The Reality of Losing Followers: #ByeFelicia

When starting out in business, many of us worry about annoying people, or being too sales-y, when positioning our businesses online. We worry that we’ll lose followers or people won’t like us anymore. But basing our decisions online in fear is a losing battle, here's why.

Losing followers is all part of the game. There is no nice way around it.

It brings up a lot of garbage, for pretty much...everyone. I don't know anyone who doesn't think about this or who hasn't been affected in some way shape or form by lost followers. But at the end of the day, it's simply a losing battle to focus on minutiae.

Daily unfollows and unsubscribers are just that. Small.

Here's a quote from Seth Godin that I absolutely love, and think it really captures how focusing on the small stuff doesn't make sense for businesses like ours.

But there's one group that doesn't need more data...

Anyone who's making a long-term commitment. Anyone who seeks to make art, to make a difference, to challenge the status quo.

Because when you're chasing that sort of change, data is the cudgel your enemies will use to push you to conform.

Data paves the road to the bottom. It is the lazy way to figure out what to do next. It's obsessed with the short-term. - Seth Godin

When starting out in business, many of us worry about annoying people, or being too sales-y, especially when positioning our businesses online. We worry that we'll lose followers or people won't like us anymore. But focusing on those details really hold us back.

I use to deal with this all of the time up until pretty recently.

I'm not sure when the change happened. I think it was a combination of hearing this fear from clients and workshop attendees that I work with, and reassuring them: "Umm, you are in business. You have to be a business online. And businesses sell things." Funny how I needed to hear it repeated for it to sink in for me. The other important factor was that I just really didn't care anymore, because I truly believed in what I was doing.

[Tweet "Losing followers is all part of the game. There is no nice way around it."]

I started to tell myself that those lost followers are not my core audience, and I'm weeding out the people who will never help me meet my goals for my business. (If you haven't started to think about what your business goals are online head on over here to get started.)

Right now I'm in hardcore launch mode for my 6 week online class (as well as my online newsletter workshop, I know, it's a lot 😄) so that old anxiety around this subject is high.

I'll be honest. Here's what started to go through my head as I started to get all of my content ready for social media: Will people hate what I'm doing now? Will people think I'm one of those coaches that just sells courses (Which, this my friends is a whole other blog post about the weird, misguided animosity that's happening around this btw. Tsk. tsk.). Will people unfollow me because they don't want to be sold to? Ugh! And on and on.

Luckily, over the past year I've learned how to quell a lot of these voices once they start. They may appear, but I do not let them fester.

And I don't want them to fester for you either. Because those voices want you to lose. They want you to give up.

They don't want us to win.

So here's the thing I want to convey to you: We will always lose followers and subscribers no matter what we do. It's just part of the game. So you know, don't hate the player, hate the game.

Those losses on a daily basis do not tell us the whole story. When I calculate my growth at the beginning of each month (You can learn how to do this here and get your free printable worksheet to help you) I see that my trajectory is continually moving upwards. That is all that matters.

As long as I'm meeting my goals, continuing to be true to my business' values, and do things in a way that I feel proud of...there is literally no other option for me. And there isn't one for you either! Think about it. Are you going to hold back your business due to fear of losing followers? No you are not.

[Tweet "Fears of unfollows will never dissipate entirely, especially when we're so connected to what we do."]

This is your business and you have to make money to survive. Fear of lost followers who are never going to support us in the long run (and I don't just mean monetarily) is just an opportunity to take your focus off of what really matters.


What if you looked at every lost follower as someone who is not your ideal customer?

What if you reframed it and looked at is they are not your ideal client, and they are just making room for those that are?

Try that the next time those fears creep up.

These fears will never dissipate entirely, especially when we are so connected to what we do. It may sting in the moment, but the more we face it and understand what we want in our professional lives and how we want to be online, and continue to make those goal posts, it shouldn't linger. At the end of the day, what we do, and how we do it should outweigh these small losses.

Meighan O'Toole

Always all in.