Updated: Sep 28, 2020
We're sure you opened your social media app today, scrolled for a bit, and then looked at your profile wondering, Any new followers? Maybe you encountered a few - or more than a few - but you were still disappointed with your follower count.
There are benefits to having more followers. It typically means more people should be engaging, and that means more people - new people - will see your account because your content gets prioritized. Another perk is, on Instagram, when you have 10,000 followers, you can use the swipe up feature in stories. Plus, who doesn't want the validation that comes with having lots of followers???
We understand that all of this helps you as a solopreneur to stay motivated and keep going, and we're not saying that follower count isn't important. We're just saying it's not everything. Here's why:
It's about quality, not quantity.
Believe it or not, having tons of social media followers can be cool for the look of it, but it's just an empty number if you're not interacting with your community (i.e. engaging with content, sharing, direct messaging, referring your page to others, tagging friends, etc.). No one likes a ghost follower (someone who is following you but never responds or comments). Plus, you as a coach, mentor, and speaker want to engage with your audience. That's part of your job description! What if you went to an event and 500 people said they were coming, and all but four showed up? It's easy to get wrapped up into the vanity metrics of it all, but we want our followers to be more than just a number. You want your followers to be like family.
Many big accounts are faking it.
Some big accounts do genuinely have thousands or even millions of followers, and some big accounts look like they have thousands or millions of followers. Nowadays, it's easy to buy followers to make it look like you have more, but it's truly all about engagement. If you have 1,000 followers, but only 10 people are liking your content, it may be time to reevaluate your content, and you may not have real followers.
More followers doesn't mean more money.
Not long ago, there was an ad circulating by an influencer who had 2 million followers, but when it came down to it, he said he was making no money. Having 10,000 followers doesn't mean anything if you can only convert 10 of them into buyers. You're better off having 1,000 followers and knowing you can count on at least 250 of them being buyers of your course, book, products, etc. because you engage with them, you know what they want, and they are truly part of your online community. Additionally, you want people to buy from you because they genuinely enjoy your content or products. Those are the followers that will continue to tag their friends, encourage you in the comments, share your posts, and even invest in you.
Social media is a marathon for most, so it's understandable to get frustrated if you see others sprinting by. It's all about appreciating where you are and enjoying the journey with your followers before you blow up! Continue to learn about your social media spaces, your audiences, and continue being the expert in your field, and you can't do anything but grow!