Articles about building an audience for an online business or blog tend to cover tactics like Facebook Ads, collaborations & cross-promotions, and SEO (search engine optimization.)
I’ll share my thoughts on those, but let's start with the most important thing:
A true audience gives you their consistent attention.
The best audience to build is a loyal following that has grown to count on you, and therefore, an audience that you can count on to engage with your content, share it forward, and to consider your products and services when you announce those.
If you don’t start with that understanding, then you’ll do very inefficient things such as buying Facebook Ads to get more “likes” to your fan page. This may actually move you backward, as you end up with thousands of fake fans, giving you the illusion of an audience, but very few that you're actually serving.
A fake audience doesn't engage with your content nor buy from you. I’ve seen this happen too many times. This is why the term “vanity metric” exists.
A true audience cares about your content... and about you.
You have developed a feeling of kindred spiritness with your following. They’re not consuming your content in a drive-by fashion, only taking what they need and then disappearing. They are genuinely interested in your journey and growth.
How does this happen?
You have shown genuine caring for your audience, rather than make them feel like they’re part of a marketing funnel. You’ve consistently shown up, so they can count on you. And you share your true journey of ups and downs and what you’re learning. You are authentically you, so they can really trust you.
These are the lasting values of how to approach building a true audience. Each of us will apply them in our own ways.
Now let’s get to the tactics.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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