As a social media ghostwriter, I wake up every morning to emails from professionals who want to reach a larger audience. Some want to sell their products, others want to find a job. A few simply want their voice to be heard.
They want an article that will attract the attention of thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands.
All of these things are possible, mind you. But none come without consistent effort - this is the important point - on their part as well as mine.
To build a "following", you need to read and respond to other people. I can help you write a magnificent article, but unless you personally engage your readers, all our work will be wasted.
Sadly, almost no one is willing to work week after week to build such an audience.
There are exceptions. Over time, I've attracted clients who religiously read and respond to comments (and even likes and shares). Many of these professionals have taught me important lessons about building strong human relationships.
But more often than not, people publish an article and then don't bother to read their comments for days or weeks. This has always shocked me; for several days following each of my own new posts, I read every single comment.
By the way, this problem existed long before social media. I know hundreds of consultants who only sell when they need work; once they get an engagement, they forget about networking. I also know many professionals who only network when they need a job; when you need something, they don't even bother to respond.
For all of these reasons, it doesn't take much effort to be that rare professional who cultivates a dynamic and responsive network. A little initiative, a few dashes of kindness and empathy, and a healthy dose of clarity is all you need to stand out from the crowd.
Bruce Kasanoff writes for entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. Learn more at Kasanoff.com.
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