As entrepreneurs, and professionals in general, we rarely stop, take a step back and congratulate ourselves for our successes and achievements. When we fail, on the other hand, we spend days, weeks, months analysing and over-analysing our actions and decisions to see how and where we went wrong. That’s why most of us can agree: We learn more from failure than we do from success.
With this milestone, I chose to do things differently. Reaching a million views on Quora is an achievement I proudly share with my team, which has strongly contributed to making this a reality. In the midst of office high-fives and claps, we got to thinking: How did we get here and what can we learn from it? More importantly, can we share our lessons with the world so that someone else may benefit from this too?
Discussing this with the Linkilaw team, we realised that what we were doing on Quora was very much in line with our company values. This made us feel even better about what we’d achieved. It just feels right. Here’s why:
The value of sharing knowledge
The Internet has evolved in ways we could have not even imagined. Its biggest achievement has been democratising knowledge by providing the world with a free library on virtually every topic under the sun.
Quora, as a knowledge-sharing platform, has quickly become very popular. What is its extra value proposition compared to a simple Google search? Quora’s content is curated (both by Quora and by its users), generally, experts stick to their expert topics, and people are able to share honest, open-minded opinions and facts with one another.
Quora is a smart, curated amalgamation of Google information through targeted questions, decided by its users.
The value of providing niche advice/knowledge
As legal specialists, and as CEO of a legal platform for startups, I chose to limit my answers to just that: legal and startup advice. I chose to focus on the areas in which I felt I could actually provide some added value.
I’m not an engineer or a firefighter, so if I had been looking to answer questions around these areas of expertise, chances are my answers would not have been received as well as they are. And understandably so – I wouldn’t take design advice from a doctor or career advice from a high school student, and neither would you. So keep that in mind. Stick to what you know, and if you choose to venture out of your area – be sure to support your answer with stats and facts.
Quora likes and rewards experts in their field – stick to what you know and it will pay off.
The value of being resilient and consistent
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And obviously answering questions on Quora isn’t comparable to building an entire city. Except that, well, it can be. It is, in that to achieve both, it takes perseverance and consistency.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to write answers on Quora every day, but try to remain consistent. Every month is good, every week is great. The more consistently you write, the more exponentially your answer views will grow. Over time, it may seem that some periods are slower than others. Sometimes, you may wonder why you are contributing to Quora at all. If you keep going, you will remember why. The value of sharing your knowledge with others is of no precedent.
In order to achieve results, you must keep going for a while. If you haven’t achieved what you want, you haven’t been trying for long enough.
The value of interacting, fostering relationships
The more content you write, the more followers you will amass, and the more conversations will spring from your answers. You will realise that Quora readers not only appreciate your answers, they also appreciate your response to their comments.
Whether your answer gives rise to a debate or words of agreement, you will find that you have as much to learn from others as they do from you (if you didn’t know that already). And if you foster these relationships through honesty and integrity, these relationships grow. I’ve personally met over 10 people through Quora and many have become friends, clients, advisors. Isn’t that amazing? It amazes me…
Don’t let the ‘virtual’ aspect of Quora deter you from fostering relationships – the people you meet on there are real and interesting.
The value of being consistent, supporting your knowledge with research
Knowledge is unlimited and ever-evolving. Therefore, even as an expert in your field, we all still have so much to learn! Answering questions on Quora can be a great way to expand your own knowledge, as well as sharing it with others.
When answering a question you believe you already know the answer to, open your mind to the idea that you don’t. Do some research. You will almost certainly source interesting quotes or statistics that will not only teach you more about your topic, but also make your answer richer and more interesting to others.
Never stop learning. And teaching is a great way of learning.
All in all, it is undeniable that deciding to write on Quora, and persevering at it, were great choices. I will keep doing so. A true sense of unity springs from this. Knowledge does not dissipate when we share it; quite the opposite! My personal knowledge will dissipate the day of my death (or with amnesia). I can only keep this knowledge by giving it away. And so can you.