35:8 How to build your audience (and why)
In order to build influence, generate leads and grow our agencies need to build an audience. An audience is a group of people that are aware of you and whom consume your content.
Lee Matthew Jackson
As you build your platform and attract your ideal customers (your audience) you will find you begin to generate leads to your services and sales to your products.
You will learn
This this episode I will unpack the following.
What is an audience
Those that are aware of you, your message, your brand and your products/services.
Your audience avatar
Your ideal client. The persons that have the problems you solve and would benefit the most from your information and your products/services/
Focusing on creating content that gives your audience quick wins and helps them on their journey whilst also becoming a person of value they gravitate towards.
Our content needs to be promoted. We can do this through targeted ads, being a guest for other communities, speaking and more.
Calls to action
Your content should educate, demonstrate your persona and include clear calls to action. What action should your audience member take as a result of consuming that piece of content?
Reviewing and evolving
As you develop your platform, build your audience and get to know your tribe you well get a better udnerstand of their needs. This allows you to evolve and refine your messaging to continue to attract your ideal clients.
What prompted this episode
Over the years I’ve seen businesses try to promote themselves via the audience of other people. They will hijack Facebook groups, comment threads and other platforms. Results from these tactics are limited and they begin to develop the wrong image in a community. The best way to generate leads/sales for their product/service is to invest in building their tribe.
Show up, add value, build your community, nurture and grow.
The live stream
Welcome to the Agency Trailblazer podcast, this is your host Lee, and on today’s show, I share with you a very important message from my live stream today. You can check out all of the live streams I do over on leematthewjackson.com/live.
Good morning. We are live. My name is Lee Matthew Jackson and you are joining me as we discuss how to build your audience and why you need to. Before we get into the main points, let me set the scene. You are a business. You are an agency owner. You have products or services that you need to sell. You have a target client that you need to reach and there are many ways to reach them. You can do that through paid advertising. You can do that through networking. There are courses galore online on how to generate leads.
On the flip side, I would say as a business you need to build an audience and we’re going to look at what an audience is. We’re going to talk about your audience avatar, we’ll look at content creation, promotion, the call to actions and all those sorts of things. But you, as an agency owner, as a business, need an audience of your ideal clients. I’d encourage you not to go to other people’s audiences and jump in the comment threads or try and post in other people’s groups or in other people’s platforms to attract your ideal client, but actually to become the authority to become the person of trust, to become the person of value that people go to, to become the person that is first front of mind the moment they think of somebody who has your expertise.
This live is born out of a frustration that I’ve had over many years where people have showed up both in my community and in many other communities, trying to position themselves with authority to my audience or to other people’s audience. Straight away, trying to sell rather than trying to be a person of value, rather than trying to put the work in themselves and building their own audience. I would say it is far more effective to create an audience for yourself of people that know I can trust you to show up and be a person of value to those people. You are far more likely to make sales. You are far more likely to engage people with your products, engage people with the services that you have to offer. You are far more likely to be able to add value into their lives to solve the problems that they have and to make real change.
So this is a call to action and an encouragement to you to begin to build your own audience and do not try and piggyback of other peoples. Now, I know 99% of people watching this today will not be that person. But I see it all the time, since we’ve switched our group over to approval only, I’ve been consistently having to deny posts where people are trying to position themselves with authority to an audience that they have no reason to be doing so. For example, my audience in the Agency Trailblazer Community is design agencies, design agency owners, web developers, web designers. It’s very, very specific. These are small businesses who maybe have a four to five team members at most, and they are looking to grow their business and they’re looking to fall in love with their business again because they find it stressful. It’s a very clear demographic and yet we will have people trying to submit posts that would position themselves with authority to try and sell something that is irrelevant to my target audience. So, yes, I will hit that deny button.
So what I’d like to do really is to talk through the basics of building your own audience, creating your own community, creating a tribe of people that know like and trust you and that want to spend money with you because they know that you will help them solve their problems. They know that you will help them achieve achieve those dreams and those aspirations.
So let’s take a little look through and the first thing we’ll talk on is what is an audience? People will often consider an audience to be people who listen to a podcast or people who watch a live stream like this or subscribe to our YouTube channel. And that is correct. However, I would actually say that your audience are people who are aware of you. They’re aware of your message. They’re aware of your brand. They’re aware of your product or service. Therefore, your audience need not be a subscriber to a YouTube channel. They do not need to be a follower of your social media. They do not need to be a listener to your podcast. They could be somebody who is aware of you, aware of the content that you’re putting out across multiple channels, aware of you locally, aware of you through other people, and aware of what you stand for and what you teach and what problems you solve and what aspirations that you help people achieve.
