Myth #4: If you skip the latest trend you’ll be irrelevant
It can be tempting to hop on the latest trend, especially when you see other creators going viral. But ignoring the trends doesn't have to mean missing out on an audience. In Chapter 4, you'll learn how avoiding shiny objects could be an important step on your audience growth journey.
Do a search for “best social media platform for fill in the blank” and you’ll see tons of articles trying to explain why one platform is the best way to grow an audience.
Maybe you follow other creators who talk about why you should jump on the latest new trend. Your aunt Theresa might have even asked you at your last family gathering if you’ve thought about posting on The Instagram.
After all, you’ve heard stories about creators going viral overnight on The Instagram and if even aunt Theresa is talking about it, maybe you could be next?
It can feel really tempting to hop on the bandwagon and go after that shiny new platform. Or maybe everyone’s telling you you should make short videos or launch a podcast or start a blog, and you find yourself asking “What if there’s an audience waiting for me that I’ll miss out on if I don’t jump on the latest trend?”
It’s that question that causes many creators to spend time trying to grow an audience on a platform or with a medium that’s not really a great fit. Check out this story from Podia creator Valeria Hernández :
“Everyone’s on TikTok right now. For awhile, I was like, ‘Oh, I should be on TikTok. There’s so many health coaches on there. I feel like I’m missing out.’ I got on it and it just was not my vibe. I enjoy consuming it, but creating, I just didn’t find a rhythm with it as much.
It can also be really addicting on the consumer end of things. So instead of doing TikTok I’ve been focusing more on emails and newsletters. I’m a very long-winded person. I love to talk. I might launch a podcast at some point. TikTok was just not my jam because I can’t say everything I need to say in 15 to 60 seconds.
Newsletters have stood the test of time. And I want something that’s more timeless. If I’m going to spend time in it, I’m going to choose something that I find easier and helps me get into flow more because that’s going to be more efficient. I’m also just going to enjoy working on my business and talking to my people.”
The danger of following trends
Khe Hy follows a mantra that says "Follow the fun." It's a mantra that guided his decisions to get off Instagram and stop doing podcasts after giving them a try—and why he's still writing his newsletter over seven years after he sent that first email to a bunch of friends.
And fun isn’t the only thing to consider. If you feel like you’re being forced to make content in a way that doesn’t match your style or personality, your audience might have trouble connecting with you or worse yet, you could run the risk of completely burning out .
The right platform might not be the obvious choice
Finding a platform or medium that feels like a great fit isn’t always obvious. If you like making videos you don’t necessarily need to go with YouTube , and if you like writing, you don’t automatically need to start a blog .
Podia creator, Adrian Dalsus , is a musician who has a video podcast. Check out what he has to say:
“A lot of people say that if you like to talk, you should do a podcast. If you like to be on video, you need to have a YouTube channel. If you like to write, you should do a blog.
I like all of these things, so I decided to make a podcast, but I also began doing a video podcast. I recorded my first episode in audio and video, and I uploaded it to YouTube to share my story about being a musician, working in advertising, and all the things I learned along my journey.”
Like Valeria, Khe, and Adrian, you may have to try a few different things to discover the best fit for you. To kick start the process, let’s do a quick exercise.
Ask yourself these 4 questions to pick your ideal platform
By the end of the exercise, you won’t necessarily have a single answer to which platform you should use, but you should be able to identify a handful of options you can choose from. Let’s get started.
You can download the worksheet that corresponds with this activity in Module 1 of Get Noticed!, Podia’s free online course about how to build an audience. Register here.
Question #1: What format or medium do you most enjoy creating?
A format or medium is the vehicle you use to deliver your content, like audio, video, written, or visual. When you think about sitting down to create content, what mediums or formats make you excited to get to work. How do you like to share your knowledge? Write those down.
You can also approach this from the other direction. Are there mediums or deliver methods that, when you think about having to do them, make you say things like:
“I’d rather eat lint off the floor.”
“I’d rather be wrapped in soggy cabbage leaves.”
“I’d rather slap a hibernating bear.”
If you hate being on camera, video probably won’t be a great fit for you.
Or maybe you love going really deep and spending a lot of time on a topic. A podcast or a blog could be right up your alley.
Or maybe you prefer or want to connect with people over 1:1 conversations. Connecting with people offline at events, or online on social media or forums might be the thing.
Podia creator Poy Granati is the founder of Summer Space , a handcrafted paper flower studio. One thing she did was to make a commitment to ‘just show up’ to one event a week for a year and see where it took her.
She got to connect with other entrepreneurs and some have become clients and friends. And she feels more comfortable talking about her business when meeting someone new. She says, “it opened so many doors I've never knew existed.”
Poy’s story reminds us that not everything has to happen online. You might find your best connections offline at in-person events.
Question #2: What style of content do you prefer?
Style can mean a lot of different things, but when talking about content you might use words like long-form or short-form, formal or laid back, calm or energetic, in-depth or short and sweet. There are countless words to choose from, but write down any that come to mind that describe your style preference.
Question #3: What platforms do you prefer?
Platform mostly refers to social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter, but can also refer to content platforms like Medium for written or Vimeo for video. Platforms can also include the environment where you share content like your blog or email newsletter, and live events like workshops or conferences.
You could base your choices on which ones already have some engagement, ones you feel most proficient in, or ones you’re most interested in learning. Where would you like to show up? List as many as you like.
Question #4: What types of content match your platform preference?
Now that you’ve identified preferred mediums and styles, where are you seeing the most overlap with your preferred platforms?
For example, let’s say you prefer long-form video and your list of preferred platforms includes Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. YouTube may seem like the obvious choice, but maybe your style is more professional, which could be a great fit for LinkedIn.
There’s magic at the intersection between the medium you most enjoy, your authentic style, and your preferred platform
Even though certain platforms are more geared toward specific mediums than others, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way you can build an audience.
You can be a photographer and make TikTik videos documenting your photo sessions. You can be a fitness influencer and have a podcast interviewing other fitness professionals. Or like Adrian’s earlier example, you can be a musician and have a video podcast on YouTube .
The intersection between the medium you most enjoy, your authentic style, and your preferred platform is the best place from which to create content. It’s where you’re most likely to make content that you’ll be excited to show up consistently and create and that will resonate and make a deeper connection with your audience.
So far in this guide, you’ve discovered that it’s possible to build an audience from real-life connections, success isn’t measured by how many subscribers or followers you have, it’s okay to just focus on one platform, and the platform or medium you choose doesn’t have to be the one everyone else says you should do.
The question still remains, once you choose a platform, how do you decide what content to make and who you should try to reach?
In the next chapter, we’ll take you through a step by step process for discovering your target audience and finding topics that really resonate.