📊 ClassNotes 001: Three little-known secrets to audience growth

📊 ClassNotes 001: Three little-known secrets to audience growth

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The platforms with the most creators, not the most users, win.

It's a subtle shift but one you can use to your advantage when growing an audience.

Social platforms make it relatively easy to find the number of users that exist, but if you want to know exactly how many people are creating, interacting, and sharing on a given network — you're going to need to do some digging.

So I did and pulled those figures into the chart below, where I highlight how many active creators exist on each platform.

The idea for this chart sprouted from my report on OnlyFans creators and their multi-account growth strategy.

What do these numbers mean?

  1. Some of the largest platforms have the fewest active creators (e.g., LinkedIn is the perfect example with 900+ million users and less than 2% active creators). This user-to-creator ratio is important for reasons we'll touch on below.
  2. We are in the age of creator-driven platform growth. The easier it is for people to make content on a platform, and the better that content is, the faster the platform will grow (e.g., TikTok).
  3. Audience size is relative. It takes roughly the same amount of work to gain 1,000 followers on LinkedIn as it does 60,000 followers on TikTok. No, I'm not exaggerating — I'll explain my numbers in the next section.

So...given these numbers and ideas, what the heck should you do?

Tip #1: Create content that gets other people to create content

It's no coincidence that Justin Welsh, who has encouraged thousands of professionals to post on LinkedIn, is also one of the most followed creators on that platform.

Algorithms favor this behavior (content that begets more content) — so use this incentive to your advantage.

Another example comes from Jon Morgenstern, who explained that Instagram and TikTok actively promote videos that drive creation (through stitching, dueting, and reusing sounds).

If you can add to the number of active creators on a platform, you will grow as a byproduct.

Tip #2: Choose active platforms for faster growth

Builder Brigade is the perfect example to illustrate this point. They've posted the same short-form videos across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok for about a year. Take a look at their numbers:

  • YouTube: 115,000 subscribers
  • Instagram: 322,000 followers
  • TikTok: 568,000 followers

Why does their TikTok account have nearly 250,000 more followers than their Instagram and over 450,000 more than YouTube?

Because the activity on TikTok is that much higher, which causes growth to come that much quicker.

Tip #3: Aim for audience engagement, not just size

You can win on any platform.

I know our chart makes it appear like you'd be out of your mind not to invest all of your time on Instagram and TikTok.

But, I would argue that audience value is relative.

If we use our chart as a guide, it's not out of the question to say the following audience sizes take the same amount of time and effort to build AND offer about the same revenue opportunity (e.g., you'll make the same amount of money, depending on your offer).

  • 1,000 followers on LinkedIn
  • 7,500 subscribers on YouTube
  • 15,000 followers on Twitter
  • 30,000 followers on Instagram
  • 60,000 followers on TikTok

Am I crazy for thinking this? Maybe. Many people believe a follower = follower, regardless of the platform.

But then again, maybe lists like this will help you remember how much follower counts are truly just vanity metrics.

60% of a 1,000-person audience paying attention to what you do and buying your products is the same as 1% of a 60,000-person audience. Engagement will always impact your bottom line more than size.


1. Create content that gets other people to create.
2. Choose active platforms for faster growth.
3. Aim for audience engagement, not just size.

Next week, we'll explore one of the most underrated strategies for growing an initial audience. If you're even a little bit nerdy, you'll love this.

— David

📌 This is where future products and offers will live.

  1. If you want to know what content to publish, where your audience lives, and what products they want to buy — all of that can be answered through market research. I'm building a low-cost course to show you exactly how to do this.
  2. If you want to double your audience overnight through trendjacking, I plan to host a live training this fall.