of the matter is the the word "productivity" changes when you become a parent. You'll have to decide on a few things professionally that you are willing to let die to make time for your new, better responsibility. Thankfully, newborns can't really do that much except eat and sleep and poop. So you have a little bit of time to adjust and get into a good spot before they really start requiring a lot more from you. Take more breaks. Time block religiously so you can stick to an agenda and move on when it's done. Don't feel bad if productivity looks different for you going forward. Your life is about to change for the better, but there will be some bumps and bruises along the way.
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Eddie Shleyner
Founder @ VeryGoodCopy.com
@blakebemal, cheers, man -- I love this. Thank you :)
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Sachin Sinha
Co-Founder at MeetRecord
Hey Blake how did you get to 49k Twitter followers in 10 months?
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Sharfunnisa Quadri
Founder, https://www.eatplayfit.com
Yes. How do I do this?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@sacin13 Hey Sachin! Here is my best advice for you: - Post an insane amount of content - Don't take it personally when a tweet doesn't work - Analyze what works and doesn't for every tweet - Build genuine relationships with other tweeters - Do NOT rely on being a "reply guy" - Make your account about THEM, not yourself - Start with short-form content to find what topics interest your audience, then expand them into long threads - Give away 99.99% of what you know for free with no expectations
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Aaradhya rai
Maker+Marketer.
What is content creating process ? Do you plan everything in advance? Do you schedule? Or, Are you spontaneous kinda?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@ar_aaradhya Definitely more spontaneous. I've gotten a lot better at having a quick capture, future scheduling approach but my ideas usually come through almost exactly as they end up on paper with little editing. The process is basically this: - Idea comes to mind (or I find a cool format from another niche and use it for a marketing idea) - Quick capture into Typefully (my tweet scheduler) - Leave it there until the end of the night - Review worthwhile tweets at the end of the night - Remove any that don't hold up after several hours of thinking on it - Schedule the winners
Mayank Mishra
Co-founder Poppins.me Nocoder & UX
Hey @Blake , what was your Zero to One thought before you went into this game!! I'm building b2b productivity tools and would love to be building in public with some groove!
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@blake @mishra_mayank I had tried Twitter a bunch of times before, but just never stayed consistent. So my 0 to 1 was just committing to tweeting at least 5 times per day for 6 months. I far exceeded the amount of tweets AND time streak, but this is what I needed. You don't need perfect ideas in order to publish. Share what you're learning, where you've failed, where you've succeeded, and provide helpful tips along the way.
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Mayank Mishra
Co-founder Poppins.me Nocoder & UX
@blake @blakebemal wow, I have always been wondering if spending time on Twitter is productive or counter productive as a founder, seems like you've done a really good job with Twitter!!
Anshul Sojatia
Software Architect | Entrepreneur
Hi Blake, awesome feat. How do you plan your content generation strategy? Do you go to competitors and try to write better/or something that they don't have? Also, how did you get that leap in your twitter following?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@anshulsojatia Content Ideas: A lot of what I generate as ideas comes from personal experience and spontaneous thought. I'm pretty good about writing ideas down right when I have them. I've definitely done competitive research at times, but actually my favorite way of discovering new formats to post in is by searching viral tweets in completely different niches. Maybe I search for real estate, design, or gardening tweets that went viral and dissect WHY and what format they used. This usually works out pretty well. Twitter growth: - I posted an insane amount of content - I didn't take it personally when a tweet didn't work, I just analyzed WHY and tried to make it better next time - I built genuine relationships with other tweeters - I did NOT rely on being a "reply guy" - I tweeted in ways that people weren't used to seeing - I tried not to make my account about ME, but about THEM - I started with short-form content to find what topics interested my audience, then I took what really worked and expanded them into long threads - I gave away 99.99% of what I know for free and with no expectations
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Anshul Sojatia
Software Architect | Entrepreneur
@blakebemal Cool. Thanks for detailing your approach. I will try to think how can I incorporate those points into my way of working. Cheers.
khoancatbetongre24h
https://khoancatbetongre24h.com/
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@khoancatbetongre24h Thanks for hopping in!
Simon Barker
Learn to code @ allthecode.co
This looks great! It took me a solid month of work to create and ship Career Switch To Coding, I can't imagine the intensity of doing it in 2 weeks. Would have loved this at the start of July. Bit late for me now! Best of luck
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@simon_barker1 Some things may take a bit longer, and if you have a full time job (like me) it can be super tough to ship quickly. The cohort is all about pushing and challenging, as well as mentoring. You tend to complete things in a shorter timeframe if you just set a shorter timeframe.
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Simon Barker
Learn to code @ allthecode.co
@blakebemal Good point, I had forgotten about Parkinson's law 😀
Vadym Shcherbakov
Chief Product Officer - Identance
Awesome!
