Why You Want to Piss off Your Audience
Yep, I said it, life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Especially when it comes to the world of business and social media. Too often as brands and on social media we put on this unique happy persona for the world.
We share all the great things happening to us because we are afraid to accidentally piss off our audience. Well, I am taking a stand and saying to you from experience: you want to piss off your audience. Allow me to explain.
You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone.
If you try to, you become nothing to everyone. You have to define exactly who your market is, and more importantly who ISN’T in your market. In an article by Shopify’s conversion expert Tommy Walker, Tommy talks about understanding what is and how to create a product/market fit.
Simply speaking, if your product doesn’t fit your audience change the product or change the audience.
When you actively say and do things that will offend people who are not in your market but are in your audience—it will eliminate them quickly from your following.
This means you can spend more time cultivating relationships with the right people. These are the people that think similarly to you, believe in the same values and that wouldn’t be offended.
Kick Out the Community Police
When we build your online communities, we have a tendency to make it as big as possible. We at times will say and do anything to grow our following even bigger. This stems from the thought that the larger the following, the greater the reach.
In proxy of doing this, the community starts forming a certain culture around it with a set of beliefs.
The community will naturally form “police of the community.” These people start imposing their own worldviews and beliefs systems and take over the agenda of your brand in your community for their own benefit and feeling of significance. This can have a really negative effect on your audience and community if their worldviews don’t align (and if your views don’t align with the “police!”).
Author, Entrepreneur, and Angel Investor Tim Ferriss shares that he regularly says and does things to eliminate the community police in his audience (like drinking and swearing on Facebook Live streams). Gary Vaynerchuk alsoo states that he does these things for those same reasons.
The thing is, you want the right people in your community, not necessarily the biggest community.
When you look to piss off certain members of your audience, you have the opportunity to eliminate the community police, but this also has a dual effect.
You have the opportunity to rally TRUE FANS.
Kevin Kelly’s book “1,000 True Fans” talks about how anyone can create a successful business if they can rally their 1,000 true fans. This is possibly one of the best reads of all time for anyone looking to be in business.
When you piss off your audience (that is, the community police), you allow all the TRUE fans to rally behind you.
You stir up passionate emotions in your audience both good and bad. This gives your audience the opportunity to see multiple aspects of your personality. Consequently, they’ll connect with you on a deeper level.
If you want to see a perfect example of this, look at the “Vaynernation.” Everyone loves the fact that Gary Vaynerchuk is aggressive, calls people out and is less than politically correct.
Break Through the Noise
To often, we get lost in the noise of everyone else. Nothing breaks through the noise like a little controversy. When you stir the pot and kick up the discussion, people want to talk.
Politicians and the news have been doing this for as long as anyone can remember. My caveat to this is don’t create controversy to break through the noise—if you don’t have anything worth saying. Don’t piss people off just to do it.
For example, recently in the social media space, there has been a ton of people talking about not “selling” on Snapchat. There is an idea that naturally people will seek you out to give you business. This community has embraced the idea that if you actively promote yourself you are deemed a “sleazy used car salesman.” Sorry car salesman, I know you aren’t sleazy.
As a Snapchat storyteller and creator of a Snapchat course, I naturally became the center spotlight on both sides of this heated discussion. I actively educate and sell using Snapchat and so, therefore I decided to piss off the audience.
This caused all the haters to get heated and attack me in public forums. The benefit? There was also a huge flux of support towards me around the topic. In a scenario like this, I get the opportunity to focus my attention on those 1,000 true fans that became visible and voiced support.
Elimination of the police and naysayers is readily happening. There was zero lost in viewer count. Instead, my viewer count went up! Finally, to drive the point even further I made even more sales of my Snapchat course for taking a stand.
Major Key Alert:
If you noticed I didn’t call out anyone in particular but a worldview that shouldn’t be in my community. Only those who are not supposed to be in the community got offended, and it keeps my community aligned with my views (while kicking out those that can fall into my community, but that don’t have the same core beliefs and values).
Would love to know your thoughts, do you at times work to piss off your audience? Let us know in the comments!