About Preston Clark

My name is Preston Clark and I'm a licensed attorney turned entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Connect with me via Twitter @LawInsider.

Twitter for Business Owners Who Don’t Get Twitter

In the words of the late Notorious B.I.G, “I can’t make you want it.”

I know you don’t like Twitter– and I’m not going to waste my time convincing you it’s a good use of yours. It might not be, and it probably isn’t.

Besides, you’re a grown-up. A professional; with a reputation. You refuse to have anything in common with Kim Kardashian.

But last week you discovered that your professional rival of 20 years is on Twitter and he has 6,000 people following his personal profile. And now you’re interested. Not intrigued. But interested. So you want the fast-lane, secret to success on Twitter. You want 6,000 followers. Right?

First of all, you’re not going to get 6,000 followers. Second of all, if you just want to have a Twitter account to keep up with the Joneses, you’re never going to really understand (or like) Twitter. But that’s okay. As I said, I can’t make you want it.



What I can do is explain to you in a few easy steps how to quickly build a legitimate following on Twitter and earn a shred of social media respect from the Joneses. What makes me an authority? I’ve wasted literally thousands of hours on Twitter so you don’t have to. You can thank me later via Twitter. Here’s my handle: @lawinsider.

Here it is.

Twitter for Business Owners and Professionals Who Don’t Get Twitter But Feel Inadequate for Not Having Any Followers

Step 1: Have an account and basic understanding of Twitter. If you don’t, stop reading, Google how to use Twitter, and come back when you’re ready. It’ll take you ten minutes to figure it out and get all set up.

Step 2: Get the right mindset. Treat Twitter as your own data feed, not as your podium. Don’t worry about being smart or clever, just focus on relevant and high volume sharing opportunities. Sharing being the key word. You don’t need to produce anything original to build your following on Twitter. For Twitter gurus, this is sacrilege. But it’s okay. We can’t all be gurus.

Step 3: Get Relevant with #hashtags: Do a search using hashtags within the Twitter platform for a keyword or keywords that relate most to your industry. Examples could be #immigration, #DUI, #LPM, #B2B, #SaaS, #HR– you get the idea, right? Now you’re going to sit down for an hour and follow everyone who has ever posted anything with that hashtag(s). Your goal is to follow 1,750 people or brands who have Tweeted your selected hashtag(s). Literally just sit your butt down, take an hour and do it. Twitter will prevent you from following more than 1,750 which is fine.

Step 4 (important): Wait 2 weeks and start unfollowing everyone who hasn’t followed you back using justunfollow.com. You’ll only get to unfollow a couple hundred a day, but this will get you in the pattern of following and unfollowing. Keep in mind that you’ll want to follow 300 or so key Twitter handles regardless of whether they follow you. You’ll recognize the names of the ones to keep as you’re going through justunfollow.com (e.g. large brands, noted thought leaders, competitors). Why do this? You’ll have to trust me. You don’t want to permanently follow 1,750 who aren’t following you or who aren’t known authorities– at least not yet. This is the most important step and the step you’re least likely to do– and where this Twitter thing will likely break down for you. If you try it, you’ll get it. Otherwise, don’t bother with the previous steps and get back to real work.

Step 5: Download the Twitter app to your smartphone. It’s a faster way to manage your account and a great toilet break. Every few days review your Twitter feed. You’ll now have a large feed of industry experts and your goal should be to “retweet” as much of their content as possible. Most of what industry experts will be posting is articles. Once/if you start enjoying Twitter, you can read the articles before you “retweet” them. In the meantime, just read the article description, and if you like it, retweet it. Sharing is caring.

Step 6: Every Sunday night before bed, spend 30 minutes on Twitter repeating this process. Do a new search via Twitter for your target hashtags. Retweet anything in your feed that looks relevant. 20 retweets at a time should be your max at night.

Step 7: No one is reading your stuff. Your goal here isn’t to become a thought leader. Your goal is to become a good community member. Follow people in your industry and reshare/retweet what they’re sharing. You’re the new kid on the block. It’s your way of giving a gift basket to your neighbors.

