How to build an audience from scratch
If you’re reading this – you likely already want to build an audience (you’re ahead of the game). From establishing your firm as a thought leader in your space to building top-of-mind awareness for lead generation; the benefits for creating content and building a loyal audience are endless.
In order to build an audience from scratch you have to focus on building value, niching the content you produce, and utilizing your own personal brand (and the personal brands of those within your organization). With these core fundamentals sorted, more obvious items (like choosing platforms and determining writing styles) will become second nature.
In this episode of In the Know, Andrew interviews Jackie Hermes of Accelity Marketing (a top B2B SaaS marketing firm) on the fundamentals of building an audience.
Now let’s delve into some of the main talking points.
Stop and ask yourself: are you selling or are you building value? Many firms will inundate their audience with content surrounding themselves and their services or even what they are accomplishing.
Instead, start with what your ideal clients are looking to learn and achieve:
- Create content around FAQ’s
- Produce videos with personal insight
- Collaborate with other entities via written content
Right now the barrier to entry is minimal with Zoom conferencing and iPhone videos being as popular as they are. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “document – don’t create”.
Niching Your Content
You can’t be everything for everybody – your content strategy needs to follow this as well in order to develop a defined audience. If your firm is positioned correctly, this step is usually a breeze.
For example: an accounting firm that specializes in working with professional athletes will produce content focused on what professional athletes want to know about wealth management.
Focus less on what you have to offer and focus more on what your ideal client wants to know or what they could benefit from.
And lastly, it’s OK for your audience to be rather small. A smaller, more loyal following that is niche’d just right will come with more benefits than having a larger, less relevant following.
Getting the Team Involved
Most organizations don’t take advantage of the single biggest asset they have to building an audience:
Staff with access to social media.
It’s a scientific fact that most people will meet more than 1,000 people in their lifetime. That puts you one person away from a million people, and two people away from a billion people.
So what’s the relevance of this? If you can get your team (or others in your organization) to not only vouch for your company but to actively engage and educate others on topics pertaining to your industry – you will win BIG.
Getting them to partake can be difficult, however, here are a few ways to jumpstart the initiative:
- Encourage creative freedom – don’t force them to drink the company Kool-Aid. Get to the bottom of what interests them, what they are skilled at, and what mediums work best (video vs written, Instagram vs LinkedIn).
- Challenge them – start small. Assign team members with a manageable amount of posting and engagement (I.e. six posts over 12 weeks).
- Explain the personal benefits – this directly benefits their career beyond their tenure with your organization. From building relationships with industry peers to building value with partners and clients, there really are no downsides.
Take a few minutes to calculate how many hours you spent hosting small-group lunch and learns and/or Zoom presentations over the past year. Now take those hours and think about reallocating them towards producing content for your business (as well as on your personal channels) with your connections and the business rolodex as recipients.
To what heights can your expertise reach? How many more people can benefit from the insight that you (and your team) can provide online?
Start by turning your IP (intellectual property) into easily consumable content for the masses via your blog or newsletter. Submit your best newsletters to industry publications that your clients read. Then think about stringing together your thought leadership into a book for publication.