Online businesses need social media followers to succeed. Find the steps in building this key audience below.
When building an online venture, you need to generate an audience. And you create that audience by putting on a show, or in this space, creating great content. Otherwise, you’ll never be discovered in this online universe that’s filled with millions of star businesses.
Entrepreneur.com interviewed more than 100 intelligent entrepreneurs, discovering a trend in building audiences and then turning those audiences into profitable businesses.
Below are the SIX STEPS in building a large audience and then monetizing them:
1. BLOG and keep BLOGGING
The key to reaching your audience is blogging. If you haven’t started, then get on it now! But don’t just write up some cheap sales ad about a product and expect readers to hand over their hard earned paychecks. Try to teach them something new, empower them with knowledge and be transparent when dealing with consumers. Individuals who enjoy your blog will become your best salespeople.
Even the numbers back this up. 90 percent of the guests on Hack the Entrepreneur blog attribute their success to their blogs and writing.
Similar to blogging, podcasting is another powerful medium in which you tell a story to your audience. By having them listen to you directly, you are building a relationship with them which involves trust. That all important trust can lead to future sales.
Podcasting is already popular and it’s gaining momentum as more and more people have access to it. A third of Americans listen to podcasts and several platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and WordPress make it easier for consumers to find you.
Know the costs of advertising on television or radio? It’s expensive. With podcasting, it’s a fraction of that figure.
Webinars are targeted seminars via the web that can reach a large audience, building up relationships with potential consumers while collecting the all important email lists.
Key advantages to holding a webinar is its cost effectiveness as you don’t have to set up at a huge venue to reach a large audience. Planning ahead can increase the number of attendees as individuals will likely share webinar information with their own network.
It might not be easy to master the platform, but careful planning and an effective presentation can provide plenty of value for both you and the consumer.
4. BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST
How do you get consumers to come back to your business after they’ve visited you? Reach out to them with effective email marketing.
Most people won’t give out their phone numbers, nor do they want to receive a call from you. If you’ve built up a relationship and trust with your audience, they will want to hear from you, if you have something valuable to tell them. Collecting email lists can be simple, cost-effective and the least obtrusive way to gather information.
Your email list will be your most valuable asset, so make sure you get it. Staying in contact so your audience doesn’t forget about you is key to creating recurring revenue.
5. USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO BE SOCIAL
One of the most egregious mistakes businesses make is using social media to shove products down their audiences throat. We are deluged with so much information these days, we’ve all become experts at content surfing.
Even though there are multiple platforms in the social media space, find your audience using only two of those channels and use them effectively, creating simple yet creative ways to tell your story.
As Gary Vaynerchuk said in his bestselling book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, “A story is at its best when it’s not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform’s consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer’s path to making a purchase.”
Don’t spread yourself thin and put up signs on every street. Focus leads to efficiency.
6. BE HUMAN
When you are building an audience, find out their needs and figure out ways to help them instead of viewing them as an ATM. A relationship is not a one way street in which you offer and they buy, although that would be extremely convenient. Audiences want to be heard so be more interested than interesting.
Per Entrepreneur, these six points have proven to be most effective in building audiences and businesses. To become successful, you don’t have to utilize all six of these steps, just focus on the steps that most effectively work for your business.