“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.
<!—- lagniappe In case you couldn’t tell, yesterday’s devotional led to me continuing that line of thought and diving a little deeper still. Here is a handful of useful tricks for delivering helpful advice within other people’s audiences - but in a way that is generous and gracious and feels like contribution instead of self-promotion. The goal of which is to become known to that audience, weasel your way into the good graces of the audience owner, and get them to vouch for you within that circle. 1. First, don’t jump in and post about how smart and great you are. Instead, start by answering other people’s questions in a very detailed way, framed by your experience. Touch on alternative solutions to their problem, and explain why your suggestion is better for them. Be thorough. Save these answers so you can post them yourself, later. 2. Openly swipe good ideas others share, go and execute them yourself, and report your results back to the community. This is how you post what is essentially your own stuff, but couched in a way that shows you’re a member instead of an invader. 3. Consume and positively review the things the community leader puts out. Compare and contrast and tell the audience why you liked this one specifically over alternatives. Offer something of your own freely that will help members get more from the community leader’s thing. No squeeze, no obnoxious promo inside. Just a freebie. 4. Ask the community leader to do something together or with their blessing for the group. Maybe even just an interview of them. Make it as easy as possible to say yes. Maybe - if you’re feeling cheeky - post about it in the group to ask if the audience wants it, before pitching it. Free, pure content for the audience. 5. At this point, you may well have earned enough goodwill from the group owner and the community itself so that (with permission) you can just promote something now. A product, or something they must subscribe for or that they can get in your own community. If not, continue doing the above, and cross promote this group and its owner in other places, as well as for your own growing audience. Create a feeling of reciprocity and CASH IT IN when you earn it. But earn it. —->