A reader noticed my active social media following and asked me:
“How often to post, to build a following like yours? How to stand out in a crowded marketplace?”
This is a good question. Building an audience first, before expecting a steady number of clients, is a foundational strategy that most solopreneurs miss. Instead, they usually work too long on crafting their service, and then try to sell it, expecting that somehow magically people will want to buy, even though they barely have a following…
At this early stage of your business, your consistency of showing up is actually more important for you, than for the audience.
You must first get into the practice of exploring your thoughts publicly, and growing your creativity muscles. Do this while your audience is still small. Your content in the future will be much better, due to your skills and knowledge being better in the future. In contrast, your current content is necessarily at its worst state than it’ll ever be, and you’d rather your audience be small for now!
The many people who will follow you in the future, won’t find you for a while yet, so this is the perfect time to practice.
Your consistency allows you to experiment and practice creating… which allows you to eventually create really good content… which will then be shared by a few readers/viewers at first… and then (as you keep growing your skills of creation and distribution) by many followers.
There is a logical process to all this. Accept and appreciate your current phase and really lean into the practice.
How many posts per week?
Once a week is a good minimum for most platforms, and is doable by most creators.
If possible, post a few times a week. This gives you more opportunity to practice creating, and to test what works in front of your current audience, no matter the size.
Whatever rhythm you decide on, commit to it. It is essential for you to experience overcoming your procrastination, self-doubts, avoidance due to vulnerability, and other emotions and resistances to creating.
Not that these ever go away, but you will get stronger with practice, until one day, it’s natural for you to create despite any emotional resistance you may have.
Is there a maximum number of times you should post per week? Generally, up to once a day is acceptable on each platform. However, if you can aim to do at least one per week, and keep to it very consistently, you’re well on your way.
How long does it take?
Nobody can tell you whether it’ll take you 3 months or 3 years to build enough of a following to have a thriving business.
Why does it take different amounts of time for different people? Because everybody is at different levels of skill. The quality of content will be drastically different for each person.
It is really about how soon you are able to create quality — what the audience considers to be so good — that they would love to share it.
How to create quality? How to stand out?
One thing to be cautious of is whether your content becomes a commodity — if people are easily able to find similar content by doing a quick search.
To prevent having your content become a commodity / not valuable or interesting, one or more of these are needed:
- Willingness to show yourself and your personality — for example via video, if possible — otherwise other people, or Ai, can easily replace you.
- To tell your own stories. They don’t have to be very unique, but ideally, your stories would resonate with the audience: “thank you for giving expression to what I experienced too” or “that is a very interesting experience!”
- If you prefer to share ideas rather than your stories, then focus on controversial ideas. Because otherwise, your content will just fade into the background of the mainstream. It’s not that you always have to disagree with everyone, but you do need to take it deeper, or take a different angle that you believe to be more helpful to your ideal audience than the mainstream ideas.
- How do you know if your ideas are truly helpful? Talk with your ideal audience. Float some ideas by them. The bigger their reactions, the more you’re onto some truly interesting content.
The more you can follow these key principles, the more you put your unique energy signature out there, which means the less replaceable you are, even by Ai.
There are various ways to distribute content — or get a lot more people to see it.
Some of my favorite ways are social media ads, and collabs with other creators. I have in-depth courses on these methods: George Kao’s Courses.
However, the most foundational way — the most grounded and sustainable method — is to become a consistently high-quality creator. This is what builds loyalty in your audience, and a consistently growing fan base (because your audience will share your posts). This is what allows you to have a viable and thriving business, increasingly more easily over time.
Again and again, we must keep returning to the exercise of showing up consistently and authentically, practicing the overcoming of our resistances, and publishing our ideas until it becomes second nature for us to do so.
Now it’s your turn. What kind of content posting rhythm can you dedicate yourself to, knowing that the purpose is to develop your creativity fitness?