How To Grow A Ridiculous Following On Any Platform (Including Medium)
I made a pretty aggressive video about this the other day for LinkedIn.
In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn is one of the hottest spots for growing a following right now.
They’re making all sorts of changes — urging content creators to flock there like Forty Niners to California in the late 1840’s.
There’s only one problem..
Creators I’ve come to love from platforms like Medium, Instagram, and even Twitter are flocking there only to create sub-par content.
In other words, they’re great creators, but they just have no idea how to create content that works for LinkedIn. This is kind of crazy for me to see because:
- This shows that killer content creators don’t always know what they’re doing.
- Content is as much about PACKAGING as it is what’s actually inside.
I could write a killer 1,500 word post about Medium with tons of great insights, but if I tank the headline and make the entire article one long wall of text, ain’t NOBODY going to read.
Which leads me to my first point..
1. “Package” The Content Better
In my online course, I teach people how to write an article that LOOKS good, first and foremost.
In fact, 80% of the problems I see in my beginning student’s articles deal with structure.
It’s just not intuitive to read.
The picture beneath the headline isn’t a stock photo, there’s no use of headers or pull-quotes, and paragraphs ramble on past 4–5 lines to form massive content walls.
I don’t hold this against them, they just need to learn.
A lot of the people who look at my online course don’t understand the value of this one lesson.
My friends, it’s probably 75% of the problem.
I say that because no matter how great your article is, nobody is going to read it if it doesn’t feel intuitive to the platform.
It’s honestly a small tweak that takes maybe 5 minutes to implement. Just make more paragraphs, pull more quotes, and create more headers.
In other words, space your sh*t out.
But that’s Medium.
What about LinkedIn, or Instagram, or Twitter? How can you figure out what’s intuitive to those platforms?
Easy, you look at people who are already killing it there.
Every platform has big players.
Find them, analyze what they’re doing, and start to work those findings into your own content.
2. Be Patient As All Get-Out
You’re not going to always suck at a platform.
You know why my articles get 100’s of fans right now?
Because I have 17,000+ followers! I think my content is relatively good, but it certainly helps I have a lot of followers. If I didn’t have that many followers, do you think every article would hit as well as it does?
The answer is no.
But I waited a long time to get this much of a following!
I’ve practiced. I’ve tweaked. I’ve figured out what works and doesn’t work for Medium.
Through my failures, I slowly but surely built a following.
Deploy patience, like Gary Vee says.
It’s crazy, even creators I’ve come to really admire decided to quit LinkedIn prematurely. I’m not knocking them — I’m just showing you that even people who have it all together from a creative standpoint find it difficult to deploy patience.
I do, too.
It’s hard to go from getting hundreds of likes to getting 1–2 “likes” again.
Those who have found success on one platform don’t have the patience to try out another because why the hell should they?
They’re already getting thousands of likes somewhere else. Isn’t their time better invested there?
I look at this as a game, though. I love figuring out a platform and failing my way to success. I love seeing the numbers go up and up. In other words, I just like being creative.
I think figuring out more than one platform is like learning how to play more than one position in Baseball.
As you figure out third base, and center field, and even first base, you start to understand how they all relate to one another. You understand the whole game better. In the end, you’re just pushing yourself — and normally a whole lot of good comes out of pushing yourself.
3. Write About The Right Subject Matter
I think Medium DEFINITELY has a shortage of touched-upon topics.
Personal Development, Writing, Technology, and a few other “tags” seem to do really well here.
But that’s about it.
What about health/wellness? What about mental health? The top publications on Medium seem to focus on the same things, which is fine, but there’s hardly any representation for other people with different interests.
Medium is one of those platforms that I think ANYBODY could do well on. If you’re a blogger who wants to write about mental health topics, you might not find the audience here that a personal development writer would — but there would still be an audience.
Medium houses a lot of different people with a lot of different interests. Besides, what else would you do? Start a blog?
You still have to drive everybody back to your blog using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and yes, MEDIUM.
The audience is here — it just might not be here in droves. You’re going to be marketing your posts elsewhere anyway — might as well “house” them in a place where some of your audience already is (instead of on Wordpress).
Look, if you create content centering around mental health, I don’t think LinkedIn would be a good place to invest your time. But if you also enjoy writing about running your own business, or finding work, or general life lessons, I think LinkedIn would be a nice side-project!
The point is, every platform has a subject matter issue.
If you don’t write content that people on that platform are looking for, it’ll be an uphill battle for you.
4. Meet Your Idols — Then Become Them
I see my LinkedIn idols tagging other LinkedIn idols in posts a lot.
This is totally nice, but what these influencers are doing is just swapping audiences — therefore strengthening each other’s influence.
I think a large portion of becoming an influencer on a platform is being friendly with other influencers there.
I know Tiffany Sun, Todd Brison, Anthony Moore, and Alex Mathers.
They’re awesome people. They also all have 10k+ followers here.
We’ve worked on a lot of interesting projects together and we genuinely help each other.
I just don’t think you’re ever going to REALLY be successful somewhere if you don’t know the top players or at least try to be friendly.
Reach out, be nice, but don’t ask for them to tag you in their next post right away. Be thoughtful, like some of their posts, and maybe ask them if you can interview them and tag them in an upcoming piece.
It’s not 100 percent needed, but reaching out to other A-players can really speed up your growth on any given platform.
Do all four of these things, and you should be on the fast-track to dominating any platform of your choosing.
Want to get started writing online? I actually have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Medium Followers” that will teach you how to build an audience here on Medium! Sign up for it right here. I’d love to teach you a couple things.