- How do I build my email list?
- How do I get more podcast listeners?
- How do I get more website traffic?
- How do I rank higher on search engines?
- How do I get more YouTube subscribers?
All these questions have the same answer, and in my experience, it isn't what you want to hear.
The real question at the root of all of these:
Question: How Do I Get A Large and Engaged Loyal Audience?
Best Answer: Build and sell a product that you can profitably advertise at scale.
You may not believe me but don't worry I'm prepared to back up my claim and provide a roadmap.
There are three ways to build a large and engaged audience.
While I do feel that selling a product at scale is the easiest way to build an audience I must admit that there are other options. I just feel it is the easiest of the three methods.
Option 1: Be among the first in your market/niche on that platform. In almost every industry, you can go on YouTube and find a dozen or so channels that are very large. Often you might watch their content and ask yourself WHY they are so popular. The answer is often; they were an early adopter.
Today the odds are very low of you starting a YouTube channel in your industry and just taking off because you think you are as good as or better than the other giants already on YouTube in your industry.
YouTube is cluttered. It's been done. The low hanging fruit is gone.
This attitude is the equivalent of thinking you can be bigger than McDonald's because you can make a better hamburger.
For Option 1 to work you either need to be among the first voices in a new market or conversation or you need to be among the early adopters on a new platform that doesn't have great market penetration yet. Good luck.
Option 2: Do something so different, wild, interesting, entertaining that despite being late to the game people notice and share.
Sound hard? It is. Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to break through the clutter and it rarely works.
Option 3: Sell a product.
A Product Offering Saves the Day
If you can predictably break even or be profitable selling a product online by running advertising for that product, then you can scale that to some degree and acquire customers.
Customers = Audience.
Resource: Machine Builders
And not just any audience… buyers. People who are willing to put in a credit card number to buy a product in your industry. There is no better audience than a group of past and current customers.
So, as a content creator who wants to build a large audience for whatever reason; consider that the answer to your problem might be building and selling a product at scale… even if you only break even.
But I Just Want to Be An Influencer I Don't Want to Sell Stuff
This is an understandable sentiment. Afterall, you want to grow your audience not go into business right?
You can always take a run at options 1 and 2 above but your odds of success are very low and I have to ask, what is the end goal of growing your audience anyway?
Isn't your intent to monetize that audience by getting sponsors or companies willing to give you product and money? So your end objective is to go into business anyway right?
Why not accelerate that by creating or finding a product you can sell online at SCALE. Something you can advertise and still break even or be profitable selling.