We are excited to announce the beginning of the Rising Tide Society book club! Our goal is to feature a business book each month that will hopefully be helpful to the Rising Tide community. We’re beginning with Erika Napoletano’s The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters).
If you’ve read the book, leave a comment with a brief review or how the book has impacted your business.
Have a suggestion for August’s book of the month? Leave it in comments!
The Rising Tide Society Team
Why the Size of Your Audience Doesn’t Matter
There is a very fine line between competitor research and competitor comparison-stalking. If you aren’t careful, you can quickly get sucked into a negative spiral that is unproductive for your business and your soul.
You can swing the pendulum to two negative extremes: 1) Ignore your competition completely, which makes you ignorant of how to market yourself based on your differentiators; OR 2) You can full-on-crazy-obsess over what your competitor is doing giving you a comparison hangover.
I’m sure you know how easy it is to be enticed into following a business on social media. Something visually stimulates you and you want to connect with them more.
But how many of those businesses have you felt a deep affinity with?
In Randy Pausch’s last lecture (which is incredibly brilliant), he said, “The size of your audience doesn’t matter. What’s important is that your audience is listening.”
Audience size matters little if you can’t keep their attention.
It’s an easy assumption that if a competitor has a bigger Facebook page or Instagram following that CLEARLY they must have better clients and are making more money. Those numbers just scream prestige, right?? Ugh…. we want it sooo bad to be seen as a big deal.
But there is a key element that it much harder for you as an outsider to see when it comes to comparing yourself to the competition: Does that business listen to their audience and engage with them? Are they working hard to keep their attention?
One of my all-time favorite branding books is The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand For the Audience Who Will Love You (And Why No One Else Matters) by Erika Napoletano.
In “The Power of Unpopular,” Napoletano writes, “Only 20% of what you put out into the business either should be about your company, your products, your announcements, and anything else that happens inside of your brand walls. Nobody wants to sit down with That Guy for very long because there’s nothing interesting about talking about him 24/7. Nobody wants to do business with a one-track mind. As humans, we want to laugh and be entertained. We want to be able to see the brands we love and spend our money with people with whom we’d sit down and share a cocktail. Cocktails invite small talk, and that’s how real people talk. When you give yourself permission to strategically go off topic, you humanize your brand in a way that few other strategies can.“
Have you seen the Instagram feed with 10K followers but each post they put up receives less than a dozen comments? That’s 9,988 relationships NOT engaging with the post. It’s like going to a dinner party, and listening to just one person talk. Everyone at the table feels like if you say something, then you are going to get a dirty look for interrupting, or you’ll sound stupid, or you might not be invited back because you’re now the “weirdo.” If you’ve ever been to one of those parties, you don’t want to ever go back.
“The Power of Unpopular” teaches us that our audience size matters little if there is no back and forth relationship building taking place.
So get over what your competitor is doing. Their audience size compared to yours doesn’t matter and YOUR audience size doesn’t matter.
Your focus shouldn’t be on your audience size, your focus should be on how are you building and nurturing relationships.
- Listen: Make your audience feel validated, worthy and that their ideas and thoughts have merit.
- Offer help: Give your audience the security that you are here for them, that you see them as individuals with needs, not just dollar signs.
- Make them laugh: Be human. People love to do business with humans, especially humans that make them feel good.
- Nurture: Keep investing and keep inviting them back into your space. Relationships take time, don’t rush the process.
Have you read “The Power of Unpopular?” Let us know your thoughts in the comments!