How to fight your way to 1,000 followers
Scrappy ways to build up your social proof.
Ever click on someone's profile and see they have 100K+ or even 1M+ followers and find yourself hitting the follow button without much thought?
But if you go to someone's profile and see they have 300 followers you probably never hit follow.
This is normal. We're herd animals.
The ice cream place with the line around the block must be the best, right?
We model our behavior based on the behavior of others.
If we see someone with tons of followers, we assume we should too. If we see someone with only a few followers, there must be a reason more don't follow them.
Social proof is an extremely powerful motivator. On social media, this is particularly true as social proof is baked right into it.
The person with a small following has to WOW you to get a follow.
The person with a huge following can post a platitude and you’ll be impressed.
The same applies to a post.
A post with 10,000 likes on it is exponentially more likely to get a like and a comment from someone than a post with 10 likes.
Particularly from someone other than a die-hard fan.
So a lot of audience building is about growing the number of die-hard fans that like basically everything you post increasing the odds that strangers will follow the herd and also like your post.
And building up a follower number that makes people take you seriously.
If you're early on in your audience building, you need to be super scrappy. Every new follower matters a ton.
There are a few “psychological thresholds:”
1,000: This is where people go: “okay, they're not completely new.”
5,000: “Not a complete nobody.”
10,000. “Hmm, maybe they do have something to say.”
50,000. “Oh okay, this is an creator on the rise.”
100,000. “This is a legit creator.”
500,000 or even 1M+. “How do I not already know this person?”
If you're early on, you need to fight your way to 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000.
Here are some scrappy ways to get there:
Manually DM people who engage with your posts to thank them or start a conversation. They'll often follow.
Meaningfully comment on other people's posts who are at a similar stage. Start a convo. Then eventually follow them/send a connection request and DM them.
Comment on other people's comments big creator's posts. Again, start a convo and follow/connection request + DM.
I’m skeptical of the whole “comment on my post to get visibility” concept. Instead use it to connect with other readers of that person.
Get every friend you know to follow you. I did this to initially take my YouTube channel from 0 subscribers to something.
Send a connection request or follow basically anyone you've ever met or interacted with.
Add a link to your profile as an email signature.
Whatever you can do to have a few trickle in over time.
If you have 100 followers, a new follower is 1% growth. It’s meaningful.
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