Why You Will Never Build An Audience Until…
To be seen and heard, you need an audience. If you are patient, it’s going to help you out so much that you can reach out and people participate with you.
So many people and businesses give up, it takes a lot longer than they think. It is a big dilemma to crack and you have to get a few pillars in place first. I hope I can help and explain in this article.
Having an audience means people agreeing to receive something from you (read more on defining the difference between audience and community). If what you produce is good enough people will come back to you.
Kevin Kelly said in his 2008 seminal article, 1000 True Fans, “A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce.” The important word from this quote is ‘buy.’ Sometimes people make the mistake that because they have many followers it means that people will buy when they ask them to.
If you want to build an audience you are going to have to know some key points before you begin.
When you flip from achieving scale to recognising you are here to help and know the people who need what you do, they are more likely to be attentive (and pay), but they need to be convinced first.
Let’s look at what it’s going to take to build your audience and understand what you have to accept and prioritise.
14 Points I Now Know (That Can Help You)
Finding a loyal audience is going to be hard, until you….
Know who you are doing this for.
You need to be focused on who your core audience is going to be. If your ‘who’ takes onboard multiple audiences then your work becomes diluted ie. I started in 2013 with a continual message on ‘marketing’ and is a lot narrower these days.
Know why you are doing it (and then keep with it).
Why do you need an audience? What do you want to get out of it ie. sales, save costs? When I began You Are The Media a reason for me was to save money as I was spending too much on being seen (read more in the YATM history timeline).
Know what people want.
This takes a little time and a good starting place is Google Analytics. Over time, you begin to know the challenges that others have. Do you know what matters to them? Why is time with you going to benefit? Why does what you share matter? How can you help people with where they want to go?
Know how your work will help people ‘get it.’
This always comes back to what’s in it for someone else, not you. How can you make their time with you more informed? Why will their work be easier thanks to you?
Understand what you are going to share.
There has to be a core message to what you want to share. Over time, this is what people will know you for and becomes easier for people to understand what you do and the role you serve. It won’t work if your core message is centred on one topic ie. email marketing and then realise you’re going to run out of steam and then move to a new area ie. NFTs. Decide what you are going to be committed to.
Are ok that no one else will care about you when you start.
This relates to being comfortable in your own skin (as no one else will care). When you begin your efforts are going to look very different from what you anticipate. That idea of promoting a page for people to run to and sign-up, won’t happen. The article you posted will be shared by no one. You begin to prove to yourself you can do it and practice your craft.
Know how to capture attention before loyalty.
When you begin, reach is important, you want people to see you. Over time, it’s the right people who will commit to you. Know what captures people’s attention and then analyse if this is something to pursue. For instance, my most popular article of all time is ‘should I buy Christmas presents for customers?’ (I’m not putting the link), it has no relevance to what I share today but became my SEO attention grabber.
Find others who will shout about you.
This isn’t about someone retweeting your posts, but people who are prepared to tell others that time with you and your initiative is worthwhile. This is the best marketing you can ever achieve when people endorse your work, without you asking them to do it. You spend no money, someone else shares within their circles, you have the opportunity to welcome someone where you have already been validated.
Become a part of the group you created.
If you are part of the audience you serve, and there’s no great divide between you and those you’re reaching out to, you will do better from it. Cherish the people who stand alongside you, celebrate together, respect their input and find ways to learn together. There’s no need to be engineering some sort of hierarchy between you and others – become a part of your audience. Read you are your audience.
Acknowledge it’s a gradual process.
One thing is for certain, the longer you are committed the better you become. There are no places to cut corners. It could be realising the more you practice, you become a better writer or a confident presenter. If you set yourself a six-month time limit, all your work becomes is part of a campaign. Results do not happen overnight, but when they do, they become moments to savour.
Understand and love your topic area.
If you can share from your place of curiosity backed up by your understanding of your industry, this helps with longevity and sharpening your own knowledge. For instance, articles I produce can start as ideas from books or listening to podcasts. You have to be tuned into and interested within the marketplace you are a part of.
Recognise that stopping and starting will not help you.
Building an audience means becoming a habit with others. The longer you are committed, the better you become at connecting and engaging with your audience. If you start, find a rhythm and then stop for a long time, all you are doing is showing people that you are not as committed as you once made out to be. The longer the silence goes on, the fewer people will read, watch or listen to your work.
Understand that if all you are doing this is just for the money, you will lose.
A commercial outcome for what you do is the by-product of the time, effort, creativity, dedication and uniqueness of your work. If you are led by money, connections will be shallower and everyone becomes a transaction.
Don’t start by thinking you need a big audience.
People think that scale and size equate to success it doesn’t. You need to be focused on the people you know who will stick with you and be with you on this fantastic journey. Dedicate time and attention to those people who are rewarding you with their presence.
When you ask yourself and understand ‘who am I here for?’ it sets the cornerstone for building something you probably didn’t think was possible. When people trust you (not just getting their attention), the decisions you make become easier for others to commit to you.
Having people around you, that you can help, join in with and everyone to feel a part of the same, connected experience is what can set you and your work apart. The real journey to be seen starts with finding the right people to join you.
Finding your audience can be achieved and when you discover them and they become comfortable with you, you can form unwavering bonds.