If you’re here right now, you most likely fall into one of three camps when it comes to organically growing your audience.
1. Growing your audience has been something you’ve been finding yourself playing a cat and mouse game with for as long as you can remember.
No matter what effort of work you put into it, the results stay stagnant. People come in, others go out and there never seems to be consistent growth. This has led to a majority of your income coming from referrals or in personal networking, which you have little control over.
2. What you were doing to grow your audience was working at one time but doesn’t seem to be anymore.
You’re not sure if it’s due to how much our world has changed over the past few years or if you’re simply in an industry that has become oversaturated. Either way, you know that something needs to change – stat!
3. Growing your audience has always been a sore spot for your business.
You’ve taken courses, attended workshops and watched what others do to build their audience but nothing seems to *click* for you. This leads to inconsistency with showing up, typically followed by self-judgment around what could of, should of, would of, if you paid attention to this area.
I know this because I see those who come into both Clients to Courses® and The Collective join with the same experience and I know that it’s my job to make sure it gets corrected because growing your audience is absolutely vital to scaling a business.
And, of course, when I say growing your audience, I mean an audience of the right people. Vanity metrics due nothing for business.
The Reality of Organic Verses. Paid Audience Growth
Before we go into talking about organic growth, we need to address the shiny elephant in the room.
I’m talking about Facebook, Instagram, Google and Pinterest.
It’s no secret that ad costs, especially on Facebook and Instagram, skyrocketed in 2021. This is due to multiple factors that I won’t go into on this blog but caused business owners to majorly change and pivot the way they were doing things. Myself included.
It also further solidified this one fact…
If you can’t attract and convert an audience organically, adding money to it will only ensure you lose that money.
As of this writing, I have run ads (in multiple businesses I’ve owned and in multiple industries) for the past seven years and have never seen it as volatile as it is right now.
Now, that’s not to say I’m not running paid ads or that “the era of ads is over.” Not at all.
It’s just different.
Like anything in business, those who are willing to get their hands dirty, tweak, refine and pivot can handle any changes.
What I am saying is that if you thought things like:
“If I only had an ads budget, my audience would grow!”
“If I can just put $100 into ads, I can sell this and then use that money to run more ads!”
“If I just used ads, I could sell my course.”
I need you to hear me when I say that you are setting yourself up for a huge wake up call.
Paid ads will not fix what you can’t master organically. And, in this era of paid ads, you can’t get away with just dipping your toe in and seeing what happens.
If you’re in, you’re in for the ride and you better have both the data and proper resources/trainings to back up that ride because you’re going to need it.
1. Grow Your Audience on Social Media
While social media changes faster than we change our underwear, there’s three things that are tried and true when it comes to growing an audience.
Knowing Your Influential Advantage
In today’s online space, there is no room for you to sound like everyone else. Not if you want to be seen.
However, there’s plenty of room for you to double and then triple down on… YOU. Your expertise. Your beliefs. Your stance.
We kick off 90 Days to Influential with the concept of your influential advantage for a reason, it matters. Your influential advantage is what allows you to stand out from others and call in those who are going to resonate with your way of doing things.
Your influential advantage includes:
- Identifying Your Community: You can try to work with “everyone” or “all women” or multiple niches all you want but you will never get off the hamster wheel that way. Who is it that you specifically serve, that will make up your community?
- Owning Your Expertise: What is your top tier expertise? The thing you want people to know and refer to you for?
- Embracing Your Personality: What makes you, YOU? Is it your humor, your candor, your introvertness, the way you make sure everyone has the facts? How can this be brought to your expertise?
- Connecting Your Story: Facts tell, stories sell… and you have plenty of them! What have you experienced that your community can relate to?
Choosing Your Power Platform
As the saying goes, “if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.”
The same goes for where you are showing up on social media. The goal isn’t to be everywhere. The goal is to be where 1) you want to be and 2) your audience is at.
This is why you’ll see some people winning at Instagram while others are crushing TikTok.
It. All. Works.
But there’s one that’s going to work best for you, and that’s what you want to pay attention to in 2022. This is your power platform.
Your power platform is the platform you direct a majority of your efforts so that it can gain traction. Once it’s gaining traction, you’re able to dial in more on what’s working and let go of what isn’t.
Do you know what happens when you do this? Your audience grows.
Remember, your audience can’t show up for you if you won’t show up for them.
Once you’re seeing consistent growth and engagement on your power platform, only then, do you consider adding a new platform into the mix.
Creating Content That Converts
There are two types of content we teach inside Clients to Courses®, expertise content and connection content.
Expertise content is the content that showcases what you know while connection content showcases who you are.
And having BOTH matters.
