We strive to build a following around our work as bloggers because blogging is a form of communication … the larger our following, the more people our message reaches.
The more people your message reaches, the more likely you are to sell your creative work, and thus, make a living doing what you love.
As an artist interested in making a living from your work, building a following is one of the most pivotal things you can do. But we’re not here for tips on how to build a following, we’re here to look at the number one reason why you’re not building a following effectively.
You Care About Your Following, Not Your Followers
Though we all strive to increase our number of followers, it’s crucial not to focus on the task of building a following as a numbers game — it’s much more complex than that. The total reach of your message isn’t determined by the number of your followers — your reach is determined by how many people actually care about your message.
So while one person may build a following of 1,000 people in a week, merely by following everyone possible and depending on the courtesy follow-back, you’ll probably find more success by taking the time to pay attention to the people you want to follow you — even if you gain 10 followers in one week, you have 10 people that want to hear what you have to say, which outweighs the 1,000 people that couldn’t care less.
It’s not about your following, it’s about your followers.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your approach toward building your following:
Stop Focusing On The Number
Refrain from paying attention to the number of followers you’ve gained — it might make you feel good, sure, but what feels even better is connecting with people within your following.
If you want to make real friends, you need to pay attention to them. Get to know them. Ask them how their day was. Try to connect with those nearby in person if possible.
Your following is not a number, it’s a group of people interested in you. The least you could do is return the interest — not by following them back out of courtesy (though you’re probably going to become interested in a lot of people if you take the time to learn about them), but rather by talking to them individually.
If you’re having trouble focusing on anything other than the number — and let’s face it, it’s pretty common, — consider thinking of it this way: If you have one follower, you’ve succeeded in building a following. It doesn’t matter whether or not they ever buy your creative work or not, they’re interested in you and what you have to say or offer.
Interact With Your Followers
As your following grows, you’ll find it more difficult to thank people individual as you might on Facebook and Twitter, so instead consider reaching out and asking questions.
The goal is to get people to interact with you, so you can engage them with further conversation and get to know them.
Remember, it’s not about you or your following, it’s about them and how you fit into their story. Every single person following you is following you for a reason, so your job is to position yourself within their personal story and help them achieve their goals, whatever those may be.
What it comes down to is simple: You’re making friends.
What’s Keeping You From Building A Following?
We all face the same challenges, but a lot of times those challenges are slightly different depending on what we hope to achieve, the type of creative work we do, and our approach — I’d love to hear more about what’s keeping you from building a following effectively if this is the case, because the more we can learn from each other the more effective we can become in reaching our goals.
Post a comment below with your own experience or ideas regarding building a following.
cc image credit: ⌡K