I was consulting with a new(er) entrepreneur last Friday, during a business whiteboard session, and part of our conversation focused on audience building. We had been talking about her marketing efforts and how they were doing; and I found myself blurting out, “we all start out just talking to ourselves.” (Hence the title of this post.)
While we both laughed, the truth is that most of us, when we are working to build an online audience, begin by talking to ourselves. We pay for a website that nobody visits (yet.) We join Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but have no friends, followers, or connections. We might create an information product that nobody buys or knows about.
We all start out by talking to ourselves. And that makes many of us impatient when we want to build an audience, yet building an audience does take time.
It can be frustrating if you aren’t getting a lot of traffic to your site, or interaction at the social networks. Some business owners get really frustrated and are tempted to give up because they feel as if they are talking to themselves and no one cares what they have to say.
But the secret to any online growth is patience, and publishing content you know will be of real value to your target audience.
Blogging is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, programs like WordPress have made it easy for anyone to publish online. They don’t need to know how to design attractive webpages or learn HTML (HyperText Markup Language) any longer.
Yet, even though getting a blog published is easy, it doesn’t mean that your content creation necessarily is. Yet consistent content creation is crucial to develop a following; and sharing your content in multiple formats is important, too.
Blogging (that is, weB Logging) used to be all about words on the page. Now there is plogging (photo blogging) and vlogging (video blogging). Offering a range of content will keep your audience interested and more eager to follow you.
For example, 70% of people prefer to consume information visually, so they will prefer content such as video, images, PowerPoint presentations, infographics and so on. Post videos at YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr. Post images at Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. It will take a while to build up your account, but once people start finding you, they should be impressed with all you have to offer.
Take the Time to Create Impressive Online Profiles
When you are first starting, the pressure is off because no one will be looking to you for new content all the time. Therefore, make the most of the opportunity to create a really robust user profile and pages that will impress people when they finally do encounter your brand and business. Add current pictures of you. Fill in your achievements. List your accomplishments. Take the time to build out your online profiles fully, so they are ready when people do start finding you.
Create Content You Know Will Be Shareable
Before you start your site or blog, you should do enough research to know:
1. Who your target audience is
2. What problems they have
3. What competitors they are turning to now for information and products
4. What social networks they spend time at
Create content that “speaks” directly to the needs of your audience. Create it in a format that they will get excited about.
For example, you could create a free special report or ecourse about an important topic in your niche. Create a subscriber page so they can get the information in exchange for their email address. This page is commonly referred to as a squeeze page.
In the welcome email, thank them for their interest and encourage them to share the squeeze page URL with anyone who might be interested in the course or content.
Promote the free item on social media, and encourage them to like and share.
It can take time, but consistent effort will help you create a site that your target audience will discover and come to value for your great content, products and services.
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