Joining me this week was investor, advisor, and educator, Sahil Bloom. I came across Sahil through an epic ecosystem of Twitter threads that demystify business and finance. He has over 177,000 followers on Twitter at the time of writing and he only started in May 2020. At that time, he had about 500 followers when he started writing the threads. His growth has been remarkable and it comes down to creating value before receiving it.
Sahil’s backstory is that he went to Stanford University as a big fish in a small pond and upon getting there, realized he was a very small fish in a very big pond. That taught him the importance of hard work and he applied that to academics and to his role as a pitcher on the varsity baseball team. He then parlayed that into a career in investing and as a writer on financial education.
His writing all began by turning his consumption as an avid reader into production. Sharing started sharing book summaries with friends in a newsletter. But he has really tapped into the Zeitgeist on Twitter by simplifying, compressing, and clarifying a lot of the questions in people’s heads around things like Wall Street bets, the Bond Market, Options Trading, and anything in the world of finance that is often misunderstood and is not adequately covered in traditional education.
This particular episode gets really into the specifics of Sahil’s creative process and his process for publishing on Twitter. It’s a little mini-course in how to grow a Twitter audience and I took copious notes while we were recording this. I highly encourage you to have a pen and paper at hand if you have any interest in growing a Twitter audience.
- What was he more focused on during his time at Stanford? His studies or baseball? (00:03:39-00:07:55)
- “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” Sahil talks about how he realized this at Stanford. (00:07:56-00:09:28)
- How much of what he learned is he applying now and when did he realize the importance of hard work? (00:09:29-00:11:50)
- The significant parallels between Sahil’s use of Twitter and the campus experience he had at Stanford. (00:12:28-00:14:58)
- Sahil and Andrew talk about their experiences in connecting with people on Twitter. (00:15:00-00:16:40)
- Has he always been interested in writing or what was the trigger? (00:17:27-00:23:42)
- At what point should you start taking yourself seriously as a writer? Is there a specific moment in time or in your skill development journey where you can make the switch? (00:23:42-00:25:18)
- How does he apply his creative process in creating content? What exactly is the approach that leads to success? (00:25:20-00:28:40)
- How does he capture his ideas in writing? (00:28:48-00:30:00)
- What does research look like after the inspiration kicks in? How do you take a topic further than just being an idea? (00:30:00-00:32:48)
- Does he exclusively publish on Twitter? Or does he publish elsewhere? (00:32:49-00:33:45)
- Sahil talks about how he captures his audience on Twitter and the idea of creating content loops and a real content ecosystem on Twitter. (00:34:03-00:37:57)
- Has he seen any benefit in terms of the infamous Twitter algorithm? How does he beat the algorithm to get people to stay engaged in his account for longer? Can you even beat the system? (00:38:00-00:40:01)
- How does he think about retweets? Does he have a policy for that? (00:40:01-00:41:49)
- What are some of the other benefits he has seen from having a big audience on Twitter? (00:41:51-00:45:31)
- Sahil on how Twitter forces you to be a concise, punchy writer and how he learns about people from their elements and style of writing. (00:45:32-00:47:02)
- Sahil enumerates Key Principles on how to get started on Twitter. (00:47:03-00:52:50)
- Why is financial education so important? (00:51:52-00:55:08)
- Sahil on why he likes Twitter as a platform to share good ideas with people. (00:55:08-00:57:50)
- Does Sahil have a tagging mechanism on Twitter? (00:58:07-00:58:36)
- Where does he think he is headed and what is he going to do next? (00:58:40-01:00:00)