What It Takes For You To Build A Loyal Audience & People To Stick With You
Those who control their space, own the communication with their audience.
This was something I wanted to highlight by taking on board the You Are The Media Podcast. As season one comes to a close (28 shows from November 2017 to May 2018), let’s share with you what I have learnt from others and share with you an end of term report.
What It’s About
The podcast is a mix of how to do things and to share those who are doing it. It’s all about people who show up, chip away and relentlessly share a message that resonates (which is how they have built/are building their audiences).
I started the weekly podcast with the intention to highlight proof from those people who are taking on board a content-driven approach and finding their own space, both online and offline. The goal is for listeners to recognise the value that they can create. To grow from something they believe in and distribute their message.
Alignment between what is said and what is sold, has been perhaps the biggest takeaway for me.
The podcast is split into two types of show:
A) those who specialise within a medium ie. journalist, marketer, author, podcaster
B) those who can show the proof within their businesses or side projects ie. they can grow an audience, they can monetise, they can do it over a sustainable period (in one case 27 years)
The podcast is a way to reach out to people around the world and a lot closer to home.
It is a way to filter where we all are today and prove that you can go head to head with more established companies within your marketplace and who perhaps have larger budgets and been around a bit longer. However, the thing that works is to say something that puts a different slant on things, find a way to build (via writing, audio, video) and then come back to it, again and again, so people recognise fluidity and what it is that you believe in and champion.
What It Takes For You To Build A Loyal Audience
Here are the most prominent points that have been made during the shows. When it comes to recognising the media asset you can build and the audience that can grow from it, let me break this down from interviewing a host of smart people.
As an aside, I could have gone down an all too familiar route of many other marketing podcasts ie. find someone who is well known within the marketing industry and ask a stranger questions.
Most of the people on the podcast you may not be familiar with or even heard of before. For instance, someone listening from the north of England is going to have no idea who the business editor is from the local daily newspaper. However, they all represent people who have influence within the media they are creating.
These are seven main themes that come up quite frequently and perhaps what represents the A side of creating, distributing and growing (namely audience) from your own owned media.
Having a voice is the thing that makes you different. Whether this is projecting this onto others as Timo Peach did with his Five Songs performance or sharing your own personal experiences, which is what Tarryn and Tim Poulton applied, all comes down to a stamp that you can say is yours.
Nurture something that identifies yourself within a marketplace. When there is a cause to stand by, this is what people associate with. Those elements of trust, honesty and belief are common themes that we pick up on each week. For instance, Jake Moore built his profile and message via YouTube videos on cyber security for Dorset Police. This led to one of the worlds biggest cyber security firms recently offering Jake a new role he could not refuse. The thing is, Jake had built an asset library that effectively became his calling card. Janet Murray also exemplifies this from Soulful PR where her audience recognises her as the trusted source for everything related to getting their message within the press.
Say something and then stick to that side of the road. This could be an approach to ‘seriously’ entertain others such as Andrew and Pete, or take on board a side project that has a simple message but has longevity, such as what Ben Roberts is doing. These represent starting as you mean to go on. Over time, people associate the angle of the message from where it is delivered. For instance, Ben has a podcast where he breaks down buzzwords, if he started a podcast where the focus was on customer service, it becomes difficult to build the association.
When a clear message is understood, you can then introduce other areas that compliment the initial message. River Cottage first aired on Channel 4 in 1999 and people associate the brand with sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, foraging, ethics and education. Steven Lamb was one of the people who was there at the beginning and has moved into books, courses and restaurants. Founder, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has now taken the cause with Britain’s Fat Fight and the state of the nation’s health. Whilst the subject matter may have deviated, the principals of ethics and education are stronger than ever.
Have a central place, but you have satellites in motion circulating ongoing activity. This is all about recognising the importance of not being static ie. you publish and stand back, but as your message and association with others grows, then you have a constellation that shows action. Sonja Jefferson picked up on this and the importance to be present as well as consistent with our message. The more areas you can pull in and direct to your centre of gravity, the stronger your message and your presence can become.
Stepping forward to take the lead, rather than looking around to see who else has done it. This relates to putting your neck on the line but doing it with conviction. From chatting to Andrew Davis, we looked at the importance of staking a claim within the towns and cities that we represent in order for others to make that association and for others to stand beside us. People want to feel part of something and not just a business transaction.
Recognise that your allies are definitely out there. Even if you may not see it. You can build a place of support and growth, which is what Chris Marr did with the Content Marketing Academy to build a collective of people who could learn and share together. Alternatively, the doors are open, you just need to find the handle. This is something that I picked up on with Darren Slade, the business editor from the Bournemouth Daily Echo and why journalists need the supporting hand from businesses in terms of sharing a message that is relevant for others. This is in a different space and far removed from a ‘didn’t we do really well’ 250-word press release with a royalty free image of a fish jumping from a small bowl to a bigger bowl.
Every single person I have interviewed has represented something significant and something new to take away.
If it wasn’t for this podcast:
1. I wouldn’t have invested time in creating an ongoing micro-narrative on LinkedIn that Trevor Young was singing the praises of.
2. Related to a micro-narrative, John Espirian explained why the LinkedIn algorithm rewards those who don’t put a link for you to click away from a post.
3. I wouldn’t have been able to bring the similarity between the world of entertainment, such as Mervyn Stutter and his Edinburgh Fringe event that has been running for nearly 30 years and the B2B world that I reside in. It’s always good to get a perspective from a completely different discipline.
4. I may have missed the crux for all this. The importance of alignment, which is what Dan Willis does by championing mental health and how this indirectly relates to his business for others to recognise why they started their companies in the first place. Even on the ‘podcast’ podcast with Chris Huskins, whilst a podcast may not be a revenue generator, it can link to every fibre of your business and the voice you curate.
Let’s Round Up
As season one has a bit of a break for the summer, I look back on it as a valuable learning tool where I can highlight the people who are part of the You Are The Media community and those making their mark in their respective professions.
I recognise that when you have something to say and can demonstrate the evidence you start to create real meaning in what you do. What happens is that people get closer to a narrative and then make that decision to commit (subscribe, email, sign-up, buy). If a viewpoint or message starts to sound a bit flat, or moves off on a tangent where they are in the same sea as everyone else, this is a big issue for businesses today.
Everyone I have spoken to in season one of the You Are The Media Podcast have approached this world with honesty and a belief that translates into trust.
I hope that the podcast connects and becomes a reference point. There are more concise and better-produced marketing podcasts to listen to that are available. What I hope this podcast does is to share people who are taking an audience first approach to create something that is sustainable and not just a campaign or a company that spent loads on a website and then walked away.
Looking forward to seeing where the season two ship heads and the people to share with you.
Let’s keep this going.