Why does everyone want so many followers? When did becoming “famous” on social media become all the hype? Social validation is real and while follower count CAN certainly correlate with success, it is not what small business owners and creatives should be focusing on if you What if; instead, you could turn those followers into real leads for your business, AKA money?
Having tens of thousands of followers means that tens of thousands of people want to see your photographs; however, it does not mean that you make tens of thousands of dollars. Ultimately, if your followers aren’t going to buy from you, then why should follower count or “social media fame” matter?
Real, Honest, Connections
Instead, if we focus on making valuable connections with real people, we will find that our followers are more engaged with our content and thus, more enticed to purchase from us. The pure number doesn’t matter as much as the engaged number; these are the people actually waking up ready to see your content and would buy anything you put out there.
It’s human nature to stalk the seemingly fictitious lives of celebrities and with Instagram right at our fingertips, many of us have never felt so average in comparison with these social media mega stars. People everywhere are wondering how to get more Instagram followers and YouTube videos centered on the topic are surpassing millions of views.
“Who is going to find out about your brand when you are nowhere to be found?”
In today’s world, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be exceptional at something that many of us never even start or try to do what we want to do because we are so afraid of failure. This goes along with focusing on the wrong things. If as a personal brand or small business owner, you feel crippled by the fact that you don’t have a large follower base, you will never create content. Consequently, this leads you down a path of not creating anything…and who is going to find out about your brand when you are nowhere to be found?
With the addition of social media fame in the mix of the traditional celeb fame, many of us feel paralyzed on social media– feeling like we’re sellouts or “try-hards,” fearing the judgmental eyes from those who will never go after their dreams themselves. Exceptional is now the new “normal” in terms of content creation and we’re left wondering, “how can we keep up?”
feeling tired, helpless, frustrated, and vulnerable.
Creating (Lots Of) Content Comes First
Although we are content creators, as content consumers, we aren’t exposed to all the hard work and years of dedication that went into where someone is today. All we see is the final, amazing product and we feel bewildered wondering how we can make it there too. It’s no question that everyone wants fame or notoriety and that social media is the most attainable way to achieve this; however, is it really what we want? Is that what makes the most sense for our “business” (personal brand or business)? More Instagram followers may mean more social validation; however, what’s shocking is that as follower count rises, engagement rates drop.
This is especially interesting if your personal brand is also your business. As a result, it means that as your account grows, it becomes important to still remain the genuine connections you would have with a smaller account.
Instagram is an awesome way to display your work or what you have to offer and by being your average, everyday, genuine self, you will in turn, attract other people who are just.like.you.
1,000 True Fans Concept
Have you heard of the 1,000 true fans concept?
“A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing; they will buy the hardback and paperback and audible versions of your book; they will purchase your next figurine sight unseen; they will pay for the “best-of” DVD version of your free youtube channel; they will come to your chef’s table once a month. If you have roughly a thousand of true fans like this (also known as super fans), you can make a living — if you are content to make a living but not a fortune.” 1,000 True Fans — Technium
Basically, if you can attract just 1,000 people out of the entire world to look to you for your services (whether tangible or intangible), you are set for life.
You might be thinking, “I’m passionate about creating art. I own a boutique art store; however, I’m definitely not the best in the world.”
IT DOESN’T MATTER! I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be the best in the world– not even close to that. You just need to be unique enough for people to be interested in what you are doing and doing it in your own “average” way. And that really just means figuring out a way to relate to a group of people.
It’s not enough to say “be yourself” because you could be an amazing artist or entrepreneur that is introverted and dislikes social media. You must be yourself in a way that others are able to see and identify with so that they are able to trust you and ultimately buy from you.
Let’s illustrate this concept in terms of income: If you were to sell a painting priced at $20 to your 1,000 true fans on social media… that’s $20,000! If you came out with one new painting every season, that’s $80,000 a year.
Personally, I have found that by being my true, genuine self on social media and expressing my true inner thoughts, people have actually reached out to me and I’ve even made a few real friendships out of it. Sure, some people from my past unfollowed me, but that’s okay because you don’t want those people following you anyway. If they aren’t going to purchase something from you one day, why bother?
Use Instagram as a tool to express yourself by showing the world your creativity through your artwork, passionate words, photography, or what your business has to offer through original content. Be creative, while also being genuine and you will be surprised by the outcome. You will gain real friendships, loyal followers, and 1,000 true fans before you know it if you are just consistent, genuine, and produce quality content.