Wisdom Bombs: the fastest way to kill your early Twitter growth

Kevon Cheung
99% of people want to be seen as an expert so they sound like one, but 100% of them realize they get this all wrong.

If you were to drop a real bomb, what would you be expecting?

An explosion.

So if you drop a wisdom bomb on Twitter, you would also expect it to hit and attract a crowd. The tweet is so good. How can it not go viral, right?

The worst thing is that you thought you have it figured out!

You got on Twitter and followed a bunch of influencers who “have made it”. You saw that they were dropping more and more expert-sounding wisdom bombs to teach people what to do.

The lightbulb in you went off.

“Let’s do it!” you screamed to yourself.

4 weeks later, you got all frustrated and felt that no one cared about you.

“I’m tweeting into the void.”

“Why is it all crickets?”

These voices were talking to you in your head.

I see this over and over again and decided to do something about it.

I first talked about “wisdom bombs” in Oct 2021, but as more and more people come onto Twitter, I want to give you a complete look at this ill phenomenon that blocks your early growth.

Even better? I'm going to tell you an alternative way to do it.

What are wisdom bombs?

These are the characteristics where I’d categorize tweets as wisdom bombs:

  1. They are short
  2. They are advice without stories or context
  3. They have the “you should” language
  4. You can replace the author’s name and the wisdom is still true - anyone can say it
  5. Their job is to purely inspire, not to educate

Why don’t we look at some examples?

Dropping wisdom bombs is a terrible strategy for 99.9% of new accounts

Most new people getting on Twitter forget to take “time” into factor.

When they see these successful people sharing wisdom bombs, they immediately form a direct association.

What they don’t see is that the bigger accounts can start dropping wisdom bombs because of their higher perceived credibility from their already large following.

They also might have real work outside of Twitter to support their authority, e.g. dozens of top-notch articles or CEO of a 100-pax company.

How do you know wisdom bombs lead to Twitter growth? You don't. You’re guessing!

So, it really doesn’t mean it is THE growth strategy for you.

I’ve seen it too much. If there’s one way to visualize this for you, this is it:

The more perceived credibility you have, the more wisdom bombs you can throw out.

But how do you know whether you have enough perceived credibility?

What makes a wisdom bomb work

Before we go further, I want to break down the reasons wisdom bombs work. You need 3 key ingredients all working together.

1. Show credibility in words

If not a lot of people know you on the Internet, the quickest way to inject credibility is to put it in your writing.

Like Erica telling us she has edited 3+ million words here, showcasing she has tons of experience in content.

2. Show authority in words

There is strength in writing.

The more you make people feel like you know it well, the more they listen to you.

It might be hard to show in one thread, but if you can show up consistently over a long period of time (say 30 days straight) and embed real stories, you’ll be able to convince people that you know so much about this topic.

3. Create a crowd effect

Human psychology tells us that when people are lining up outside a pizza shop, a lot of people walking by would assume the pizza shop is amazing.

The same thing applies to a wisdom bomb. If people see a lot of others liking the tweet, they tend to join in to click the like button without second guessing.

To sum up the 3 points, you can control credibility and authority through your narration, but it is much harder to create a crowd effect.

And this is why Erica wrote 30 threads in 30 days. It was her way to show authority and nurtured the crowd effect.

But why do wisdom bombs work for someone like Erica and not you? How do you judge whether it is a strategy you can use?

Who shouldn’t write wisdom bombs

Remember what I said earlier?

The more perceived credibility you have, the more wisdom bombs you can throw out.

Does Erica have high perceived credibility?

If you take a look at Erica's bio, you can see that she is the Head of Content of Grizzle, a 10-pax SEO company that is quite popular in the SaaS space.

Who can write wisdom bombs:

  1. Experienced entrepreneurs with lots of stories and lessons learned to share
  2. Seniors in companies that specialize in what they do

Who is not a good fit to write wisdom bombs:

  1. 1st-time entrepreneurs who are learning the ropes
  2. If you’re exploring a new niche with no prior experience

If you’re not a good fit for this wisdom bomb path, what is an alternative to still achieve early Twitter growth?

Here’s another secret weapon for you

If you lack credibility and experience, then you want to leverage the power of storytelling.

If you revisit a lot of the remarkable movies, they often show how the main character started out in a weak position and then worked the way up to being a star.

For example in the movie The Blind Side, an adopted kid overcame an impoverished upbringing to play in the National Football League (NFL).

Almost all stories go this way:

This comes from Donald Miller's Building a StoryBrand.

And this means if you’re able to figure out your new path step by step and you tell good stories throughout, you will be able to gather a good crowd around you.

As the crowd gets bigger, your perceived credibility increases, and then you can start leveraging wisdom bombs like these big accounts.

I know that pulling stories out of your own journey is one of the hardest things to do, so I packaged the 4 frameworks that have helped me tell stories every day. Now you can learn it in 52 minutes.

Once you use these frameworks to show up, you also want to remember these key things Erica mentioned that helped her:

And I was taking a look at her tweets when she was at 28,000 followers, she still showed up the same way.

Pick the strategy based on what you possess

I’m not a fan of advice like “This is the ONLY framework you need”.

I don’t think there’s one-size-fits-all and you have to choose what can give you the best leverage.

At the end of 2020, I was the person in your shoes.

I had no niche, no followers, and no idea where to start.

Making up my mind to learn and share about Building in Public has brought me enough of a community to grow my business to mid-5 figures in 2 years.

And my weapon?

I turn my learnings into sharing and help people through content, stories, and 1:1 conversations.

This shows that you can do the same if you’re committed and focused.

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