Week 5 - Find Your Supporters
Start: Seeking Others Like You
A beautiful aspect of utilizing social media is a sense of connection and community mission. You can very well have the same exact mode of media creation, platforms, target audience , and niche as someone else and still be 100% different in the way that you deliver it. That is because there is not a single person that is exactly 100% like you. So, do not be intimidated by trying to dive into the world of content creators and bow out just because someone else has the same idea. In fact, when you find others that share the same niche as you, create a bond and connect with them! The world is a magnificently large place so instead of one person trying to share content about, say solo female traveling photographers, now there are two. That’s two people sharing badass content in a specific niche told from a perspective of genuinely authentic people that know a little something about those specific interests. See what we mean?
This strategy unfortunately is implored by people who do not have honest intentions or a pure reasoning for bonding together with like-minded individuals. You cannot control the way that others manipulate and convey negative practices as means to hurt others and inflict damage. That is why it is ever so more important to have content creators with a positive mission and honest intentions and form stronger bonds with individual who think the same. To band together and spread a force of good! That is truly the power of what your content can do. Finding individuals like you to share and support your mission will help you branch out to a wider audience, at a faster pace. This lesson will show you specifics of how to convey your message with your true, authentic voice and how to find others that think the same. We will also show you what to do when you find others like you!
Path to Success: Find Your Way to Stand Out
Supporters ultimately want to be a part of a mission that they also believe in themselves. In order to find you and your mission, there has to be something that makes you stand out. The more authentic and creative you are in the way that you deliver your message the higher your chances of being able to stand out. The skills you need to obtain in order to do this are not so unobtainable that you cannot do it. You just need the guidance and the support. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. Let’s talk about how to get those supporters to notice you!
Step One: Refer to Your Niche Again
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
― Vince Lombardi
Remember in the first week’s lesson when we talked about defining your niche? This is going to really help you out when it comes times to finding supporters. Starting out finding the like-minded people who are interested in the same niche as you is a solid place to find connection. Bonding over similar interests is how you begin to gain trust and starting conversations. You can easily start communicating with someone that shares a similar interest with you and begin sharing stories that create a personal connection. The goal in doing this is to have a conversation that is genuine. It is much more likely that someone you have had a genuine conversation and personal connection with will follow you and keep up with what you’re doing.
You’re not aiming to do this in mass quantity. Studies have shown that humans are only able to have on average nine close friends, not including relatives. However, each of those nine friends will also have nine close friends, and so on and so on. That is how you gain supporters. You must connect genuinely to up to nine people in a way that makes you stand out so that they care about the content you are creating. When they care about the content you are creating, they learn who you are really are as a person. When they care about you as a person, they will support what you are doing and believe in you. That is powerful.
Do not worry at the beginning about the specifics, “Oh I HAVE to find my nine people!” This was an average number so this will fluctuate person to person. Perhaps you start with only two strong connections and branch up from there. The point is do not worry about trying to rush this process or strive for nine. Just strive for genuine connections and put that added personal touch in every conversation you want to maintain. Finding those connections will begin within the niche of the target audience you are connecting to.
Think of this as your little mini community that is going to take over together. Not only are you gaining supporters, but they are too. You work together and collectively are working for similar goals, but in each of your own unique individual ways. Pretty cool huh? When you are seeking out your initial cluster of supporters just keep this in the back of your mind. The goal isn’t simply to gain a follower and move on. The goal is to gain a friend who will support you as your grow, and you do the same. Next, we are going to touch on an important rule of thumb when you are making connections in the online world we live in today.
Step Two: Use Your Voice
“It’s not about finding your voice, it’s about giving yourself permission to use your voice.”
― Kris Carr
As you are first beginning to find supporters, it can seem like its literally you against the world. It does not take long to have people in your corner supporting you. Meeting people online is nowhere near the same as meeting people in person. However, there is greater accessibility and reach so it can be easier. In the last step we talked about focusing on making genuine connections with small groups of people at a time. When you gain a supporter online, you gain a supporter that will see you through your whole journey. You do have to work for support though. You must use your voice and be your own cheerleader until you gain the following to be a cheerleader for you. This means you cannot passively, quietly ask for someone to help support you in your mission. You must be assertive and direct while still maintaining a genuine, caring demeanor. It’s a delicate balance!
Do you remember the good old days in school of being picked for teams and school try outs for sports? Well, in the Travel Circle everyone gets picked for the team. In the online world of other social media platforms however, not everyone gets to be picked. Essential you need to use your voice to speak up and say, “Hey, you need me!” You will likely meet a lot of people on different platforms and just as quickly as they met you they will forget and move on. But, if you speak up and make a memorable first interaction you are more likely to gain a bit of curiosity from that person so they will hear you out. Then a real conversation can begin and, wallah! You have gained a supporter.
