When there is a lot of shouting it’s difficult to hear anything, if you’ve got a big voice maybe you’ll get heard but it’s almost impossible to get the sincerity of your message across. On the social networks (Twitter & Face-book) everyone is shouting about the product they each have to sell, and it can seem like no one is listening.
As in life, so it is in the crazy virtual playground in cyberspace, you need to find friends who are interested in genuine relationships.
It’s the quality of the friend, not the numbers of friends that really counts. You can know a billion people and still be lonely, or you could have just one or two close friends and feel like the richest dude in the world. It’s all about friendship, it doesn’t have to be deep but it’s got to be real.
Of-course you can keep on shouting but everyone’s talking ordinary old bullshit and that’s all you are ever likely to buy.
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Who are you interested in talking to?
The age old questions of… who’s your audience? What’s your market? Who will buy your product? These questions need to be redefined and humanized to build a strong effective and loyal following on twitter… The better , more current question is… where are your genuine friends?
Friendship on the social networks needs to be redefined, as it does not need, nor should it, carry the weight of regular friendship with skin on it. The principles are the same but the level of depth and strength of attachment are different. (less).
Friendship in my opinion is usually best built around a commonality, a similar interest or love, a cause worth fighting for, a shared belief; there is always an indescribable, almost imperceptible innate understanding or secret knowing in the best friendships. A deeper agreement.
So rather than asking who will buy my song? Who will watch my film? Who will read my book? This is a result orientated approach that dehumanizes people to numbers, there is a “different set of questions” that you need to ask?
- What am I interested in?
- What ideals, values, topics, themes, interests, beliefs etc are represented by the piece of art I have created?
- How would this add value to the lives of “prospective” friends out there?
- How do I find these people amongst all the shouting and ask them if they would like to be friends?
What are you interested in?
Write down a list of your passions, interests, beliefs etc. If you having trouble finding what they genuinely are? Take a rain check, look at your diary and look at your bank statement. Where you spend your money and your time… there you will find your true loves.
How are these interests reflected in your art?
If you write/create from your heart, if you are genuinely attempting to be artistic then your interests will in someways (big or small) be reflected in what you create. on the other hand if your creations are entirely “market driven” and your art does not reflect your life at all… then it’s really not art, it’s some other kind of ordinary bullshit and you would be advised to cease reading.
Sometimes the connection between your art and your interests is blindingly obvious, perhaps you love baseball and you have written a film about the sport. Other times the connection is far from obvious and exists on a much more metaphysical level. Perhaps you have a love of football and yet this particular piece of art is a “classical concerto!” You left asking the strange question… “is there music in football, and is there football in music?” Strange? Yes.
There is a reason that you love both football and classical music, and the reasons may appear different on the surface but underneath it all they are same. Perhaps you like “drama,” perhaps it’s about overcoming the odds, finding strength and courage to win, team-work, artistry, commitment, dedication, perfecting a craft. There is a reason that you like them both.
Find that reason and create from it… now you have something genuinely and uniquely you. Write about it. Tweet about it. Find friends that love the same thing. Write classical music for footballers and create football in music… The possibilities are endless.
Create Music for Footballers
How would this add value to the lives of other people?
We all long for connection. We each desire friends who share the same values and passions as us. Connection gives us value and helps us to feel important. The social networks can facilitate friendship and allow friends to come together and be part of something bigger than ourselves.
Your passions, your interests, your art are a vehicle for genuine connections with others. Whether you just brighten up someone else’s day, or you motivate them to keep following their dream, your work, your life, your friendship can enrich their lives… Don’t be greedy it happens one person at a time.
And “whispering” to one person at a time is how you build a genuine audience of loyal friends. Friends who will love you, stand by you, believe in you and support you even when your records aren’t selling.
How do you find and converse with these friends on Twitter?
Whispering in high places...
Let’s talk practically about finding a space on twitter to have genuine friendship. First you need to find a way to filter out all the shouting, all the bullshit, all the tweets trying to sell you something. For every artist or business trying to do this I would strongly recommend the TWEET-DECK application. You can download it for free at TWEET-DECK
You can use it on your laptop, desktop and/or smart phone. In case you have not seen it… here is a picture…
Filter out the shouting with this application
Building lists around your Interests:
Remember your list of interests. Those things in your life that you create your “art” from, through, or because of? You can use your Tweet-Deck to group your friends (followers) according to the common interests that you share. It is then far simpler to converse and interact with these friends, because it is easier to see their tweets etc. If you need help setting this up… contact me at email@example.com for a Skype Consultation.
