Followers Can't (and Won't) Bring You Success

Written by Carter Fowler
June 1, 2020
Whether on social media or elsewhere, we are all creatives. How often do you think about why you're creating, or whose eyes you're creating for?

If you’re a creative in any sense, you need a website. By using the word “creative”, I don’t mean to limit the audience that the statement applies to - in fact, I mean to do the opposite.

The world has changed so much over the last 20 years. People around the world, from every walk of life, economic status, and demographic have the ability to create and build an online following like never before.

The concept of “mass communication” is outdated. There is no singular “cultural radar” any more. There are no more radio shows that everyone listens to, no nightly news broadcasts that are watched in every home. Instead, we have a world of micro cultures created by the internet and social media.

People today have the ability to connect with others based purely on their interests and passions like never before. They form ‘tribes’ based on what they like to spend their time doing, rather than how or where they were raised. On the internet, a tribe exists for everything you could think of. Every book, every anime series, every musical artist. Mental health advocates and climate science activists. Weightlifters and DIY homeowners. You name it, there’s a digital tribe for that.

I meet so many passionate entrepreneurs and creatives who spend all their time thinking about what they should create and how they should create it. But so few spend time thinking about who they’re creating it for and why. 

Who is your tribe? And how are you going to connect with them?

Some creatives spend all their time building a tribe on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Reddit. It’s easy to understand why: the platform is accessible, easy to learn, and the audience is already there! But just because someone follows you doesn’t mean that they support your work.

Instagram and Facebook’s engagement rates are around 1-2%. Twitter’s is even lower, and the average tweet has a lifespan of less than 90 seconds on your followers’ timelines. The quintessential format of Reddit keeps people focused on content, rather than specific accounts or creatives. 

Any of these platforms can suspend or ban your account at any moment for any reason they like. It happens all the time, and most people don’t even receive a full explanation why. All that hard work disappears in the blink of an eye. No more followers, no more content. Start again at 0.

Websites are different. It is one of the only platforms that you’ll actually own and fully control. A website can be customized to the Nth degree, able to really showcase what makes your brand and your work so unique. You can build an email list on your site (engagement rates via email are ~10x what you can expect on social media). You can sign up members, sell merchandise, and build a unique community. 

A website gives you one place to house everything you do without a middle man. It gives you a space to directly communicate with your tribe, instead of relying strictly on social media to post content when it's almost guaranteed to be buried in less than an hour by the algorithms.

Welcome to the new website for my new business Oranges & Apples Brand Strategy, and I hope you’ll consider joining the tribe.

Let's Grow Together.

Do you believe that learning is a life-long process? I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do intend to search for them until the day I die.

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