Countless blog posts are clogging up the tubes of the internet right now, all telling you the greatest secrets of how to get more followers. Whether it be by mass-following, using something sleazy like Twiends, or putting “Follow Me” buttons all over your blog, dozens of bloggers out there think they have the key to upping those numbers next to your name.
It’s all a load of crap.
Alright, maybe that’s a little harsh. The fact is, using these methods to get followers can be effective – if you call getting three completely unengaged followers a day effective. Let’s look at a way to really ramp up that follower count – not just with random people, but with people who are interested in what you’re doing and who want to connect with you.
Ready to find out what this method is? I’m going to warn you – it’s not easy to swallow…
That’s right. Disappear. Stop being so ridiculously active in all your social networks. Stop tweeting all the time. Stop posting so much on Facebook. Stop trying to keep 87 conversations going on at once in your LinkedIn Groups. Just drop off the grid for a while.
See, the thing is, being hyper-active in social networks sucks up your time, and it does so in a number of devious ways. First and foremost, being a hyper-active member in lots of social networks and communities just plain takes a lot of time. Sure, tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite can centralize and organize your networks, but you still end up using up a lot of your valuable time scheduling tweets, commenting on posts, and doing other largely useless things.
Secondly, social networking gives you a false sense of accomplishment. If you send out a bunch of tweets, comment on a few blog posts, and chime in on some discussions, you feel like you’ve done actual work. Since you feel accomplished, you’re more likely to take a very undeserved break, which wastes more of your time.
Lastly, staying hyper-active in social networks drains your mental resources like crazy. Since social networks are so numerous and widespread, being active in a bunch of them at the same time causes you to switch focus way too many times. The cognitive switching costs of constantly darting back and forth from minuscule social networking actions are massive.
Now that you’ve realized how much time you waste being a hyper-active social networker, the answer to getting more followers by disappearing should be self-evident:
You now have more time to work on EPIC, REMARKABLE projects.
THIS is how you get more – and more engaged – followers. Doing epic things has always been the best way of getting people interested – it’s more effective than following people at random, it’s more effective than always being active, and it’s a hell of a lot more effective than spamming people.
Need proof? Look around – there are a ton of people that have massive followings, yet who are minimally active in social networks. Here are a couple of examples:
- Seth Godin: Perhaps the most inactive man on Twitter, Seth Godin has a follower base over 100,000 strong. Do a search on Twitter for “Seth’s blog”, and you’ll get countless results. Despite the fact that Seth Godin doesn’t interact with anyone at all on Twitter, scores of Twitter users constantly share and discuss his content.
- Tim Ferriss: Here’s a guy who never tweets more than 10 times a day, and will regularly go for as long as a week without a single peep. Even so, the man has a following of over 267,000 and is practically a household name amongst Gen-Y’ers.
How did these two people build such massive followings? Easy – they took the time they would have wasted on constant social networking and poured it into meaningful projects that ooze passion and quality. Both are bestselling authors, and both will tell you that writing a book is no cakewalk – it’s much, much harder than writing the equivalent amount of words in tweets or blog posts.
And, sadly, that’s why you probably won’t take this road to success. It’s hard. It’s damn hard – and that’s why it’s so scary. The fact is, constant social networking is an addiction. Every time we get a mention, a DM, a retweet, a Like, or a +1, it’s a little surge of dopamine. These little events feel like accomplishments – even though they really aren’t. Completely eliminating this source of warm, fuzzy feelings is balls-out hard, and that’s why you won’t do it.
“You don’t know me! I’m already doing something remarkable!” – you say. Well, I hope that’s the case. I hope you’ll prove me wrong and release your masterpiece sometime soon. If everyone focused more time on meaningful projects and less time on meaningless social chatter, the world would be a much better place. So go start your project – write that book you had an idea for, create a start-up, or record the most epic album ever. Just do something!
So, what’s it going to be? Will you prove me wrong? Will you use your time for something epic now?