If you are only creating expertise content, you’ll find that people know you “know a lot about a lot” but wind up working with someone else because they don’t feel like you understand them and their specific lifestyle, situation, personality and/or needs.
If you are creating only connection content, people love to follow you and connect with you but purchase from someone else because they simply see you as a friend. They aren’t aware that you are also an expert in your space.
The magic comes when you are able to effectively showcase both so that people are able to see your expertise at play (expertise content) but also can see themselves in you (connection content).
Want to learn more about creating content that gets noticed? We’ve got a blog for that! How to Simplify Creating Content That Converts to Sales
2. Grow Your Audience Through Connections and Collaboration Opportunities
The fastest way to build an organic audience? Connect and collaborate with those who are already serving your audience.
Finding People to Connect and Collaborate With
In 90 Days to Influential, we have our students identify their industry umbrella (business, health, relationships, financial or other) and then list out the following:
- Those under your industry umbrella: Who offers services or products under your main industry umbrella that your audience would be looking for?
- Those who compliment your industry umbrella: Who offers services or products that aren’t under your main industry umbrella that your audience would be looking for?
For example, here at Freedom Driven Success, we help business owners get off the 1:1 client reliant hamster wheel and leverage the power of courses to increase their impact and income, while decreasing their work hours.
Who else would have that audience?
My list would include copywriters, social media managers and coaches, web designers, those who offer certification programs for 1:1 services, anyone who teaches how to book clients, etc. I could also look at tools my ideal audience would be using like ConvertKit, HubSpot, Trello, Clickup. etc.
From there, we get into the collaboration itself.
Opportunities to Collaborate Once the Connection is Formed
When it comes to collaborations, connection is everything.
This is why we not only teach how to create genuine connections within 90 Days to Influential but provide examples of exactly what to do and not to do.
If the connection is there, the opportunities for a win win collaboration are endless. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- JV (Joint Venture) Webinar – Have a webinar or training that’s converting to sales? You can share it with their audience in exchange for a percentage of the sales and/or allowing them to share their webinar to your audience at a different time.
- JV (Joint Venture) Offer – Have skills that complement each other in a way that will serve both audiences? Combine your forces into a paid offer/event/experience.
- Live or Virtual Event – This can be something you participate in as a speaker or host yourself to bring multiple speakers together. (Bonus, you get the full list that’s built after if you’re hosting it)
- Social Media Takeover – Are you both active on the same social platform? If so, you can swap social accounts for the day and share value with each other’s audience.
- Facebook Group Takeover – Do you both have a Facebook community? If you, you can consider “taking over” each other’s group for the day.
- Social Shout Out – Maybe the whole takeover approach isn’t a fit for either of you. A shout out on each of your platforms, and where your audience can follow each of you, works too!
Of course, all of these collaborations end with you inviting their audience to join yours and/or possibly sign up for your paid offer.
Not sure how to build genuine connections with those you don’t know and/or how to go for the ask when it’s time? Check out 90 Days to Influential where we cover The Art of Connections + Collaborations in depth!
3. Grow Your Audience by Pitching Yourself as a Guest Expert
I would say that this one is, by far, the most underutilized way to grow your audience. Which is mind blowing because it packs a serious punch!
Your audience may not be as big as you want it to be (yet) but here’s what you do have… your expertise! And that expertise can get you in front of audience sizes you never would have thought were possible.
Opportunities to Be a Guest Expert
Like everything in business, you have options! Here’s a few that you can explore:
- Podcast Guest Expert – Guest podcasting is a great way to showcase your expertise, without having to take on the cost, time or responsibility of hosting your own podcast (unless you want to and this will only help grow your own listenership as well.
- Blog Guest Expert – Love to write? You’ll love submitting to different blogs who will share your content to their audience.
- Live Show Guest Expert – Love being on video? Pitch yourself to be a guest on a live show!
- Masterminds, Memberships and/or Paid Program Guest Expert – How many paid offerings have you been in that have had a guest expert come in to share their knowledge? This is a great way to share what you know to people who are already paying to listen.
- Bonus Offer Guest Expert – Similar to the above, sometimes people want a bonus training to compliment their existing paid content. You can create this bonus training for them.
With all of these guest expert opportunities, you’ll have the option to link to your own website and/or offers.
And, as an added bonus, some of them will get you paid to create as well!
Want help with finding where to pitch, crafting your pitch, and following up? Check out 90 Days to Influential where you’ll find swipes, tutorials and industry must knows about it all!
Which Will You Start With to Grow Your Audience?
Social media, collaborations or pitching as a guest expert… which are you going to focus on first in order to organically grow your audience in 2022?
Let me know over on Instagram!