How to Build An Audience From Scratch

August 4, 2020

In this podcast episode, we are covering how to build an audience from scratch.

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

“You need to build an audience of people to sell to!” – says every marketer, ever.

“BUT HOW?!”, I hear you cry.

Building your audience – especially when you are just starting out – can feel overwhelming, frustratingly slow and plain difficult to do.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to build a larger audience, it’s useful to remember that EVERYONE starts from scratch.

You. Me. Gary Vee. Joe Rogan.

EVERYONE.

We all started with zero followers, zero email list, and zero customers and clients.

The most important thing is that you START.

In today’s podcast episode, we are covering three ways to build your audience – whether you’re starting from scratch, or you’re ready to take your audience growth to the next level.

Build An Audience

Three Ways to Build An Audience From Scratch

There are three approaches that you can take to grow your audience online.

  1. Build: This involves content marketing – providing useful, valuable content consistently that builds your ‘know-like-trust’ factor over time.
  2. Borrow: This involves borrowing an audience from other people and businesses with an established platform.
  3. Buy: This doesn’t mean buy in the sense that you are buying followers or buying someone’s email list; it involves paid advertising to supercharge your growth.

1. Build An Audience

What is it?

Firstly, you can build your audience. This involves content marketing – providing useful, valuable content consistently that builds your ‘know-like-trust’ factor over time. This is also known as organic marketing.

It is recommended that you use ONE social media platform and ONE core content channel to build your audience, rather than trying to be everywhere at once!

By focusing on just one social media platform and one core content channel you will be able to focus better on the things that matter – content with clarity and impact that shows results.

Pros

Most importantly (and valuable when you’re a new business with less money than time!), content marketing is free – at least, from a monetary perspective if you are doing it yourself.

The other huge benefit of content marketing is that it usually results in a very warm audience who know you, like you and trust you.

Cons

While building your audience might not cost money, it certainly costs you in time. As your business grows, it can be difficult to find the time it takes to create consistent, high quality content.

It can also be a slow burn, and will take a longer time to build your audience than running ads or borrowing from other audiences.

2. Borrow An Audience

What is it?

This involves borrowing an audience from other people and businesses with an established platform.

It usually requires you to have established some of your own audience, so it isn’t recommended until you have the build stage sorted.

Examples

Guest Podcasting (appearing as a guest on other peoples podcasts) affiliate partnerships and joint ventures, collaborating with similar but non competing businesses to cross pollinate your audiences.

Pros

You’ll get more exposure that you could get on your own if you are strategic with the people you choose to collaborate with. It can also be a great way to develop relationships.

Cons

Collaborating takes time. Coordinating multiple schedules can be hard and takes a lot of work and communication. If you decide to use the borrow strategy to build your audience, make sure to allow enough time in the planning phase to organise multiple schedules.

3. Buy An Audience

What is it?

This doesn’t mean buy in the sense that you are buying followers or buying someone’s email list; it involves paid advertising to supercharge your growth. The buy strategy includes (but is not limited to) Facebook Ads and influencer marketing. If you’re ready to scale your business, Facebook Ads (or, other forms of paid advertising) are going to do it more than anything else.

Starting with paid advertising, such as Facebook and Instagram Ads, without first putting effort into building your audience isn’t recommended.

Why? Because running ads without first refining your content strategy, creating content people love, and building up your own platform will make it harder to effectively run ads.

Pros

The one big benefit of the buy strategy is that it is time effective; however, the down side is that it costs money. If you’re ready to scale, buying traffic and audiences is the way to do it.

Cons

Runnings Facebook Ads may seem like the secret sauce, but unfortunately the quality of traffic isn’t as high as with organic marketing and building your audiences the slower way. Facebook Ads can sometimes result in lower conversion rates as a result.

You also need to make sure you have a solid offer that converts.

So, there you have it. Three ways to to grow your audience from scratch.

Choose the mix that works for you, your skills, and the time and resources you have.

As you grow in your business – the strategy you choose and utilise will change.

My recommendation? Starting with building your audience with one core content channel and one social media channel, and then move onto borrow and finally buy strategies when you’re a little further along.

Looking for a way to start building your audience RIGHT NOW?

Head over to the Stevie Says Social Instagram @steviesayssocial to join my FREE 30 day Show Up On Stories Challenge – where I provide story prompts, design hacks and tricks, and insight on how you can leverage your Instagram Story Highlights.

Links and Resources:

Mentioned in This Episode:

Other Free Resources:

  • Want to start a podcast? Check out my free INSTANT ACCESS masterclass now. Click here.
  • Want to create a signature online course? Download the free checklist with everything you need to know. Click here.

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