(Originally written April 2018, updated Oct 2019.)
A regret for many entrepreneurs is that they didn’t start building their audience sooner.
If you might want to start a business one day, I recommend that you start growing your audience now.
For audience building, it does not matter if you don't yet have clarity about what you'll focus your business on. Of course message clarity helps, but you can still build an audience based on your personal brand first.
Start with talking about anything from your authentic interests -- you'll therefore build an audience/community who like your personality, values, and align with you on some of your interests -- and that's better than having no audience at all.
No one in history has your exact combination of life experiences.
No one has the blend of challenges you’ve experienced, nor resolved them in your specific way.
No one has your unique voice, personality, and style, nor your synthesis of experience, skills, and passion.
There are people who will resonate with you and your message like nobody else they’ve ever encountered.
Your ideal audience is helped by you, in your area of expertise, more than they can be helped by anyone else.
Therefore, what if shifted your mindset about content creation -- and running Ads to promote your content -- from being a marketing chore, to being a ministry in and of itself?
Gary Vaynerchuk curses a lot in his videos. This turns off a lot of people. (I used to dislike him a lot! Now? I’m a big fan.)
Seth Godin, who has written thousands of blog posts, never includes any images. He even has typos in his posts. (I’ve humbly emailed suggestions and he’s very open about making corrections.) He probably loses a lot of potential readers.
I ignored Seth for a long time, but kept hearing about him from trusted friends, so finally I started reading him, and became a huge fan.
You post things on social media.
Most of the time, you don’t get as much engagement as you see others get.
Maybe you get discouraged.... why don’t people like you?
I’ve been there.
You need to understand how the algorithm works…
I share this “secret” with many writers -- I don’t feel inspired until after I start writing for awhile... as short as 5 minutes, upwards of 45 minutes.
I often feel uninspired, but I am willing to write anyway.
In fact, this is how I work most of the time. This very piece you’re reading has been written this way.
Most of the time, our working conditions are not optimal.
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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Here's why :)