I received an email about how to spread out work to a bigger audience. Basically asking the question “How can I get more people hip to what I am doing?” Which is a good question and a very common question. The answer I replied with was
“Build a small circle of people to get your work to instead. What you do, is not for everybody.”
I’m going to use our podcast “Polite Coolery” as an example in this post because it lines up exactly with this.
When we started Polite Coolery there were two questions that we wanted to have answered in due time.
“Will we change anything?”
“If we stopped would people give a fuck?”
Now my confidence and ego would answer yes to both questions but at the moment I don’t know the answer to those questions. But the best route for us to receive a yes to both of those questions is to understand that our podcast isn’t for everybody and the small audience we have now should be our focus and if you have a small audience that should be your focus too.
Everyone wants to grow. Everything is about scale. People start a business or creative endeavor and the first thing they think about is spreading it out as much as possible. They’re all about mass. Totally normal. Nothing against that. But what I’m learning is that you grow more from the smaller audience. Why?
Connection and you’re going where they want to go.
Airbnb started out with a small audience. People needed a place to stay. Guy rents out his crib. He continues to keep in contact with those few people and those people helped spread the word about what he did. He built on that and now they’re worth billions. They focused on the specifics. They didn’t try to please everybody they only tried to please the people who needed their services.
You’ll never see us try to convince people that Polite Coolery is better than any other podcast. One, we don’t listen to any other podcast not even our own so we have no valid opinion. Two, if it’s for you it’s for you. If it’s not it’s not. We’ll tell you how we’re different but that’s it. We don’t decide what’s better or not. The people do. I’ll give you an example of this.
So our homie Stu who has done 2 episodes on our podcast recommended our podcast to one of his followers on twitter. She replied back that we were too vulgar and it’s not her cup of tea and even implied that we’re ignorant. I saw what she said. I nodded and I moved on. Now I could’ve recommended other episodes or pleaded for her to give us another chance but that’s not necessary. She gave us the greatest gift. The gift she gave us was “rejection.” She didn’t waste our time. I don’t like “maybes.” I like Yes or No. She gave us a “No” which means what we do isn’t for her and we don’t have to waste our time or her time bringing anything we do in her direction. We can just focus on the listeners we have and pleasing them with our content. We’re not for everybody.
When you think of Polite Coolery you think of titties, champagne, self care, weed, comedy, creativity. People are able to link us to specific things. We did that by design. That was the key for us not trying to force our way into the market and instead just be ourselves and build our own world. We’re not trying to check all the boxes and cover the most ground possible. We just niggas who love to talk the shit we living and love resonating with our small audience. When you resonate with your small audience your small audience will act like they work for you and spread the word to another small audience and the word will travel on and on. That’s the best and most efficient way to grow. Not begging for people to support you. Not buying a bunch of ad space.
If you buy the ad space on Instagram and Facebook your brand will get seen but will it CONNECT? There’s no emotion or feeling attached. If people have no feelings or emotions towards your work then in my opinion what you’re creating is not creative or art. It just exists. There’s a billion things being created everyday and for people to choose to pay attention to what you create is a blessing. That means your work is for them. It connected to them. It ain’t for everybody else. Focus on them. Don’t try to be known. Try to be meaningful and make a connection instead.
Polite Coolery is an experience. People resonate with us because they feel like they’re apart of something when they listen to us. Make whatever you do feel like an experience. We don’t just get on the mic and talk. We move on feeling and connection. That’s why when you hear us talk to guests on the show it doesn’t sound like an interview. It doesn’t sound like we’re just going down a list asking questions. We don’t just check the boxes. It’s more than the mixing of our show, videos, etc. It’s about people seeing us out with smiles and quoting what we said. It’s about people saying we changed their life. We don’t give a fuck about subscribers. We don’t give a fuck about followers. We don’t give a fuck about listens. If we don’t change people perspective then we’re failing as artists.
If you go into what you’re doing concerned about who you can help that’s going to take you farther. The people who seek to help with their product and always think of new ways to serve their supporters are the people who change culture.
You can’t touch everyone in the world. Touch the people in your small supporters circle instead because your work is not for everybody. It’s for the people who need it.
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