I find it hard to take advice from people who are poorly positioned to give it. For example, so called “social media experts” giving tips on how to grow your platform when they lack a large following themselves.

As for today's topic, I am experienced here. There is no pride, just confidence. And while I'm sure I have let some people down, I have been able to build a large following of dedicated readers (about 1 million per month), a team of loyal employees, and a sphere of influential leaders who like and respect me.

And of all the work I've put into carefully building my platform, protecting my reputation, and operating with integrity, I have found these four concepts to be the pillars of my success.

1. Speak to people how they need to hear it, not how you want to say it
At our core, we are all selfish beings. And focusing energy on selflessness has always been a common win for leaders, but what is rare is those leaders who can “communicate” with selflessness. To intentionally craft their words for each individual audience. To be considerate enough to change their style to accommodate the needs, vernacular, culture, or beliefs of those who are listening. Thoughtfulness is the most effective version of communication.

2. Be selective in your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right
Every battle has a consequence. A victor and a failure. It's common for leaders (especially A-Types) to turn common confrontation or debated discussion into a battle. We lose sight of the person and focus our sights on the win. We fight with intense fervor and find our moment to slam the door shut. Bam! I'm right! But then it sinks in… the hurt and defeat we caused on an issue that never had the merit of such a pain.

3. People follow people, not ideas, blogs, or businesses
I see too many incredible people hide behind their content. They lack the self confidence to even follow themselves. We know when people engage with our blogs or our music or our designs, our content is adding value. But value is different than connection. Connection only occurs when the content creator incorporates their humanness and their story within their work. This is the beginning of relationship and the only thing worth following.

4. In humility, value others above yourself
In all of the leadership principles I have learned from the Bible, this is my favorite. Have you ever met someone who authentically compliments you, lifts you up, and affirms your character? Almost as if you're more important then anything else at the time? The capacity of offering this gift derives from a heart of humility and genuine belief in the value of people. It's a hard quality to develop, but the more you can grasp about the equality of the human condition, the less you will tower over those around you.

What leadership principles have worked for you? Did my list has add value to you? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you have a business or blog idea but don't know where to begin, I am launching a new 12 month program called StartupCamp you can signup to be notified here. 

Awesome photo by Lightstock

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49 thoughts on “How To Get People To Follow, Like, & Respect You

  1. Noel says:

    This article gave me a good opportunity to be introspective this morning. It confirmed areas I where I do help, lift & encourage others in communication, while it also let me recognize other traits that I need & want to develop much stronger.

  2. Guest says:

    Good advice, but we all know by now that it takes a lot more than just good relations to build a solid (real) following into the 6 digits. Tell folks how long you’ve been building your following, that it’s a daily commitment, the tools you use, the Twitter ads purchased, the content that caused them to follow you in the first place. I find that a lot of power tweeters hold back on giving real advice to people who want to reach that level. I imagine money plays a role, at least at the beginning. Even Twitter has a relatively low following on some of their business accounts, and they’re Twitter. Thanks for the article though, because a lot of people don’t understand the importance of relating well with people on social media.

    • Kwesi says:

      Of course it takes more than a good relation to build a solid following, but people need to start somewhere. Given the list of examples you’ve mentioned, maybe it’s a bit overwhelming for some people to grasp at first, so I think this list is a great start. Definitely does take a great investment on time as well as work ethic.

    • Dale Partridge says:

      Yes, my point of this blog was for people to know where to start and what are the most important fundamentals of growing a following. They would need to get those down first before they jumped into the logistics. Remember. Whether you have 5 or 5000 followers, you have a sphere of influence and people who are watching you. 🙂

      • Steve Scott says:

        Dale you did an interview when launching 7ly and it is one of the reasons I started following you. You were, as you are today, brutally honest with yourself.

        I remember in that magazine article you shared that you had an email list of 3MM and didn’t really know what to do with it, but you knew there was “something” there.

        I think it would be really helpful if you would post that article and expound on that ah-ha moment when you sort of realized it’s about aggregating an audience. I think because of who you are it has taken on a new meaning; more like “nurturing a following.”

        Your a powerful individual and I love the way you channel yourself. Well done.

  3. Kaitlin R says:

    I enjoy reading your Twitter post/Blog post, so thank you! Like you said, it is hard to take advice from people who are poorly positioned to give it and that you trust. Follower of Christ, professional, inspirational, etc. I run into this problem frequently and I am glad I found some awesome reads!

  4. Betty Spaulding says:

    I think it helps to remember, in more than social media, that the most important thing you can do is to be KIND.

    I think it helps to remember that words put online are even more tenacious than words written in ink.

    I think it’s important to say ‘thank you.’

    I think that we should be wary when someone says, ‘I’m just the sort of person who. . . ”

    And I think it’s good to know when to stop!

  5. Bernadette Youngquist says:

    Thank you for reminding us. I think we all forget from time to time to bring our spiritual selves with us into our business. I enjoy your posts, thank you.

