How To Build Trust With Your Followers on Digital

Brian Curee

This is part two of the conversation with Joshua Micah. If you haven’t read our blog, “The Risk of Building on Leased Digital Property,” do that first as this blog builds on the ideas there. Now that you’ve heard what can happen when you put too much time into building a following on a leased property, you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do. Read on for a better way to use leased properties and how to take your followers deeper. 

Brian: “I’m glad you’re to the place where you can look back and say, ‘what was I thinking?’ That’s not what I hear a lot of right now with changes on social media. I hear, ‘they’re filtering this…’ or ‘they’re not allowing people to see this.’ The thing is, it’s leased property. That’s what we try to explain- you have to play by their rules. The big thing to take away is that these leased platforms (ie Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc) have a different purpose and mission than you do. I’m not saying to leave those platforms entirely…they’re important, but you have to have a plan in place to get your followers to your owned properties, (ie website, app, podcast, etc.) Share a little bit with me about what you’re doing now after that experience and what you’ve learned.”

Joshua:  “Think about your business like a funnel: the top is a cone, then it goes tighter and tighter. The free leased properties are the top of the funnel. For instance, TikTok is huge right now because of the organic reach. You get organic reach without having to pay for advertising. That’s the advantage TikTok has. What most people are doing right now, I see it every single day, they’ll post 4 videos a day on TikTok- all the trends and stuff- but they don’t have anything deeper than the top of that funnel. They’re doing exactly what I did, they’ll get 5 million followers into the top of the funnel, but they’re not taking them anywhere else. So, if TikTok decides one day to cancel the app, or something happens with Instagram- who knows what- there are changes all the time- the same thing’s going to happen to a lot of people that happened to me. Use those apps to bring in new eyes, to bring in new people. I love Twitter. Twitter’s big for me. I get a lot of new fans and followers from Twitter. One of the things I decided to do was grow on an app called Discord. I make it a point as a part of everything I’m saying- 1 out of 4 or 5 posts- I tell people about my group chat on Discord. The people who care will show up. They’ll get the Discord app and they’ll join. I’ve only been running mine for a little while, we have about 600 members now, but it’s people who actually care. Let’s say you’re doing your Instagram, you’re doing TikTok, and all that’s bringing in new people to the top of the funnel, now you have a place for those people to go and a place for them to connect with each other. In my Discord, we’ll do video chats. The night of my release, we were on for 6 or 7 hours talking to everybody, just answering questions, hanging out, talking and having fun. It was such a great experience, for me and for them. I could talk to them directly. There’s no censorship…I can say whatever I want, when I want. It’s going directly to them.” 

Brian: “For anyone that doesn’t know, Discord is a lot like Slack, but Discord is free. They’re saying Discord is the future of social media. The reason is on Discord, you create your own server, where you have your own audience come in and follow you. It’s a private communication just on your server. So when you put a message out, all the people on your server see the message. You don’t have to fight with the algorithm, you’re not chasing likes and shares and comments to get more people to see your posts. It’s a private system that’s made for communication and giving you that personal touch.”

Why Create a Funnel?

The idea of creating a funnel to take your followers deeper is to form relationships and community with the people who really care about you and connect with you and your work. An example of how that might look is TikTik >>> Discord >>> Email List. Your fans on Discord have already followed you from bigger platforms, so they would be more likely as a quality lead to sign up for your email. That’s still permission based…some people consider email digital assets that you own. For me, it’s on the border…that’s why we put it in permission based. You own the list, you can download those contacts, but ultimately when it comes to permission, they can unsubscribe and then they’re off that list. That’s why I say permission based is close to what you own, but you have to approach it differently. For instance, clients will ask people to sign up for email and say ‘we’re going to tell you about contests and new events…’ then all of sudden they’re just pumping out sales stuff like ‘hey, buy this or please donate’ and then people unsubscribe. That’s because you’re not giving them what you told them you’d give them. Add value to their lives, and they’ll stay with you.

Relationships Take Time

Relationships take time. They don’t happen overnight. They take a lot of hard work. You have to build trust and show people you really care about them, not just about what you want them to do. It’s about serving them and building that community. 

A challenge from Josh

Connect with one person this week- one person that follows you. Send them a video message out of the blue, or set up a call. I just had a call the other day with two kids who are followers of mine. They’re best friends and they both love my music. We spent 45 minutes on a FaceTime, the three of us, and it was awesome. Just try it. Just do it once and see what it’ll do to your perspective on what you’re making- what you’re doing and why you're doing it. 

After you take Josh’s challenge this week, come back and tell us about what happens!

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