There are 12-year-old kids who post nothing but videos about playing with slime on social media, and yet have tens of thousands of Instagram followers (@Slime itself has more than 2 million). For today’s teenagers, selfies and prank videos seem to be enough to accumulate followers—and for adults, the most popular profiles across every social media platform read like National Enquirer.
You, on the other hand, have spent years building your expertise. You’re working tirelessly to reach a broader audience and make an impact. It’s no wonder these Instafamous individuals can make you feel discouraged.
Should you be posting more “selfies” on social media, or pictures of your food? If you’re not posting live videos or video stories every day, are you doing it wrong? What have they got that you don’t?
These doubts, and many feelings like them, are common. Congratulations, you’re normal! But when you’re building your audience you have a choice to make early on. Which do you want, to become trendy or trusted?
Follow The Trusted Path
Social media isn’t all bad, of course. Like any other tool, it’s only as good or bad as the way you use it. Social media can be incredibly effective for building a new audience, getting exposure, and building your email list—but make no mistake, that’s the trusted path: your relationship with your email list.
Emails aren’t sexy (or trendy)—but they work. You don’t get likes on your email broadcasts, but an email subscriber is 15 times more likely to become a customer than a social media follower. That means 100 email subscribers are worth more than 1,000 Facebook followers, but it also means that email is where you should focus your attention to slowly, methodically build trust.
Are you treating your email subscribers like your most valued clients? Are you giving them value every week, eliminating every doubt in their mind that you’re the guide that they need?
Your email list won’t get you any awards, your emails won’t go viral, and nobody but you will see how many views each email receives. But that’s not what you’re after, is it? Fleeting fame? You could count the number of social media influencers who’ve lasted 10 years on one hand (Facebook itself is only 15 years old).
Facebook fads and other phenomena will rise and fall, while you systematically build trust with an audience who has real problems, that you’re the right person to solve. With every solution, you earn an extra layer of trust. That trust compounds, forming a rock-solid foundation for your long-term legacy, and allowing you to build a profitable online business.
The fad is starting to fade, as more social media “influencers” come forward with stories about the hyped-up lifestyle they’re living that doesn’t pay the bills, or keep money in the bank. Sure, being trendy is still an option. The success stories are so wildly successful that for every Kylie Jenner there are ten thousand wannabes who will never make it that far.
If you choose the trusted path, that may mean that you go to sleep each night as an unsung hero of the internet age, but do so. Know that you’re doing your part to make the world a much better place.