Sometimes I just get stuck on some silly thought. In research, my guess is, that may be considered a desirable trait. But I’m not a scientist nor am I a research student, but that shouldn’t stop me from dwelling on some thought, right? Well, a couple of hours ago I blogged about my views on content creation, content curation, about having a following, and whether or not that should be any cause for concern for any of us. Okay, so that post was getting too long, and I was beginning to get into knots, tired of my own thoughts, and what some may even consider trite writing. (Yeah, and now some readers may think I lack confidence, but no, it’s okay to be nervous at times, after all you’re expressing an opinion that may not gel with many, and that’s reason enough to be nervous).
But that’s exactly the point. Many of us get nervous, worry about what the world will think, and therefore, although thoughts may be popping out of our heads, we sort of stay within our shell. But we’re not snails, so out with that slugline,tagline or plotline you were thinking of presenting at the next meeting – be it in the film line or in the ad line!
Okay, before I lose my point and lose you as well (if I haven’t already done so), yes… about fan following. One reason you may not have one is if you ramble on before you make your point — as I just did to the point of testing your patience. Sorry, I didn’t mean to, it was almost to illustrate the point I’m about to make. This is cyberspace, with zillion people clamoring for a gazillion eyeballs. If you’re writing to garner a following, make your point quickly, because readers have no time. That tweet on the iPhone just pulled the reader away, or some ad was blinking away crying for attention. Whoosh… gone, your reader’s distracted and is away.
But if you’re writing because writing is your passion, because you have ideas you wish to share, because you have knowledge and wish to exchange yours with other like-minded folks, fabulous, go for it. Although it’s hard at times to get your first 500 followers, or 1000, or even your first ten, it’s because that’s the way things work. The analogy I have for you is this… seen an average person who makes a living, is doing reasonably okay, can fend for self and family. Now if that person’s motivated and strives for a big salary leap, or for a super-duper sexy job, that person is more than likely going to struggle for a longer time. That big jump from salary bracket A to salary bracket B happens very rarely. Once you do get it, you have to work that much harder to keep it. Similarly, a business person finds it hardest to make the first million dollars. Thereafter, it gets relatively easier. It’s almost like big bucks beget bigger bucks. Then you have to learn to manage those bigger bucks… complacency won’t cut it, some shrewd calculations will. If this is not your scene, well then, you can be the everyday person, doing everyday things.
Another analogy that strikes me is this… think of a spiritual person. S/he isn’t a spiritual leader until s/he has a following. Until such time the spiritual person wanders around alone. Some may even consider that person stupid. But for some reason when the momentum picks up, e.g. as Yoga did in the last twenty-thirty years, all of a sudden the following will escalate and voila you’re in business… the business of dropping pearls of wisdom. Mystics may choose to continue to wander, but the more pragmatic types will charge steep fees for sharing their knowledge – either posing as brand ambassadors, spokespersons, speakers at high-flying seminars and conferences, or even as authors, etc. It is worth considering that the path towards those will listen to you isn’t always easy, nor is it direct. Yet, if you believe you truly have something that truly must be shared, you will continue, finding new means or methods to find your listeners – your followers.
Now as for the followers you seek on social media, it’s much the same story. Initially, you may have few ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. But after you have 100 or above, the growth will get faster. The magic of three digits is in the minds of readers. You must overcome that barrier. Somehow you may be more likely to see that exponential growth soon after. In fact, once you have a fan following, you may feel both, inspired, as well as obliged to bring something new with a higher frequency. As you write more, your own writing will evolve. Naturally you’ll have an even bigger following.
Finally, if you’re writing for yourself only, you may choose to keep your posts private – at least on blogs. However, if they are visible for the world to see, the more you write, the more easily search engines will find you, and thus success begets success… the sad saga morphs into your personal story of success. You are happy writing, your followers are happy reading, sharing, spreading the good word. 😉
Enjoy the flow of your thoughts spreading across space as words, sentences, paragraphs, blogs, books and you may come full circle.