Email question:

I wanted to ask you about the Twitter follow/unfollow thing you talked about. I’ve been using it to great success, but I wanted to know what your opinion was on the unfollow part, because I noticed you don’t follow like 50K people, so you must unfollow people after following them.

Do you think people mind when you do that or is it not that important to them? Because I worry people are going to think I’m being a spambot if I just follow and unfollow repeatedly. I don’t mind following a lot of people either. I was wondering what your opinion was about that area of advertisement. – Steven

(For those of you unfamiliar with what Steven is talking about, read my article on growing your audience, specifically about the Twitter Marketing Software at the end.)

Honestly, this has been somewhat difficult for me to decide on over the years. There were moments when I was all Gung Ho (is that how you spell it?) about social media and what it could do for my business. But slowly I have felt myself want to unplug from EVERYTHING and just go back to having a home phone for communications. haha!

I’ll get to Twitter soon but let me back up and explain how I came to my current conclusions. Since posting reMIND online I have tried out every social media experiments I could find. There were times when I enjoyed it too. But over the years I started to feel like I was becoming what I hated about the system. It was impersonal and left me feeling like I was always chasing something just out of my reach. I really like avoiding the crowd mentality in most of the things I do and social media was definitely a crowd mentality tool. Worse yet, some days I would login to Facebook, then Twitter, then Tumblr, then DeviantArt, then YouTube, then StumbleUpon, then Reddit, then Instagram, then my forum, then another forum, then my website, then LinkedIn, then my mailing list stats, then my feedburner stats, then Google Analytics, then etc… After exhausting all my social sites and stats I’d start over because two hours had passed. Talk about draining, consuming and unproductive. I knew what everyone else was thinking and I didn’t get anything done too. Brilliant!

So over time I started closing my different accounts and I have never looked back. For instance, I closed my DeviantArt account years ago which had over 1500 watchers. I don’t miss it at all. I closed my Tumblr account soon after and I don’t miss it either. I closed my LinkedIn account after that and I’m still getting plenty of work.

I got really tired of all the clever one liners on Twitter when following thousands of people I didn’t know. It seemed really fake and I definitely didn’t help with how I was using it. I nearly pulled the plug on it even with over 4000 followers but I just couldn’t do it so I decided to start unfollowing everyone I didn’t actually know. It seemed like a bad idea according to all the Twitter experts but I did it anyway. Now I only follow a few people and I like it that way. I know tons of people have unfollowed me back but the way I look at this is that if someone is only following me because I follow them then it’s all fake anyway. Nobody cares about nobody. My goal with a mailing list or social media is to make genuine connections with people I want to connect with and allow those who want to genuinely connect with me to do so as well. The best part is I don’t feel like I’m trying to trick or manipulate anyone into following me anymore. My goal is to make stuff so good and genuine that people will Tweet and Like and Share my stuff with their friends because they genuinely like it. Not because I am a genius SEO hacker and marketing expert.

I keep telling everyone that I’m going to pull the plug on Facebook too but I can’t build up the will to finally do it just yet. I just don’t really go on Facebook anymore. I can’t find anything that I really like about it anymore except that a few long distance relatives contact me through it still.

So What Social Media Do I Use Now?

I keep changing my mind but for now I stick with Instagram (because it’s great for posting work in progress) and Youtube (for anything video or audio related) and Twitter to repost everything from my blog and webcomics, and my other mentioned channels. My Opt-In mailing list is still my most important connection with my audience though because this is my true fan base who wants to be notified when I have something new on the market. I am really conscious about not forcing or tricking anyone to sign up anymore because I want it to be genuinely because they want to follow me. Oh yeah, I also use Patreon now.

The common denominator with all this stuff is that I try to not make any of it a priority anymore. Patreon is probably the only one that I force myself to keep up with because there is money involved and I want to make sure people get what they pay for. Plus it can really help to pay my bills.

So now that I just made a complete 180 from my position a few years ago, you can see that I’m just flying by the seat of my pants here. :)

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