Derek Sivers makes a great point in his book Anything You Want:
Start by teaching someone something this week.
That’s great! Instead of focusing on the size of your database or worrying about your open rate — focus on helping someone.
Derek Sivers was a professional musician. He had a passion that evolved around programming as it related to his own business needs. In 1997 at the age of 27, he found a need and began helping artists add a BUY NOW button on their websites to help them sell their music. Remember PayPal didn’t exist in 1997. He was just trying to help artists out. From 1998 to 2008, his hobby CD Baby grew and turned into a mega business in which he was sold for $22 million.
Hiten Shah is a successful entrepreneur who co-founded KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg. Eleven years ago, he started out small. Today he has a huge audience with over 169,000 followers on Twitter alone. He even has on his twitter description, “I enjoy helping others.”
It’s easy to see and want his Twitter follower count, but what’s behind it? I believe it’s the way he helps people every day.
If you try building your audience with the focus on what YOU want, no one is going to want to follow you. Begin small, focus on bringing value to the person, solve a problem. You can begin by teaching someone something this week.