One of my prospective clients said “I want to have a million followers on social media ”
The internet , social media and the smart phone changed our world . Today anyone can own a personal media company and broadcast their message , there are no gatekeepers. Daily millions of messages are being broadcast from personal social media accounts, a few of them get followed and a few of them get followed again and again a over time a few start getting millions of followers.
They all have million followers
The Dalai Lama has over 19 M followers on twitter , Industrialist Anand Mahindra has 7.8 M followers on twitter , Jay Shetty has 6.2 M followers on Instagram , Marie Forleo has 6.5 M followers on YouTube , Sadhguru has 5 M followers on YouTube , GarryVee has 2.72 million followers on YouTube, Simi Arora has 35 k followers on Linkedin and Puru has a few hundred followers , “who is Puru?” you may ask , I will tell you in a while .
What is common amongst all of them ?
1.They are all passionate about what they do
2.They did not chase followers , their tribes are built by value they add to their followers
3.They are out to change the world in their way
4. they are focused
5. they are persistent
They begin with passion
None of them began by chasing millions of followers . They began by being passionate about their craft in whichever field they belong to . And they mastered their work with years of hard work and practice , whether it is as a spiritual guide or a business leader , coach , actor or an influencer it has taken them years to get there.
If anyone tells you that there is “get rich quick , get a million followers in days , he is selling snake oil , run”. There is no substitute for passion , focus and persistence .
I spoke to Simi Arora , she gave up her corporate job to become a full time life coach because she figured out that is what she is passionate about , her own experiences in life going through depression , her struggle pulled her towards her calling as life coach. She has been guiding her tribe with a thoughtful message a day on Linkedin over the past 3 years.
They begin with a question “what can I change in the world ?”
Their passion is the driver , they connect it with their idea to change the world , Mr Anand Mahindra being an industrialist and a business tycoon shares stories of inspiration and support to small entrepreneurs on twitter , Rahul Subramaniam has been lighting up the world for his Linkedin followers during lockdown with his comedy series ‘building uncles’. Each one in their own small way is changing the world . It could be making people smile , find inner peace in troubled time , getting to live a health life , helping them reverse disease , entertaining their fans , teaching healthy cooking , they all are out there to make a difference with their passion.
The question to ask is not “How will I get a million followers?” but “what difference can I make in the world ? ”
But I am no leader
Puru works at Decathlon cycling division at R City mall , Mumbai, he is a passionate cyclist himself and cycles to work . He is passionate about helping other cyclist . He created a WhatsApp cyclist group and organises weekend cycling rides , he supports cyclists . He does not sell , he guides you to take the best decision . he enrolled me on the cyclist group when i visited Decathlon to buy a cycle , though I purchased a Trek bike , he has kept in touch . He even did a video call to help me set up my home trainer at 9 pm in the night and the next day though me how to change home trainer cycle tyre.
Every organisation would love a Puru , He is indispensable for Decathlon. He is not even in any leadership position , but yet he is a leader and he understands building tribes . He brings smiles to cyclist and those exploring cycling. He has a few hundred followers.
I saw a traffic cop recently in Pune , he was different , he danced while managing traffic and enthralled the people , made their day with his moves , one sees so many traffic cops this guy was different , he was not a leader but he had his followers , the day he is not at that junction he will be missed . He is passionate about his job and he is out there changing the world , making the world a bit happier for the motorist who pass by near him.
Puru , the traffic cop , the influencers no one began with the goal of having millions of followers in mind , they began with with their passion and desire to make the world a better place with their gift.
Whatever is their idea or belief tribe builders are authentic . What they do and follow is not a fad or the ‘in thing’ , they do it because they believe in strongly. Milind Soman a model turned fitness brand ambassador is a avid bare foot runner he is a iron man and puts himself through the grind to stay in shape . It is hard work , this is not just a camera moment , fitness is his life. Only then when he builds a movement around Pinkathon it works because he has credibility , hundreds of women join the fitness movement for a cause.
The Dalai Lama has been spreading the message of peace all his life , Punit Rao has been sharing his fitness tips on Instagram for many years , Simi has been adding value to her tribe on Linkedin for over 3 years ! Be regular , share your gift with your tribe . One of the problems I see with Non Profits I talk to is the lack of regular effort to build tribes . This cannot be a sporadic exercise to connect with your tribe , it needs frequency to keep up the engagement.
Anyone can build a tribe , you have free access to your own broadcast channel on social media . Are you ready ? Stop now and ask the question “What am I passionate about ?” , “What do i want to change in the world ?” !