All That Engagement

January 22, 2016Comments Off on All That Engagement

Take five minutes to read this.

I’m 27 years old and have been building an online following for 10 years, beginning with a popular Livejournal I wrote in high school. A couple of years ago, after moving to Los Angeles, I made the transition from freelance writing to creating online video. The channel I have with my best friend Allison Raskin, Just Between Us, has more than half a million subscribers and a hungry fan base. We’re a two-person video creation machine. When we’re not producing and starring in a comedy sketch and advice show, we’re writing the episodes, dealing with business contracts and deals, and running our company Gallison, LLC, which we registered officially about a month ago.

And yet, despite this success, we’re just barely scraping by.

This is what the EV-GAP looks like. You get a lot of engagement and no behavior change. You spend your time frantically chasing any tactic that will boost the level of activity by a few percentage points. That usually means entertainment and short-term spikes.

Real value changes someone’s opinion, sense of social group, or creates new habits. You can’t do that by being entertainment. You have to do deep engagement work to change behavior.

If you think your members will collaborate and share more knowledge, help you or each other more, or buy more of whatever you sell because they see something entertaining, you’re mistaken.

On the positive side, doing deep engagement work is freeing. You no longer worry about activity and focus on the end result. You align your work to achieve that end result. You spend more time persuading your audience, building habit systems, and creating groups connected by a positive trait you want to reinforce.

You have almost unlimited choices in how you want to do your engagement work, I hope you make the right one.

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