  6. Issa says:

    “Have you ever met someone who authentically compliments you, lifts you up, and affirms your character?” For me, this is the takeaway question. Humbling.

  7. Craig Desmarais says:

    In all I do I try to keep this front of mind:

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” -Philippians 2:3

    With that in mind I always do my best to be a source of value and service to others.

  8. Chantelle says:

    This is so interesting! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about encouragement and how great it feels to be encourage by the words of another. I think healthy relations require ample encouragement to really thrive. Your tips are concise and straightforward, like your really trying to show people something of value, it shines through!

  9. shelly says:

    you are indeed an amazing blogger and role model. I found a post on pinterest and decided to follow you. I have since followed you on all social media. I am grabbing on to your shirt tail and reading and learning everything i can. You are definitely a leader in my book and you are on a level of blogging that I hope to be on as well one day! Thank you for your time and energy to inspire people! You are doing a good in the world! I will continue to follow and learn from you! When I started blogging, it was about what I liked, now as I get into this business of blogging, I wonder will this help someone(?) and how can I write or say something to help someone else be better and overcome! thank you for this post!

  10. Eric Ungs says:

    Such a powerful, and life changing, post. I think number one is the foundation to everything we do, in all aspects of communication. If you don’t know “how” to communicate to different audiences, people, personalities, there will also be friction that lacks true connectivity. You absolutely nailed. Such powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Amanda Konnik says:

    Make the connection by choosing your battles with humility and selflessness. That is the message I will be sharing with the team this morning. I love that this blog resonates across so many platforms. Thank you.

  12. Lex Valishvili says:

    The one i learned from Andy Stanley – you don’t have to be the smartest person on the team in order to lead it! (he even jokingly says that he simply got to that role first, that’s why he is there) Top it with Guy Kawasaki’s principle that A leaders hire A leaders while B leaders hire C leaders, an you realize that you need people around you who are better then you, at something!

  13. Jamison Jones says:

    Good stuff, Dale. Even though this is something I may already “know,” it’s good to be reminded. So good in fact, that I’m going to redo me whole approach to the way I do my online business. Thanks.

  14. Eric Waterbury says:

    Every time I see your name on a blog, usually on Lewis Howes’ FB wall, I read it. You are always worth the read and the time investment of contemplation afterwards. I salute you for all the small choices you make to develop the level of authenticity and depth that make you a sharp blade to sharpen my iron against.

  15. Seth Addison says:

    Great post Dale. Your point that “people follow people” really hit me. As entrepreneurs, we get so caught up in our ideas, our goals, our tactics… it’s easy to forget to just be our goofy selves. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. The Full Light says:

    I’m stepping out in Faith with #3. Sharing life stories and Gods grace. It’s difficult at times to be transparent and truly genuine speaking from the heart. I do believe it will help the people of the world who are lost and hurting. Blessing to you Linda

  17. motherofthree says:

    In regards to number four, how do you not loose yourself or forget about yourself while doing this? It seems that I would consume myself in thinking of others and forget me and what I need to keep going, causing my mental and physical health to decline? I fell I do a good job at balancing this now but I could if asked, recognize those times I do not think of others, or am I just being selfish?

  18. joy says:

    The number two point pick your battles, peace is sometimes better than being right really hit me hard cos alot of the times we tend to loose our cool and act silly all in the name of being right. But ultimately all four points make alot of sence and would provide value for us if thoroughly applied in our day to day lives. Thank you Dale.

  19. Kate says:

    So very true about saying it so the person can hear it. Sometimes not saying”it” is the right way to get a message across!

  20. Shavonne Na'tey says:

    I am a singer. This REALLY helped me. I have so much love to give but after reading this post, it may be hid by my blunt opinions. What’s confusing tho is….well known singers don’t have to do this. They say what they want and get MORE followers.lol, but I will take this into consideration.

  21. Michael Herndon says:

    At the end of the day, I believe true leadership comes down to supporting your team and giving them the resources they need to succeed. Unfortunately, being coined the leader is somewhat of a rare occasion for most people. And when they get the opportunity to lead, most immediately result to hasty action and orders when in reality a servant heart and support is the real answer.

  22. Jake Dudley says:

    It’s interesting that you talk about some of these things yet you never respond to people on Twitter. Whether they agree with you or like you or the opposite, you don’t engage the people you say you’ve built a connection with. And you also plagiarize your tweets. Quotes from very famous people and some from not-so-famous people and you give no credit. Integrity? I don’t see it online…

  23. Jules says:

    I completely agree with the “people follow people” statement. My business is pretty competitive, and I’ve worked hard to stand out from the crowd in several ways. But I never really realized that (as far as I have seen) I am the only one doing this with my face, my voice, and my opinion at the forefront. But I also hope to put others before myself. It’s an entrepreneurial balancing act, for sure. Thanks for a great post!

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