Current Status: Comfortable with your content, ready for what’s next.
You’re in a groove with your content and feeling good about it. You’re creating consistently and have improved dramatically from when you first started. You are regularly engaging with other creatives in (and out) of your area of focus, and have started to gain some momentum. You now have some followers who regularly engage with your work. You want to grow that following and really build your business.
Recommended Approach: Keep your content strong, spend your spare time engaging.
First thing: stay consistent with your content, because that is the key to all of this. At the same time, make sure you take breaks and vacations, because work/life balance is actually a very important component of creating strong content—you need the breaks to recharge your creative mind. Continue to make time to brainstorm and daydream, because this is where your best ideas will come from (rather than when your mind is cluttered or you’re scrolling through Instagram).
When you do have extra time, spend it on your followers. Engage with them and get to know them. Respond to every comment and DM, and produce the content they are asking you for (if it makes sense in the context of the brand you have created). Invest in them—they’re a key component to your business.
When You Have A Spare Minute:
Engage with your followers or prospective followers.
The Tools: Engagement tools.
Continue to keep things light on the expenses side unless you’re putting money toward content or engaging with your following. However, this might be the time to upgrade your website and add a few bells and whistles. For example: you might want to add an email capture form to your website, which will allow you to send updates directly to your followers. This is a great tool to add to your engagement arsenal, because you can build a list of your most devoted followers that is impervious to any algorithm change. Now might also be the time to look into a potential upgrade for your website. By now you have a great feel for your content and your brand. You know what you are going to be producing and probably have a grip on what the ideal website would be for you. So armed with that information, perhaps you upgrade (though it is not a necessity). If you started on one of the WYSIWYG site builders (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) and are looking for a little more power and control, Wordpress is a very popular option for many people. And if you are looking to work with any affiliate programs, they often have special plugins that are only available to Wordpress sites.
Bottom Line: Get going on engagement.
Now is when you really start developing your audience. You’ve experimented and pushed yourself creatively. We hope that at this point you have some comfort around the content you’re producing and your content schedule. Now you can turn your excess attention in a more rigorous way toward building a following (which you have likely already started to do). This is where you should spend your spare time. It might seem like engaging 1:1 with followers is silly or “small,” but this is actually precisely where you start (and is still a great practice once you have a large following, too).