Every comedian I speak to wants to know how to get more followers on social media, but hardly any ever ask a more important question – who they should follow.
The answer to that question varies depending on who you are and what your goals are, but the underlying principle that who you follow is more important than who follows you is something I believe is universally true – especially if you’re a newer comedian.
Here’s a few reasons why…
You Can Control Who You Follow
You’re always better served to focus on the things you can control than the things you can’t when it comes to your career and this is a perfect example of that. No matter what you do, you’re never ultimately going to be able to control how many people choose to follow you or who those people are.
Sure, there are things you can do to get more followers, but it’s always going to be out of your control.
However, you can 100% control who you choose to follow and the benefit you get from those choices. So, what are some of those benefits? Well…
You Can Learn From Who You Follow
As I mentioned in a tweet the other day, Twitter is only as good as the people you follow on it. If you follow people with relevant expertise, opportunities, and knowledge to share then Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool for you to learn from.
It really can become a valuable asset in your career development…if you’re following people and publications that have valuable information to offer.
Most people that think Twitter sucks or that it’s just people cracking dumb jokes and sharing photos of their food only think that because they’re following the wrong people. It’s not Twitter’s fault – it’s your own, because you get to choose who you follow. Choose right and Twitter can be a great asset.
You Can Develop Important Relationships
In addition to the ability to learn from people you follow on social media, it also provides you with an incredible opportunity to develop relationships and connections to people who can help your career in a variety of ways.
You might not be able to get a comedy club booker on the phone easily, but there’s a much better chance that you can interact with that booker (or the club) on social media and start to get on their radar that way. The same is true for other comics, journalists, fans, agents, managers, bloggers, and just about anybody else you think could potentially help you in your career down the road.
Now, I’m not suggesting you start spamming people with promotional tweets or bugging them about booking you via Twitter, but rather have genuine interactions with these people. Over time, you can start to develop a relationship with them and get on their radar.
This is another example of why who you follow is more important than who’s following you – because you’ll get more benefit from one solid relationship developed on Twitter than you will from getting 100 random people to follow you.
An Email Subscriber Is Better Than A Follower Anyway
Another reason your time is better spent finding great people to follow as opposed to chasing new followers is because at the end of the day you should be trying to get people to “follow” you by joining your email list instead of just following you on social media anyways.
While most comics obsess about follower counts, they completely ignore a major fact – most of your social media followers never see the stuff you post anyway. It’s fool’s gold.
Between Facebook’s algorithms and the flood of tweets that crowd most people’s Twitter feeds, very few of the followers you’re hoping to get will actually see your posts. By comparison, your email subscribers are MUCH more likely see the emails that you send them. That’s why I talk all the time about how to get people to join your email list.
That Leaves One More Big Question…
So, if I’ve convinced you that who you follow is more important than who follows you, that leads to an inevitable next question – who exactly should you follow?
I’ll answer that in a future post, but in the meantime I’d love to hear in the comments below who you have found very helpful to follow on social media?
2 thoughts on “Who You Follow Is More Important Than Who Follows You”
I Respectfully disagree, if my followers read my stuff and like it… that’s more important than “who follows me” … I get that “more” = success but I don’t agree that it’s always the hard and fast rule.
I think I do agree with you. I wouldn’t say I ever “obsessed” over how many Twitter followers I had but I definitely used to think about it more than I do now. Sometimes, I look at someone that has a lot more followers than me and wonder why. Often, I see someone with over 20,000 followers and realize that they’re also following a few thousand people and just retweets all day long. I realize that this is a trick to get more followers (and it obviously works) but to what purpose? Surely, quality over quantity applies to your “fans” right?
I once asked a friend for advice on getting more followers and she told me I could buy some, that there were websites that sold packages of “followers.” I was appalled by this. I told her, “That’s not what I meant at ALL!” Then she told me that there’s a trick where you can follow as many people as you can, then unfollow them, then follow more people, unfollow them, follow, unfollow… forever. AND there were websites you could pay to did that for you too. “I don’t want that either,” I said. She just looked at me and said, “Then I don’t know what you want, you may not have a ton of followers, but they’re real. And you have a lot more than me.”
And that’s when I stopped worrying about how many followers I had. Because, really, it doesn’t matter how many followers I have, as long as they’re real. (And as long as I have more than my friend.)