So your audience are those people who are aware of you. And like I said, they can be aware of you in multiple channels, not just on Facebook, not just a podcast. So I would encourage you right now if you’re thinking I don’t have an audience, you already do. Your clients are already your audience. The people who are already aware of you are your audience. You already have an audience. You can already begin to serve your audience rather than thinking you need to show up in other places. What you need to do is to build your platform to stand up and say, Hey, I am me, I do this, I’m freaking awesome. I know what I’m doing. I can help you. You have this problem. You have this dream. I can help you. It’s on you to start to serve the audience. The people that are already aware of you. That is your audience. That is your tribe. That’s your community. Those are the people that you should be focusing on. You should be showing up on your platform with your messaging that is targeted to your audience to help build your tribe, to help build your community, to build your authority and to attract people to you, to your brand, to your product, to your service. You absolutely can do this. So your audience are the people that are aware of you.
Now, let’s look at how we build that audience, and the first thing we’re going to do is define our audience avatar. I already explained to you the type of people that are in my Facebook group. If we switch that over to the podcast where I’ve created a platform where I’m offering education each and every week in this live stream will become the podcast as well. Then I know the type of listener I know that my listener has 15 to 20 minutes of time to listen, they may be commuting, which is obviously not happening as much at the moment during covid. But back when we launched, we recognized that people would use their commute time to listen to something of interest that spoke to the problems and the aspirations that they had as an agency owner. So it was very clear to me what my audience was.
Therefore, I knew exactly who I needed to attract as a guest. I also needed also knew exactly what I needed to show up and talk about. This live stream, this podcast is exactly what my target audience need to hear at this point. And I do hope that this encourages you and helps you recognize that you do already have that audience. But you can see here that I understand who my target audience is. I am building my platform based on a very specific audience avatar. And funnily enough, your audience avatar is your client avatar. Those are the people that you can serve, those people that you can solve the problems of those people that you can help achieve amazing things. You can help their dreams come true. As cliche as that sounds, you are that person. So your audience avatar is your ideal client.
For context, if we imagine when I started the podcast, I started the podcast to educate agency owners to help them build an agency that they loved. I also offered a service through Angled Crown that would help relieve some of the pressure of agency life. So I showed up as a person of value. I provided value. I also had a service that I could offer and that therefore generated leads because my perfect client was listening to the podcast that I created, the audience Avatar, the client Avatar. It’s the same thing. And that is how I began to generate leads by building my audience, by showing up as a person of value and providing value.
Let’s take a look at content creation. If you are building your your brand, your building, your tribe, your building, your audience, you’re going to want to show up and create content that will serve the people you are trying to reach. I’ll say that again, when you are building your platform, you want to show up in the right places and provide content that will serve the people that you want to reach. That’s helping them to solve those niggling issues that they have, helping them to achieve things they’ve never achieved before or always dreamed of achieving. That content creation need again not be a podcast or a YouTube channel. You can show up where your audience is. You could show up by doing one blog a week or a month, maybe 12 blogs in an entire year.
We interviewed Pinpoint yesterday on the Cloudways Mavericks call, And they said they had 12 blog posts and they had generated from those absolutely tons and tons of traffic just through 12 blog posts that they popped up on their website last year. There are many different ways that you can show up with content and build your audience, and that’s not through other people’s platforms. That’s by developing your own platform, by building your own brand, by being the person that stands for something very specific.
You stand for an industry. You stand for a type of people. You stand for you stand for those problems, those dreams, everything that you stand for. You build your platform on that and you can then create content through multiple channels. That could be blog posts, that could be through social media to eatables. It could be through your Instagram story. There are many ways that you can build your audience, you can build the trust, you can share your message. Just show up where those people are. Don’t make it complicated. Don’t make it a thing where you overcommit yourself and thus give in and thus try and hijack other people’s audiences. Again, I know I am only talking to a very few people when I say that. So 99 percent of you are nodding profusely, as I say all of this.
Once you’ve created your content, though, that content should be in alignment with what your audience avatar are looking for and what we often forget when we’ve created our content is to promote it.
So let’s talk about content promotion. We had a guest on years ago, I think his name was Colin, and he came on the podcast and he talked about content marketing. I’ll go and find it later on and I’ll put a link in the show notes. He said that people will often focus on creating content for content marketing, but they’ll forget about the marketing. And that kind of sucks, we create something and expect people to come and they don’t show up, and then that motivates us and we stop doing what is good for us and what is good for our business.
So when we create content either on social media, showing up as a speaker somewhere, wherever it’s going to be, we should be looking at promoting what we are doing, promoting the activities we’re engaging with, promoting the content that we are creating for people. And we can do that through a whole range of mediums that can be through social media, through paid ad campaigns, also showing up as a guest on other people’s platforms so you can show up on a livestream as a guest, you can show up on a podcast as a guest. You can still utilize other people’s audiences and attract some of those people that would be an ideal client for you. But in a way that you show up as you, you show up with your persona, you show up with the value, you show up as a person of value, rather than showing up as somebody who is literally trying to sell something to other people. And that method is not a way that produces results.
