Forget numbers. Forget popularity. Get armies.
The Small Army Strategy by Srinivas Rao
We’ve entered a fierce battle for attention. You won’t be the next Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin or Chris Brogan. The world doesn’t need more copycats. It needs you to be you. The only way you’ve got a shot at winning this war for attention is to give all yours to the few that matter. The most important people in the world are the ones who show up for you. Take such good care of them that they have no choice, but to recruit a small army. That’s what this is about. It’s about building an army, no matter how small that will show up and fight with you every single day to win whatever battles your fighting. You could be battling the demons of depression, career catastrophes, or the loss of love. This is about about building an army that will help you fight those battles and much more.
This book isn’t about how to get more traffic or increase the number of subscribers to your blog. Those things are potential byproducts , but not the goal. The goal is to treasure and nurture the attention you already have.
The Small Army Strategy is a book that I picked up because it was April’s book for my business book club. At $2.99, it was easy to pick up. It reads like one long discussion post, so it’s easy to read, too. Though it’s geared toward business people who are bloggers, the main point is easily applicable to any blogger.
The Small Army Strategy’s main point is quite simple. It’s quality, not quantity, that you want. In the business world, your email list is gold. (In the book blogging world, most people seem to regard their follower count similarly.) What’s important to your email list (or follower count) is not your numbers, but your ENGAGEMENT.
What’s the point of having 1,000 followers if there are only five people interacting with you on your blog?
What’s the point of having 10,000 subscribers to your email list when your open rate is only 10%?
You want engagement.
When someone subscribes to your email list, Srinivas Rao says, respond to them directly. If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter before, you might know that many people have autoresponders set up to send you a welcome message. Srinivas Rao takes this one step further and takes the time to personally send an email.
Establish a connection.
Ask people, “How can I help you?” Take the time to follow through. Your best advertisement is word of mouth–not any ad you place or link you share. Trust me. If someone else shares a link to my post, I generally get more hits from that link than if I were to share the post. When someone vouches for you like that, it’s a built in testimonial or recommendation.
Srinivas Rao didn’t necessarily tell me anything I didn’t already know (though I will be using the respond to email list subscribers directly from now on), but it reinforced the beliefs that were already starting to form about interacting with your followers.
If you’re interested in building a stronger fan base, The Small Army Strategy will help you develop a good belief foundation to move you in the right direction. It’s short and sweet. Plus, it may even help you to shed that desire to compete with the big bloggers.
(Be you. Connect with your followers. That’s what counts.)