Building an audience from scratch is one of the hardest tasks for anyone. Especially if you are considered a nobody. Here are ten ways to help you build an audience and establish a meaningful impact on them.
As you might know, you’ve probably heard of a couple of solutions to get started building your brand or popularity through an audience. Some are technical, some are marketing related and some are social where you have to go out and network with people.
It doesn’t happen overnight that you become a recognized name in the industry. But by following these tips, you can get a portion of your market’s or niche’s attention.
Before you do anything, think about the market you want to enter and your own skills and abilities. Why?
- Because every niche requires a different approach
- And because you can use different platforms and software to find your audience and grow your fanbase.
How to build your audience online?
I’m going to start with the most obvious way for people to find you.
Build a website!
You need to have an online platform that covers all info about you, your brand, or your skills and services.
I know this sounds challenging at first. But believe me, you can create your own website in a few minutes if you go to a hosting company like Bluehost. It can be done quickly and easily.
With a website, you are not only able to have a platform to share your own content (written, vocal, and video) but as mentioned, random internet surfers can get to know you if you provide what they need or interested in.
Having your own website might require dedication and some work, but the payoff is immense. You can choose your company name for free and get your domain online quickly and super easily.
Just think about it!
With a personal website, you can promote your business, your skills, and talents through content like articles, videos, reviews, and blog posts. This might take some time, since producing these is time-consuming. But quality content ranks well on Google. And it can help you reach out to thousands of people. You can also save hundreds of euros or dollars on advertising fees for agencies or online ads.
The downside: you need to put in the extra work and be patient. But I have assembled a complete tutorial to help you make your articles receive traffic and stand out from the crowd.
Use Buzzsprout to let people hear you
Buzzsprout is a free podcasting platform and software that lets you upload, host, and promote your podcast. From secure and reliable hosting to full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show stats, and of course, Buzzsprout has everything you need to publish and promote your podcast! You can so use it as a WordPress Plugin to integrate it once you have your own website.
Once you have a website with Bluehost and integrated Buzzsprout, you have a much better chance of boosting your audience and online traffic. People can hear your voice and follow your words.
Just make sure you provide value or some form of entertainment for people.
Publish on Medium and Linkedin
Medium is one of the most popular free-for-all publishing platforms launched in 2012. It is a website where you can build an audience or import an article if you have written one on your website and share it with the world. You can get followers or follow others. The main idea is to provide quality content as always.
You can publish anything on any given topic. But be aware that nonsense usually gets a warning or removed. Occasionally someone from Medium checks your articles and highlights certain flaws, but it’s there to help.
Linkedin is also a great place to build an audience. The reason why it’s so great is that the chances of specific content going viral is much higher than any other social media platform. How so? When Linkedin users like something, it will pop up on their feed and their connections can interact with it. Furthermore, the lifespan of Linkedin posts is relatively long compared to Facebook or Twitter.
Linkedin has a “Write an article” option where you can design the layout of your articles, insert images and videos. It is also a completely free and easy solution to share written content or even videos.
Use Social Media as a Business Venture
Having a Business Page for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram are more important than ever before. If your content is attractive and pragmatic people will like, share, and comment. The aim is to create engaging content or stories that your audience can relate to or find valuable info. Every comment or share you receive boosts your post’s visibility. Linkedin is my favorite. It is particularly good since every like is the equivalent of a Facebook share.
Be aware of the different niches that get promoted on these social media platforms. Make sure that you focus your energy on the right social media platform. Don’t overuse the ones that fall short of your audience’s interest. For example, don’t use goofy videos for Linkedin, or very technical stuff on Facebook. (Unless you have a very techie audience.)
- Facebook: Entertainment, fun, hot topics, cooking, travel, social issues.
- Linkedin: Business, economics, investment, career, university
- Twitter: latest news, updates, opinions, feuds
- Instagram: travel, fitness, health, nude imagery (yes, I said it right.)
Should I pay for Social Media impressions and followers?
Paid content on social media performs alright… as long as you keep paying. Unlike with websites, paid content on social media gets clicks instantly. This is their business model. My suggestion is to try certain Facebook Campaigns to a certain point.
But don’t overdo it!
After receiving a few thousand likes or followers, you should stop pumping credit. Having a few thousand likes on social media is a good indicator for many visitors that you have an existing audience. But make sure that the audience is engaging and that they give some likes, comments, or shares. Otherwise, a page with thousands of followers receiving no interactions might seem fake.
If you are on a tight budget, I wouldn’t spend too much time paying social media companies. The ROI is often too low in my experience!
Go on Webinars
There are times when booking a place, attracting people to go out, or just want to reach out to a more introverted audience is necessary. A webinar is perfect, exclusively for an online audience. You can announce an event on social media, or on your website.
This usually requires lectures, seminars, or teaching something completely new. So a webinar might be the perfect way to challenge what you already know.
In February 2020, I prepared a webinar that addressed women on the topic of digitalization. It reached out to 7,500 people and got more than 400 respondents. Webinars are a great way to target a specific range of people and invite them to attend.
Be Active in Online Communities on Social Media
Create a Public Facebook or Linkedin Group and start inviting people you know. This way you can build an audience by yourself without needing any technical knowledge. In the beginning it will be your social media connections.
Later you can create an email campaign through your website, where people can sign up. (See, another benefit for a website.)
If you don’t want to bother with building a website or engaging in an email campaign, for the time being, it is completely fine. In that case, you can resort to asking your friends to invite their friends to join you. Given that you provide some sort of value for them, the word will spread faster.
Join and Contribute to Multiple Communities yourself
This is the moment where you need to play the extrovert and crawl out of your comfort zone.
An alternative way to build your audience is to join communities, both in real life or online. This is an easier way to engage with people by applying to someone else’s community, like a popular person/organization or an influencer’s community. You can comment or share your own thoughts with like-minded people. At the end, if you’ve provided some sort of value to this community, you can share a link or info about your own business or yourself.
Create Events on Meetup.com
Meetup is perhaps one of the best platforms to join or host events that are close to your circle of interest. If you live in big cities, chances are, there is an event related to your interest right now.
The aim of Meetup is to nurture a community that you can revisit in the future. Therefore I’d advise you to sign up for some of these events and meet with like-minded people. Who knows, you might land a colleague or partner to do business with. It is quite easy to sign up and people are usually welcoming.
Provide your audience with Free Stuff
Giving information, giving value, giving new content to people for free is the best form of audience attraction. It gives people a reason to keep coming back to you, so you can get traffic and gradually become a recognized person. I’m not saying celebrity status.
Everyone appreciates free and useful content, as long as they know something’s value. This is also a good starting point. While you are a lesser-known name in your industry, it is important to keep on giving to your audience. This principle has helped many people and it will help you too. People just love the word FREE. If you don’t have a product, you can always give free advice or consultancy to people.
Word-of-mouth of cool services is the most powerful marketing tool in the world.
Build your audience through Video Content
Everyone loves good videos. Kurzgesagt or Pewdiepie are fan favorites and have amassed billions of views.
But in reality, very few people start making them. Even I feel skeptical when it comes to talking to a camera, watching myself over and over again as I edit everything. The first few videos made me cringe. But even I got used to them while editing over time.
If you have a website but get no readers or page visitors I have created a detailed beginner’s guide to help you get started with your Youtube videos. Making high-ranking content that gets a large search volume with little competition is the key to attracting page viewers, followers, and readers.