In our content, we should be looking at how we encourage people to take action and our calls to action and content need not to be the sell. Our calls to actions in our content can be a call for our audience to take action, to take action for themselves, those small, quick wins that will create significant change in their business. What we’ve done there is we’ve shown up as a person of value, we’ve shown up with value and we’ve given them something that they can go ahead and do and apply to their business, and that’s when they will begin to see real change. So rather than us trying to hijack other people’s audiences, rather than us trying to go in straight away for the sell, we can become a person of value. If we can create content that is significant, that helps other people where they do get those quick wins, the natural progression is for those people to know like and trust you. For those people to become a part of your tribe and for those people to want to spend with you to invest their money with you because they know you are a person of value. They know that you are somebody who can get them results.
So I would encourage you to begin to build your platform. Look at your audience, Avatar and your client Avatar evolve that create content that speaks to your audience avatar. Promote that content to grow your audience and to grow your tribe and create content that includes call to actions, not necessarily to your own products and services, but call to actions for your audience to create that real change that you want them to create in their business because that is where you will build the tribe. That is where people will know, like and trust you because you are known as a person of value who shows up with real value.
As we come in to land, as we build our platform, we need to consistently review. We can review and evolve based on the feedback that we receive from the community, from the audience that we begin to build. As we understand what their problems are as they communicate back with us in comments in social media and comments on the blog and feedback on the podcast episode, in feedback on the YouTube channel, etc. We can start to understand our target audience even more and create even more specific content and calls to actions and products and services that will help and support the community that we are building.
This is the most effective way to market your business. I have fallen into that trap many years ago of thinking that I had to show up in other places, I would go to events and try and make sales. I would go to other people’s Facebook groups and try and make sales. I did this a very long time ago and it was absolutely exhausting and i rarely got a sale. Even if I did, the quality of the client wasn’t right because they were not my target audience.
That was when I realized I needed to build my platform, I needed to understand what I stood for, I needed to show up as me, like I’ve said multiple times, as a person of value with my persona, people getting to know who the real Lee Matthew Jackson is, and what he stands for. Building a platform that will allow people to learn and to make significant change in their business by just doing some small achievable actions, those quick wins that make significant change. By building that platform, by building that community, that tribe that is what has led to the consistent growth of both of my businesses, both Agency Trailblazer, where we sell courses, where we sell event tickets, and also in Event Engine where we sell a platform for event organizers. We have grown by building our platform, by showing up as us and growing our community, by growing our tribe with us being the central point rather than us trying to jump in on other communities.
So I would encourage you today and I would say that you do need to build your audience. You already have an audience that are the people who are already aware of you and it’s now on you to build your platform, to stand on your own feet and to grow a community that will both help change the people’s lives that you want to serve and, of course, help you to grow your business through selling products and services that are going to help your target audience.
All right. You can tell my dad was a preacher. I have gone on for 18 minutes without a breath. So let’s take a look at some of the comments. Nick says, oh, man, this really needed to be said. Tristan says amen. Tristan also says all about showing up and staying in front of mind, but there is an etiquette for sure to do it right. Amen. Tanya says hey Lee, how do you define an agency? An agency is however you want to define it, believe it or not. So an agency, as far as I am concerned, would be a business that is focused on, say, web development or web design or social media or whatever that may look like. And even if you are a person of one, if there is a team of you that are solving a problem, I’m perfectly happy with you calling that an agency. I guess the word agency is a name. Tristan says here most people struggle with finding the time to create content. That’s correct, absolutely. Tristan says you can show up in people’s groups. Just don’t be a douche that keeps pitching your own work, be genuinely helpful without expecting sales. And Treston then is agreeing and saying, amen.
Folks, if you want to find out what everybody was saying, then you can head on over. If you’re listening to the podcast right now, you can head on over to leematthewjackson.com/live and go and check out this particular live stream. You can also watch our back catalogue of live streams. Thank you, everybody, for watching. If you are watching the replay, please let me know by typing in the word replay.
As we wrap up this live stream and the podcast recording, I would say thank you very much to Cloudways you can check them out over on cloudways.com for sponsoring this episode of the Agency Trailblazer podcast. They power all of our websites across both of my businesses and I would not use anybody else. In my experience, their support has been amazing and most importantly, the performance of their service for the high demand projects that we have has been second to none. So I encourage you to check them out.
If you are not part of our Facebook group, you can check that out over on trailblazer.fm/group. Thanks for watching or thanks for listening. Have a wonderful day.