I’ve read a lot about growth hacking, buying followers, and paying for ads. When hacking our way to gain followers, our numbers will increase, but the interactions with actual people that care about what we are doing will stay the same. What we need to be doing is, focusing on deep personal connections with our small core audience. When we connect with someone and provide value, they will share. We put that person in a position where they feel compelled to give back to us, because we gave them so much in the form of quality content. When that person shares, we gain more followers. One personal referral is more effective than any ad you could buy. Just make that connection and save the money.
Connect to the audience
Figure out what the target audience likes and follow those topics. Our brands have purpose, there is a reason why people follow us. We need to analyze why they follow us and where else they may hang out. This will allow us to engage with people and expand our network. Use social media to connect but not spam. Don’t just tweet every time a blog post is published. Instead tweet value. People are constantly asking questions and talking about problems they have, this is our chance to provide value. Respond with an answer, they’ll remember that, they will follow, then when we tweet out a blog post they’ll be more compelled to read it. This is the only way to truly market. Remember at the end of the day it’s all about personal interactions. As a startup that is our advantage. We have the luxury of providing this one on one connection that bigger brands can not afford.
Having a small following
Having a small following is okay. Right now, I have a small following. This is good. I take advantage of the fact that I have a small targeted audience and make sure that I cater to every single person that reaches out to me. This will grow a strong core fan base organically. The process will move steadily. There’s no need to worry about growing quickly. The term ‘growth hacking’ reminds me of the phrase ‘easy come, easy go.’ Just as quick as they all came, they will leave. Building the core audience on the premise of providing quality content is how our following will grow and remain strong.
I wrote a post on my blog about focus and why we need it in our work. After that post, a reader reached out to me in an email asking “how do I find focus.” He understood that it was important, however, he had so many things he wanted to do that he didn’t know which one to choose. I responded his email and later turned that into a blog post. Not only did my answer allow me to connect with him on a deeper level, it also allowed me to use that as a post that more people could learn from. He wrote back telling me how helpful that was. How likely do you think he is to refer my blog to someone else? You just can’t buy that type of engagement. It takes work. We must go out there and look for how we can help and provide value to our audience. This will compel them to recommend our brand, and our following will grow.
Are you cultivating your small following or are you too focused on growing the numbers? How can you help people? What quality content can you serve to your audience?