To Grow Your Audience, Temper Your Expectations

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Have you established your personal brand online? What can you do to keep growing your audience so you can make more money?

According to social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, even if you manage to start a personal brand and establish a community of followers, that doesn’t mean your journey is over. You now have the tough job of keeping it going to grow your audience.

Here is what Vaynerchuk has to say about growing your online audience.

Growing Your Audience

You’re well on your way to having a thriving, profitable personal brand—now you just have to keep it up and grow your audience. Vaynerchuk suggests tempering your expectations on several fronts. 

  • This requires a lot of work. Besides work (if you currently have a job) and quality time with family, Vaynerchuk contends that all of your time should be devoted to creating content, building your community, and maintaining your brand. He says that you should be working late every night, and that your passion for your topic will keep you energized. (Shortform note: A 2017 report revealed that 52 percent of influencers spend 30 minutes to three hours conceiving and creating posts. Additionally, they say they’re constantly monitoring their social media channels and engaging with followers.)
  • You probably won’t be an overnight success. Don’t get discouraged and lose steam if your audience hasn’t grown much after a few weeks or months. To be successful, you must be consistent. (Shortform note: If you tap out too soon, you’ll miss key moments for growth. For instance, once you’ve posted a few dozen blogs, Google raises your position in search results, which brings more traffic. The exact number of posts is unclear—one source says 20 blogs, another source says 55 to 70.)
  • You may not make millions, as some social media stars do. But if you can monetize your brand to earn at least as much as your current job pays—while doing something you love and avoiding commutes and office politics—then social media is still a better option. (Shortform note: Exactly how much do social media influencers make? Depending upon several factors—including the number of followers, the platform, the niche, and the type of content—influencers can make anywhere from $2 to more than $25,000 per post.)

How to Get Your First 1,000 Followers

While quality trumps quantity when it comes to your audience, your follower count is nonetheless a critical metric for your personal brand. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another social network, there are a few key steps that can help you reach the 1,000-follower milestone. Thoroughly fill out your profile—including your website, location, profile photo, and an engaging bio sprinkled with keywords and hashtags. Cross-pollinate: Post a link to your account on your other platforms (for instance, tweet a link to your Instagram page), and include links to your social pages in your email signature. Add “follow” buttons for your social media accounts to your blog or website.

To Grow Your Audience, Temper Your Expectations

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crush It!" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Crush It! summary:

  • Step-by-step instructions for building and monetizing a personal brand
  • How to quit your day job and earn a living off your brand
  • Why a few loyal followers are better than a crowd of passive subscribers

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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