5 Ways to Build A Quality Audience

In response to yesterday’s post, a few people asked me what are some better ways to find an audience? To answer that, I’d like you to look beyond simply adding people to your fan base. Quality is always better than quantity. Twitter followers are often unknown, not targeted, not local, and have unknown motives.

You can’t realistically think of your Twitter followers as a known entity. They’re more like magazine subscribers. You likely have little or no idea how many of them comprise those people who are likely to become clients, regular readers, or even legitimate “fans.” In all likelihood, some of your followers are simply collecting followers, with no real intent or purpose.

Lance Armstrong and 50 Cent each have more than 300,000 Twitter followers. In their cases, we can legitimately think of their followers as fans because we already know they have massive amounts of fans, but how many non-celebrity people have that? It’s a fair bet to say that the vast majority of Twitter users do not have a fan base in real life, at least not one that extends beyond their family and friends.

So, what’s the point? The point is that unless you already have celebrity status, a Twitter following is not going to help you build the strongest of quality audiences. Gaining followers on Twitter is popular simply because it requires little effort, but the vast majority of followers you will get are not terribly focused. Here are five better ways to build an audience.

5 Ways to Build A Quality Audience

1. Hands down, the best way to build an audience is with a good old fashioned marketing plan. Marketing is hard work, but it consistently yields positive results, particularly when you surround yourself with a solid plan devised by people who can objectively see what you may not. The first step here is to decide what kind of audience you truly want. Have you ever thought about that? It’s a simple rule: Begin with the end in mind.

2. Do something remarkable, and people will seek you out and follow you. Make your product or service outstanding. Become known for premiere customer service, a la Zappos, or make a name for yourself in any number of unique ways.

3. Look for a large targeted audience, such as you might find in an online or print magazine, then advertise in it. There are thousands from which to choose, with several for nearly any target market. While advertising costs money, there is simply no other way put strong messages in front of a large, captive audience as quickly as you can with advertising.

4. Build or buy a list. Building a quality list takes elbow grease, research, and time. If you are buying a list or lists, you can drill down on very specific characteristics, and it is important to take the time to do just that.

5. Stick to your guns. Once you set a plan, stick to it! Believe in it. Be agile, yet, do not let naysayers deter you from the path you have set for reaching your goals. How many times have you set a plan, followed the first few steps, then let someone steer you off path until you lose focus? Trust your gut, trust the people you work with, and stick to your plan. It’s the resulting consistency that breeds trust and confidence in you and your brand, and leads to a high quality audience, mailing list or customer list.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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