No matter what stage your startup is in, you’ll want to start or continue to grow your social media audience. The more people you can reach on social media organically and through advertising, the better your launch and your on-going sales will be.
Your current audience–the people who are already listening, buying, engaging–these should be the most important people to you. Far above anyone you wish you were reaching. If it’s 10 people, 100 people, or even 1,000 people–if you’re not doing right by them, right now, none of this will make a lick of difference (aside: do differences lick?). Make sure you’re listening, communicating, and helping the people who are already paying attention to you.
The next thing to think about is your message.
Your message helps craft what makes your unique voice cut through the noise. It’s what draws people to you (even if many other people are talking about the same topic or building similar products).
Unless your message is interesting to both you and your audience, one of you will get bored and drop off.
Growth happens when your audience shares what you do with their own audience.
Think about it. In order for your numbers to grow, people need to first hear about you. How do they do that? By listening to people they already listen to. If those people they’re already listening to mention you, you’ve got a good chance of adding them to your audience ranks.
In order for someone to want to share you with their own people, think about why you would share someone else’s work. Chances are, they said something smart, interesting, entertaining, or useful. You feel good about learning from them, you align with their message, so you want to tell others (and you do). Now you’re helping them grow their audience.
Here are some tips on how you can grow and build your audience:
Value: if someone is not getting value from you, they’re not going to pay attention. So value must to be present in order for your audience to grow. How do you figure out what’s valuable to your audience? You listen to them.
Message: what makes what you have to say unique? What do you stand for? An audience needs to react with, “Yes! This!” or there’s no hope they’ll tell their own people.
Consistency: want to show your audience you give a damn about them? Show up for them. Regularly. This is why I write and share every Sunday. And it’s why other creators set schedules for sharing, because if it’s not a schedule somewhere, chances are it won’t happen.
Generosity: trust and gratitude are built when you do something nice for someone else, with no strings attached. Do enough genuinely nice and helpful things for people, and they’ll start talking. You should want to do good things for your audience, because they are your audience.
Evolution: one trick ponies never see audience growth because they’re one-trick ponies. It might be exciting to watch the trick the first time, but by the 1,547th time, it’s kind of boring. Unless there’s newness, change, and exploration on your end, there will never be growth in your numbers. Creators can’t sit on their past work and coast for every long. Especially not online where our attention spans barely eclipse that of goldfish.
Your audience is not made up of numbers or stats or metrics.
Your audience is a group of individuals who share a common idea, value, motivation, or pain. Each one is more unique than they are similar. It’s easy to overlook the humanity when staring at numbers on a screen, but there are people on the other end of each of those numbers. People, each with their own lives, struggles, and satisfactions.
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