It’s no secret: I would like to increase my social media reach so more people will read what I have to say. This may sound rather hubristic to some, but any content creator who does not want to get in front of a larger audience, should be doing something else with his time.
You’re here for a reason. You are on social media. Don’t you want to grow your group of followers?
The question I’m still wrestling with is this:
What’s the best way to increase the number of people who will take the time to read my stories? The obvious answer would be: write better stories. “If you build it, they will come.”
But I don’t think it works that way anymore.
There are people on Instagram with tens of thousands of followers who have a profile showing no more than five posts, all of them pretty mediocre pictures. What’s up with that? These days, even a hamster can have over 100K followers!
I agree that I am not as endearing as a rodent, but let’s assume for a moment I have other qualities that make me who I am.
Now, if we are to believe the people who study the rise of certain social media personalities, there’s one tried and true way to get people to follow you. You use ANGER, DISCONTENT and CONTROVERSY to get millions of people up in arms.
If you’ve been following the trial of Alex Jones, the carnival barker who told the world the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, you know this approach works, and can make you millions of dollars if you play your cards right.
As someone who has been blogging for a long time, I know for a fact that if I publish a story about voices dot com, my readership will increase exponentially for that week.
It’s a hot-button issue that brings up strong negative emotions. That’s the secret sauce, by the way. Negative news spreads more rapidly and sticks longer, than positive news. As someone who has been a newscaster for years, I already know this to be true.
“If it bleeds, it leads.”
But here’s the thing: I don’t want to be the Alex Jones of the voice over world. The guy’s a repulsive, compulsive liar, and I want to be known for telling my truth.
Yes, you read that correctly: not THE truth, but MY truth.
I want to empower, support, and inspire people, not bring them down.
If that means I won’t dominate social media, so be it!
PS This story first appeared on my Instagram account where I post a new mini blog every single day. If you have an Instagram account, I hope you’ll follow me. Five thousand others are doing so already!
PPS I was recently interviewed by J. Michael Collins for his podcast. Click here to listen to our conversation.
Paul Vinger says
I deeply appreciate this perspective, Paul!
Paul Strikwerda says
Thank you, Paul! Overall, I don’t like this wave of divisie anger that we see across America. We see it online, in politics, and in the way people treat each other.
Yes, I get worked up from time to time, and I can come across as opinionated, but I will never use anger to get people to read my writings.
Lee Colee’ says
I did try to follow and friend you on Facebook but you declined with a rather curt note. I am a VO working now with several clients and I’m inspired by keeping up with the best in the business. Many of them personally work with and network with me and encourage my skills. I’m a fan of your blogs but don’t feel all that valued. Just thought you should know.
Paul Strikwerda says
Hello Lee, thank you for being so frank! The note you referred to reads like this:
Thank you for your friend request. You have landed on my personal and rather private Facebook Profile which I’ve mainly reserved for close friends and family members. It helps me separate my personal from my professional life. Since you might be interested in my life as a voice-over, as well as in developments in that field, please like my professional Page: https://www.facebook.com/nethervoice. That’s the best way to stay in touch with me.
I send this note to anyone who wishes to befriend me on my PERSONAL FB profile which I publicly describe as follows:
“This is my very PRIVATE profile, reserved for friends, family, and close colleagues.”
Since we have never met and aren’t friends, family, or close colleagues, you received the response you did. This does by no means mean that you are not valued. A + B isn’t C. It simply means that I wish to protect my online privacy, and the privacy of those who are features on my personal FB profile. I hope you understand and respect that.
Thank you for being a fan of my blog. With so much good content to choose from, I never take people’s support for granted, and every week I do my very best to be worthy of that support.