Ah, the dream of striking social networking gold – isn’t this the true American dream? …Okay, probably not – but everybody likes to feel noticed every once in a while. Here is a story about the surefire way to (eventually) gain 1000 new followers in a single week. (And stay tuned for a very important lesson in math).
Here is how to gain 1000 new followers in 1 week:
In the simplest explanation that I’ll ever give you, the easiest way to gain 1000 new followers in a week is to go viral. For those less familiar with internet terms, going viral isn’t some sort of slang for how ill you are, but rather for how ‘sickkkkk’ you are, according to the largest widespread digital audiences; In plain English, to go ‘viral’ means to have a certain piece of content circulate exponentially faster than normal across the internet, similar to a virus plaguing a culture.
But, how do you go viral? This part is a little less simple (in my experience), and a lot more time consuming that many dare to believe:
You’ll start off in high-school without much clue of what you intend to do with the rest of your life. College is coming up quick. Business school sounds good, Right?
Wrong. In less than 2 years you’ll find yourself being slowly slurped into the abysmal black hole that is conformity – your arch nemesis. With a 2.1 GPA, you will pull yourself out, terrified, and consider something “easier”.
Music, art, and culture will be your muse and will keep you hanging on mentally, while academically you’ll try your hand at a new degree – the notoriously “easy” Arts degree. You hate tests, but you won’t mind writing so Communications will be the obvious choice. What do you have to lose after all?
Eventually, school will mercifully start to get little easier and a lot more enjoyable, even if thoughts of quitting still dash across your mind occasionally. In the meantime, you and some friends will start experimenting with a new outlet – a blog, probably. It’ll be corny, and I guarantee you’ll know that it’s corny, but for some reason, you’ll enjoy it. A lot. And people will read it. A lot. About 100,000 times in your first year, to be specific. It’ll grow faster than you could ever imagine, and you’ll produce more content than you ever thought your chicken-typing fingers could output.
Two more breezy years will pass. You’ll have a few big articles – ten, maybe 20,000 hits a piece on a handful of popular posts. Oh, and you’ll have written more than 400 by this point. You’ve edited videos and snapped photos. You’ve written serious letters and some light-hearted jests. Pieces you’ve designed specifically to go viral will flop, and random, content-lacking filler pieces will gain traction. The funny thing about the internet is that it is defined as the opposite of ‘insanity’.
in·san·i·ty: noun – to do the same thing more than once and expect a different result.
in·ter·net: noun – to do the same thing more than once and expect the same result.
(editor’s note: these may or may not be the actual definitions of these words – I’ll check later)
As always though, you continue to work, head down – because you love it. ‘Carpe Noctem‘ is the motto by now, as it seems that every night will become later than the last, just as the ideas will become ever-more vivid. And by now you’ll be out of school, fighting the reality of inevitably having to join a droning workforce at some company that you probably despise, still just making things every day without any real wish to being noticed apart from maybe someone who will pay you for what you do.
But one day, it’ll happen. And you’ll be ready for it.
You finally become the hot topic; the timer on your 15 minutes officially starts ticking away. Hundreds of thousands see your work finally, and some even stick around. You double the following that you’ve cultivated for 5 years, in a mere few days. Many people will be proud of your amelioration, but lots more will wish to attribute this success as a mere ‘overnight’ accomplishment. I guess Sean said it best:
“And then they say it happened for me overnight, shit yeah I guess,
I guess it took ten years for me to be an overnight success”
Getting 1000 new followers might only take 7 days (sometimes), and going ‘viral’ probably will literally happen overnight. One day you might wake up to an incalculable bounty of love from the strangest corners of the world, but more times than not the lead-up, i.e. the humbling preparation was the digressive catalyst all along. It seems that as constant consumers of media, we often neglect to realize the time and effort that goes into each piece of content we gorge upon.
So, no, going viral won’t make creation feel any more special than it already has every day for the past 5 years – when you get to wake up each morning knowing that you are about to do a little more of what you love – but it will, however, earn you 1000 new followers in one week.
This how-to was inspired by a recent reunion of mine; I got the chance to reconnect with an old friend from high school. Tony was a classmate and a teammate, but in the 5 years removed from high school we went down a couple of very different paths in very different cities, and we didn’t talk all that much.
Every time you get to see someone from your past it’s a cool feeling, and to hear that Tony was exploring his creative side as a serious possibility was great. He asked me for tips to grow his personal brand as a budding photographer, the way I had in the past 3 years as a writer. I’d be remiss to say I had much of anything to tell him.
The other side of the lens. Tony, aka @mstrwu
When we met up again this past weekend – another month removed – I was proud to finally have some (hopefully) helpful thoughts to share. I told him 2 things.
First, I explained a theory that I am championing as “Dreamer’s Mathematics” (not to be confused with real arithmetic):
Dreamer’s mathematics is an idea that I’ve been employing every day for the last few years, that essentially says there are only 2 options for everything that you want to happen: either it will happen, or it won’t. By my math, that’s a likelihood of 1 out of 2, AKA a 50% chance that ANYTHING in your wildest dreams could happen. Not terrible odds huh? But it goes deeper than that. Take this 50% chance that you are already set out for any goal with (like working for your favourite rapper one day), and perpetually work towards placing yourself in a better position to make a certain goal or dream happen. What this means, is that every time you make a new connection or gain a new skill or share a new piece of content, you are getting closer to having the right people noticing it – eventually, 50% becomes 55%, 60%, maybe 75% – you’ll start to realize that some problems have multiple solutions; Dreamer’s math.
Not only do the laws of dreamer’s mathematics state that ANYTHING is possible, it also states that in most cases there is actually a better chance of you achieving your greatest goals than failing at them. But this also means that there is no in between – if you don’t strive to reach the entire jackpot, there is no ‘almost’ winning. But, in a risk-reward adverse world, I’d say that these odds are worth it.
Finally, I explained to him what I had learned about the importance of brand-building through my multiple (successful and failed) ventures of the past and present.
A degree in communication studies taught me that “Medium is the message“, and trial and error taught me that people actually DO care, if you can package it properly. Being able to communicate yourself and your art in a way that people can engage with, support, and feel inclined to share, is truly the key to growth in a digital age or otherwise. And once you can transform your craft into a community that people can find comfort it, it becomes a lot easier to not only be poised for growth but the continue to do what you love with longevity.
[BEWARE!!! SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG INCOMING]
This week I had the pleasure to finally launch my first real small business, Made by Hospey, where I get to help other young creatives accomplish this very same sense of relatable & marketable personal branding. I’m currently working with musicians, models, and non-profits to help boost engagement across social networks and develop strategies for growth, utilizing branding techniques (with a focus on effective communication – a departure from marketing which typically places a larger focus on metrics) to allow for better return on investments, whether that be time or money.
I’m in the business of cultivating partnerships, so if you are ever interested in learning more about things what you can do to take your creative passion to a professional level, or if you simply want to work together in the future, head over to the website for Made by Hospey, here.
To be able to become at least partly self-employed at this early stage in life has been a blessing, and I can’t wait to help more people feel this sense of fulfillment.
And, as for Tony, as you can see by some of his shots highlighted on this post and over on his Instagram, he’s on the right path. Go toss him a follow if you like his work!
-another how-to, by hospey.
follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!