You Have Created Brilliant Content. Wonderful! Your First Time Growing An Audience From Scratch? No Problem!
You want to know how to build an audience and you are not alone. In fact. I’m right here with you! I too want to know the secrets of going from 0 to 100 and then some. That’s why I took to the skies to find you some tasty answers to nibble on. Some food for thought.
I would like to point out that all the information on building an audience (or anything else for that matter) will be completely useless unless you go and apply it in real life.
Walk the talk or have your talk take you for a walk.
With that said.. Let’s get cracking!
You Absolutely Need Relevant Content That Gives Back To Your Readers
To start with the obvious. To gain an audience, it is imperative that you actually have something of value to offer your potential audience.
“Readers will follow you because of what you write. It’s all about the value you give to them.” – Thomas Despin
When I speak of value. I mean, are you giving with your post? Are you solving problems for your audience?
If you want to build an audience, a sure way to success is to help others succeed by solving a problem they have or giving them a way to solve that problem. — Lincoln W Daniel
Lets say you want to write about.. oh.. i don’t know.. cold weather?
Why would anyone in their right mind want to read about cold weather? The answer? They don’t because they do not give a crap about cold weather. It’s not nearly interesting enough to give a few of their precious moments of life to read. They gain nothing from reading this junk! So they vanish or never appear in the first place.
Instead. Give them a reason to read. Let’s stick with cold weather for the laugh. See what magic we can work on it. How about..
This Military Technique Shows You How To Survive Even The Most Extreme Cold Weather Conditions
A bit long winded but you see my point. Now, you’re giving value. Hell, I might need that information myself someday. Who knows when ill end up knee deep in frosty the snowman.
The truth is that you need engaging content or else you will find it a lot tougher to build an audience.
Imagine you are the reader. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you do? Keep reading or go spend your time on a better article? Now put your shoes back on you lunatic! Ask yourself. Where did I loose my imaginary reader?
Am I Talking To Myself Again?
Are you writing to yourself? Take a step back and read your article. Who are you talking to? Who are you trying to reach? And who are you trying to solve problems for? Who are the few that will get the most out of your content?
Creating a Personal Brand starts with identifying who you want to speak to. Who’s your audience? Who do you want to inspire, empower, and lead? — Ron Gibori
Not sure yet? That’s okay. It could take you a few posts to find your voice.. or your.. keyboard? But let’s be fair. If you have trouble finding your keyboard. Maybe typing is not your bag (Austin Powers anyone?)
If that’s the case. Then just keep writing. Post after post after post. Be a machine. Produce until you are bleeding alphabet soup! Worry about building your audience later when you’ve done some soul searching.
If you want to build a larger audience, do this one simple thing. Get better. Be quiet. Hide yourself away; spend time becoming absolutely indispensable. — Jeff Goins
Bottom line. You need to know who you are targeting. Those readers are counting on you to produce content that is relevant to them. Are you going to let them down?
If you don’t know who you — and your competitors — are talking to and trying to engage with, then marketing and communications amount to nothing more than shooting in the dark. — Jay Shemenski
Let’s walk through what defining your audience looks like.
During my time spent studying digital project management. I came across this easy way to define your target audience. They’re called user stories. In this case, your user is your reader. So what does a reader story look like?
Simple. A reader story is role playing mixed with documenting the events. Imagine you are your ideal reader. Ask a bunch of questions and try answer them. I most certainly will not cover everything but this should be enough to give you the jist.
What age are you? 30
What interests do you have? Lets hope reading is one of them and maybe baseball for good measure.
What lifestyle do you lead? I work, come home. Wife has dinner made. Spend time with the kids and try to squeeze some me time into my day where I can watch baseball or maybe read an article on the toilet.
What problems do you have? I can’t find any time to do the things I enjoy. I need a release from the pressure of life. I’m having trouble communicating with my teenage daughter. The list goes on.
This should give you a solid basis for topics to write about. Topics that matter to your intended audience. The good stuff that keeps them coming back for more. Solving specific problems for specific people.
Invest In Your Growth
When people ask me how to build an audience, what they really want to know is, how do they get an audience to just come to them. You don’t. No audience just magically appears. Why do you think the biggest movies in the world have trailers, and ad campaigns, up to a year before they come out? They have to build the audience. — Jon Westenberg
Money is not the only investment you can make. There are 3. Time. Money. Resources (meaning hu-man power!)
You’re just starting out so chances are, you have no resources. No team of 40 working towards your goal. Nope. It’s all on you my friend!
Jon Westenberg suggests putting €50 (the currency is not important) into online advertising. This will boost your chances for sure. Plus as an added bonus. You get closer to the point of no return the more you invest. It becomes necessary to succeed because it’s wasted money otherwise.
Then there is the most expensive commodity. Time.
Now I’m talking about getting down and dirty with the grind here. That means putting in the time to read the best articles. To analyse what they do well and how they gain & retain their following. What keeps them on top? Chances are they’ve written about it before so it’s no secret. All you need to do is tune in.
In saying that. It is not a good enough strategy to copy another’s work. You need your own style. Say the things that others are not talking about. Do it in a way that only you can. Then mash the two together and focus on quality (not perfection).
You need to feel that everything you put out is excellent. Every post, every video, every image has the chance to be a hit. Without this feeling, you’re not going to break through the noise. — Ash Read
Then, relationship building.
Yup. I’ve gone all mushy on you towards the end of this post.
Converse with those who you find interesting and those who find you interesting. It’s not about getting them to read your stuff. Yeah, that was the original aim but if you want a reader. Tell them to read. If you want a follower. Show them your worth following!
Other Than What I’ve Mentioned Above Here Are 3 More Strategies To Acquiring An Audience:
- Tag your posts with relevant hashtags. With no audience, Tags will help you get seen by readers who are following that tag.
- Contribute as a writer to publications to kick start your growth. You got nothing to loose and everything to gain.
- Share your content elsewhere. Found your audience hiding on a different platform? Go have a conversation with them. Only share if it helps them.
I am just like you. Trying to find my way in the world. Everything I write about, I am doing. I will share with you what it takes to go from nothing to something. Zero To Hero one step at a time.
Imagine a world where everyone you meet is in the process of becoming great. What a world that would be!
Thank you for taking part in our journey! I hope to see you again soon!