Yes, I said “Less Followers”. It’s not a typo. I’m not crazy and it’s not a clever headline for a post that will turn into the opposite in the third paragraph.
Let me first do a formal introduction, this is the second installment of the “Striking Six” Blog Series that involves 6 online mavericks sharing knowledge on how to craft an inspirational and powerful online presence. Each one of these awesome and mystery bloggers are revealed on each post when it’s published so you have to keep up with the series. Exciting isn’t it?
The first installment of the series was revealed a couple of days ago by Mars Dorian with his edgy style and message to change the world. Here is the link to The Guerrilla’s Guide To Attracting Your “Right” Audience.
Back to our topic in hand… and why “Less Followers” is the new “More Followers”. I’m inviting you today to disregard all those posts you’ve read about how to build huge communities, get more followers and likes, including mine. This has nothing to do with administration of all those Twitter followers and how hard it can be if you have too many because it’s clear that with the appropriate tools we can easily manage and filter information however we need.
Influence doesn’t spread by getting huge numbers. Audiences are built by truly connecting with individuals, one at a time, getting your message across and making people fall in love with it.
Community growth is usually part of a social media strategy for brands. Metrics and tools are setup in order to measure, benchmark and do projections. This should NOT be your case. As an entrepreneur/blogger you should put your focus elsewhere and with patience, communicate with individuals on a regular basis.
If you are able to craft remarkable content and products, and promote them, your audience and online community will grow organically. There is nothing healthier than that. But I hear you say “there is nothing new about that”, let me explain…
We are used to getting mixed messages, we’ve talked about this at SocialMouths. The people that tells you to stop worrying about numbers lists every single counter on their blogs and on the other side of the fence, people telling you to get more followers. We create pressure to be seen as successful, we worry about social proof. Those mixed messages only deliver more confusion.
So what happens now? The difference is that we are starting to embrace those small audiences. Now building tiny communities is cool, it’s appreciated. Today “Less Followers” is the new “More Followers.”
Following People Does Nothing
Let’s be honest, following people on Twitter is a vicious circle that ends at “you follow me, I follow you back”, we’re happy to have a mutual connection but there is never an exchange of words between the two.
What do you think would happen if you stop taking the initiative of following people? do you think people would follow you because what you put out there is plain awesome and they’re interested, or do you think your growth will suddenly dry?
Let me share a story with you. Earlier in my life I was lucky to get some extensive sales training that, at the moment I thought it sucked and I did it just to earn more money. Most of it is just a blur now but among the things I still retain is this: If you want to close a solid sale, try to unsell it at the end, give your client the opportunity to change his/her mind before processing the order.
At the time it sounded like I was gonna make less money and probably get fired. See, most people buy on an impulse and by doing this I was taking that out of the equation. It’s like trying to only make meaningful sales. Crazy, right?
Later in life I had the opportunity to have a business with a great product and service that allowed me to be confident enough to run a call center without written scripts and shady selling techniques and made a killing for 7 years. It happened organically. I didn’t have to go knock on doors or try to push something that people didn’t want.
The point is that if you focus on connecting with the right audience, as Mars says, your tribe will be solid and open to receive more of that magic you deliver week after week.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should hide or make it hard for people to find you. You should connect with people and you should promote your content and services. Regularly.
A New Breed Of Fearless Bloggers And Digital Entrepreneurs
Do you think you will still be able to be build an audience by just delivering who you are? Without having community growth be a task? It sounds to me like a good exercise to see if you are actually dropping pure awesomeness on a regular basis, because that spreads out on its own.
I’m a big observer of the internet and, let me tell you what I see today. Besides the bloggosphere growing like there’s no tomorrow, there is a new breed of bloggers and digital entrepreneurs that not only spread awesome shit but are also willing to take creativity to new levels, are ready to break all the rules and are not afraid to build one relationship at a time.
I’m not afraid of mentioning people and recognizing when they kick ass. Here are a few people you should pay attention to if you wanna know what I mean, you probably already know them but just in case: Srinivas Rao from The Skool Of Life, Jonathan Wondrusch from By Bloggers, Fabian Kruse from The Friendly Anarchist, Ashley Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project and Thom Chambers from In Tree Houses among others. These people don’t sit down in front of their computers to randomly follow people, they are building amazing audiences one relationship at a time and focusing on crafting epic shit to put in front of those communities. It seems to me like they even keep those audiences small on purpose.
Nothing Is ASAP
Building an audience doesn’t happen overnight, even if you go out there and take the initiative to follow people massively. No matter what social media “gurus” tell you. Sure, you get social proof when you display massive numbers on your blog or social profiles, I’m not gonna deny that but I think it has been proven that there is a lot more to it. People out there are able to create awesome without it.
Do yourself a favor and forget ASAP. Let your tribe grow organically.
The New Social Media To Do List
Wanna play the real game? Change your social media strategy, focus on creating epic stuff and let people follow you because they can’t get enough of YOU. The following To Do List will help you:
- Stop following people on Twitter
- Stop worrying about followers/following ratio
- Stop sending Facebook Page suggestions
- Stop using email opt-in popups on your blog
So how do you connect with like-minded individuals and start meaningful relationships that will eventually turn into raving fans? Good question. Let me see if I’m able to illustrate this and answer that with another question. Would you walk down the street passing out business cards? sure, why not (stupid question). Now, would you expect a meaningful relationship to be born out of that approach?
What happens if you introduce yourself as you would in real life? or if you complement somebody for his/her work? what if you turn your Facebook Page into a Q&A forum to help your audience?
The formula to play a bigger game is to:
- Be human
- Be creative
- Drop the random following
What Do You Think?
Thanks for reading, now it’s your turn. I know this is a topic with many different opinions, what’s yours? express your thoughts freely in the comments sections, disagreements are always welcome!
The Next Secret Member In The Series
I’m sooo tempted to tell you who’s next in the series, I’m excited myself but, I agreed to keep my mouth closed. All I can say is that…
The next member in the “Striking Six” series can be considered dynamite with lipstick. She’s got a passion that burns bright and is on a mission to shatter the status quo. Within a few months, she created a raving community that digs every single word she drops. She’s creating marvelous content that turns readers into true fans, and she’s ready to blow you away!
Stay tuned for the secret member number 3 in the Series. She will publish her post on Monday, December 6th