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Aruba, May 25, 2015 - Everywhere you look in our society, there is a comparison. The way we measure progress is by comparing where we are to where someone else is. There are times when this makes sense, but too often it affects our business and mindset negatively. Getting into the comparison game can stunt your company's growth. Each of us is special and unique, and not designed to be the clone of someone else. We have different businesses and will build them in different ways.
In the online business space -- the space where I make a living and that I love talking about -- the comparison game is rampant. We are constantly looking at and judging the numbers someone else has.
The result is entrepreneurs feeling like an imposter because they don’t have a huge following. It stunts entrepreneurs from growth because of a false sense of accomplishment. Here are three types of numbers entrepreneurs should avoid comparing while building.

1. Social media friends/followers.      

I've had more offers than I can count from people who want me to hire them to build my social media presence. They tell me to have “authority,” you must have a massive social media following. Hogwash! 

If I wanted a large social media following, I could just buy one. How many times have you seen offers to buy Twitter followers, Facebook likes, or Instagram followers? You can buy a huge following, but it will be worthless because there’s no engagement. The truth is social media is only one part of what should be a diverse marketing strategy. The organic reach of social media is nothing these days. When you’re building, it’s better to focus on 20% strategies that grow your social media presence anyway.
2. Shares/comments on content.

When you’re starting out or growing, there is a danger in focusing on how much people share your content. You're told that you want people to come to your website and see huge numbers. If they don't, however, you feel defeated when your numbers aren't as big as someone else's. This focus will lead to disappointment.

I’m a senior editor at the Good Men Project, a website that gets eight million monthly visitors. One of the benefits I get as an editor is access to GMP’s Google Analytics account. I get to see all the numbers. I can tell you that I’ve seen articles that get shared thousands of times, but don’t have a lot of views. There are articles that don’t get shared at all, but have over 100,000 views.
There is some content that people like and absorb but aren’t comfortable sharing. So while the big shares and comments are nice, they can be deceiving. Your primary goal should be engagement, inspiration and action. You started your business to help people in their lives, not to get shares. Your focus should be on helping.
3. Status and accolades.

One of the sad things about this industry is all the lying that takes place. In podcasting, there is a strategy called, “Twitter bombing.” A podcaster tweets out a direct download link to their show; they use a service to find high-click hashtags. Every time someone clicks on the link, it counts as a download. There are podcasters getting over 100,000 of these “downloads” that only have ten actual listeners.