Building a business, even if it is purely online, can't be done without going and putting yourself in front of people. You can't build and think people with come. You have to go to them. It means putting yourself out there and saying to people you have something they want. Here’s how to get out in front of people and find your audience.
Where is your audience?
There are many ways to put yourself somewhere people will see and hear you. The key thing to remember when you are thinking about where you are going to put yourself is whether your customers are there too. Do they use that social media platform? Do they like that kind of content? Are they going to be at that event?
Knowing who your customer is, the kind of content they enjoy, and the places they frequent will direct where you focus your efforts.
Be interested in others
Finding an audience is not about broadcasting. It’s having conversations. You want to be developing those all-important P2P relationships – person to person. The blog posts, podcast episodes or videos you put out are an important part of establishing yourself as an authority in your niche but you’re not going to get very far by just blasting them out on social media.
People aren’t interested in you. That might sound harsh. But it’s best to understand right out of the gate that they don’t care about you. They care about themselves. They are looking for solutions to their problems and ways to educate and entertain themselves about the things they are interested in.
Whether you are on social media or at an event, focus on the people you are talking to and be interested in them. Answer their questions, help with their problems and show that you care.
There are no quick ways to build an audience unless you strike lucky and have a piece of content go viral. That’s rare. You are building an audience one person at a time by building your authority as an expert.
Take part in online events
Believe it or not, there are people talking about what you do and asking for input regularly on social media. And you can join in these conversations without any need for an invite. All you need to find is a hashtag or someone planning to go live and join in.
Twitter chats are a great way to meet people in your niche and create valuable relationships. If you haven’t come across these before then they have a hashtag which links all the messages in the conversation together and the chat will run regularly, usually at the same time every week. There will be a host who will answer questions and sometimes a guest who is sharing their knowledge. Anyone can join in and answer the questions. As ever, be helpful and interested and don’t push your own agenda.
Facebook or Youtube lives are also a good place to start talking to people. Just watch the broadcast and chip in with your 2 cents at appropriate moments.
Many industry events will now have an online side to them too. There will be a conference hashtag for people to follow. This is a great way to talk with people with a genuine interest in your niche even if the event is on the other side of the world. Follow along in real time, share content which chimes with you, post your take on it, and find people you would like to get to know better. And all from the comfort of your office or sofa. To my mind, there is nothing like being in the room for real but if you can’t be, it’s a great way to find people who are interested in what you do.
Get to know hosts
Do you attend the same events regularly? Time is precious so pick a couple of events a month which you attend without fail. It could be a Twitter chat and a morning face to face meeting. Perhaps there is a monthly meeting for people in your industry over lunch. Choose wisely and commit to it.
People who put on events worry every time about having an empty room. Believe me, that fear about no-one turning up is real! They will appreciate someone who supports what they are doing and wants to become an active part of their community.
Get to know whoever is hosting that event, whether it’s online or offline. Not only will they remember you when someone asks if they know someone who does what you do but they may well be looking for guests to come and address their audience. If this happens you know you will be talking to a friendly crowd who has got to know you online or over coffee and will be eager to support you.
Once you have been a guest or spoken at an event you can use this as proof that you can be trusted to speak to more audiences. You never know who might be listening who has a podcast or a group of their own who they would like you to talk to.
Every conversation you have whether online or offline helps you build genuine relationships with people who will become not only customers but friends. This is your community and you build it by caring about who every person is and what you do for them.Every conversation you have whether online or offline helps you build genuine relationships with people who will become not only customers but friends. This is your community and you build it by caring about who every person is. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.