29 Jun Stop the like-a-thons! How to create true brand fans
If one of your goals is to grow your Facebook likes, let me ask you a question: why?
Too often, we entrepreneurs get hooked up on the metrics, without really considering what the numbers mean for our businesses. Ever see a Facebook post like this?
“My goal for this month is to hit 500 likes, so please like my page and I will like yours in return. It’s a win win, let’s all support each other!”
Now on the face of it, that might seem like a good idea. We’re all trying to expand our reach and grow our audiences, right? And the more likes we have, the more people will hear about our work, so that must be a good thing.
Or is it?
Sure the boost in fan numbers might make you look – or perhaps more importantly, feel – more established and authoritative in your social media presence. But what if you’re actually diluting your fan base?
I’m not going to pretend that I fully understand the ever-changing algorithm, but in simple terms we all know that Facebook only shows your posts to a small percentage of your fans. If a post gets high engagement, then Facebook will show it to more people and your reach expands.
Therein lies the problem.
Your fake likers don’t really care about what you do or what you have to say.
You can write your heart into a post and they’ll scroll by with scarcely a glance. They’re not going to comment, like or share. They’re highly unlikely to become a customer. And why should they? After all they’re just a number to you.
That hurt right? But think about it. If your main goal is to “grow your Facebook likes” with no deeper purpose, then you are treating it as a numbers game.
Believe it or not, a small group of fans who care about your work, is better for your business than a huge number of fans who scroll on by. As Kevin Kelly’s theory of 1000 True Fans shows, you don’t need a huge number of fans to create a successful business.
When you build an audience of true fans, they’ll do your marketing for you. They’ll promote you in Facebook groups, refer their friends to you, quote you in their blogs and share your posts. They become your unofficial brand ambassadors, sharing your work from the truest of motivations and thus helping your audience to grow organically.
True fans might even pay you for your work, your creativity or your thought leadership up front. More and more entrepreneurs are using crowdfunding to raise the investment required to publish books or launch new products.
Then there’s the Patreon platform, which allows fans to become patrons of their favourite artists, creators, bloggers and YouTube producers, by providing tips every time they create a new piece of content. Fans are paying to enable creators to keep on creating.
So how can you create your band of true fans? It starts with getting clear on the heart of your business:
- Know your message – Know what you stand for, what you care about, what matters to you and be prepared to say it. Yes, you will turn some people off, but any unsubscribes will also help you refine your audience back to your true fans. Silently thank them and let them go.
- Know the transformation you deliver – How do you help your clients over their hurdles? What difference do you make in their lives or work? And what could you do today that would help them achieve even better results? Ask your clients about their goals and dreams and do whatever you can to help them get there.
- Give value – Create useful content that solves problems your readers are facing. Think helpful tips, ‘how to’ tutorials, freebie guides and opportunities to connect with you. Become their ‘go to’ expert in your field of expertise.
- Trust in your work – Listen very closely my friend: You are enough. You’ve got to believe in the work you put out into the world, because if you don’t believe in it, no one else will. And as long as you follow 2 and 3 above, you have every reason to believe.
- Be who you are – As my friend Kim Doyal the WordPress Chick says, “you can’t hack trust.” The best way to build relationships is simply to be who you are and connect from the heart. Any ups and downs along the way simply make you more real.
- Share the love – If you love someone’s work, if it has helped you or inspired you, then make sure you share their post, quote their wisdom and recommend their books or their services. Do it with no expectation of anything in return and in time that energy of generosity will circle back to you. Conversely, never like anyone else’s page unless you are genuinely interested in what they have to share – you would be doing them a disservice.
Knowing your message and truly understanding the value you deliver is essential if you want to attract and connect with your true fans and your ideal clients. In fact, I believe it’s the foundation of everything you do in your business.
That’s why I created my ‘Write to the Heart of Your Message’ workbook – 12 Essential Questions to Refine Your Core Message, so you can write for your business with clarity, focus and passion. Request your copy here.