Get over yourself! (Or, the hurdle of of self-promotion.)
Just before I ran a Special Offer on my Patreon, I decided to gauge how many people knew about my Netherrealms project. After a couple of days, the results were in: 75% of Twitter followers (that responded) didn’t know what Netherrealms was or that it had a Patreon.
What has that taught me about promotion and frequency?
I thought everybody already knew about Netherrealms. I’d posted about it so much!
What we need to realize is that, everytime we put something out on a platform, we only reach a small percentage of the number we think we should be reaching. Generally, the bigger your following, the lower the percentages will be. On Instagram, I’ve measured reach anywhere from 50+% for smaller accounts (couple 100 followers) to about 20% for bigger accounts (10k-1,5M followers).
That means that even smaller accounts reach only half of their (most engaged) following for every post they make!
Similar stats can be found for mailing lists. The average opening rate for an email lies around 20%. That means for every 100 people you send an email, 20% are likely to open it. For transparency’s sake: at time of writing I have about 160 subscribers and an open rate of about 40%, so the “bigger following means lower percentages” probably applies here as well.
The consumer decision journey
How often have you seen something for the first time and bought it right away? On average, a consumer needs about 3-7 moments of contact with you or your brand to be able to make a decision about purchasing it. They go from awareness, to familiarity, to consideration, to purchase (and then hopefully, loyalty).
In terms of promoting yourself, that means you’d have to repeat yourself at least 3 times in one way or another for most people to buy Your Thing. Some people will instantly purchase whatever you have on offer, but chances are that they’re already familiar with you or the product in some other way, putting them further along in the customer journey.
So, put that together for a second. Every time you talk about Your Thing, you’ll only reach half of your audience, at most. And even then they’ll need to see Your Thing two more times to even consider a purchase! So what’s stopping you from mentioning it a couple more times?
Your most engaged audience will see most of your posts. But that’s the beauty of it: they’ve already told the algorithm that they love your work! That means they likely won’t mind seeing a few more messages from you.