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8 things you can do to get over the hump of little traction and few followers
Mastery Den, Saturday Edition, 4-min read
It sucks to put effort into writing things for the Internet, hit publish and hear a chorus of engaged crickets.
I know how hard it can be when you're new to a platform or haven't been active for a while, and it seems like a ghost town.
But you want to grow and add fresh and engaged subscribers to your newsletter to build your freedom business.
Here are some ideas:
Accept that this phase will be hard and require extra work and effort.
Lao Tzu said that resisting change only creates sorrow.
Acceptance is the first step towards building a thriving movement.
It will take work, just like it takes work to push a motorbike from the static position.
Figure out how to solve your ideal customers' and readers' real, pressing problems.
Many noobs miss this and wonder why they remain stagnant.
I've created so much content based on assumptions. 'I guess people will like this,' I think…
But assumptions are guesses.
And you'll more likely hit a home run when you think logically, like a true pro.
And pros talk to their readers. They make lists of all the problems associated with their area of support.
Provide clear solutions to these problems, and I assure you people will take notice.
Write better hooks.
I cringe when I see people write well-researched, inspiring articles or posts and then tack on a hook or header like it was written by their pet ferret.
People are busy and soaked in information on the Internet. Everyone is competing to be seen, but if you do it well, people will take notice.
When someone scrolls through the thousands of potential things they can read online, they are looking for a single sentence that will grab them enough so that a single thought pings in their thick skull:
'Oh man, I absolutely need to read this right now.'
You get it?
Your article's title can't be vague, or you literally lose a potential reader.
It must be specific, and it needs to speak to either one of - or all of - the following benefits for the reader:
Make them more money
Save them time
Raise their status
Make them feel happier.
Here are four of my best-performing hooks on Medium as examples:
'My writing finally attracted interest after this one big revelation.' (Make them money)
'14 habits that make you more focused than 98% of people.' (Save time)
'Cut out these 11 habits if you want more respect.' (Raise status)
'Knowing this will make you give less of a f*ck about what others think.' (Make them feel happier)
Be honest and focus on more challenging or counterintuitive topics
Here's a secret about why some people do better sharing their ideas on the Internet.
They are not only honest, but they are willing to talk about things that most people do not. This is refreshing, and your perceived value will shoot up because most people avoid both.
What's something you can say that needs to be said that only a few want to discuss?
Or, put another way, what's a way of saying something refreshing or counterintuitive?
I recently interviewed branding pro, Sun Yi, whose post: 'Don't follow your passion,' recently went viral.
Keep it real.
Find your courage.
Tell people what they need to hear.
This will turn heads quickly and help you grow more rapidly.
Great content shows people how their lives can change.
It can feature a protagonist undergoing some transformation, and - in seeing this - your readers can see how this might work for them too.
'Five years ago, I was continually worried about the future and only had my ginger cat Nibbles for company. Today, I just closed my third $5k client and can afford to take both Nibbles and my fiancé on a surf holiday in Bali.'
This gives people hope, and they will be more likely to want to follow you.
Ultimately everyone is looking for information online that will take them from A to B.
From unhappy, broke, bored, time-starved and stressed - to happy.
That's it. That's transformation.
So everything you share must be about transformation, whether you show them how someone else does it or you show them how to do it.
Do a commenting blitz.
If you're unknown on a platform, whether it's X or LinkedIn or Instagram, you need to become known in every creative way you know how.
You can be patient and allow your account to grow organically and slowly to start, or you can get super-active.
One way that works is showing your face and your ideas underneath other people's content.
You do this by finding and following bigger accounts in your niche.
Then throw on some House music and go to town for 20 minutes or more each day in their comments.
Share jokes, quotes, valuable ideas, personal anecdotes and stories.
People see this.
It's work, but you will be seen by the people who follow them (who, incidentally, will be your ideal followers), who will check out your profile.
You can pick up 5-50+ new followers per day doing this.
Form strategic partnerships.
As you make friends on social media, you will ultimately find people who are willing to share your post in exchange for you commenting and sharing on theirs.
That way, you both benefit from added exposure, which could give your content a much-needed early nudge to get it noticed by the algorithms.
Most people who grow fast do this.
Others join larger groups of several people who exchange engagement to help each other out. You might find one to join or set up your own.
Stop spreading yourself thin.
It's easy to try to take on too much if we're small and less known.
We overcompensate and set up on multiple platforms and try to be seen everywhere. Then we get burned out and say that the world sucks.
But you really want to throw spears rather than cast nets.
Choose a platform where your people hang out and make a commitment.
How about at least 30 days of daily posts, even if they're small?
That's a good point, too - stop writing essays if you can't keep up daily.
Go small until you can share something every day.
You can bulk-write some of them too.
Thirty days or more on one platform.
Mix it up too. Be aware of what’s working, and triple down on those posts.
Thanks for reading.
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