The movie industry astounds me. It is incredible that people will line up hours and hours before a new release, dressed up in ridiculous costumes and fighting people in lines all to watch the next movie in their favorite series or see their favorite actor or director’s work. Apple is right behind them. I mean people will camp out for a week in front of an Apple store to get the newest iPhone or MacBook.
What if you could have that same power? What if people waited to hear what YOU had to say? What if people were actively engaged and interacted with you online? What if…
Lots of “what-ifs,” but essentially, building an audience so that people will line up to read your blog articles or anxiously wait to see what you have to say on Twitter is the crux of social media. So many people spend countless hours on social media trying to build an audience but fall miserably short. You have to ask yourself, Why am I worth listening to? and What is it that makes my current listerners become engaged audience members? Here are four quick tips on building a solid following:
- Teach: One of the main reasons people begin to develop their online presence is to sell a service or their product. That’s great, but that is what advertising is for. Before you can even begin to try and get someone to buy what your selling, you must first teach them and draw them in. Throw out little bits of knowledge that wet your audiences appetite. Once they realize you’re content is solid, they will want more of it. Ultimately, they will be willing to buy from you. So start off with teaching.
- Reach: A lot of bloggers I talk to complain about people not retweeting their articles and not commenting on their posts. This is a common issue for new bloggers. Reach out to people. Write on their blogs, follow them on Twitter and interact with the online. Chances are they will return the favor.
- Listen: We all think our own ideas are great ideas. For bloggers, we think our ideas are just so good that we write them out for the world to see. There is not a problem with that, however, are we need to step back and ask ourselves, are we just spewing out word vomit to make ourselves feel better or is our message tailored to what our audience is listening to? Solicit your readers’ feedback. Listen to what they have to say. There is always room for improvement. Maybe you can improve the way you write, the length of your posts, the topics, your titles, your verbage, the frequency of your posts, etc. Be willing to listen.
- Learn: Listening and learning and closely correlated. We all have ears that can hear and listen to what people say, but the true test of learning is taking what we’ve heard and putting it into action. You should also actively be reading similar blogs and following similar people to hear what they’re talking about. Don’t copy them, but use them as a guide to make sure you’re relevant in your industry. Learn from them. They are leaders in your industry for a reason.