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@vadim_shcherbakov Thanks for joining in!
seryozah ain
An enthusiastic entrepreneur
I keep reading your amazing twitter thread about going viral. what are ur most fav tactics to grow ur twitter followings? thanks
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@seryozah_ain I appreciate the kind words. My top bits of advice would be: Post an insane amount of content. You will never know what actually works and what people like to hear from you until you publish hundreds of times. Don't worry about sending perfect tweets. Ship quickly and analyze the engagement according what what topics, formats, and sentiments work well. Engage with others properly. Don't be selfish online and only post your own stuff, but ignore others. BUT. Please do not set post notifications for an account and reply instantly to all new tweets with "Nice tweet". If you have something interesting and thoughtful to say, chip in to the conversation. If you are just doing it for recognition, it will NOT work and it can become a bit annoying. Make your content about THEM. When you're starting out, people don't really care about your day-to-day life that much. They DO care about what info you can give them that will make them happier, richer, better at their job, etc. Make your content focused on the audience and the value you can bring them. Don't say "Me, I, Mine", say "You, Your, Yours".
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seryozah ain
An enthusiastic entrepreneur
@blakebemal thanks for such a detailed answer.
Vadim Voevodin
Hi there! I'm Belarussian SMM manager.
Hi Blake! Nice results! Keep it up
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@flymodex Thanks a bunch!
Võ Thái Đạt
Đầm ngủ và cosplay gợi cảm, đầm ngủ
Thanks
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@vo_thai_d_t Happy to have you here!
Dawid Zamkowski
CEO of Skatesome and Junior Jobs Only
Hey! How did you get with idea for Float? What are your tips to grow Twitter from zero? I've started recently: https://twitter.com/dawidzamkowski
Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@dawidzamkowski Posted above about Twitter growth a couple times so I recommend looking through those answers! For Float, it was a problem I personally experienced. I had a full course draft built in Notion, and was looking for the right platform to publish the polished version on. Everything was either way too expensive, too complex, or had a "meh" UI. And since I already had a full course in Notion, and had used site builders like Super.so in the past... I figured it was possible to make a course builder on top of Notion! The full story is written out here BTW: https://blog.float.so/the-story-...
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Kunal Mishra
Indie-hacking twift.xyz & socialscri.be
Hey Blake! How did you do marketing for Float. I see you aren't active very much on @sayfloat. So I'm guessing you're "doing things that don't scale" aka going to course creators and convincing them personally to use Float. I'm building a product that doesn't have a very big market. So I don't know if I should invest time in building a follower base for that product's account. For now, I'm just engaging with people who could possibly in future be my customers (after I launch). Thanks already :)
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@kunalmishra We haven't used the account much on Twitter because it's really hard to create brand content that is helpful. I tend to rely on my personal account to drive awareness to Float instead, and it has worked better for us. I also focus more on unscalable things like DMs and engaging with others for Float to form partnerships.
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Espree Devora 🎙
"the Girl who Gets it Done”⚡️ Podcaster
yay Blake!!!! How has it been for you maintaining the slack community you have and if you could have done anything different there what would it be? For example moderating the group or using slack vs circle and slack plug ins that really are a must
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@espreedevora Not gonna lie, managing Slack communities is super hard. I already use Slack for 100 other things, so it isn't necessarily great to be in there 24/7. But, it is really convenient. I don't rely too heavily on plugins and ultimately I'm learning that the quality of the group needs to come more from the engaged users than the mod. I still have to be active and start conversations, but the real power is when the members take initiative themselves. Using Circle for the Float community and it's really nice, but same thing happens where it is easy to get burned out responding to messages so often. Probably about time to consider hiring someone part-time to tackle some of those responsibilities!
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Espree Devora 🎙
"the Girl who Gets it Done”⚡️ Podcaster
@blakebemal Thank you for being transparent. Connect with writershour.com btw, they have a super engaged slack. it's amazing. Oh Iman Gadzhi Facebook group is highly valuable as well. I have a slack and other communities too and it's really tough so didn't know if you found the treasure trove of how to do it with ease. Was hoping! ha. I'm thinking about setting an expectation for my community that I only personally engage once a week, not sure.
Eugene Hauptmann
Founder at REACTIVE LIONS INC.
Hey @blakebemal congrats on the great numbers! What is your main takeaway going from the course creation to the CBC (cohort-based course) creation?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@eugenehp I haven't officially started the first cohort yet, so I'll have to let you know after! But so far, cohorts are a lot more work, but have higher upside.
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Eugene Hauptmann
Founder at REACTIVE LIONS INC.
@blakebemal Good luck with the first cohort! Looking forward to read about your learnings.
Alexander Moen
McSmartyPants.com Customer Eval + AI = $
I've seen you actively building on LinkedIn. I'm active there but not on Twitter and am considering which platforms to be active on for my upcoming product launch. What are the pros and cons of each from what you've seen? And what makes the most sense for a new software product to be in its early stages?
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Blake Emal
Head of Content @ Riverside
@alexander_moen the real answer is you should be in both places, but not necessarily right away. If you already feel comfortable on LinkedIn, I would keep going there until you really feel like you are in control of your growth and have a system for gaining followers. After that, you can expand into other platforms. If you aren't sold on LinkedIn, you can definitely try Twitter out. A couple pointers: - Focus on learning to write better - Communicate way more simply than you think you should - Don't ask them to buy anything for a while
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