You shouldn’t think about growing your audience.
Actually, let me rephrase that: You shouldn’t focus on growing your audience.
Especially if focusing on growing your audience leads to superficial goals, such as clicks and views … from people who are not the right fit for your business and will never buy from you.
I think you should get better at converting the interested prospects who are already paying attention to your content.
It can be a liberating notion that ties up the age-old content marketing challenge of how to serve your existing followers while attracting new people.
Because serving your loyal folks will naturally draw more like-minded people to your content, rather than just anyone.
Interested prospects are curious about what you offer because they think they might benefit from it, but you still have to persuade them.
What do interested prospects actually look like and how do you create the right content for them?
You can start by thinking in terms of TIE: Thrill, Inspire, or Educate.
“I’m so glad I signed up for the author’s fan club! I pre-ordered the new book already!”
The quote above is an actual text message I recently received from a friend, along with a screenshot of a book cover.
She really likes these mystery novels she discovered from a self-published author on Amazon and sent the author an email to let her know how much she appreciates her books.
When the author wrote my friend back, she guided her to sign up for her email list (her “fan club”) to be the first to find out when she releases the next installment in the series.
Now, it’s not always this easy, but don’t underestimate the people just waiting to buy from you — sometimes even before you release your product or service.
This author provided content to her mailing list that kept my friend excited about the books, and that type of nurturing led to an instant sale as soon as you could pre-order the book.
My friend also wrote reviews of the books she’s read on Amazon, which helps attract new prospects to the author’s platform.
“I’ve wanted to take swing dancing lessons for a while, and now I’m going to find a class!”
At a party around Thanksgiving, I talked to a great couple dressed to the nines in vintage clothes.
I quickly learned that they swing dance together, and what I immediately loved about them is that they didn’t ramble on and on about it. A few words were exchanged and then our conversation went in a different direction.
See, they didn’t assume I was interested in their hobby. Although they’re passionate about it, it would have been a waste of time for the “wrong prospect” if they got into a lot of details.
But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t wait to circle back to swing dancing when I had the opportunity to mention it!
And once they learned I was an “interested prospect,” they provided a lot of helpful information that inspired me to look into taking classes.
Some people in your audience are the right fit for your business, but they need to know why now is the right time to act. Guide them with your content.
“I’m thinking about renewing my museum membership, but I’m not sure if I’ll frequently use it.”
Several years ago, I cancelled a membership that I had to a local art museum because I wasn’t going there as frequently as I once did.
They’ve sent me a lot of incentives to re-join, but I never gave any of them a second look … until the last one I got in the mail.
Here’s the offer: 30 percent off a yearly membership, if I re-join within 30 days.
But along with the sales letter, the museum included:
- An art print from each of the exhibits during the next 12 months
- A summary of each exhibit, including their dates
- The member perks associated with each exhibit
In this case, the museum needed to do more than inspire me in order to persuade me; they had to educate me about rejoining and show the exact benefits I would receive.
Deepen your appreciation for your existing audience
Even though you want more people to check out your content, you don’t need that huge, “ideal” audience to do great things with your business.
Focus on who’s paying attention to you and how you can speak directly to their needs.
Your original version of “ideal” may not be necessary.