Having one of your blog posts or videos or podcasts go viral is something most people, including entrepreneurs, authors and artists, dream about.
What’s not to love? It means you matter.
So, before I get into some tips on how you can make something go viral, let’s talk about the ramifications if you succeed in having something go viral.
For most people, they imagine it’s going to feel like a huge validation. They did something a lot of people loved and shared. That has to feel good, right?
And, if you’re an entrepreneur, well you just got the golden ticket. It’s like Brene Brown and her Ted Talk, she parlayed that talk on vulnerability into a massive platform.
But, what if the wrong thing goes viral? In other words, what if you’re inspired to write an article, that ends up going viral, and takes your business into a direction you didn’t want it to go?
A blogger I follow just wrote about that. A post she wrote went viral, and after she saw the results of that post, she decided she didn’t like what she saw and needed to tear down what she built so she could create what her heart and soul truly desired.
And that’s the thing about things that go viral. No one really knows why it happens, so trying to build your business around it is problematic at best.
You may never create anything that truly goes viral. Does that mean you failed as an entrepreneur or artist or author?
Or, maybe something you create DOES go viral … and you hate it. In a way, that happened to Louisa May Alcott. Her most famous and popular book, Little Women, was also the work of art she liked the least. And yet, that’s what ended up most defining her.
Or maybe what ends up going viral is something that is more of a distraction, taking you off in another direction that isn’t helpful.
In other words, having something go viral may not end up meaning what you think it might.
That said, while no one really knows why something catches fire and something else doesn’t, there’s three things you can do to improve the odds of it happening.
Step 1: Create things. Blog posts, videos, speeches, podcasts. The more content you have out there, the more likely something will go viral.
Step 2: Create high quality things. Don’t just put out a lot of crap. Take the time to make sure what you’re creating is solid and high quality. Crappy things are less likely to go viral.
Step 3: Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to have something go viral. As the saying goes, Good fortune favors the bold. Be visible. Take chances. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail (or, at the very least, don’t allow your fear of failure to stop you). The more opportunities you give yourself to have something go viral, the more likely it will happen.
And, above all, relax. Have fun. Chances are, if you’re trying to hard to make something go viral, it won’t. It usually happens when you least expect it, when your back is turned and you’re focusing on something else.
(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)