The good ‘ol saying, “There are plenty more fish in the sea” applies well as a metaphor to social media because if one person is not willing to just hear you out, the next person may. Keep trying and use different ways to speak up and get attention. Be that cheerleader for yourself; loud, peppy, excited, and interesting! We will cover more on creative ways to talk about yourself without sounding condescending or pushy next.
Step Three: Classy Confidence
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Imagine for a moment you are attending a party. When you walk in, someone notices your outfit and gives you a compliment. You politely say, “Why thank you very much” and offer a kind compliment back. A conversation begins and continues this way with others who also offer a compliment to you and you are able to make several connections throughout the night. This is a basic scenario to describe classy confidence! Your goal isn’t to attract attention or receive compliments, but by your demeanor and the way you present yourself you naturally attract this, people come to you. Think of how you can take on this sort of confidence in an online setting. You want people to be interested in what you have to say and who you are without being overly dramatic or pushy. Confidence goes a long way to accomplish this. That is the key!
The funny thing about confidence is it actually is a skill you can learn just like any other. Building confidence starts with belief in yourself and your ability. Start by giving yourself a compliment and give yourself credit for all the things you are good at. It sounds silly but hey, if you can compliment and praise yourself others will want to also. It’s a matter of how you carry yourself and knowing exactly what you can bring to the table. What matters most is what you hold inside and how sure you are of yourself. When you’re meeting people online just being true to who you are is what will draw people to you. Be the most confident in yourself as a person and the crowd will gravitate to you to figure out what you have to say! We will cover handling people who turn you down.
Step Four: 'No' is Not a Bad Thing
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill
At points in your career, specifically with content creation, you will have incredible ideas and abundant opportunities to be able to share them. The way that you bring those ideas to life and deliver them is the deciding factor whether you get them off the ground or not. Inevitably you will run into others who will attempt to get in your way, put you down, tell you your ideas just won’t work, or simply do not care for your style of content creation.
In other words we will call of those scenarios rejection. The way rejection is delivered is almost always unpleasant and can seem very defeating when you are directly in its path. The way that you handle rejection will show your resilience and how committed you are to getting your ideas out in the world. Keep in mind that as many of those who will reject you there is likely an equal number of those who will support you. That is what you can focus on.
Commitment and belief in yourself is the way to learn resilience. Instead of seeing rejection as a bad thing, see it as a door closing so that another can open. When one opportunity ceases to work out, you do not have to worry about pushing yourself in that direction anymore and can focus on a new path. Rather than seeing rejection as a failure and the absolute end, see it as a step towards an opportunity that is better for you. The only way you will not achieve success is if you give up trying.
Believe it or not greeting failure at your doorstep will make it that much easier to keep moving forward. It will also make it that much more rewarding when you do see success generate from sharing your content. What an amazing concept to actually be paid for your content! How badly do you want that to become a reality? If you truly want that, do not see being told ‘no’ as a bad thing. In our last step, we will talk about how to weed out the true supporters from those who are not.
Step Five: Elevate or contract?
“Do not apologize for your decision to elevate your thoughts, upgrade your standards, or separate yourself from those who interrupt your greatness.”
― Cara Alwill Levba
The fickle thing about content creation is namely finding your niche and what you are passionate about creating. After that it’s a matter of finding the right group of people who truly support you. As we mentioned in previous steps it can be a lot easier than you think. You will likely meet others who do not support you either, and that’s okay. This final step is about further identifying the true supporters. Of the people who say they support you they may in fact have an underlying reason for doing so or without realizing give advice that isn’t exactly helpful.
Have you for example ever consulted a very dear friend or close relative and asked them for advice. They of course hear you out and attempt to respond in a helpful way back. But, more times than not you walk away feeling like you didn’t actually get any help back or in fact this person refuted your idea completely? While you care about this person and trust them to ask them for advice, you have to be careful this advice will actually elevate you rather than contract you.
What we are talking about here is a scenario of choices, whether we allow something or someone in our life to elevate and improve our life or contract and deter our life. Hidden behind the apparent advice of those you trust and care about most, may not elevate you the way you hope for. In some cases the supporters you find may truly want the best for you and their advice is said out of care to protect you and help you see both the pros and cons of your ideas. If however you are consistently holding back for fear of making a mistake or your idea not working out, you will remain stagnant and those ideas simply remain an idea.
When you find yourself in a situation where it is hard to decide what to do next with your content, ask yourself will this elevate or contract me? Content creation is not exactly one of those fields that you can be cautious. Every new chance you take in the way you create and deliver your content is a chance to elevate your life in some way so you really have nothing to lose! The true supporters will always encourage you to try something new and even assist you if they can. That is how you know you have found a true supporter. Keep this is in mind as we continue to our next week!
Optional: Do Week Six Content Creation
When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you should have an understanding of how to find true supporters and means to present yourself in this field. If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at the goal for week six!