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Don’t Grow an Audience; Find an Audience!
How do I grow my number of Facebook fans? How do I increase my Twitter and Instagram followers?
These are common questions, and ones you’ve probably asked before, but I won’t be answering them here…
You see, it’s not always about that.
Now, I’m not suggesting that a large audience on social media, a big email list or shed-loads of traffic isn’t a good thing, because it is. But it takes time and you can run that in the background and work on something a bit more immediate.
Don’t stress about growing an audience – go and find a ready-made one!
Find your ideal customers
Firstly, you gotta know who you’re targeting and what it is they want. Ideally you’ll then work out what makes them tick (and what keeps them awake at night) and get ready to help them.
I had a really interesting chat about client avatars in our Facebook group recently and you should invest 30 minutes of your time listening to what Mike has to say.
You need to understand your target audience so you can create content that appeals to their very fears and pain points.
You’ll also then have a really good understanding of what to look out for in other audiences so you can add value and build trust.
Engage in groups
Groups on Facebook (and LinkedIn when they get their shit together) have ready made audiences primed and available for you.
But you can’t expect to rock up there and get business right away. It doesn’t work like that.
In these groups will be active people, lurkers, and occasional posters. They key to getting seen in groups isn’t posting links to your blog or eBook but more adding value searching and being part of the community.
There are a few areas you’ll want to consider:
When you know the pain points of your ideal customers, you can do a daily search of them in the groups you’re in and be the person who helps.
Also, make sure you’re not too granular here. Chat on subjects related to what you do or ones you have an interest in but also be present and helpful in general.
Being in the comments helps you to ‘Be the notification’. This is a concept I share a lot in talks I give. Far too many people pin their social media success on the reach of their own content rather than appreciating that if everyone is focused on this, you need to ‘zig when they’re zagging’.
Instead of focusing on creating content for your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile and waiting for comments like a stall holder at a market – go and walk around the market chatting to people instead!
Being the notification (because you commented on someone else’s content) gives you way more exposure and gets you seen and noticed by the very people you’re trying to attract (if you comment on their content).
Connect with people you hit it off with in groups or purposely go out and connect with the people you want to help on your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Connecting with them doesn’t mean sending some spammy message when you connect. No, that’s total BS social. Just connect, chat, and be human about it. What do you have in common with them?
When you connect, they start to see some of your content (and more often than not your next post) so if you’re creating posts and articles that totally sing to your ideal prospect… Winning!
Appear on podcasts
Again, you could start your own podcast and you should if you’re growing a brand or personal brand but a great way to get lead and enquiries faster is to give value on someone else’s podcast!
Add value with some really great content that (as above) talks to your ideal customer or client and then leave a good call to action at the end.
Will this generate immediate direct sales? Probably not. But get them into your emails, social media, website, or private Facebook group (find ours here) and start working on those conversions en masse.
Be a guest on Facebook lives
Find an audience via someone else’s page or group or even their profile and offer to go live with them (you can do this remotely just like on a podcast). Talk about the very topic that your customers need help with.
If you approach all these areas in this way then you’ll slowly but surely build a name for yourself in your chosen area.
Help, add value, show up, and then be ready to make the next move.
Sharing tips and insights in a Facebook group with a promoted Facebook Live can really help, too.
Guest blog for a website
Guest blogging works two fold if not more. Firstly, when you guest blog you’re usually allowed a link back to your website or blog. Google looks for these ‘backlinks’ as a signal for ranking on their search platform so guest blogging really helps your site – assuming the blog you’re writing for is popular.
Secondly you’re adding value and getting noticed in a whole new area with a fresh new audience.
Speak at events
I love speaking at networking events. The beauty is, I get to add value, show I know my stuff, and I get to meet new people whilst also building my authority and trust within a network.
Get out to networking meetings, and make sure you set up a follow up or something more for them to go and do. I tend to use the lead magnet at the bottom of this blog and I also connect with people I meet on LinkedIn and continue the conversation there.
Run a networking meeting
Ok… so this more like growing an audience on the face of it, but not if you volunteer for an established network.
Why not look up your local networking meetings or national networking organisations and be a part of their audience? It’s a ready made system and potentially a ready made audience too. You can quickly and easily tap into a new group of people by simply offering to help run the meeting for them. This does take a lot of effort but you’ll be chatting to attendees almost every day so you’ll build relationships.
Don’t just work on building an audience, go and find some too!
I’m all about this as well as the growth side. Yes, a strong LinkedIn connection list, a large email list, and loads of traffic to your website should be encouraged, but why not speed it up by using other peoples’ audiences and helping them create content and media whilst gaining some trust and leads?
It’s simple really – be the notification, don’t wait for them!
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