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It’s easy to get fixated by how many followers, likes, and re-shares you get. But what do you do when you have that number of people? Do you continue to do more of the same, growing that number ever bigger, without giving that audience any value? The purpose of building your audience is not to have a big group of people who smile at a meme. It’s to share something awesome with them.
Since actually listening to the advice and guidance out there on how to grow my platform (I hate that word, by the way, so I will replace it with audience), I have seen a huge increase in followers on Twitter, continued click-through rates to this blog, and a steadily increasing number of subscribers to the weekly newsletter (that this post goes out to hours ahead of the blog on a Sunday).
But along with that increase in audience, I have gotten to see some followers with massive numbers of followers, themselves. But, looking at what they tweet, in a large proportion, I fail to see what value they provide to their audience. A lot of it is memes, quotes, or curation of content that ranks highly. And I know that all can be good. But what value are they giving to their large audiences from themselves?
They seem to be missing an important trick, to provide a blog of original thoughts, podcast, videos, lessons, products, but instead they seem to collect favs and retweets.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I believe that you should be carefully cultivating your audience so you are able to bring your thoughts, products, and knowledge to those who really want, and need, it.
Without any of those things to give, what is the point in having a gabillion followers at your finger tips. Memes can’t change the world, but your thoughts, your knowledge, and the things you create, can have an impact on the lives of those that follow you.
In a lot of ways, it’s actually easier to start and maintain a project that has some incredible value, than it is to build and maintain an audience of people who are ready to engage with your project.
That is the point of social media, to engage with people honestly, to share their thoughts, and to promote what you have to give to the world.
If you have a large audience, take responsibility for them, and give them something highly valuable, not something cheap and easy to re-share.
Aim to have an impact on their real-world lives, because beyond the fictionalised online persona they have, they are screaming out for advice, for quality products, and for something that will bring them enjoyment. The Internet is there to connect us, to enable the sharing of things so that our real lives are better, not so that our online avatar gets all the fun.
Luckily, I am fortunate to have gained, in only the last month, an audience of people who engage with my blog, book, or the soon to come podcast (episode 1 delayed until next week), and who say I’m, in part, influencing their community. How did I do that? Bringing them value in what I share, like, and make for them.
What value can you bring to your audience?