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You have two audiences:
- Your existing audience.
- Your potential audience.
Your existing audience is already on board with what you have to say. They’re going to open your emails no matter what. They’re all about supporting you and they believe in what you have to say.
Your potential audience has never heard of you. They’re not familiar with your materials, they don’t know the inside jokes or references, your principles, or your past episodes. They’re brand new to your material.
When creating content, you have to serve people in both your existing and potential audiences if you want to grow.
To serve your existing audience, you need to provide greater value and go more in-depth. You’re going to be delivering on any promises you’ve set in the past. For people in your potential audience, you want to create handles for them to pull themselves into your content.
Give Your Potential Audience a Reason to Care
Here’s the problem with only serving your existing audience. If you put up a new episode or a new blog post with a vague title, your loyal readers will read it anyway. They don’t care about the title because they already believe in you, but the people in your potential audience don’t know what you have in store.
They don’t know that you have value behind this vague title, so they’re not going to click. You have to think about those potential people that could be interested in your content, but might need a little bit more convincing.
Let’s say you have a big project and you’ve been blogging as you go and sharing what you learn. Maybe the first blog post was titled My New Big Project and the second blog post was Update 2 on My Big Project. People who are in your existing audience may read the second blog post because they’re interested in your story, but the people in your potential audience aren’t going to to know. They’re not familiar with your story and seeing something like “Update 2” doesn’t mean anything to them.
You’d want to reach out to those people by creating a title that intrigues them, something like, What I Learned When I First Sold Physical Products Online.
Related seanwes podcast episode: Your Two Audiences
With every piece of content you create, you need to provide value to people in both audiences. For your existing audience, you want to ask yourself some questions:
- Does this provide value?
- Does this fulfill the commitments I made in the past?
- Does this deliver what people have come to expect from me?
For people in your potential audience, you also want to ask:
- Does this intrigue people?
- Will this peak someone’s interest if they have no idea about my prior story?
- Will this create interest for someone who knows nothing about me or any of my projects?
- Does it provide value on it’s own with no other context?
Create Entrance Points
A lot of people with shows, podcasts, or blogs will use vague titles for their episodes 1) because it’s easier, but 2) because they know their loyal followers are going to consume the content anyway. They don’t care about what the title is.
The problem is that people in your potential audience aren’t going to click on those titles. They don’t care. They don’t know that they should care yet and you’re missing out on those people in your potential audience. You could be bringing them in if you speak to them, if you create content that stands alone and provides value even if you have no other context.
It takes a little bit of extra effort when you’re creating content to consider people in both of these audiences but ultimately, that extra effort is going to pay off. It’s going to be worth it because you’re going to grow your audience by reaching new people that you wouldn’t have reached before.