Relax. Developing a following takes time.

bonsai tree
“Patience is a virtue.”

That is one of my mom’s top three favorite sayings (along with “a place for everything and everything in its place” and “keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart”), and it popped into my head today in relation to my work.

As a new business owner, I am apt to grow impatient with my progress in making new connections, winning new clients, and attracting new followers and blog readers. I want it all, and I want it all now.

Sound familiar?

Well, patience is indeed a virtue (someone tell my mom she was right). In fact, impatience can be a major impediment to business development, because most good strategies take time. For any business, current technology and new marketing and communication trends can capture our attention in those impatient moments and zap our focus. We end up doing a little bit of this, a smattering of that – and then wonder why we’re not making progress.

My advice – to you and to myself – is to pick a few strong strategies and stick with them long enough to discover their true power and potential. If you create a Facebook page, a Twitter feed or a blog, invest the time to develop a brand personality on each channel. Engage your followers in conversation. Most of all, don’t post a few times and then disappear for weeks or months. Regular posting is key to staying on your followers’ radars.

Sure, you might start out with 10 followers, but those followers could become 10 deeply loyal fans. Patience, and regular posting, will eventually mean more followers and more fans.

Remember that your followers need time to get to know you. Your business needs to express a personality (your brand) and deliver consistently on it. Don’t try to be all things to all people – post and share content that is in keeping with your brand. People will continue to engage with you when they know what to expect.

Amy J.V. Atwell is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. She works with businesses to grow their brands through high-quality copy and content. Read more at www.heirloomcommunications.com.

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2 responses to “Relax. Developing a following takes time.

  1. I work with small businesses and help them understand this very point. So many want to start today and have 100 followers tomorrow, 1000 next week, and 10K in a month. It doesn’t work that way. It ISN’T a numbers game. From the beginning with my own sites, I have said I will post what I believe is great content and develop RELATIONSHIPS with people. If that means it takes me 10 years to get a “good” following in others’ eyes, that is okay with me because I think I have a GREAT following based upon the character and quality of relationships I have with those who stop by each of my social media channels! Thank you for this great reminder to all of us that it is about being yourself, expressing your brand, and engaging with others!

    • Shell – My feelings exactly. Quality matters so much more than quantity. A small following of really engaged individuals helps carry the conversation forward. If you are reaching those few in a meaningful way, others are sure to follow.

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