Gary Vaynerchuk curses a lot in his videos. This turns off a lot of people. (I used to dislike him a lot! Now? I’m a big fan.)
Seth Godin, who has written thousands of blog posts, never includes any images. He even has typos in his posts. (I’ve humbly emailed suggestions and he’s very open about making corrections.) He probably loses a lot of potential readers.
I ignored Seth for a long time, but kept hearing about him from trusted friends, so finally I started reading him, and became a huge fan.
Despite their unpopular behaviors, these influencers have long-term, raving fans. They’ll never be in want. They can sell just about anything and make plenty of money.
At a much smaller scale, compared to these giants, I too have a loyal base of true fans. Yet, I am totally unpolished in my videos, never try to be fashionable (not personally interested in it!), and sometimes I say things in my courses and content that turn off even my own fans. Yet, my fans keep coming back again and again.
There are many other content creators and influencers who appear as if they don’t give a damn about other people’s approval… and yet, they are doing well.
How is that possible? Isn’t caring about approval and popularity the very thing that helps you to become famous and successful?
The path of popularity can always work… but along the way, you lose your soul, as you try to please too many people.
I’ve chosen — or rather, have to keep choosing everyday — the path of authenticity: to be myself and see who wants to come along.
Those who are turned off by me and my shortcomings? Not a problem. There are many other content creators they can go follow. Why should I be greedy and try to make everyone follow me… and even lose my soul in the process?
“Be yourself” is actually a journey.
For years, I’ve been on this journey of authenticity — a process of exploration, experimentation, discovery of my voice and my ideas.
Because I “think” out loud in my videos, in an unpolished way, I am sure this turns off a lot of people.
At the same time, the journey also fascinates my true fans. And aren’t they the ones who matter the most?
Your true fans care about your journey. They love to see your development as you work things out.
Don’t ever be afraid of losing anyone.
Be more concerned about losing your soul.
As you explore and experiment with who you really are, you will naturally attract your true fans. Give yourself the permission to try things that feel like it might be YOU. As you discover what resonates deeply in you, you become more powerfully yourself.
Ironically, not caring about others’ approval is what builds true fans online.
It’s about not being afraid. And that is highly attractive.
Yet the paradox is that if you try to be attractive, you become afraid.
Don’t try to be attractive nor popular. The thing that’s worth making an effort in doing is showing up consistently, in a spirit of experimentation and exploration of who you are. Wrestle and journal publicly with your ideas, your experiences, your past, your future, your love for service, your heart for the world.
Now, to build an audience, it helps a lot to get skilled at distributing your authentic content, so that your true fans have a chance to find you.
My favorite way of content distribution is through Facebook Ads. (I teach an online course about facebook ads.) My second favorite is through collaboration or JV’s (joint ventures) and I’ll soon be teaching a class on it.
Once you’re actively creating and distributing your authentic content (your public journaling), don’t be afraid to lose anyone.
For any newsletter, you’ll always have some people unsubscribe, or unfollow you on social media. Don’t be afraid. They may be back one day.
Either way, what’s more important is that being more powerfully YOU is what your soul needs and is called to do. It’s also what will draw forth your true fans, who are the only ones that matter.
This post was previously published on George Kao and is republished here with permission from the author.
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