Do You Need A Big Following?

April 18, 2014 — 28 Comments

Do you dream of having hundreds, no thousands, no millions of followers? People who will listen to what you have to say and follow every piece of advice you lay out before them?

This sounds like a dream come true. With a huge following, you’ve made it to the big time. Everyone wants a piece of you.

One of my recent TV addictions has been the TV show The Following. The protagonist is Joe Carroll, an author, teacher, and serial killer. He’s also generated a massive following from behind bars.

His followers include police officers, school teachers, nannies, and more.

Carroll’s followers rival anything I’ve ever seen before. You can’t turn anywhere in this TV universe without running into one of them.

For Carroll, this was a partial Nirvana. He had people who loved and adored him.

But do you need a big following, such as Joe Carroll has in The Following?

The answer is no. You don’t need a huge following. You need dedicated followers.

Dedicated followers will help you reach your dreams as you help them move forward in life. You can have a small, dedicated following and still see massive results.

This small band of followers can be rabid fans who are willing to get your message out to those they know.

Why? Because you gave them a taste of something they never knew before. You gave them a taste that they can be a success. You may have shown them how to take the next step towards their goal. Or maybe it’s telling them to let off the gas instead of going full tilt.

You gave them the inspiration they needed. And this small following ran with it.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a big following. No, none at all. Yet I think that shouldn’t be your goal.

We need to go after a small, dedicated following who’s willing to stick with us.

When you find these followers, treat them well. Let them know you’re there for them. Check in through email or pick up the phone and give them a call if you can.

Build the dedication of a few followers and watch your influence grow.

Question: Are you focusing on a big following or are you trying to find a few dedicated followers to share your message? Have you found one or the other to work better? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • Great post Joe. It is easy to get wrapped up in acquiring more instead of deepening relationships with those in my circle of influence. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thanks Zechariah. The crazy thing is, digger deeper into those relationships you have will probably yield more than you ever thought possible.

  • Great advice. There’s nothing wrong with having a small circle of influence if that small circle is truly bought into your message.

    • Yup Brandon. That’s the way we’ve got to do things, a dedicated following who’s into what you’re doing. Any tips on how you’re doing it?

    • Amen Brandon!

  • Great post. I think building a trust and relationship with a small following is a great way to start. You said it best, ‘Dedicated followers will help you reach your dreams as you help them move forward in life’. A small following can lead to large following.

    • Good point Bernard. We start small and build big.

  • I’d like to think I have a great following. I’m thankful for the people who read and comment and cheer me on. Is it a small or big group? It depends on who you ask.

    • From what I’ve seen Jon, you’ve got a great following over at your site. There always seems to be action.

  • Joe, you know I’m on a kick about how to grow with a small platform. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about making real connections and adding value!

    • I’ve seen you really kicking that idea into gear Kimanzi. What results have you seen from focusing on the small, committed numbers?

      • I’ve found that you’re not disappointed or distracted when the large following doesn’t come. Instead you have the right focus and build real relationships.

  • Fantastic reminder to chase after relationships, and not numbers. We can buy the latter … we EARN the former. Thanks for the kick in the pants I needed this morning.

    • My pleasure Jake. Hope the kick wasn’t too hard.

  • Joe,
    this week I have given great thought to Jesus as a leader. Imagine what his following was like has he started his ministry and what it grew to by the time he was crucified.additionally, he didn’t reach everyone. All provoking thoughts this Easter. Have a blessed one my friend!

    • Great example Matt. His most earnest followers were a small dedicated group. But that group changed the world!

  • Harriet Stack

    This reminds me of a speaker I heard last year and I am grateful for the reminder. I think that a shift in focus to quality of relationship rather than volume will also influence my work positively.

    • It’ll be a game changer Harriet, especially by focusing on the relationships. BTW, who was the speaker?

  • Reminds me that my focus should be on the message. I have worried myself sick that my following is not that large. Now I write for the audience I have, and people are sharing it forward for and more. When the numbers come, it’ll be the more sweeter!

    • Good going Kimunya. It’s easy to chase the numbers but you never know what those numbers want. By writing for the audience you have, you have a good idea of what your blog readers want.

  • MX24

    This is an excellent redirection from what we are led to believe is important. Numbers are more for ego than anything and we can all get caught up in that while quality is about connection, serving and making more of a difference.

    Thank you for this message, Joe. It is of great value to me.

    • The ego sure does feed on the numbers. It’s easy to get caught up in them as it’s an easy metric to track. Tracking impact and change is much more difficult.

  • Great point Joe. I think it’s an honor to have any sort of following – small or large. When people give you their most valuable asset (time), it’s a gift.

    • There’s something powerful about a person giving us their time. It’s one thing they can never regain!

  • I needed to read this. Thanks Joe!

    • Glad it helped Mark. If there’s anything I can do to help as well, let me know.

      • I will do that Joe! Thank you. Revamping my blogging strategy and looking to build my list. Might need some feedback at somepoint.