The secret is to make or do something remarkable and then put some effort into taking the word out.
If you are like me always digging for more, here are some details.
First, why build an audience?
– Because you have something important to talk about
– Because you want to help people — and reaching out is important
– You run a business or plan to launch one in future. It will help get the word out. Do not think it is too late or too early — today is the best day
– You want support for a social cause
– You like the feeling of being known in your community or across the world
– You (actually)want to show an old friend/ex-girl friend/ a relative who did not take you seriously that you are special and she should take note
– Because you want to — up the ante — attract better associates, employees etc.
– Because you want to run for president or prime minister, depending on which country you are in
How to build an audience?
- Create a blog and put valuable content on it; create a marketing plan (really — it is required) and get the word out.
- Use the blog or your website as a showcase and get writing and speaking gigs.
- Speak for (or lead) a group of people — entrepreneurs, authors, and journalists. Do it via an online forum or create a new forum/ website.
- Meet people in person and make connections. Better if your genuine intent is to make connection and help, rest will follow.
- Water the plant of your relationships.
- Use social media presence on twitter and facebook to connect and share. Put relationships before numbers. Focus on one medium/channel first and then move on to the others. For me the current focus is the blog.
- Write and publish a free online book.
- Think big, start small. Focus on building an audience of thousands or millions but start small. Everyone (who is not a celebrity already) does. Start with 5 people, and then move on to ten. If you want to get it fast then use Pay per Click ads or something similar to get people to know about you or your products.
- Ask for help, thank people personally for their help and offer to help.
Even smarter ways
- Write a book, and one more — till your churn out a best seller. Important to sharpen your saw. If you are in a hurry – read about authors whose first book became a bestseller and how they did it?
- Create a global movement like Jennifer Corriero and Michael Furdyk did with “Taking IT Global”
- Do something unusual and interesting — like Chris Guillebeau’s mission of visiting every country in the world. He promoted it through a blog but what he was doing unusual and that spiked the interest. He used his writing to get the word out and later built a successful business on top.
- Do a Paris Hilton or Lady Gaga — more on that later.
How – not to – try and build an audience?
- By spamming people into reading your blog by bulk emailing your latest blog post and latest achievements.
- By re-tweeting your own writing 12 times during a day. That too when your stream shows only 12 tweets for that day.
- By getting into conversations only to hand down your cards during conferences.
- By adding all those you meet and get the business card of — to your newsletter mailing list without asking for their permission.
Hope all or part of this works for you.
What are you doing to build an audience?