We all know how integral it is to have a following. To have an audience. Whether those people are reading your blog, buying your products, or double tapping your pictures, in order to have a brand or business you must have an audience.
However, if there’s one thing potentially more important than the size of your audience, it’s how likely that audience is to engage with you. Do they convert? Will they buy? Are they sharing insights? Are they so invested in what your building that they tell everyone they know? If they’re engaged, they’ll do all of the above.
So while it’s important to build that audience, it’s equally as important to engage with them. Here’s four valuable (and easy!) ways to do that:
STORYTELLING. STORYTELLING. STORYTELLING.
Even the most perfect shot won’t mean high engagement. So if you feel like your images, blog posts, or messages aren't nailing it, think about how often you’re sharing relatable stories. You can close the delta between your beautiful brand and meaningful engagement that adds to your audience's lives via storytelling. It’s in your stories, which naturally communicate trials and rumbles and victories, that someone will feel more connected and engaged to you. No, you don’t have to get all existential about the details of your morning in order to tell a good story, but don’t forget to open up about the life behind the brand. The message. Or the service. Through storytelling, you’ll build trust – which is the north star of any well-executed brand and business.
Example: Check this IG post by #createcultivateChicago speaker Latham Thomas. She nails this.
SWIPE RIGHT...TO 'VIDEO'
Ain’t nothing hotter right now than hot sauce in your bag, and video. Everything, all the stats, point to video. I could source and quote a million articles that make the point that we already know intuitively (“is video engaging?”). The better question to ask regarding the topic is...how. No, you don’t need to hire a full production team, yet. No, you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in equipment. But you should try getting a feel for how video best integrates with your goals. Maybe in blog format? Swipe right in your iPhone to change from photo to video and get rolling. iPhones shoot 4k footage which is top-notch quality. Or maybe you want to show your audience what’s going down at the event? Hi, SnapChat. Or maybe you’re having lunch and an epic convo with your fellow boss biz woman of a friend, go live on facebook and give audiences an insight into your problem-solving. Video rocks engagement like no other, and the barrier to entry is the lowest it’s ever been, both financially and in effort.
Example: Easiest of easy? Facebook videos shot on your iPhone in Bali. #justsaying
TWO WAYS WILL GO A LONG WAY
Think about your most avid readers, buyers, followers, share-ers… Have you followed them back? These ambassadors of your work are the entire reason you likely do what you do. It seems so simple but treating your audience and being there in return to follow what they are up to can go a crazy long way. Do you need to follow every single person that follows you? No and no. But take it from the comments of the talented instagrammers on #createcultivateDallas Photohack panel who noted that they always follow back their biggest supporters. Nothing encourages engagement and loyalty like treating your biggest supporter with a little support back.
Example: Take a cue from Sophia Macks of @beyondthemag. She does this. And I do say it’s workingggggg.
HAVE A CONVERSATION. LIKE,
A REAL ONE.
If you had a friend, advisor, boss or sibling who was always giving her opinion, thoughts, and ideas but never asked for yours, how would you feel? If engagement with your audience isn’t where you want it to be, consider the opportunities that you’re giving your audience to ask. Have you opened up the space for them to do so, whether it’s with a final question before the comment section on your blog, or in the comments of your Instagram? Have you given your audience permission to chime in? Often, that’s all it takes.
Example: Take a look at this post from #createcultivateDallas mentor Amy Locurto. Lesson 101 on how to do this well. She not only asked, she demanded!
At the end of the day, engage with your online audience in the same way you would if they were sitting right in front of you. Which reminds me, if they ARE sitting right in front of you, share your energy and love. Show up as that fine person you are. Ask questions. Tell stories. Give hugs and high fives. Engagement goes a very long way in garnering support and business.
Maxie McCoy is the energy designer of Maxie, where she shares soul wisdom on the digital video series #maxie and her weekly writings. If you want your spiritual and emotional IQ shooting to the stars, Maxie is the place to be.
Let Maxie be your guide to unlocking your brilliance by following along at maxiemccoy.com. Maxie offers soul sessions, workshops, one-on-one coaching, and words of wisdom you really shouldn't miss.