Building an audience involves a lot of trial and error.
But those who wish to have their own audiences make the effort because having a group of individuals who look forward to getting your content is an extremely valuable asset.
Your audience members are the most likely to become customers or clients because they have gotten to know, like, and trust you through the value you already offer them — before any money has been exchanged.
Although every content marketing journey of trial and error is different, your personal story likely shares a common thread with your peers’ paths …
Content creators influence each other
A few years ago, I wrote about an impressive YouTube channel called Pick Up Limes.
A dietician named Sadia Badiei created Pick Up Limes and began posting videos about nutrition, travel, minimalism, and productivity at the beginning of 2017. By the end of that year, she had more than 650,000 subscribers.
Now, in 2020, she has more than three million subscribers.
I discovered the channel after a damn good headline on my YouTube home page caught my eye. All of the videos I binge-watched in a short period of time were professional and polished, and I knew I’d check out new content from Sadia in the future as well.
I also noticed a lot of similarities to another YouTube channel I followed called Jenny Mustard.
So, it was no surprise that by the middle of 2017 Sadia collaborated with Jenny and mentioned that Jenny’s content-creation style influenced the videos on the Pick Up Limes channel.
The business of creativity
Sadia didn’t just stay a fan — a consumer — of Jenny’s content; she transformed from a Fan to a Fanatic to a Fantastic Content Creator.
Your favorite content creators all decided to shed their old selves in order to grow. And your favorite content is a direct product of time dedicated to learning and studying.
It’s a process, and it’s one everyone in the business of creativity knows well.
Let’s review the three phases.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this phase.
Not only do savvy content marketers know the value of their fans, there’s no substitute for the passion and enthusiasm that comes with being a Fan.
When you’re a Fan, you’re also uniquely positioned to learn a lot about content creation.
You’ll notice that your favorite publishers:
- Follow a consistent posting schedule
- Ask for feedback
- Try out new content types and topics
You might regularly comment on content, participate in LinkedIn group discussions, or attend free webinars.
You know you’ve entered into the Fanatic phase when you say:
“I think I could do something like that …”
You’re ready to admit to yourself that, deep down, you’ve had the desire to create Your Own Things all along. 🙂
The content and communities you explored as a Fan have propelled you to start seriously studying everything you need and want to learn.
You’ll feel good about diving in and uncovering your own style.
Fantastic Content Creator
Now you have your own publishing platform, but the truth about content is that you can always get better at creating it.
You may be a Fantastic Content Creator, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to produce your next project — and there’s no guarantee that it will be effective either.
So, these three phases aren’t actually separate. Success comes from simultaneously embodying all of them.
Fantastic Content Creators need to remain Fans, and they definitely need to stay Fanatics about their work.
There’s no complacency in content marketing.
Not sure what to do next?
Are you ready to grow, but don’t know what you should do first?
Like I wrote in the introduction of this article, your content marketing journey is going to involve a lot of trial and error.
But taking just one step to learn a new skill can give you the momentum you need to be confident about experimenting and figuring out what works for you and your audience.