You Ask, I Answer: How to Monetize Followers?

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You Ask, I Answer: How to Monetize Followers?

Neha asks, “You have a large number of followers on LinkedIn. How do you monetize them? I am looking for ideas to monetize my followers.”

Two rules to keep in mind:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk: When you give, give. When you sell, sell. Don’t mix the two.
  • Chris Brogan: Any opportunity to be helpful is an opportunity to do business.

These two rules will help you decide how to create and trade value with your audience – and that’s a key turn of phrase. If you want your social media efforts to create long-term value, you have to trade value with them – and the value equation will be tilted in their favor most of the time.

  • What do you have to sell?
  • Does your audience want it?
  • What do you have to give?
  • How does what you give align with what you sell?
  • Sell infrequently, give frequently.
  • Manage your audience in a platform you own – like email. Get your audience off rented land as quickly as possible.

Watch the video for the full explanation.

You Ask, I Answer: How to Monetize Followers?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode Neha asks, you have a large number of followers on LinkedIn, how do you monetize them? I’m looking for ideas to monetize my followers. Okay, so

a couple of things. There are two rules that I would strongly suggest that you adhere to when it comes to the monetization of social media audience. Rule number one comes from Gary van der Chuck, right? Who says when you give, give, when you sell, sell, don’t mix the two don’t do a little bit of each are trying to sneak things and just give value when you give it unreservedly. And when you sell, let people know hey, I am selling and and you will probably get better results because it will be clear what your intentions are and if you’ve given enough value

You should be able to sell into it. Second Rule is from my friend Chris Brogan. any opportunity to be helpful is an opportunity to do business. So when you are giving and when you’re creating value, look at those as a way of market research when people are asking you questions about what it is you do and how you do it or problems that they have guess what that is the market telling you this is what people value this is what people want you to do. This is something that I certainly am you know, looking at with with the company with my company trust insights.

What is it that people need help with? Is not things like artificial intelligence right now because that is predicated on so many things, so many precursors that people need help with those first, so certainly a lesson I have learned recently.

Now these two rules will help you

Decide how to create and trade value with your audience. And that I think is probably the most important turn of phrase.

You are not monetizing your followers do not monetize your followers. Because they are not a passive resource that you can simply farm like, you know, get out the Reagan and start. I clearly don’t do a lot of farming because you don’t use a rake all that often.

You’re not monetizing. You’re not extracting a resource from a passive thing and not drilling an oil well.

Your audience is composed of other people, and if you want those people to give you value, you have to give them value in return. And it’s called this I forget who came up with that. Thank you as the business networking group, it’s called givers gain you have to give first you have to be giving

Value first in order to earn the right to trade value with your audience. And even when you have earned that right, you still have to trade value and you still have to give more value than you receive most of the time. The value equation will be tilted in your audience’s favor most of the time if you want long term value. Now, if you’re just trying to make a quick buck,

then yeah, you can do some some pretty straightforward things that will give you a few dollars very quickly. But then you’ll burn that connection with your audience. And your audience will not be around if you are trying to.

If you’re trying to build a community

for the long term, then you have to think in terms of trade. So what do you have to sell?

Does your audience want what you have to sell? Right? Those are two really important questions. If your audience doesn’t want what you’re selling, then you’re not going to be able to trade value with them won’t happen. I can be selling a skunk flavored coffee all our audience doesn’t want skunk flavored.

Coffee, no amount of value I give is going to create a long term trade benefit trade relationship.

Second, what do you have to give? What values you have to give? And how well does it align with what you have to sell?

If I am, over here talking about, say, email marketing,


my company’s products and services are not email marketing related that I can give all the value I want, but it’s not going to result in economic value. But back to the company. I had this happen a number years ago, when I worked in financial services. I was sharing a tremendous amount of information and ideas and things about podcasting. This is back in the the goal, the first golden age of podcasting, I guess you could call it.


I worked with a financial services company that that they especially was not podcasting. Right. The specialty was student loans and financial aid. And so

what I had to give

not aligned with what we sold and so there was not enough value created. So what do you have to give what you have to sell are they aligned?

Your general rule of thumb is just like social media you know curation and and sharing, it’s at 20 give 80% of the time 20% of the time,

sell, so give frequently sell infrequently. And the most important thing you can do by far is

as quickly as possible by exchanging a lot of value, get your audience off, rented land, get your audience away from platforms you don’t own. So your Facebook page for example, you don’t own it and you have no control over what somebody sees. As a result, it will get harder and harder to extract value from Facebook itself right? I same is true of Instagram. The same is true of LinkedIn. These are great places to to meet new people, but then you need to get them to something you own like an email list like a slack and

You like some private forums some place where

there is no algorithm throttling what people see. And you have the ability to reach out to people as you need it for those infrequent times when you are going to ask to trade value, right? You’re going to give, give, give and occasionally asked to trade. For example,

I run a I help run a slack community analytics for marketers. We want you to come there, because there’s no algorithm blocking you. And in return,

we give away lots of stuff in the community. Like last night, I posted the thank you pages for two talks we recently published so you don’t have to go fill out a form anymore because you have your email, right? You don’t have to go fill out forms and jump through hoops, you can go straight to the good stuff. So

there’s a value proposition even in that we know that you’re valuable. We know that you’re important and we know that you’ve taken time and effort to go to this community.

This separate from what you spend most your time like on Facebook and stuff. And so

how do we give value by giving you shortcuts and, and and things that are not available to the general public?

So, the short version of a very complex question is, think about trading value, give more than you take, give a lot more than you take and get people to channels you own your email list and your your text, your mobile number, text list. Those are invaluable resources, you own them, no one can take them away from you. No one can suppress the pieces of content you send once you get beyond basic deliver ability and you know, prove that you’re not a spammer. You

have the ability to reach out to people and give them value, but also trade value with them. So make sure that you are doing that.

Email is is

As an Hanley says, it’s the Oh gee of social networks, but it’s also one of the few assets under your control that you truly own. I lost you don’t pay your bills to your your email service provider. But But yeah, you want to make sure that you own that. So those are some guidelines for the monetization of social media networks, and trading value with your audience. But please stop thinking about monetizing followers and start thinking about trading value with and what can you trade that is aligned with what your company does that in the long term will help you build the best, most sustainable strategy. And if you are so inclined, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and join the newsletter. Join the newsletter and join our slack group where we give lots of stuff all the time and have some fun discussions alongside so thanks for watching. I’ll talk to you soon. want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust today

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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