Nobody cares about your work unless you earn their attention.
Are you wondering why nobody cares about your work online? Well you are not alone.
First, let's acknowledge the unreal times we live in. If you are a maker/writer/artist/founder who is striving to create something original and while also building an audience, 2018 is your best shot.
It has never been easier to experiment with new ideas freely and push something you believe in out to the world.
At the same time, this has enabled thousands if not millions of people to create and share stuff they are working on as well. This has caused an explosion of "supply" and confusion among consumers on where to focus their attention. As I type this, there are millions of bloggers in the U.S. writing exciting stuff, millions of artists shipping cool music and millions of crafty designers uploading their art on Etsy. It means the only thing that's highly limited is "attention".
Attention is the new approval you need to seek.
Back in the old days, you would need approval for your work from a powerful gatekeeper. In case of books, it was the published. In case of music, it would be the record label executive. Today, it is the end consumer.
However, consumers have a very different psychology than gatekeepers.
First, your work must feel authentic and respectful for their time. They are smart and will see through your BS. So be genuine.
Second, your work must be consistent for them to trust you. They want to give attention only to those who are willing to be patient. You have to believe in your work first before they will so keep showing up.
Third, you have to teach them something they don't know. Gatekeepers are tastemakers so they are looking for your unique style but consumers don't care about that as much. Instead they want value. Straight up.
Fourth, reach out and invest in them than being a passive author. This is the hard stuff. It is no longer enough to ship something and move on like in the old days. It is incredibly important that you foster conversations and interesting discussions. This can be taxing to you as a maker but it is the price you pay for acquiring their highly sought out "attention."
So those are my $0.02 on what I think new age founders/makers/artists need to prioritize when they want to build an audience. What else? What are your thoughts/opinions?