The third installment of Sentient Sessions, “You’re Published, Now What?” brought together seasoned influencers who shared their wisdom on how to develop personal brands and raise social profiles. The panel, moderated by Sentient Media’s Executive Director Ana Bradly, featured New York Times bestselling author and top web influencer Neil Patel, vegan influencer and producer of The Invisible Vegan Jasmine Leyva, and social media influencer John Oberg.
How to get out of your own bubble and reach new audiences?
- Start by selecting communities you want to become influential within. Reach out to people in these communities and ask that they to share your content, whether it’s a photo, a tweet, etc. Make it a mutually-beneficial deal by offering to promote some of their work on your channels.
- Getting shares is a great way to amplify your content, since every share is going to be seen by people who aren’t already in your network.
- Be patient, be persistent, and be genuine – people will follow you for who you are. Remember that you won’t please everyone, and that’s okay.
In the animal advocacy community in particular, we know that people tend to respond more to distressing images. But how much should we use these images? Will our audience get fatigued?
- Try to balance out distressing images, mixing them in along with “softer” content. Remember also that people get burned out no matter what kind of content it is. Variety truly is the spice of life.
- Experiment. See what works with people, and what doesn’t. You might be surprised. Keep your eye to the metrics.
- Keep in mind that vegans are sometimes seen as pushy or agro. You can be an animal advocate without posting distressing, “in your face”-style images and still get your message across – but it depends on your message and who your audience is.
What are some key lessons you’ve learned on the way towards building your followings?
- Never compromise your message just to get more “likes”. If you do find that certain posts which are off-message are getting more engagement (this is common), use these to build your audience only, who can then be exposed to your meaningful content later on.
- Know that things won’t always work out the way you want. Sometimes you have to do what you want even when the numbers and engagement aren’t as good as you’d like.
- Be consistent first and foremost – you probably won’t blow up overnight, but if you keep posting quality, thoughtful content consistently over a period of time, you’ll begin seeing results.
The next instalment of Sentient Session, How to Build an Investigative Story, is happening on September 24, 2020. Get your ticket today.
Laura is a published fiction & nonfiction author. Her essay on Western dominator identity is featured in The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity.