Do you feel like you’re writing blog posts, sharing on your social accounts, and sending emails but no one is listening? It can be frustrating to spend hours creating content only to have it fall on deaf ears. I’ve had more than a few entrepreneurs tell me that they’ve stopped posting because “clearly they aren’t good at it.”
If you’re feeling the same way, here’s some good news. The disconnect likely isn’t that you aren’t good at what you’re doing or that no one is interested. You just aren’t reaching the right audience!
These three steps (and the free download below) will help you identify, attract, and engage the right followers for your business or blog. So get back to writing!
One of the biggest challenges when starting out on your own is narrowing down who you want to work with. The pressure is on to gain clients, the bills may be piling up, and you don’t feel like you have the power to turn ANYONE down. So, you try to attract everyone you can find. But here’s the thing: When you try to speak to everyone, you reach no one.
Think about it. You want your clients and followers to feel connected to you and your brand. You want them to rave about their experience with you. In order to get that connection, you have to whisper just to them instead of shouting to the world. This means knowing as much as possible about your audience. What are they challenged with? What is important to them? Where do they hang out? Who else do they follow?
When you’re specific about your target audience, you can craft your content to be just perfect for them.
It’s impossible to be all things to all people, so narrow it down to being all things to YOUR people. Ask yourself who you actually LIKE working with, who needs your product or service the most, and who will be the most beneficial for your business. Then, write to that person. It can help to create a persona or think about a favorite client when you’re writing to make sure that you’re creating relevant content that appeals to your audience. Not sure where to start in creating your client persona? Check out this worksheet I made to help you build your perfect audience.
Confession time: I struggled really hard with being authentic at the beginning. As I was building my business, I looked around and saw all of the things other coaches did. Super long, emotional, and inspiring emails. Bold promises like “Grow your following by 1,000 in one week!” Facebook ads and blog posts that don’t really TELL you anything. (eyes rolling)
And I tried to do that because I thought that’s what people wanted. And I struggled. Big time.
Now, I want to be clear that there’s nothing wrong with the way other coaches run their business but, for me, I was totally faking it. Luckily, one day I had an epiphany. It had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to read my emails (so I KNOW no one else did). So I sat down and created my promises to my audience:
- There will be less talk about how successful I’ve been and more about how successful YOU’LL be.
- I’ll give you practical, real solutions without the fluff.
- I’m not going to be your best friend, or even your cheerleader, but I WILL give you tough love and I WILL help you grow your business. Because this is what I’m good at.
- I’ll be available. Email me, schedule a call, send me a raven (any other GoT fans?)
- Most importantly, I will be real with you. And help you be real with your audience. Because it’s honestly exhausting if you’re not!
Soon after, I had a call with someone who was interested in business coaching. She was super smart, driven, and I laughed out loud when she cussed on the phone because I knew I had found my people.
You might be struggling with sharing your authentic self – whatever that looks like. I get it. A good place to start is by thinking about what you truly want to communicate to your followers through the words that you say, how you say them, and the content that you share. Write down some “promises” of your own.
All that to say, if you’re struggling with the comparison game and looking at those who are more successful or farther along in their your field, be confident in who you are and what makes you different. Your people are out there – make sure you’re speaking to them!
Once you know who your audience is and begin communicating in a way that is relevant to them, it’s time to keep them engaged! Understand why they followed or subscribed to you and continue to deliver useful content to keep them interested.
The first key to being useful requires you to know your audience’s problems. What do they struggle with? What challenges them? What are they seeking from you? You want to become an integral part of their lives – whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Not sure where to start? Consider creating a survey or focus group to truly understand the wants and needs of your audience. Because the deeper your understanding, the easier it will be for you to take the next step and SOLVE their problems. I’m not saying give them everything up front (though I personally believe in serving rather than selling), but determine what the first problem they are faced with is and go from there. For example, if you’re an artist, before anyone even thinks about buying your art they are faced with the overall challenge of decorating their space. Providing simple interior design guides (that include your work) help address that first step of trying to decide their style.
Think about it as a trail of breadcrumbs leading to your virtual “door.” Use your content to make it as easy as possible for people to take the next step.
Finally, be consistent. You can’t be useful if you email once and then go dark for 6 months! Set a schedule that is realistic for you and stick to it. Then, set expectations with your subscribers. If they know to expect weekly emails from you when they sign up, the likelihood of them unsubscribing drops significantly (especially if you’re continuing to provide useful content).
The value of an engaged following cannot be overstated. Whether you sell a product, service, or just run a blog, the more people that you can reach, the more influence you have. And influence leads to options.
Start by creating your perfect client or follower persona and watch your list grow from there!
Comment below with your perfect clients and we can share ideas for how to reach them.