The difference between fans and followers is as glaring as my emo haircut from 2006.
This is a long overdue rant… Wait! Not rant, let’s call it a ‘post’, and something that everyone needs to hear.
Working within an industry of ego’s, of which mine resides, it’s become increasingly apparent that people are clambering for followers like a zombie to un-infected flesh.
The most popular people aren’t always the most popular people. They hide behind a masquerade of intimidating figures.
30,000 this, 90,000 that.
These ambiguous numbers look threatening and suggest power or real authority over the industry in which they lurk.
But what if I told you that you don’t need to sell your soul to the instagram fairy or pucker-up and kiss the ass of the twitter bird?
Fans and Followers are two very different things. The presence of one isn’t a guarantee of the other.
I’m going to be giving you my hands-on experience in the magic industry, but this applies to any business or brand.
I shouldn’t be telling you this… butttttttt
FOLLOWERS AREN’T BUYERS
I repeat… Followers aren’t buyers.
Seldom does the artist with the most followers have the best-selling effect.
I’ve personally sold thousands of my rarely released products with a modest 1,900 Facebook Fans vs HUGE personalities in the scene selling only 15 units.
Tens of thousands of ‘fans’ and only 15 of their new products sold.
A massive following isn’t indicative of a massive buyer base.
Logic suggests that followers beget fans, fans beget purchases. The more followers you have, the more products you can sell, right?
Catch enough fish and 1 of them will be a shark.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that once in awhile a fan will join along with 1000 followers, but that shouldn’t be your method for growth.
You should be chasing great ENGAGEMENT.
Prada doesn’t have billboards in the slums. It’s not about reaching the most people.
It’s about reaching the right people.
1,000 TRUE FANS
Kevin Kelly has a great article which I think you all should read. It’s called 1,000 true fans. I would link you but I’d prefer you to read my blog first before you disappear on me like my father did… jk.
That article describes the essence of only needing 1,000 passionate fans that want to support you, your magic, your business or your idea. Those 1,000 people can set you up for success in life.
Imagine if you sold a new trick you’ve created for $20 and you make $10 off each one.
Those 1,000 true fans buying your download would make you $10,000.
You could buy a car for that. Put a downpayment on a house. Eat Domino’s pizza every night for 500 nights.
That’s a lot of money.
Imagine if you were creative enough to do that 5 times per year, and had that concentrated support.
Hello $50,000. That’s an average salary in the US. You could live on that.
If 1,000 of you bought this explorer t-shirt HERE from my blog I’d be more than comfortable. I could live on that for months.
You shouldn’t be aiming for the stars when Everest is high enough. Give yourself a safety net.
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE
Okay, it’s Sherlock time.
Put down your cup of tea and let’s get to work.
As ever you see, but you do not observe.
I’m going to open your eyes to 3 easy signs they’re faking it.
- Consistently Low Engagement
I swore to Mrs Powell in year 10 I’d NEVER use math, but I have to go back on my word.
If James has 10,000 apples, but only 87 of those apples bother to like his recent photo on instagram of his Caramel Frappe, then James is a fake.
Engagement should never be below 2%. It’s a low figure, but that’s industry standard for web-conversions.
Someone with 20,000 followers should be getting a minimum of 400 likes per post/photo. If not, then it’s likely they paid to inflate their own ego.
I have 5,000 friends on Facebook, so I should be getting 100 likes on my post minimum… POST CHECK! 109. Phewwww. Close call.
- A Misplaced Like
Have you ever seen it when a seemingly famous person likes a picture of a naked woman on Instagram? Or they like a photo of a little Chinese baby eating a Cornetto, even though there other likes that day are all landscape photos. That person is most-likely using a social media tool to auto-like content for them.
The problem with these tools is that they flatter people with likes to encourage them to follow you.
However, if you’re selling a magic trick and you’ve got skateboarders following you back based on your #DeckFlip, then you’ve got a serious problem.
Remember, a follower isn’t always a fan.
- Click-Farm Fanatics
Click-farms, bots, spiders and other digital creepy crawlies swarm the internet.
I recently cleared 46 friend requests from men and women with normal photos. We had no mutual friends in common.
This isn’t the work of an infamous criminal or ex-girlfriend trying to catfish me. This is more than likely a click-farm.
A digital prison in third-world countries set-up purely to inflate ego’s by liking companies pages with fake profiles. Those profiles needs to look legit to Facebook, so they add real friends like me or you to give themselves more credibility.
You used to be able to click the ‘likes’ tab on a public figure, artist or company page and it would show you their most popular country. Where the majority of their likes were coming from.
In some cases it would show that magician to have their top country to be Malaysia or India, despite being a white American magician for example.
Now this information is hidden under the insights tab of a Facebook page.
If you have admin access for whatever reason, some snooping will determine the truth.
Tools like Followerwonk by Moz can give you the same information for Twitter accounts also, without the need for admin access to the account you’re investigating.
Good luck Watson!
BUT I WANT TO FAKE IT
For those that want to increase their numbers to show their friends they’re a social media King, without needing the palace to back it up, here are some tools to help you out.
However, I don’t recommend this, but my diet doesn’t recommend chocolate either and I don’t listen. So why should you.
- Fiverr.com – You can purchase followers for your various social media accounts on here if you like. Go nuts.
- Instagress – I’ve tried it in the past briefly, as well as others I know, but it doesn’t do you any good in the long run. It auto-likes instagram posts for you to generate curious new followers.
- Crowdfire – You can bulk follow/unfollow people with this tool who are in your niche. It’s a very quick way to get your numbers up.
I’ve fallen victim to the notion of more fans = better life in the past too. Don’t feel like you’ve failed for not coming to this conclusion on your own.
The celebrity culture fools brands into wanting to work with influencers who have the most followers. Not knowing the repercussions of their low engagement.
A famous Youtuber quoted a brand I represented £40,000 for a product placement in one of her videos in 2014. She was selling her 3million subscribers, but only had 100,000 views per video.
It would have cost us 20 videos worth of exposure to earn back our investment.
I said no.
Consequently High Street Giant BOOTS didn’t. They didn’t run the numbers and I’m positive they didn’t see a return for it.