Stop Chasing 1M Followers: There is Another Goal in Influencing

Stop Chasing 1M Followers: There is Another Goal in Influencing

As a content creator or an aspiring one, you believe that follower numbers matter. And you know that building your following isn’t easy but achievable with the right strategy. But do you always have to chase after one million followers?

Many influencers focus on hitting the million mark in terms of follower count. While the figure is great, you need to realize that there’s another goal in influencing that you should focus on.

And that’s the quality of your followers and the depth of your relationships with them.

Your goal shouldn’t be building up the numbers but ensuring that you have an engaged following. Those who have a lower number of followers tend to have higher engagement rates. Micro-influencers get an average engagement rate of 4-8%, while macro-influencers have an average of less than 2%. Cover photo by Laura Chouette.

Vanity Metrics and Their Limitations

In digital media, follower count has become a dominant metric for measuring one’s influence. The common belief is that the number of your followers equates to your influence. So, the higher, the better.

However, this obsession with the number of followers can be misleading and often creates an illusion of influence. Huge following doesn’t necessarily mean significant influence.

You can still genuinely influence others even when you don’t have a large following. That’s if you focus on creating quality content rather than the quantity of your followers.

Create meaningful and useful content, so you can attract quality followers. People must find value in what you say so they’re more likely to engage with you and share your content.

The True Meaning of Influence

The true meaning of influence in digital media is your ability to affect the behavior, beliefs, and actions of others online.

While you can measure this with quantifiable metrics like follower count, engagement rate, and reach, the true influence goes beyond just the numbers.

“True influence is about the authenticity of your content and message and how you can inspire and motivate others to take action,” said Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer at Checkr.

“It’s about building connections with your audience and establishing trust and credibility over time.”

Niche Audience Vs. Mass Appeal

Rather than getting obsessed with follower count, it’s essential to realize that having a niche influence is more important than mass appeal.

You can create content tailored to their needs and interests when you have a niche audience. Doing so lets you establish a deeper connection with them and build a more engaged and loyal following.

It can also help you stand out from the crowd. With so much content on the web, it’s hard to get the right attention if you try to appeal to everyone.

But when you narrow your focus to a specific niche, you have more opportunities to build your authority and establish trust and credibility. You can attract a dedicated audience who’ll be interested in what you put out there.

You can also monetize your content more effectively. Advertisers and sponsors are usually interested in reaching out to a particular audience. So, a niche audience can lead you to more advertising and sponsorship deals and opportunities to sell your products and services.

Engagement, Authenticity, and Trust

Engagement, authenticity, and trust are crucial for building real influence in today’s digital media. You need to engage with your audience and show them that you’re interested in what they say and their input’s value.

You must also demonstrate authenticity. People are more discerning now than ever, and they can tell when you’re being fake or insincere. So, you must remain true to yourself and your values.

That’s how you build trust among your followers, which can lead to deeper connections and more meaningful interactions.

How to Build Deep Connections with Niche Followers

Want to have a successful influencer career? You must build a strong and engaged following. 

Here are some strategies for building deep connections with niche followers:

  1. Identify your niche audience and their interests.

You must identify your niche audience and their interests so that you can create content that resonates with them. That also helps build a loyal following.

Choose a specific area of expertise or interest you want to focus on–anything from cooking to real estate to travel.

Then, you should conduct market research. Don’t skip this step because it will help you understand what your audience is interested in and what content they’re most likely to engage with.

Once you know the most popular topics within your niche, you can pinpoint your target audience. This could be based on demographic factors (e.g., age, gender, and location) or psychographic factors (e.g., interests, values, and lifestyle).

Next, create buyer personas (your ideal customers). This will help you understand their needs, challenges, and desires, which will, in turn, help you create appropriate content for them.

Engage with your audience on social media and other platforms. Ask them questions and respond to comments. And use their feedback to improve your content.

  1. Create personalized content that resonates with your audience.

Personalized content allows you to connect with your audience more deeply. You can tailor your content to meet their needs and preferences.

Don’t forget to use language, images, and topics that appeal to them. Your audience must feel like your content is speaking directly to them. 

Incorporating QR codes into your content can provide quick access to tailored experiences and exclusive materials, further personalizing the interaction

That’s the way to engage them and prompt them to share it with others. Over time, this can help build a loyal following and increase your reach and influence.

Additionally, personalized content can help establish you as an authority in your niche and build trust with your audience.

personalized content

Photo: Swello

  1. Engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages.

You mustn’t simply “post and ghost.” Instead, you must engage with your followers by responding to their comments and messages. That’s an essential part of building a strong and loyal following.

When you engage with your followers, they feel heard. It shows that you value their opinions and feedback. It also helps build a personal connection with them. Likewise, you can gain more insights into their preferences and needs, which you can integrate into your content strategy.

  1. Collaborate with other creators in your niche.

Avoid focusing on competition and keeping things to yourself. In today’s digital landscape, collaboration is more important in influencing. 

You can work with other creators in your niche to expand your reach and gain more followers.

Collaborations with others can boost your visibility and help build relationships with other creators in your community. This can lead to more opportunities in the future that can go beyond influencing.

  1. Share your personal stories and experiences.

What many may not realize is that there’s value in sharing your personal stories and experiences with your audience. Personal anecdotes make your content more authentic, relatable, and trustworthy. 

Your followers will see you as a real person they can relate to rather than a faceless entity or someone just trying to sell them something.

Your stories of personal struggles, successes, and lessons learned can humanize you. People are more likely to trust and connect with someone who has been through similar experiences and is willing to share their journey.

  1. Consistently provide value to your followers.

You can build deeper connections with your followers by consistently providing value to them. You must ensure you share helpful information and insights they will find relevant and valuable.

These can include industry news, best practices, tips and tricks, and other life hacks that they may find helpful and informative. For example, if you’re in the personal finance niche, you can share tips on how to grow your savings.

  1. Leverage data and analytics.

While we talked about going beyond the numbers, data and analytics are still important to tracking engagement.

Analyze metrics like website traffic and social media interactions. Look into the email open rates to gain insights into what types of content resonate with your audience and what’s not.

This information can help you adjust your content strategy and ensure that you create relevant and valuable pieces for your target audience.

For example, if your blog posts aren’t getting many views, you probably need to tweak your topics or switch up your format. See if that improves engagement. 

Final Thoughts

There’s more to influencing than having a large following. Sure, big numbers can be great, but influence should be measured by your audience’s quality and relationships with them. 

Creating valuable and meaningful connections with your followers can build a strong, engaged community that trusts and believes in you. So, instead of chasing after one million followers, focus on building your niche influence and creating content that resonates with your audience.

Read next: 5 Ways Influencer Marketing Can Enhance Customer Relationships

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