I read "Show Your Work" by @austinkleon last year. It's the original guide to “building in public”. Way before build in public became a trend on Twitter.
I think it’s a must read book for every creative entrepreneur.
Especially, if you want to build an authentic audience.
These are my notes and summary of the book, and how I have apply the lessons to my own work every day.
9 Lessons from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work:
1. Find a Scenious
Don't be a lone genius.
Good work isn't created in a vacuum.
Find a group of like minded people that you hang out with every day. Engage and learn from them everyday.
I find my "Scenius" in the responses of larger accounts like @arvidkahl, @dvassallo and @jspector
2. Think process, not product.
Take people behind the scenes.
Run your Twitter account like a restaurant with an open kitchen. Don't just share the final dish, share the ingredients as well.
Share the process of your work with your followers.
I recently shared how my writing course crossed $500 in sales and how I used Twitter to validate the idea and pre-sell the course.
3. Share something small everyday
A daily dispatch builds your creative muscle.
And over time, compounds into a large body of work.
At least once a day, share something interesting that happened in your work/life.
It can help someone 2 steps behind.
I recently shared how I had to let go of a few clients from my ghostwriting service, so that I can find time to build assets that can make money in the long term.
4. Don't be a hoarder, be a curator
You have great taste?
Share it with the world. Don't keep it to yourself.
Interesting articles, links, products you find useful, your followers will find useful as well.
Share it with them.
This tweet is a great example, I shared one my favorite articles of all time, with a personal context, and people enjoyed it:
5. Be a storyteller.
Humans love stories.
It's how we share ideas, and build relationships.
So tell your story, your product's story, your brand's story.
This single thread has resulted in hundreds of priceless relationships for me, it tells the story of how I quit my job and started working for myself back in August 2021.
6. Teach What you know
Share your trade secrets.
Sharing your knowledge doesn't reduce it. It gives you an opportunity to improve your knowledge.
And become a better teacher.
Learn from your Scenious.
And teach your Scenious.
My Twitter growth strategy has been very simple, I respond, uplift and add value to my followers.
I broke it down in this tweet:
7. Learn to take a punch
Once you put your work out, you will receive hate.
You will be called out, criticized, made fun of. Relax, breathe and move on. It's not a big deal.
Nobody dies from a stray comment.
Take it in your stride.
8. Sell Out
No it's not a bad thing.
You don't have to be a "starving" artist. Charge for your work.
Your fake fans will hate you for it. Your real fans will pay for your work.
They will become patrons, clients, customers.
9. Stick Around.
Every career has ups and downs.
Yours will too.
But you won't succeed if you quit during the bad times. I was here last year, launching products.
I am here today, launching products.
And I will be here, next year, launching products.
This is a book I wrote last year:
Success is more about staying in the game long enough.
And improving your skills every day.
The best way to do it? Is to show your work here every day. That's what I try to do.
Hope you enjoyed the post. Do share your thoughts as well.
I wrote a Twitter thread based on the book and it’s lessons as well. Do let me know what you think:
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