As promised in my introduction post I will be sharing my tips and insights on how to build a large following from scratch.
If you’re starting from scratch, then trying to build a social following can be a daunting and very frustrating experience. Do you feel like people aren't liking your content and the only people following you is your mum and friends? That is how I felt 3 years ago…
First of all, the question to ask yourself is what are you trying to achieve? You have to know and understand what is that you are building and why? You need to be unique and add value. As hard as it sounds, there is always a niche for something.
Getting started...finding a niche..
Three years ago I realized that no-one was doing Russian and Eastern European food recipes in English. I saw the gap and decided to become the first one. I believe that anything you write/blog about will be valuable to someone. That is why platforms like YouTube has seen such success, because you can learn/find anything you like.
How does this apply to Steemit?
Steemit is a very new platform, which gives you a massive opportunity to start writing about something that doesn’t exist here YET.
The competition will come, eventually, but you will be the first in that field and have a bigger following and more Steem Power. You have to be positive, inspiring and authentic. Your content needs to be unique and useful to others. Most importantly you need to add value to the community. If you haven't watched the interview with @dan and @ned posted by @dollarvigilante in his second article, you really should. Like Dan said, the most important thing is to add value to the platform and the community.
Let's go deeper...
I have outlined several key points that I think could help my fellow Steemers build their following from scratch.
1. Time and Patience.
It takes a long time for things to develop. Nobody is an overnight success. Every successful business or person worked their ass off in order to get to where they are now. I worked for 3 years every day, every weekend building my brand and my following. I invested so much time and effort into building my reputation and it is finally paying off… 3 years later.
It is the same with Steemit. You have to work hard, you have to invest time and build your reputation. The rewards will come and it will pay off eventually. I am very impatient person, but after creating Allasyummyfood I had to learn how to be patient and that everything takes time, It's all about the process and continual improvements. There were a lot of times I nearly gave up, but I didn’t and kept going and I am happy I did.
2. Have a plan.
A lot of people don’t have a plan or a vision of where they want to be. They start using social media and realize it takes a lot of time, engagement and dedication and then they stop altogether at the first hurdle because its a lot of work and effort.
I have seen it on Steemit as well, how people are “giving up” after posting several articles that didn’t get noticed. That’s life, just because you want it, doesn’t mean it will happen right now. You have to work hard, add value and something unique for it to work.
Assuming you’re starting from scratch, remember that you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with the task of putting a complex plan together in the beginning. Start with a basic plan that provides you with some direction. Make a simple word document and write some ideas you have for the future posts. Here is mine.
3. Make Goals and have dedication.
First, set mini goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) so you know where you’re going. I learned this from my job as a recruiter where I had to meet KPIs every day and have goals for every month.
“A goal is a desired outcome. KPIs: Key metrics showing whether your performance is good enough to reach your outcome.”
Here’s an example:
Goal: Have 1k followers .
KPIs: Number of comments, likes, shares, shoutouts, mentions.
To help you out, start with a simple spreadsheet, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Have a look at mine when I started.
I made few columns, set goals and each month I was measuring my KPIS and success. I didn’t achieve my goals, but I was not far from them.
Have a look at my year 2 :
Here is year 3 and 4 which we are in now. I have seen tremendous growth. I might be ambitious with my goals, but that is what pushes me to succeed.
Seeing those goals keeps me going every day and work harder. This is exactly what you need to do with Steemit. Set your mini goals. Where do you want to be? Do you just want to earn money here, do you want to add value or do you want to have more power? My next goal is to become a baby dolphin, after that I want to be an orca and so on. I am fully investing into Steem and will be powering up as well, and I know it will pay off. I am not saying if you set your goals and don’t do anything, it will happen. You have to be dedicated and work hard.
4. Stick to a schedule and have consistency.
Organize your time correctly and stick to your schedule. Whether you are doing 1 post a week or 2 posts a day, have a schedule you can look at and track. Here you can see the schedule I applied to Facebook and Youtube.
On Facebook you can see I have scheduled 28 posts in advance, I have planned out different recipes for each day. These can be seasonal or theme related to whats going on in the world.
The same applies in Steemit. Create a schedule. How many times you want to post a week? What are you going to post? Is it going to add value to the community? Will it send a larger message that brings in more people?
Plan in advance. Read the news, articles, and look out, things might change and you will have to adapt and shift your focus.
5. Build a community
You have to share stories that trigger emotions and make people feel part of your story. The stronger the emotion, the more likely people will react to your content. I shared my childhood recipes that my grandmother cooked for me and this triggered emotion in a lot of people that had similar story and left their country at a young age.
Sharing beautiful and powerful images is a great way to communicate your message to your audience and make them feel certain ways: happy, hopeful, curious, excited, nostalgic, proud... etc. This also applies to Steemit! You want to build a community that engages each other to create a positive change. You want people to be inspired by your stories.
6. Know your audience.
Statistics are not available at Steemit yet, but I am sure they will be at some point. For other social platforms, you have the power to do analytics and study everything. Have a look at my insights of facebook.
I know exactly who my audience is, what age they are and where they are from. This will help me plan my future recipes, engage with them and predict what they might like.
7. Be Responsive, Genuine and Supportive
To truly attract and keep people interested and engaged in your social media channels and content you have to be responsive to their comments, genuine with your replies, supportive and helpful with your answers. To this day I reply to every single comment on my Facebook and youtube accounts. I have a score of 85 % response rate! You can see here :
The same applies to Steemit. If someone comments on your article, take some time and respond to the comment. Go and check out what they are posting about and support each other.
Someone was just a nobody yesterday, but can become somebody tomorrow. Don't judge people by the amount of fans/subscribers/followers they have. If you truly believe in them, and you love their content, support them now. Be genuine and be yourself, people will see that and appreciate it.
I think almost all the principles can be applied to Steemit and help you grow the following here. I hope you found this article helpful and it added value to the community.
If you follow me on Steemit I'll be posting an article about managing your time and organizing yourself on Steemit.