I would recommend that you create 7 to 10 different lists of friends… i.e. Football lovers, Classical Music lovers, Entrepreneurs, Dog lovers, Mozart fans… just where-ever your interests lie. Even if you have no friends/followers in these categories create them now.
The Friends you already have:
Often we fail to notice or look after the friends we already have. Take stock of who you already know, who already loves you and your art. Add these people to the appropriate lists on Tweet-Deck. Interact with them, share your life and passion with them. Ask them to check out your art? Encourage them to share it with others. Ask them to criticize it. Help them in whatever way you can…
Maybe the idea of this is just too time consuming… I guess you are not interested in this form of friendship then… That’s okay, just stop pretending and keep on shouting.
Finding New Friends
Finding New Friends:
Sometimes friends find you, other times you find them. To find a friend you need to remain open to the prospect of friendship…
Friends Finding You…
Friends often find us through other friends. On Tweet-Deck you can have a column dedicated to new followers. If they are genuine followers and not bullshitters (spammers and salesmen) then extend a warm hand of friendship to them. You do this by…
- Following them back.
- Sending them a message inquiring about their interests.
- Replying with a message about yourself.
Once you have an idea of “what exactly” drew them to you and what they are interested in. You can add them to the appropriate list and from here you will have a quiet space in which to build the friendship.
New friends are also a great source of other new friends… because people are grouped around shared interests. But take time to get to know them, rather than just trying to “snatch” leads off them. Nobody likes to have their friendship “used” to get to someone else… someone more popular. The true artist loves their audience, whether that be the homeless man on the street or the rich couple in a palace.
It's best to share friends...
Friends share everything… including other friends. The #Follow Friday phenomenon is/was a great way to meet like-minded people on twitter, until everyone started doing it. I still use it and recommend that you do, but check out the “quality of the new friends” before you add them. If they are bullshitters or salesmen I would tend to avoid them, because in a circle of friends, one annoying, dishonest friend with their own agenda can spoil the whole broth.
The Personal Introduction is also a great way to share friends and you can do this on the quiet through a Direct Message, so no one has to any thing to gain (kudos/publicity etc) except genuine friendship. This is a great way to connect others and to be connected. Simply say to friends… I see you are friends with so and so… if you think it’s kosher could you introduce us?
Yes it takes longer this way, but it is far more valuable to have 100 friends with a huge sphere of influence, that 100 000 followers all talking bullshit. This incidentally is what happens when you throw your door open and allow yourself to follow/and be followed by whoever the universe chooses. Trust me I’ve done this and I am still cleaning up the mess… Bullshit everywhere. Choosing your friends is vital in life and it is just as important on twitter.
Genuine new friends are hard to find...
The Search for New Friends:
It’s okay to look for new friends it just pays to look in the right place and to know the sort of people you are looking for before you choose.
Using the “Search” function on Tweet-Deck:
Remember that you have your lists… these represent people who share the same interests, commonalities that resonate in and through your art. You can search on tweetdeck for people who have “tweeted” about the same words/topics as you. Tweet-Deck will give you a list of the hundred last tweets on this topic. People who’s tweets contain the same content and tone as yours are likely to be keen on symbiotic friendship. How do you invite these people into friendship…
- Follow them… If you don’t befriend them, why should they befriend you?
- Contact them via their blog/website or other form of social media — Introduce yourself to them using the “topic” you share in common.
- Wait for them to follow you…
- If they don’t follow you/Stop following them… it is impossible to have a friendship that doesn’t flow two ways.
Genuine Friendship is possible via the social networks, you can be friends with hundreds, even thousands of people. This may not be possible in real life but it’s possible in twitter because the friendship doesn’t run as deep and so does not require the same degree of up keep. A kind word here and a kind response here, can make the world of difference to someone else.
Service for Artists:
If you artist looking to build a genuine online presence and you would like my help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My consultation rate can be found on the following page… Consult with Geoff