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It’s time to get real about the role that numbers play in personal branding. 

Our official take?

1,000 followers > 1,000,000 followers.

(Yes, we can do math.) 

But what we really mean is… 1,000 highly engaged followers > 1,000,000 kind of or not engaged followers. 

Because at the end of the day, your brand is your ultimate marketing and sales tool. It’s how you showcase your unique value to potential clients, customers, partners and employees. For its impact to really be felt, it has to land on the right, tuned in ears. And the odds of that happening in a smaller community of truly bought-in, leaned-in people are significantly higher than if you’re preaching to a huge, apathetic audience. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at how the social media and influencer marketing landscape has changed over the past several years. What was once a numbers game (quantitative) has become a content-driven play (qualitative). Brands have turned away from accounts with millions of followers to seek out partnerships with micro-influencers—profiles with 10,000 followers or less. Their reach might be smaller, but brands have utilized these partnerships to develop more custom campaigns that speak to these niche audience members more authentically. This is not only generating more sales and conversions, but providing true value to those communities through aligned brands and products. 

But make no mistake, micro-influencers don’t just hold power because their followings are small. They have power because their messaging is clear, consistent and REAL, and they spend time getting to know and engage with their audiences. They’ve built their communities through staying authentic and they’ve communicated their value in a way that truly connects with their audience members—whether that’s 500 people or 500,000.

Net net, the numbers don’t matter.

Learn from the micro-influencer and operate out of total integrity for your audience. Think, conceptualize and create for your community like it’s your most valuable asset.

So get online and share your human side. 

Share your areas of expertise and the learning experiences that got you there. 

Share what you do and why it’s valuable to the people you’re speaking to. 

Be honest about who you are, what you think and how you feel—even when it’s scary, uncomfortable or potentially controversial. Because that’s where the good stuff lies. 

This is how we connect with people offline, so it’s how we should connect with them online, too. 

We don’t build relationships purely on small talk—we find common ground: the experiences, values and ideas that we share with others. The same goes for your online presence.It should go deeper than just what’s on the screen. And if that level of depth helps you connect with 50 million people, you’ve done your job. But if it enables you to connect with just 50 people whose lives you change and who keep your own business afloat, you’ve done your job well.

Finding success online should mirror finding success in real life—it’s about staying true to you. The numbers will follow.

Find success through your personal brand.


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