People are addicted to attention but they shouldn’t be. They should be focused on growing an audience instead. Attention can help build you an audience but it is not equal to having it nor is it equal to earning revenue from it, not for many small business owners anyway.
How You Should Define An Audience?
An audience isn’t the number of people who like your latest IG photo or even know your name. It’s the number of people you can reach out to at any time on your owned platforms because you have developed ways to do just that. The big social media giants do this all the time, many times very unethically. As a small business owner, you can take the good parts of their strategy and kick the bad to the curb.
So grow your social media for sure, go after the likes and the shares and the comments but know that once you do, you also have a responsibility to move that attention from something that is fleeting to something more secure.
So How Do You Collect An Audience?
Collecting an audience starts with your content. Consistency matters too because you have to be visible on social media or have the money to drive traffic to your blog etc., but let’s start with the Zuckerbergs of the world. Content on social media has a magnetic-like attraction. It’s was designed like that to pull people to the various pieces of real estate (your social media) you have on the Internet.
It’s good and bad at the same time.
It’s good because attention is the forerunner to audience building (remember though not equal to).
It’s bad because if you don’t have a strategy in place to take that attention and turn it into an audience, then you’re chasing something that is not tangible. It’s plain and simple, the wrong metric.
You see YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin are like apartment buildings. You rent them but you don’t own them.
What they give you on their free buffet table, they take away in the lack of a deep connection to your audience. On average, for every post you put on your rented platforms only 3-6 % of your audience see it.
These public platforms own your data and they reserve the right to do anything they want that dictates how you interact on their Feeds. Also, they can close the door on you and kick you off the platform anytime they want.
That’s why moving your audience into a space that you own should be what you strive for every single day.
Here’s my formulae to move from attention to audience:
1 Hour Posting→ 2 Hours Engaging → 6 Hours building or fine tuning your owned real estate.
Concensus: for every hour you spend creating posts to win attention, double down on that to create: Landing Pages, Click Funnels, Email lists, Newsletters, Apps.
Why Most People Won’t Do What Is Required To Build An Email List
Attention is addictive. That’s it. That’s the reason most people won’t invest the time in building their real estate. Free attention is easy.
Julian Shapiro, one of my favourite bloggers on the topic of vanity metrics, says. “We chase vanity metrics because they’re visible and easy.”
They occur sooner, they require fewer steps to accomplish. This makes them easier.
He says: “We rarely recognize when we’re focused on vanity metrics because society normalizes them.” When everyone’s showing off how many books they’ve read, how pretty they are, how perfect their day is we internalize this as a worthy goal for ourselves.
In short, “we inherit society’s most visible goals then we don’t challenge them!”
The Real Danger In Not Building An Audience
So Arii with 2.6 million followers could not sell 36 T-shirts a few years ago because she had tons of attention but no audience, but also Meerkat, once a thriving video streaming platform also learned the same lesson, the hard way.
Early on, they hitched their wagon to Twitter who gave them access to their graph so user’s followers could get pinged whenever they went live.
Then one day Twitter said no, you can’t have our audience graph. Twitter had built a competing app, Periscope. Guess what happened to Meerkat? Yep, they went belly up.
Instagram grew quickly on the backs of Facebook and Twitter, and YouTube did it with My Space. Both Instagram and YouTube are massive Silicon Valley success stories and command their audiences and revenue streams because they own them.
See why collecting and moving audience should be your number 1 strategy?
Some Practical Steps
Moving your audience does not have to be hard but it does take a mindset shift. You have to want to do the work. Here are some practical steps.
1) Create a landing page (once you do one, create multiple pages or multiple campaigns that drive people to the page)
Users find you on your rented platforms via the content you create. Your next step is to make them part of your audience. You need them to cross the street from their apartment building and take the boat to your private islands. If you are smart, you’ll teach them to build islands of their own but that’s another story.
Sharing My Own Secrets And Strategies
Personally, the majority of my new audience growth is being focused on my private Facebook group. I then make it easy for people to cross over to the islands I own. I make sure there are no sharks in the water, no stumbling blocks so the crossing becomes easy.
I have created landing pages, and funnels and I move my perfect people (a Rachel Miller term) to an email list where I offer hardcore value.
So let’s put it all together.
Start by attracting attention on public platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, Tik Tok etc. via exceptional content creation. Then, help your audience cross over onto your private platforms so you can add value to your contacts. Nobody can take this away from you. When you have an audience you’ll have a valuable online business. Attention on social media should only be the segue.
It’s time to get off the wrong high!