Ever since Google+ launched I've watched the number of people adding me to circles going up every day. I have no idea how many people it is in total, but every day there are more and most of them that are complete strangers to me. So I threw a line out in the water to see if anyone would bite with this question:
Of course, I was happy to see the answers instantly come pouring in and the best part was that almost all of them were from people I did not know. Guess my friends didn't feel like answering since they hoped the answer was obvious? *grin*
While there was a variety of reasons mentioned, there were definitely a few buckets of people. First were the fans of Content Rules, Managing the Gray, Digital Dads and other content I've created over the years. Then there were the people that have seen what I post reshared by others, so they followed to see what else I might post. A whole bunch simply said "because I like following you on Twitter." Finally, there were those that look to me as an expert in the online marketing and social media and want to learn from what I share.
What I was most happy about though was the one answer that came up over and over and is what I've been preaching from stage for years and to every client I have worked with and that is:
"Because you share interesting things..."
Want to build a following? Want people to pay attention to what you are doing online? Then don't use the megaphone to only shill for yourself and instead share great stuff that other people will find interesting.
Yes, it is THAT simple.