Tips for Building an Audience Online

You can have the best product in the world – a widget that does things nobody ever thought possible before – but if you people don’t know you exist, you’ll never be able to monetize it. In other words, you need an engaged audience of people who know, like and trust you/your brand. Otherwise, all of the energy and effort you’re putting into building a business is wasted.

5 Online Audience-Building Tips

Just like there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there are dozens of ways to build an audience online. If you’re willing to lean in and adapt your approach as you go, you’ll eventually find success. Here are several principles that are sure to accelerate your results:

1. Get Clear on Who You Want to Attract

It all starts with identifying who your target audience is. The more specific you get, the better. Look beyond basic demographic information like age and gender. Dig into their biggest hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, expectations, wants, etc. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Where are they already spending their money?
  • What have they wasted their money on in the past?
  • Where do they see themselves in three, five, or ten years?
  • When they have a free weekend to themselves, what do they do?
  • Are they more motivated by fear or success?
  • What sort of legacy do they want to leave?
  • What is their biggest frustration with solutions that already exist?
  • How do they see the world through the lens of religion, politics, and morals?

These are just a few basic questions you should be asking. In reality, you need to dig even deeper and take this line of questioning further. The goal is to create one to three audience archetypes that really allow you to develop and refine a message that connects with them on a meaningful level.

2. Acknowledge This Difficult Truth

You can’t please 100 percent of people 100 percent of the time – that’s a fact! Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs and marketers find themselves trying to do just that. And in trying to please everyone, they end up reaching no one. 

Acknowledge the truth that you can only please a certain number of people, and that the rest of the people don’t matter. You exist for your audience and no one else.

3. Develop a Targeted Content Strategy

As this Long Island SEO company teaches, content is everything. The only way to thrive in a busy, noisy online environment like the one we’re in today is to develop a targeted content strategy. 

It’s all about quality over quantity today. If you can consistently produce quality content, you’re going to thrive. Quality content doesn’t have to belong or be complicated. In fact, simple and concise is actually much better. The objective is to put content in front of your audience that prods their pain points or plays up their desires.

4. Treat Engagement Like a Two-Way Street

You can’t build an audience by standing on a rooftop and shouting at people (which is the equivalent of what most brands do online). You have to treat engagement like the two-way street that it is. This means giving your audience room to ask questions, express concerns, and provide feedback. Then once they do, it’s up to you to engage this feedback.

5. Leverage OPA

When you’re first starting out, your audience is going to be small (and maybe non-existent). And even though it’s possible to build an audience out of nothing, it helps to have a head start. One of the easiest ways to do this is by leveraging other people’s audiences (OPA).

Find individuals and brands who have audiences that mirror or overlap with the audience you want to have. Then find ways to intersect with them. Whether it’s writing guest blog posts, appearing on their podcast as an interviewed guest, hiring them as a social influencer, or doing joint partnerships together, there are plenty of ways to leverage these relationships.

Get Ready to Grow!

It takes time to build an organic audience that consists of real people who are actively engaged and interested in what you have to offer. Don’t get frustrated by other companies that grow much faster. In many cases, they’re using spammy techniques to artificially inflate their followers and engagement.  And even though it might look like they’re doing well, you can’t see the back end. Fake audiences don’t produce revenue. Real audiences do. Stay focused on doing it the right way and incremental growth will give way to profound long-term results.

Learn more from business and read How to Increase Your Small Business Visibility and Generate New Customers.

John Harper

#1 File Information bestselling author John Harper loves to dispel the myth that smart men & women don’t read (or write) romance, and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch him winning the $77,000 jackpot. In 2021, Netflix will premiere Bridgerton, based on his popular series of novels about the Why Files.

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