January 6, 2016
I get it, you want more social media followers. Who doesn’t? Followers mean people you can track, who will regularly pay attention to your content, and who (if you play your cards right) will bring you revenue. Lucky for you – and for all of us – it’s easier now than ever to gain a significant following that will actually help you pay the bills.
People want to consume.
People want to consume so badly that they spend hours each day searching through websites, apps, and Netflix looking for new ways of being entertained. As human beings, we love to consume! And we will naturally consume more and more until we either run out of time or realize how much it’s hurting our day-to-day lives.
People are looking for something to consume, and they’re not even looking for anything high quality! They’re looking for something that can hold their attention, that they can generally relate to, and that they can come back to again and again for a similar experience. That’s why we’ve all binge-watched entire TV series and have our favorite blogs, YouTube channels, and other various sites.
Really, there’s nothing wrong with this! Even if you’re a creative or intellectual or productivity-oriented business person, you have to consume something in order to produce anything. You have to water the plant before it’ll bloom.
If you want to build or grow your following, what are you giving people to consume and to keep them coming back? Do they even know where and how to find what you’re putting out there? This is what you need to do.
1. Do something mildly interesting.
It doesn’t have to something that blows people away, just something that people would give a bit of attention to if it was placed in front of them. You don’t have to be an expert for people to find value in you.
I know you’ve heard the saying that there’s always going to be someone better than you. That’s true! But there’s also always going to be someone not as good as you, and there’s always going to be others on your same level. These will be your followers.
They will relate to you, aspire to be you, grow as you grow, and they will let you be an influence in their lives. As you get better and better at what you do or create, that pool of potential followers will grow as well.
They’ll start to keep up with you, they’ll come back for more, they’ll refer their friends to check you out. And you’ll be getting better at what you do the whole time, meaning that all of this will grow exponentially.
2. Do it often.
Whether they admit it, people are creatures of habit. If you post at the same time on the same day every week, people will catch on and come to expect your content at those times.
There’s also already a ton of content out there! There’s more than 150,000 new pieces of content created and (sometimes) distributed every minute of every day. Even if your “thing” is super niche, just tossing one item into that pool is like one rain drop falling into the ocean. But if you add a piece of content, say, everyday or even every week, you start to make more of a splash in the content ocean.
There’s no quick way to develop a strong online presence unless you put hundreds and thousands of dollars towards advertising your content. And you probably don’t have an extra several thousands dollars just sitting around for Facebook ads, so continually creating content is going to be your largest asset to getting more social media followers.
3. Tell people about it.
Let’s say you’re a class clown of sorts. You’re funny, you’re witty, and you’re looking for some way of harnessing that to make money, keep you busy, make your parents happy, whatever. A good way for you to grow a following would be to create a humorous or satirical YouTube channel. Then you can share those videos on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, etc. With how much people are looking to consume, I guarantee that if you simply keep creating and sharing, week after week, people will catch on.
Let’s say you’re a lively thinker. A blog is a great way to go about expressing our thoughts and expertise constructively. Then you can share your blog posts across Tumblr, Medium, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Not everyone’s going to read the first thing you write. Just keep blogging! Pick a time and day of the week, or several, that you’re going to blog and share what you write with people. They will catch on, and whether they click “subscribe” or not, they will follow you as you keep posting.
All you have to do is do something mildly interesting, do it often, and tell people about it.
I use YouTube and blogging as two examples because it’s very easy to look through YouTube channels and see who has how many subscribers. It’s also very easy to see what kind of quality those channels are releasing. More often than not, YouTube stars with huge followings aren’t doing anything that impressive, or difficult, or even that entertaining. But they’re doing something mildly interesting, they’re doing it often, and they’re finding as many people to tell about it as they can.
The same goes with blogging. It’s so easy to find blogs with large followings who, subjectively, have terrible writing and a poor user experience. These blogs with large followings aren’t necessarily doing anything special. They’re not necessarily run by the smartest or coolest or most apt people. They’re run by people who talk about mildly interesting things, do it often, and tell everyone they can about it.
You could take this principle and extrapolate it to achieving success in any area. If you want to succeed in anything, start doing it, do it often, and tell people about it. As particularly relates to growing a following on social media, it’s so easy to take advantage of how much people are looking to consume!
I guarantee you that if you do something mildly interesting (blogging, videos, photography, art, anything), do it often (at least weekly), and tell people about it (every cup of coffee with someone, family gatherings, social media posts, etc.), you will gain that following you want. It just takes a little persistence and a bit of patience.
Do something mildly interesting, do it often, and tell people about it.
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