How To: Build and Maintain an Audience
When I left the Audience Conference on Saturday evening, I felt I had learned something. Truly learned something new. I cannot say the same is true for every conference I attend unfortunately. Often times when I leave a conference, I either haven’t learned anything (but I still typically meet some interesting and great people) or I have just had ideas or things I’ve known reinforced. To me, that isn’t beneficial. I’m going to outline some key ideas and advice that I was able to take away from the conference with the hope it can help you build and maintain an audience as well.
Be passionate. This is something I have always said as well. If you are passionate about what you do, people will take note. Of course, being passionate and having knowledge on the particular subject can go a very long way. It’s also worth mentioning that if you are passionate about what you are doing, you will continue to do it even if no one is reading, listening to, or watching you; because it’s something you enjoy. That’s important.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone or outside of “the norm”. Chris Pearson from DIYThemes (the creator of Thesis) discussed this topic yesterday at the conference. What makes people remarkable? What makes someone admire another person? Chris believes a lot of it has to do with people’s abilities to do things that may be out of most other people’s comfort zones. I think that makes sense. It’s a concept which I never really considered before, but the more I think about it – the more sense it makes. For example, let’s say you want to do something, but for whatever the reason you can’t or you can’t do it well. I would be willing to bet that 9 times out of 10 you know someone who can do it or can do it better than you. And of course, you wish you could be like them because what they are doing is remarkable. It’s outside of “the norm”. If you want to get people’s attention you need to step outside of that comfort zone and challenge yourself to grow.
Don’t sell to your audience. Sell to the people who are just passing by. This is something Chris Brogan talked about. Not only is it intriguing – it’s genius. You will have the most success making money off people who are simply passing by your site. Of course, this is opposed to making money off the people who contribute and engage on your site (your audience). You don’t want to make your audience feel like you are selling them out – that’s super important. Chris also discussed informing your audience before making major changes. People seem to be more receptive to things they know are coming at them ahead of time.
If you mess up, don’t give up. If things don’t go as planned, there is always another blog post, video, podcast, show, etc. However, that being said, if you do mess up, look at what went wrong and evaluate it. Make the necessary improvements so it doesn’t happen next time. Re-read your post two-times, three-times, as many times as necessary. The same goes for a video or audio podcast. Jason Calacanis highly recommends sending your content to people you trust for reviewing so you can receive honest feedback. And after you have done all that, when you feel it’s perfect – that’s when you hit publish.
When Jason Calacanis was on stage, Loren asked him what is second to quality. His response? “Second to quality is quality”. The trend today seems to be quantity over quality. Jason believes that quality will prevail in the long run. I completely agree. There are too many sites out there today which are racing to finish line to be first and while this method works for short term gain, it isn’t as favorable for long term gain. At the end of the day, people will pick quality over quantity.
Do you have any of your own tips to add? Feel free to leave a comment!