Who is My Audience and How to Grow Them?
I am a regular on Twitter. It has become my primary communication method for writing. Yet, through that platform, I’ve learned that some are confused about who their audience is. Our primary hashtag is #WritingCommunity. That lends to the promotion of writing. When starting out, I was pulled into the belief that certain methods were a must for growing a following, promoting your books, and getting sales. I dove into these methods and found a follower or two and an occasional sale, but nothing to write home about. Then one week, it occurred to me — I was a car salesman at a car show with a bunch of other car salesmen.
“Special Programs” Do They Work?
Yes and No. True, they can bring sales. Yet, these special programs don’t always work because everyone in them are writers expecting that the program will work for them. Now, if you are willing to do the work and go the extra mile, you can build something, but too many writers are waiting for success to come to them. They post, thinking the sales will pour in. Then nothing. And to make matters worse, they don’t even get a follow, and the feeling of failure ensues. Well, writers, here is a tip. Success happens when one is willing to do the work that enables success. This reality hit me after the umpteenth no-growth week. So, I stopped the special programs and began to build my network through the true meaning of social network… being social.
Interaction is Key
When you want to build an audience, it’s all about interacting with your audience. This is different with each person and each platform. AND it is hit and miss with each niche, each post, each day, each hour even (algorithms can be tricky). It can even vary from the person who posts. Speaking of posts… I have seen a Tweet about someone liking lasagna getting over 1K likes and 500 comments. It’s crazy what could trend. It’s all about timing and getting enough people behind the post to get it rolling. But I digress. When you post it is mainly about finding what is interesting that ties what you do to your audience. The rest will come.
Conversation As Well
I have had maybe a handful of Tweets hit 100 comments and 100+ likes. I won’t lie; it’s a good feeling to have that many get involved in something you started. And it is what I now attempt to do, get conversations started. Being a writer, I use the #WritingCommunity hashtag, among others, that will go along with the post. Then allow the conversation to go on from there. Sometimes it works. Other times, not so much. But that is how I feel is the best way to grow a following. You don’t need the special of the week or the post trains that many use week to week.
When you allow other writers to get to know you, and you begin to know them, and build that camaraderie, support is easily given. For a writer, “Here, buy my book” can only go so far, outside of it being a good book that is interesting, as a reader. Having a connection to the writer through their support makes it easier to sell to them than a quick ‘special program’ with two hundred other ‘pick-me’ now names. The connections we make in the Writing Community are what matter and what enables your audience to grow.
Never Give Up
Don’t give up. It takes time to build without the special programs. But not too much longer. I have gone from 1000 to, at the time of writing this, 8900 followers on Twitter in less than a year. Ten months I believe. But Twitter is not the only platform out there. For me, I am trying to learn the ins and outs of Instagram right now. I just passed 400 followers there. That is one that boggles my mind. But just as I feel I have my grip on Twitter, I know I will get there over on IG. It is all about learning what your followers want to see and delivering. When you can do that, the sales will follow, and you won’t have to beg for them either.
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash
Jeff is a Freelance Writer and published Author of The Five Barred Gate and Little Reminders of Who I Am. His latest release The Transference is due out on May 11, 2022. It is a Crime Thriller sure to please those who love the genre. You can find all his books as well as his Children’s series on Amazon.