Image by James Cridland under CC BY 2.0

How to Turn 200 Followers Into 200,000

Getting people to see your content is hard. The entire Internet is competing to have their content seen over yours. Yet, we live in a world where the strangest things can and do go viral. We see a talking goat get millions of views and then get jealous of said goat.

I tweeted about the Pope rapping last week and was featured in Time, Complex and Slate. I’m part of the problem.

But there was once a time when I had 200 followers instead of 200,000. It wasn’t that long ago and I faced this same dilemma: How do I get people to see my content?

Content is only part of it. It’s a prerequisite. Trying to create even better content, or the best content, is like continually running in to a brick wall. Only you’re not the Kool-Aid Man so you’ll be saying “Oh no” instead of “Oh Yea.” I know, I’ve been there. It’s painful.

The honest truth about social media is who sees your content and when they see it is equally, if not more important than what they see.

You have to think outside of your network—even if you already have a good following. The good news is that it’s not complicated. You can put this plan in to action right now. Here are three easy steps to make your content visible.

Use trending hashtags


Get creative. Instagram, Twitter, Vine all have lists you can see at that moment. On Twitter, #MondayMotivation and #FridayFeeling always trend. You can plan ahead for those. Not all of them will make sense and some will be very sensitive.

Use discretion. Hashtags about cats and cookies are fair game. If it’s about Syria, stay clear. Click on the hashtag first, look at a couple of posts and proceed accordingly.

Creating content inside a trending moment vastly increases the chances people will see your content. You can also set up search streams to track hashtag activity. Ninety percent of my posts use a trending hashtag.

Be careful though not to stray too far from the intention of the hashtag or the intention of your brand. Over time, you get a feel for it.

Make your content faster

Moments come and go. Trending topics usually last for minutes, maybe hours. Having content that is flexible is important. When I consult with big brands, I usually work on short pieces of content that take minutes to create rather than large campaigns that take six weeks. I don’t know what the conversation will be like in six weeks. I don’t know if an idea I have now will be obsolete then.

Rather than investing your time and energy in big content, focus on finding the audience every day. Go where the audience is instead of trying to bring them to you. Stop swimming upstream.

Create content for larger outlets

Questions for Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Rather than creating a brand new audience, you can tap into an existing one. As you gain more visibility and grow your network, you will begin to earn more and more views. Once that happens, guest blog somewhere with a larger following than your own. They will welcome the thought leadership and you will be in front of a new audience. There is value created for both sides.

Hint: I’m doing that right now. :)

Social media can be simple or complicated, it all depends on your perspective. But when you’re looking at it remember to figure out how people can be looking at you.