Want 10,000 followers? Do 10,000 things!


I had a conversation with my 12-year-old one morning (3rd of 3 sons, 4th of 5 kids) that was a step further than the same conversation we have every morning. He has maybe 3 things he has to do to get out of the house every morning, and I have at least 10. Most mornings, he is standing at the door grousing about being late while I’m going around the house turning off lights.

The difference today was the suggestion I gave him: Instead of complaining about what I’m doing while you’re waiting, look for things you can do to help us get out the door. It wasn’t spoken in anger. I didn’t talk down to him. I gave it to him straight, like the revelation it was for me. I continued as we got in the car, telling him that this is a good lesson for life in general. You rarely control what others do. You always control what you do.

As an author, what do you control?

You DON’T control retailers, distributors, your publisher, your marketing consultant, your publicist, your agent, the media, or the whims of a fickle public.

You DO control the things you do to reach people. So how much do you need to do? If you want to build an audience of 10,000 people, you should plan to do 10,000 things. That means you only need to average one new follower for each thing you do. Some of those things are going to result in a lot more than one new follower. Some will result in none. All are valuable, even if the only thing you learn from any one of them is what not to do!

What counts as a thing?

Small things:
A conversation about your book, a blog post, a tweet, a post on facebook, a bookmark/business card/push card given to someone, making a new connection on LinkedIn.

Big things:
A speaking engagement, a networking event, an email newsletter to a couple hundred people who have signed up to receive it, a booth at a fair or festival, a visit to a book club.

Long shots:
Contacting someone in the national media, presentations to organizations that could potentially buy your book in bulk.

IMPORTANT: What doesn’t count as a thing?
Googling yourself, looking at your sales ranks on Amazon, consulting with the people listed above that you can’t control, reading and re-reading your book for errors, wondering about your book’s sales.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT: None of these non-things are bad, but none of them will help you to build an audience, and that’s what we’re talking about today.

Do 10,000 things strategically, and you’re likely to get the 10,000 followers you need, if not more. The strategy to follow is to do the small things more often than the big things and the big things more often than the long shots. Keep track of everything you do in a notebook, on your computer, somewhere. Measure the results (by doing the non-things) the best you can, but not too often. You don’t want measuring to become the focus, or you’ll spend a lot of time measuring nothing. Make adjustments in what you do according to what the results tell you.

If you focus on 10,000, you won’t be discouraged after doing 100 things and seeing little results. You’ll realize that that is normal, and as you go and learn, you’ll find that each one builds on the things before, and effectiveness multiplies. You may get zero followers after 100 things or even 1,000. Keep going until you get to 10,000. Commit to yourself that you won’t quit until you get there, and you’ll be amazed at your results.

What are some of the things you’ve done that count as one of your 10,000? Comment below!

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9 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Growing your platform, Niche Marketing, Reputation building, speaking engagements, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Want 10,000 followers? Do 10,000 things!

  1. Jim, This was an awesome post! As an author, my wife and I have found that we always have to be looking for ways to share our story with others. This is either through our speaking, blogs, radio show or other social media. Stay busy, stay foucsed and stay the course. Thanks again for all that you do for us and the many other authors!
    Brian Foutz

  2. Dezne Fraser

    I have made announcements about my book on twitter, facebook, linkedin, tumblr, and Gmail blogger. I have also sent emails and text messages about my book.

  3. Good job, Dezne! Make sure you keep track of how many contacts you’re making. You are making good progress!

  4. Arietta Grimmett

    I post some pictures of those who bought my book. I tweet blurbs. I mention my book to various people nearly every day.

    • Oh, this is a good idea! šŸ™‚ I just made my order on my first book (Yikes!), and pictures with those that bought them when I deliver them is a fabulous idea. Thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: How Book Sales Happen | After the Ink Dries

  6. This is a very informative post. Thank you! I was thinking yesterday how many times I don’t like modern technology, however, on the flip-side, how much easier it was to sell my book with a simple post on Facebook as opposed to calling all of those people individually. That is where I have started, as well as mentioning it to many in passing. I am an almost Assistant Manager at a local food business. I have many opportunities to mention it there. This post and replies have given me more ideas. Hmmm, maybe a blog site to tell the history behind each book as it comes out would bring more interest. Thank God you are here to help with all of this, Jim!! I digress, all praise and glory to God!! The more I can get my books out there, possibly the more will see and know His love. That He would use a simple farm girl like me. So blessed, so humbled. šŸ™‚ Thank you for all of your help Jim. You have been amazing.

    • By the way, if any of you are interested in seeing my first book, it is called, “Under the Willow Tree”. My pen name is Ann Drews. Happy writing and reading friends. šŸ˜€

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