I have over 1,000,000 people who follow me on social media. But it wasn't always that way. Every "Dale Partridge" account started with one single follower.
Over the years, I have learned a few tricks that can upgrade not only the look but the emotion of your online image. Because while photos and graphics are pleasing to the eye, content, and tone are healing to the heart.
There have been two philosophies that have helped guide my success on social media:
"Speak to people how they need to hear it, not how you want to say it."
This philosophy comes from a place of empathy. To create a powerful profile, your intention must be to add value to the people who follow you. The question is... are you thinking of your follower's needs before every post?
"Do what you do and do it well; what you don't do well, outsource, schedule, or just don't do it."
As I've grown older (30 at the time of this article), I realize the strategy around growing a social media platform is almost identical to the art of growing physical relationships. But sadly, our generation has created an online etiquette built on judgment, shallowness, selfishness, and fakeness. Not only has this made navigating these online relationships difficult, but it limits the amount of authentic, meaningful content on the internet.
If you'd like to rise above the standard and gain more committed, authentic followers consider my four steps listed below.
1. Show Off The Depths Of Your Heart
Of the four, this is the magic bullet. If you can master this, you can master social.
People are aspirational. We want to be better. We want to achieve. Luckily, nobody has achieved everything leaving room for a variety of hopes and dreams. For instance, a wealthy CEO might aspire to become a custom knife maker, or a successful mother of 6 might dream to start a charity for cancer. No matter how successful we are in one area, there is someone somewhere else on social media that represents the aspirational dream inside us.
Secondly, people crave reality. They want to see the heart and struggle of the human element. At the psychological level, this type of realism on social media increases the probability of a follower's dream. When they see people struggle and win, their hopes are reinforced.
For example, I post about my family often. About the struggles of building a strong marriage, how joyful it is to raise a daughter, the trials and lessons of fatherhood, and the blessing it is to build our dream home on a farm here in Oregon.
And without tooting my own horn, I believe I've brought hope to those looking for the same things: to have a spouse, to raise children, to have health and wealth and happiness. To be an entrepreneur, leader, or author. At the core, my posts have become daily encouragements to the dreams of my fans. Encouragements that the life they hope for is actually possible.
It's these characteristics that make each social media post even more relatable or attainable for the aspirational follower.
What gift or lifestyle do you have that people can aspire to? How can you share the vulnerable and relatable portions of that story with your followers? Answer this question, and you'll find yourself followed by many.
2. Nobody Refers Ugly
Do you ever tell your friend about the store with the ugly clothes? Do you tell your sister about the dirty looking guy she should date? Do you refer the restaurant that has a horrible ambiance? No.
People don't refer ugly. The same is true of your social media platform.
Every post you make is a piece of information people use to identify your style, credibility, influence, learnable value, and level of fascination. This means that how you post is just as important as what you post. Was your profile picture taken professionally? Can you clearly see your face? Are your cover photos outdated on your Facebook or Twitter account? Does your short bio tell followers exactly who you are and how you will add value to their lives? Do your status updates have spelling errors? Do you post content that's emotionally ugly (think vulgar, gross, or offensive)?
What can you do to increase the beauty, effectiveness, and cleanliness of your social profiles today?
Human wants to share their findings with their friends. Help them do that by being beautiful.
3. Irony & Differentiation Equal Power
If there is two things true about humans it's this: We only notice what's different and we love irony. Think Cinderella or Beauty And The Beast or David & Goliath. We love the unexpected. We love the contrast. For me, people love that I'm young but somehow wealthy. Or that we're a very relevant family, yet we want 10 children.
For you it might be a tattooed pastor or the female woodworker. Whatever the irony, highlight it. Secondly, ask yourself the question, "how can I make this even more different?" If you can wrangle them both, you will find more curious and contagious eyes glancing in your direction.
4. Every Day is Hard. Do it Anyway.
The social landscape moves a mile a minute. Followers have expectations for their appetite for content consumption. As an online influencer, the discipline to create new share-worthy content each day is a part of your job description.
For me, that means I have to schedule tweets, be sure to get at least one photo per day, and post something valuable to my fans.
Consistency is the cost of building a following. If you can't keep consistent, people will consistently leave.
Making These Lessons Stick
If you're looking to grow a profitable and engaging social media platform by starting a blog or launching an online business, let me help you. My StartupCamp curriculum will not only save you hundreds of hours of guesswork but thousands of dollars in poorly invested money trying figuring this out on your own. I have provided the details in the video below.