“The difference is slight, to the influence of an author, whether he is read by 500 readers, or by five hundred thousand; if he can select the 500, he reaches the five hundred thousand.” – Brooks Adams, Born Jun. 24, 1848.
This is relevant to the would-be gurus among you.
You can amplify your influence if you target the influencers first.
Growing this cult is a subject people ask me about often. It grew quickly because the earliest members were influential people I had built a relationship with.
Not artificially – I became actual friends with people in my “industry” who I thought were established and cool and kindred spirits when it came to values and villains and general mindset.
By the time I decided to become a “leader” I had spoken on a few stages, networked with lots of other speakers, and had even established inroads to be exposed to the audiences of my clients, too.
I'm just a helpful fellow who is willing to demand favors now and then. 🙂
But here is the meat of this message:
1. Figure out whose herds you want to reach.
2. Become a genuine contributor/acquaintance/friend of those people.
3. Make them your allies when you create something of your own.
4. Make your own audience out of those individuals among theirs who dig what you do.
5. Return the favor without being asked.
You don't start a fire by holding a match to a log. It takes kindling. The kindling of a fan following is other people's audiences.
Don't mooch. Don't leech. Give and give, but be easily identifiable and findable.
Give with ulterior motive. Give to earn favor and reciprocity.
And of course, when your select few influencers do their job and kick start your meteoric rise, do your best to do right by them in return.
Or, you know, struggle to grow your audience one actual follower at a time like a goddamn idiot if you insist.