Chapter 5: Making the Connection
Whether you’re a people person or not, the “connection” unites us all. What is the connection? It’s exactly what you think it is. It is the reason you donated to your friend’s GoFundMe project, and it’s the reason you shared a video on Facebook of a firefighter saving a kitten. It’s also the reason why you try your best to shop locally and why some of our parents and grandparents read the obituary in the paper. The connection, you see, is based on a feeling. And when something or someone makes us feel a certain way, we remember.
Now if you’ve done your research, you know that this site is filled with tasty recipes. But something I learned a little while back was that you can find numerous recipes for vegan ice cream online. So, why would anyone choose to come to me? Well, aside from the drool worthy pictures and the easy instructions, I’d like to think that it has a little to do with how I make them feel. This along with a few other reasons was why I started creating video content on the blog. These short clips gave me an opportunity to address issues I found important, all while forming connections with my viewers. Taking the time to speak about topics such as animal cruelty, mental health, motivation, and healthy living, allowed me to really express myself. And judging by the responses, it made people FEEL! Video content is especially fantastic for connecting with your audience, because you have a chance to emote through facial expression, word choice, and delivery. And people love watching shit. Especially videos of cute animals, so if you’re looking to up your game, a quick cameo of your pet kitten is never a bad idea.
The IG Network
Realistically though, video content isn’t the be all end all of forming connections. Interacting with followers is a great way to boost awareness, draw in viewers, and create a solid network. In a previous entry I mentioned linking other blogs and websites to your posts in order to create higher traffic rates. But, this method also applies to any social media outlet! My favourite platform - Instagram - allows for ample opportunity to network with other accounts, and that’s exactly how you benefit! Following popular accounts in your niche, as well as interacting with those accounts is a great way to direct people towards your IG. As a baby Instagramer I looked for accounts I aspired to be like, and then created relationships with those users. I took part in reposting photos from accounts that motivated me, I tried other bloggers recipes and posted my pictures with shout outs, and I took time each day to interact with any accounts posting within my niche. More than two years after I started and I can still point out some of the first accounts I looked to for inspiration. And lucky for me, we still encourage and support each other even now!
It Works Both Ways
The beauty of networking is this - as much as you put yourself out there to form connections - you'll find that it all comes back around. I like to think that people support and encourage me mostly because in some way, shape, or form, I've made them feel good. And when I receive messages and comments related to my content, it means that people are engaged, and THAT is the goal! That is really what fuels my fire. Doing something I love, and sharing it with people who enjoy it.