You don’t need more followers

Simon looking at a screenshot of their Instagram account realising that the number of followers thinking you don't need more followers

Have you ever felt like posting on social media is a waste of time? Have you asked yourself, what’s the point if I’m not getting many likes or if I only have a few followers? The feeling that nobody’s listening?

I hear this a lot.

It’s easy to feel that the effort you put into a post simply isn’t worth the reaction it gets, especially if you’re only looking at likes, views or follows.

But those are just numbers.

And they don’t measure your reputation. Your online reputation is harder to measure, takes longer to establish, and matters much more to your success.

Which prompts the question, how can you build a reputation as the go-to person for what you do?

You don’t need to be a guru – just be you

When playing the social media game, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to the popular accounts or influencers. They have such large numbers of followers that surely whatever they do is easy? (And by implication, whatever they’re doing must be right?!)

But more followers doesn’t necessarily mean more impact. Your social media followership doesn’t equate to your social media reach.

Usually, the number of followers is just a vanity metric – a measure that might make you look good (to yourself or others) but doesn’t tell you anything about how you’re really doing…

Unfortunately, social media channels have a vested interest in making you think that follower numbers matter (even though the likes for a particular post never approach the number of followers an account has, no matter how ‘popular’ it is).

If you feel like you’re creating content consistently and seeing little engagement, remember two things:

  • many so-called influencers and social media ‘royalty’ were actually early adopters, starting out on a much less crowded playing field, and
  • they usually have teams of people running their social media accounts, with significant budgets.

Not everything is as it seems on the surface.

But if followers don’t equal more reach or engagement, what does?

People are listening to you

Your efforts, your content and you are definitely being noticed.

Think of it this way: if you had to speak to a live audience and 98 people turned up, you’d be stoked, right? If your post gets 98 views, it’s the same thing – quite an accomplishment!

In fact, most people who purchase your product or service won’t necessarily engage with or comment on your posts. In the B2B space, most people are “lurkers” so busy running their own businesses that they look at or view social media but don’t engage with it.

Just because they don’t engage doesn’t mean they’re not seeing you.

I meet plenty of people at networking events who say to me, “I watch your videos on LinkedIn. I really like them.” But they rarely click ‘like’ or leave a comment. So hello if that’s you – I really appreciate you reading the blogs.

Your message will reach more people than you might think.

Don’t worry about starting small, just start.

Everyone starts small. I sent my first email to 4 people. I made my first 3 Instagram posts to no followers. I posted my first 15 YouTube videos and got 0 views for weeks.

Forget the vanity metrics. Instead, show up and share generously with the people you want to work with.

Remember that you’re not making the content for you, you’re making it for them. You’re answering their questions, you’re explaining concepts and ideas that inspire them. To get your target audience and potential clients thinking.

Whether or not they like or follow, they will come back for more if they like what they see and hear.

(In my book, Reframing Marketing, there’s a whole chapter on how to make content that will resonate with people and help establish your reputation.)

But… without the likes & follows, how do I know it’s working?

Again, likes and follows are vanity metrics – good for a temporary ego boost but not much else. Don’t get sucked into obsessing about these numbers – after all, you can’t deposit “likes” into your bank account or use them to pay your bills.

Don’t be put off creating and posting content because of a limited followership online. (If it helps, I made a video on how I make my content to help inspire those looking to start making content easier.)

What matters is steady growth in the business enquiries you receive. Be generous with the audience you have, post content that speaks to them and their needs, and watch that audience grow – organically and sustainably.

Numbers are vanity, business is real

If you create content that is useful, interesting and generous, people will appreciate it, share it, and talk about it, even if you don’t always see those reactions online. But you will build your reputation.

You’ll become known as the go-to person for your specialism, the person people recommend to others.

It’s not a question of “likes”, it’s a question of relevant, quality content.

If you’d like to learn more about making content in a manageable and enjoyable way then check out my book, Reframing Marketing, which is a 3-step guide to effective and ethical marketing that isn’t about bombarding people with content just for likes! It’s a refreshing look at marketing yourself and what you do. You can find out more (and order a copy) at reframingmarketing.com