Having an audience is a powerful thing. With a relatively modest number of people dedicated to your brand and products, you can easily sustain yourself.
You don’t have to have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers—the beautiful thing about the internet is its ability to bring people with unique interests together. Even if you have a very specific focus, there are a ton of other people across the world that share those interests and that adds up quickly.
Yet, many people worry about narrowing their focus. It feels like you’re excluding a bunch of people! It seems counter-intuitive: What if the niche dries up? What happens if interest suddenly goes away?
The good news is, you don’t need to be afraid to niche down. If you’re about the people and serving their needs, you’re going to adapt naturally without even noticing it. You might suddenly realize you’re in a different industry because you followed the people—that makes you immune to an industry going away or drying up.
Why grow an audience?
This is what growing an audience can do for you:
- You are seen as an authority.
- You are able to sell products.
- You are able to build community.
- Launching new things gets easier.
I was invited to speak at Creative South this year. It’s one of my favorite conferences and I recommend it highly (we have a special recap video we’ll be publishing next week for those of you considering going in 2016).
In my talk below, I share my story in a holistic way that I never have before. You may have heard bits and pieces of my story on the seanwes podcast, but never all together quite like this.
I break the talk into two parts:
- My story and what growing an audience has done for me.
- 4 keys to growing an audience—I break down the principles from my story into actionable takeaways.
Watch the Full Video:
We all want to be known for something, we all want to make a name for ourselves, but there’s a harsh reality we’re up against:
The reality is people put other people in boxes.
We are cognitively limited to maintaining 150 close relationships.
What does this mean? It’s means people are forced to categorize. They’re going to put you in a box. There’s nothing you can do about that—it’s going to happen.
What you can do is shape the box they’re already going to put you in. How do you shape it? You curate what you share.
Here are my slides if you want to follow along:
Curation is the first of the keys. In the above video, you hear me talk about all four of them:
- Curation (kind)
- Consistency (frequency)
- Quality (value)
- Time (patience)
Focusing doesn’t mean you can’t ever do anything else—it means you’re giving attention to one thing at a time.
- The world cannot process your awesomeness.
- People are forced to simplify.
- They’re going to put you in a box.
- Define the box they’re going to put you in.
- Curate what you share.
- Experiment with different media.
- If you’re going to do it, do it weekly.
- Get inside the weekly cycle.
- Everyone can make one thing a week.
- Deliver quality—care about the production.
- Provide value with all content you make.
- Ask people what they’re struggling with.
- Tailor your content to their questions.
- Good things take time.
- Show up every day for two years.
- Don’t worry about virality.
- Play the long game.
You’re working hard, you feel like you’re doing a good job with your work, but you just don’t seem to be getting any traction. No matter what, your audience isn’t growing at the rate you want it to.
Why is it that some people seem to be getting recognition and you’re not? Do they know something you don’t?
There’s a problem here. I’m going to tell you what it is, and I’m going to tell you why you have it.
I’ll show you how to create insanely loyal followers who will become your personal ambassadors.
Growing an audience is not a result of magic and it’s not a result of luck: growth comes when you consistently serve great content to that audience.