Step 8: Keep it simple. These instructions are designed to keep it simple. If you try to overcomplicate it, you’re not going to keep it up. At some distant point in the future, if you start actually seeing Twitter for what it is– a great resource for industry specific information, resources and networking, then we can talk about taking a more sophisticated approach. In the meantime, just stick to the basics.

What kind of volume will I see from this activity? Anywhere from 100-500 followers in the first 45 days. And steady growth from there on.

This whole follow/unfollow thing seems weird. Is there another way? Sure. You can dedicate the time to curate and identify only the best people to follow (not just by hashtag). This will keep your follow numbers way down. Your Twitter network will stay relatively small and high quality– but you won’t yourself build much of a following with this method– unless you become a thought leader. In other words, there are more people on Twitter who you don’t want to follow than who you do, and the methods I’ve outlined above present a fast and high-volume way to identify them while ALSO building a following of people who might not be thought leaders but who are engaged enough to follow you back. Confused yet?

How does following industry experts and thought leaders help me generate business? That’s another article for another time. For today, it’s about getting you relevant in the world of Twitter in the fastest way possible to keep up with the Joneses.

See you on Twitter: @lawinsider
Originally posted via thelawinsider.com.

ADWEEK MAGAZINE – My First Article Ever Published (2000)

So apparently AdWeek Magazine started publishing all of their print articles that pre-dated their online magazine. I dug up the first article (if you can call it an article) I ever wrote for AdWeek in September of 2000. At the time I was also a bus-boy at Joe’s Crab Shack in Redondo Beach. I always found irony that those were my two jobs at age 22.

Here’s the article:

REI Builds Web Business Around Its Offline Brand

By Preston J. Clark

REI.com, the online division of outdoor sporting goods retailer REI, is preparing to roll out its first print campaign from ad agency Copa cino. Billings were not disclosed. 

Founded in 1938, REI has anchored its business on a co-op program—consumers can become lifetime members for a $15 fee—and is now aiming to cement that image online. With over 45,000 pages of products and information, including how-to pages and member bulletins, the Web site parallels the philosophy of REI’s bricks-and-mortar stores, said Devony Hastings, online public affairs manager for the company. 

“We are still true to our philosophy” of taking the outdoor equipment business seriously, Hastings said, “and to our customers that are passionate about this lifestyle.” 

Extending that brand equity to the online business, Seattle-based Copa cino will release the first of two print ads in November issues of national outdoor and sporting magazines. The inaugural ad pictures a “conquered” wedding cake, with waxed bride and groom figurines in full mountain-climbing gear standing atop it, embracing with ice axes in hand. 

The text reads: “We understand. You’d rather be out there.”


Beyond Pragmatism: A Critical Account of William James and Limitations of Pragmatism

In 2000, as an honors requirement for the Philosophy Department at Loyola Marymount University, I authored a Senior Thesis on the topic of William James and the American born philosophy of Pragmatism. I dug up my thesis this weekend and thought I’d post my introduction for fun. At the time, it was the most significant intellectual undertaking I’d ever embarked upon. It also embodied my general exhaustion with the study of philosophy as an abstract study of the human condition. The beauty of Pragmatism, as I discovered in 2000, is it believes deeply in the value of action. Here’s my excerpt:

Pragmatism acts as ac account of human thought, a theory on meaning and a theory of truth. The fundamental purpose of pragmatism is to shift us away from inquiry and move thought toward action. It is interested in the instrumental value of ideas and beliefs. It does away with “useless” inquiry and “interminable” argument. Such inquiry that exists solely in the abstract or that has no practical value if believed or not, is the antagonist of pragmatism. Inquiry then, has purpose only to the extent that it provides the means to a greater end. It assists us at arriving at some meaning. At the highest level, it frees us from the circular metaphysical debate that leaves us trapped in inquiry. With pragmatism, we settle on questions and ideas based upon pragmatic worth. The pragmatic scholar, Louis Menand, used the following analogy to explain pragmatism: “We wake up one morning and find ourselves in a new place, and then we a build a ladder to explain how we got there. The pragmatist is the person who asks whether this is a good place to be. The non pragmatist is the person who admires the ladder” (Menand, xxxiv).