In my last email, I mentioned that it's not as hard to build a new audience as you may think. On paper, this seems like an insurmountable mountain to climb, and it is work, but it's also exciting and a chance refresh your perspective. Talking to new people about what you do is fun, right?
There are actually many ways to tackle this challenge, and I always tell folks to take what they need from my guidance, mix in other tactics and strategies that have been effective (yes, you should be measuring and tracking this), and come up with a unique plan that feels right and is backed by data.
But, as someone who's currently in the thick of tweaking my reach, here's a general overview of what I recommend:
#1 Identify the audience. Dig deeply.
Go beyond demographics or "what kind of music do they like" (come on, that's just fluff), and think deeply about what this audience's desires, problems, and aspirations are. Get very granular. Think about one or two real life people who fit this ideal client. What excites them? What scares them? What language do they use when they talk about what you do? You want to understand this audience better than you understand yourself.
Write all this down and really spend time with it. Narrow, narrow, narrow.
#2 Identify 2-3 core problems/aspirations this audience has.
We often focus on our audience's problems, but we also want to think about their aspirations. You can learn both of these things from LISTENING to your audience. If you're new, maybe that means looking on the sites and platforms your audience hangs out (reddit, Facebook, twitter, whatever). If you're established, mine your notes from calls, your emails, recordings from meetings—you get the picture. The answers are there.
You will see the themes—trust me. Write these down and really prioritize what's the most important theme. This is your top audience problem/aspiration.
#3 Create a content cluster, informed by keywords around your top audience aspiration.
I cover this in this workshop replay, but think of content clusters as a tiny corner of the internet you intend to dominate.
You have a unique angle and perspective, and you know that if the right people see it, they'll want more brilliance from you. (And join your mailing list, which is the goal here.) Be sure to reference case studies, that you work with actual clients and are a business.
The idea here is to use Google juice to bring in a more expansive, fresh set of eyes and introduce them to you. This is why you need to not only get traffic, you need to create content that will galvanize them. Believe that you're creating a movement. Sound silly? It's not! It's really smart. You want people to believe in your mission, your values, your perspective. That's where magic happens.
#4 Mix in a fabulous freebie or very cheap info product that will get folks hooked on your body of work.
Because you've galvanized this new audience, you want to motivate them to stay connected. You don't do this by telling them to follow you on The 'Gram. #sorrynotsorry (Yes, they can follow you, that's great but remember that if they do, the engagement rate will be only 1-3%. Moral of the story: don't bet the farm on Instagram.)
So, what I want you to do is convert that new audience to folks who want to get to know you, which means get them on your list. There are several ways to do this: a great, substantive freebie (think a private podcast with a tool like Hello Audio [aff link], or a mini course or lecture, or a useful guide) is one choice; another choice is a cheap info product; I've even had good luck with using paid strategy sessions as my "lead magnet," for lack of a better term.
This works when you have a high intention audience, which is why the work in the first three steps is absolutely critical. Not converting this audience? Go back the the first steps and fine-tune. You have to be willing to experiment and you may not get it right the first time.
#5 Consider a paid promotion strategy, PR, guesting on podcasts/blogs.
Good old fashioned marketing is often neglected in our online marketing spaces and that's a real shame. All the work in steps 1-4 provide you with the framework to place paid promotions (lead people to your amazing content or freebie), pursue traditional media interviews, or pitch yourself as a guest on podcasts. Again, to build this new audience, you need to think expansively, and prove your expertise and inspire people to buy into your way of thinking (aka join your movement).
Talk next week,
P.S. Ready to create a tailored plan to shift your audience? This is a common challenge I tackle with clients in our Spark Sessions program, a 1:1 hybrid strategy/consulting engagement that's pretty incredible. Get started over here.