I am genuinely interested in what it takes to become popular, both in the real world and online. I’m also interested to know why some people can get so popular that others hate them.
Followers, stats and insights
These days, because we have social media, we can easy fall into the trap of measuring popularity by the number of followers we have. However, it is also a feeling; our perception of how popular we are maybe relates more to how engaged people are with us, and us with them. You can know many people and at the same time you can be lonely.
Mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety can twist the truth about whether people like us. Low self esteem makes us feel that we are not worthy of friendships. It is important to seek help to deal with these feelings. Speak to your doctor or a qualified counsellor, especially if you feel that the world would be a better place without you. You can also find help immediately in your area by searching “where to get help in a crisis” or by contacting your local hospital emergency department.
Hellooooo! It’s Me!
To become popular, people need to get to know you, so, first you need to have a presence. People need to know you exist. They need to be able to see you. It is incredibly difficult for some people to establish an online presence, because you need real life friends to help get the ball rolling, but that’s easier said than done. This is the same for any persona you choose to portray.
Find your online audience
Start with a hashtag or join a group of similar minded people. Ask them to help with the sharing. Don’t just drop a link and run though. At least introduce yourself a bit.
Hello I’m Marie and I blog about papercraft, crochet and knitting over at craftowlblog.wordpress.com 😊 Please let me know what you think and tell me a little bit about yourself. If you like what you see then I would be so happy for you to share it with others. Thank you!
What’s in it for me?
Some people will try to raise their online business profile by organising a “giveaway” to increase their engagement. My friend Lavrax goes into that in more detail in her blog post HERE. The basis of the giveaway theory being that everyone wants something for nothing. Many don’t realise that they’re actually giving away their contact information in return for the chance to win something.
Become an influencer
Genuine fans like what you do and want to do it too. Show them how to adopt that lifestyle. Marie Kondo springs to mind.
Believe in yourself and what you are trying to achieve. Your enthusiasm will shine through and people will be inspired.
Birds of a feather and all that
We all know that people are really only going to stick around with people who share the same interests. Some interests overlap, but just because I’m a blogger doesn’t mean that I want to read every blog. So it’s about finding that niche and tapping into it.
The same with real life. Make friends with people who like what you like.
These people are a different kettle of fish altogether. My best friends have grown up with me, and we don’t necessarily have everything in common, but we have a lot of history. Those shared experiences are so precious. We have a deep understanding of each others lives.
I also have close friends online, mainly parents of children with cancer, because we have a mutual understanding of that experience.
Meanwhile, back in the real world
You have taken the advice of others and turned up at the local knit and natter and you are desperate to make a good impression. Well done for just getting there, by the way, that takes courage and effort.
Chin up then! Here we go! … Make sure that people know you’re a nice person by being genuine and approachable.
- Smile and make eye contact.
- Say or do something nice, but not too creepy – obviously! If there’s a roll call for making tea, offer to help hand the teas round. Pass the plate of biscuits y’know.
- Ask questions and try to remember the answers! If you can’t remember the conversation, just remember a few names and faces. Then you can be ready for when you see them again with, “Hello [person’s name], do you remember we sat next to each other last week …?”
- If your memory is bad then use a notebook, diary or your phone.
Today I went to knit and natter. I sat next to Marjorie. We ate chocolate biscuits and talked about her three grandchildren.
It is important to go back to that club or whatever more than once. You can’t just visit and expect a million messages and phonecalls after that first introduction. You have to establish yourself! This does require a lot of confidence if you suffer from those feelings of being unpopular I mentioned earlier. Those inner voices will try to reinforce feelings that nobody is going to like you and stop you making friends. I would recommend you read this post by Alison at Little Blog of Positivity if that last sentence sounds like you.
Becoming beyond famous
Some celebrities are good at what they do, and some have just been lucky. Most sit on a see saw, rocking between love and hate. We put these people on a pedestal and then knock them down, or they behave in such a way that they fall off by themselves.
I can’t help but think of Princess Diana, who knew how to use the press to her advantage, but ultimately it seemed that the paparazzi chased her to her death.
Or more recently, certain contestants on Strictly Come Dancing who fell out of favour with the public because they were “too good” such as Ashley Roberts.
Who do you admire and why?
My final thoughts
With popularity comes responsibility and pressure. You have to keep on giving in order to maintain or increase your popular status. Unless we are talking about best friends, where you just pick up where you left off. That is why, at the end of the day, best friends ultimately are the best! It is better to have a few really good friends than thousands of followers, because they will always be there for you when the going gets tough.