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If you want to grow a loyal following online, you only need these two things
Many people ask me how I grew my followers online to hundreds of thousands.
It's popular because everyone and his dog wants to grow a personal brand and an online audience.
Having a large, loyal community around me has brought me endless benefits.
But only a few are succeeding.
It can be tough as cardboard to attract interest, especially when we're in the earlier stages of sharing content.
Though my tactics have changed over the years, one thread ties all of it together.
It's understanding this that has kept me growing online.
When I set out to bring more people to my brand and newsletters, I am always aware of two crucial components of growth:
Getting your ideas, brand and offers in front of more people (consistently)
Connecting emotionally with your ideal humans.
So many people struggle with online audience growth because their marketing activities lack one or both of these.
As social media mogul Grant Cardone frequently asserts, 'your biggest problem in business is obscurity.'
AKA: Nobody knows you.
This is an exposure problem.
But you can be seen by millions and still never grow because the other piece of the puzzle is resonance.
You need to connect emotionally with people.
I will use examples to briefly explain both.
Examples of how to increase EXPOSURE:
Sharing online content.
Be it a tweet, Linkedin post, Instagram reel, personal blog, Substack newsletter, Medium article or YouTube video, especially when an audience is already attached to this content.
Going to social gatherings.
Like conferences, speaking to people, and sharing how they can connect with you via phone and online.
And being invited to speak as a guest on panels, and podcasts.
This can also include free live webinars or classes you set up to bring a group of people together so you can deliver your ideas that way.
Comment valuable ideas underneath posts, ideally those of brands and people with an already established audience, so your comments will be read.
You can buy ads to get you in front of certain types of people, whether it's YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook ads.
You can partner with people with similar-sized audiences and set up an agreement whereby you exchange exposure to each other's material.
An example would be finding someone else with a similar-sized Twitter following and agreeing to exchange a daily tweet.
That way, you both win from your tweet being seen by each other's following.
Reaching out to people.
Email or jump into the DMs booking a call with a potential client, and delivering value through a face-to-face conversation.
Buying exposure to other people's audiences.
You can pay people who already have an audience to open up their audience to your content and ideas.
You can pay large Twitter accounts to retweet your tweets.
This makes a lot of sense if you have the resonance in place because your posts are more likely to run further.
You can pay large LinkedIn accounts to comment on your posts and therefore raise the profile of your Linkedin post.
You can pay someone with a large newsletter to endorse you and your product.
Examples of how to increase RESONANCE:
The exposure you gain in the above examples will not lead to growth, impact or sales if the content and your communications do not resonate.
Pile on the value.
Be more helpful than most in a specific area.
Ask yourself, 'what do my people need, and how can I give it to them to get them what they want?'
People can't resonate with those who do not demonstrate they can improve their lives.
Be more human and authentic in your communications.
This means telling your stories, being honest, saying things that take courage, showing your flaws, being compassionate for the reader, being funny, and so on.
People connect and want to follow humans, not automatons.
Make a complicated idea easier to understand.
Give people an ‘aha’ moment.
When you can help people get what they want in a way they understand, this will be felt as relief. This is resonance.
Be like your ideal reader or follower.
People connect when they share similar interests, traits, and values. Know your ideal people and demonstrate this as much as possible.
This way, you attract the right people and repel the wrong ones.
Being polarising creates stickier followers. Show us what you stand for and allow others to join your crusade.
Humans are wired for stories.
You need to read Lisa Cron's book on this.
The brain is attuned to stories, and you will emotionally impact people if you can tell them well.
A basic story outline is this:
Someone wants something (desire) > Something gets in the way (problem) > That problem is overcome (resolution, often followed up by a lesson or call to action).
If you want to grow and reach more people, combine both exposure and resonance.
Get in front of more people.
Get creative about how you can get your authentic self in front of the people who need you.
Ideally, the kinds of people you want to impact and work with, and resonate with them.
They will want to connect.
They will follow you.
If you have any questions, do share below!
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