A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Ahh friends, those awesome people who are practically family members, except you got to choose them yourself.
They are the ones you run to first when you have good news, the ones you want around you when you’re celebrating, and the ones you feel comfortable crying in front of.
But what about when it comes to your work and career?
Do your friends *have* to listen to every podcast, attend every exhibition and share every piece of work you do on social media?
The people who frequently share my work are not my closest friends. Does that mean my closest friends think my work is rubbish? Nope (I’ve asked them.) Does it mean they’re haters or don’t want me to win? Not necessarily.
Here are some reasons why your friends don’t support your work:
1. It’s not good (like really bad)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we all know someone whose friend needs to tell them to stop rapping/doing makeup/making clothes.
If it’s bad your friends won’t share it, it’s that simple. They might listen to it or read it, think about how bad it is, maybe discuss it with another one of your mutuals, and then close the tab.
2. They’re not your target audience
No matter how much they love you, you can’t force someone to like something. If you’re a beauty YouTuber do you really expect your male friends to watch, share and subscribe? It’s just not for them.
There’s a technique influencers talk about called ‘building your tribe’ where you find your target audience (usually online) and cater to them, connect with them, ask them what types of things they’re interested in seeing from you. The whole point of building a tribe is to find likeminded people who will support you and share your work.
3. You haven’t made it easy enough for them
People are lazy, and your friends are people. How easy is it to support you? Do they know about your podcast? Are the share buttons clearly labelled on your blog? Do they know where to find the link to buy tickets to your event?
Just posting once on Facebook doesn’t mean all your friends have seen it.
I could post something every hour on Facebook and not all my friends would see it, the way the algorithm is set up on social media feeds means that they only show you a selection of everything that is posted, and they try and guess what you might be interested in from what you’ve liked before.
4. You don’t support them
If you listen to every single episode of your friends live radio show and tweet them every time you do so, what do you think will happen the next time you are on TV?
They will make a special effort to be there live in the moment and watch the show.
You can’t expect people to support you if you don’t support them, support five of your friends work and you’ll see how quickly they want to return the favour.
5. They do support it but you don’t know about it
Not all support is visible.
You might see that 100 people have listened to your latest podcast, does it say the names of all those people who listened?
It’s not until I see my close friends that I realise they’ve been reading my blog because they bring it up, organically. Only associates and strangers have to show off the fact that they consume your content online, because they don’t see you in person.
If they don’t mention it, it *could* mean that I’m not making my work visible enough, but you have to accept that there are different friends for different roles.
The definition at the top of this post didn’t say anything about friends being your biggest fans, it’s about mutual affection.
Some friends are for drinking Pina Coladas with.
Some friends are for attending industry events with.
Some friends are there to tell you where you’re going wrong in life and help you make better decisions.
Some friends are for sharing your work with.
You’d be surprised at who respects your hustle from afar for years without ever mentioning it to you.
Silent support still counts towards the views.
TLDR: Stop forcing your friends to support your work and focus on making it so good, they can’t help but share it.
You can now sign up to my email list to receive my free workbook on how to market your content effectively on and offline: http://eepurl.com/b2rdHP
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38