Yes, you want to build an audience. But how can one build an audience when you're not known? The first tip I have for you comes from Kevin Kelly. It's called 1000 True Fans. Typically, whatever product or service you're offering or whatever niche you're in, there's probably a really active community of those people.
The true die-hard fans. They usually hang out on specific sites. For example, in the marketing niche, they could be on Moz or Word Stream. They could be in a Facebook group.
Wherever they are, find them, and engage with them. Don't just engage with the community because they're human beings. Engage with them one-on-one. Seriously, take the time to engage with 1,000 people. When you engage with those first One thousand people, those are your true die-hard fans. They become your first 1000 visitors, your first 1000 people on your subscriber list, your first 1000 customers. They're not only much more likely to buy from you, but they're likely to blog, share, tell other people about it. That's what helps you get to the next 10,000 buyers or fans or subscribers. Then from there, you grow over 100,000.
To give you an idea of this, when you write a blog, for example, whenever someone leaves a comment, respond back and help them. Anytime someone emails you, email them back and try to help them out. Anytime someone in your space tweets and they aren't sure what to do, tweet back and try to help them for free. By doing this, you are engaging one-on-one with people who are super involved in the community, so you can build up your first 1000 fans. That way, no matter what you're doing, releasing blog posts, releasing videos on YouTube, trying to share content, those fans will help support you and get you that traffic and the sales that you need.
Secondly, look to see what publications those 1000 people who are super engaged within the community read. Typically, they don't read too many sites. For example, in the marketing world, there are so many marketing blogs that I can't keep track of, but there are only a few handfuls that are super popular, like Backlinko, or Moz, or HubSpot. But when you guest post on these sites, it doesn't take too much effort because you don't have to guest post on hundreds of sites.
Instead, you only have to guest post on a handful of sites, and these superfans will see you and feel like you are everywhere because they see you on all the main publications that they read. They're going to be much more engaged, they're going to be much more likely to come back to your site, and of course, they remember your name and your company as well.
Thirdly, ask people within the community to share your content. If you ask people in your community to share your content, especially when you don't have any fans and you're a nobody, they're usually not going to do it. So you have to do something that causes them to want to share it.
For example, if I was new to the marketing world and I release excellent blog posts with stats and data about marketing and I also link to Backlink or Brian Dean or someone from Moz, I would then email them saying,
"Hey Brian, I have to say, I am a huge fan of your work. So much so that I even linked to you in my newest blog post. Feel free to check it out here.
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post feel free to share it."
A simple email like that will get thought-leaders within your community to share your content and build up your following. Because think of it this way, if all the influencers within your space share your content and talk about you, other people will follow you because Brian's talking about you. It's a great way to build a super-engaged community.
Now, I could go on and on with more and more tips, but I found that these three simple ones work well. So, let's make a recap.
One, you need to go find where your community members are and engage with them one-on-one.
Not because it'll help you build up a community, but because you truly care. If you don't truly care for people, they're going to see through it, and you're not gonna build up a loyal following of your first 1000 fans.
Two, you need to guest post, but you don't wanna just guest post everywhere. It's a lot of work, and you won't get results. You need to guest post on the main industry publications that the superfans and the thought leaders within the space are reading.
Three, you want to link out to other influencers within your space to cite your work, use their data, and back up the points you're trying to make. Of course, email them once you do because they'll share your content.
If you follow those three tips, not only are you going to get more traffic, but you're going to build up a more loyal fan base so that way, whenever you push out content, videos, podcasts, there's going to be people waiting to follow you, listen to that, or watch it. Best of all, when you want to monetize, they'll also start buying from you as well.
If you're struggling to build up your first 1000 followers or fans and engage the community, leave a comment below; tell me what you've tried, where you're struggling. I'll respond back with some tips.