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[Article Discussion] - The "Audience First" Strategy

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Andy Black

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I just read a great article linked to by @Phikey that I've linked to below.

I seem to have stumbled along the same path and have written similar posts here in the forum. I may even have come across the Derek Sivers quote before. I’m so pleased it’s articulated some of my journey and extrapolated it out ahead

@Kak ... the article talks about building an audience, relationships, and helping people. You and @Vigilante are doing this at scale with your radio show. I think @Phikey would make a great guest on your shows. (I’ll link to where he posted about the article shortly.)

@MTF ... you already built an audience with your books, and are now building a productised service business to help content writers create books. I thought the article might interest and help you. Creating a book is one of the steps in there. Interestingly, I have thought of creating a book but decided to shelve it until I have a better idea of what to create, and why.

@Lex DeVille @Fox @Walter Hay @lowtek @Rabby ... are other examples of people doing this.

@MJ DeMarco ... you’re the granddaddy of this, although you walked the walk in the entrepreneurial space before building an audience writing about it (which is so refreshing and why we all love you).

@Valier is doing this at scale.


Thanks for the share @Phikey. I can see you doing this in your relentless progress thread.


I think the article is a great read, (hence me sharing it ... how’s that for a productocracy?).

The article:

Don't just consume it. Try your hand at putting your thoughts down on paper.


What’s your takeaways?

What will you do different going forward?
 

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Andy Black

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Great share Andy, the article is exactly how I grew my company, although I used social media as the starting point to grow my audience it’s the same concept.
 
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Andy Black

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Andy Black

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Great share Andy, the article is exactly how I grew my company, although I used social media as the starting point to grow my audience it’s the same concept.
Ooo. Please share more details!
 

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I've always been a fan of content marketing as a way to enter a new industry, get familiar with it, build trust, and then build a business on top of it. I love every business model that requires plain old content hustling - blogging, writing books, podcasting, shooting videos, etc. Yes, it's often saturated but there are very few people who truly hustle and publish new content over and over again for months or years on end.

If you have the right spirit, I don't think it's possible to fail with this approach as there's no luck involved - just hustling and putting out more and more content. As it grows, your audience grows, and then it's easier to grow your business, too (assuming you talk about something that's lucrative).

Just talking about it makes me want to start a new business lol.
 

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I just read a great article linked to by @Phikey that I've linked to below.

I seem to have stumbled along the same path and have written similar posts here in the forum. I may even have come across the Derek Sivers quote before. I’m so pleased it’s articulated some of my journey and extrapolated it out ahead

@Kak ... the article talks about building an audience, relationships, and helping people. You and @Vigilante are doing this at scale with your radio show. I think @Phikey would make a great guest on your shows. (I’ll link to where he posted about the article shortly.)

@MTF ... you already built an audience with your books, and are now building a productised service business to help content writers create books. I thought the article might interest and help you. Creating a book is one of the steps in there. Interestingly, I have thought of creating a book but decided to shelve it until I have a better idea of what to create, and why.

@Lex DeVille @Fox @Walter Hay @lowtek @Rabby ... are other examples of people doing this.

@MJ DeMarco ... you’re the granddaddy of this, although you walked the walk in the entrepreneurial space before building an audience writing about it (which is so refreshing and why we all love you).

@Valier is doing this at scale.


Thanks for the share @Phikey. I can see you doing this in your relentless progress thread.


I think the article is a great read, (hence me sharing it ... how’s that for a productocracy?).

The article:

Don't just consume it. Try your hand at putting your thoughts down on paper.


What’s your takeaways?

What will you do different going forward?
Coincidentally I had a bf yesterday to write the journey of our 5 dogs over the 10 years we've had them. There's a possibility for a 5 cat story going back 30 years that intertwines with the dogs.

I just thought it would be gold for gaining an audience, building trust, credibility & ultimately launching a brand.
Those products are part of the story.

Be great to have the gang narrate rather than us; think various rhetorical devices in a pseudo novella style. LOL
 
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Coincidentally I had a bf yesterday to write the journey of our 5 dogs over the 10 years we've had them. There's a possibility for a 5 cat story going back 30 years that intertwines with the dogs.

I just thought it would be gold for gaining an audience, building trust, credibility & ultimately launching a brand.
Those products are part of the story.

Be great to have the gang narrate rather than us; think various rhetorical devices in a pseudo novella style. LOL
Déjà vu?
Continue to grow your audience with engaging & useful free content

I'd think about funnelling them to a website though because you've got no control over YouTube
By all means use YT to garner a wider audience but with the aim to draw them to your website
Once you've got multiple videos it's going to be a nightmare replying to comments all over the place on YT, on your website it's much easier

You can get contact details by offering exclusive newsletters, videos, courses etc, then you could offer paid versions of the same, it's an old strategy

Eventually you can have a paid area of your website like 'Insiders' here

Essentially if you're a relative unknown you have to offer something of value for free before you ask for subscriptions

As for the affiliate links, what's in it for you?
It might be better to negotiate a deal directly with whoever you send them to once you have a sizable audience
You can also get ad revenue on your site, click-through revenue...

Build your audience, gain their trust, offer them unique value and the revenue opportunities will follow
PS what's a bf?
 

Odysseus M Jones

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Déjà vu?

PS what's a bf?
Maybe, I even considered blogging about potatoes for my own nefarious reasons.
But with the dogs I've got a decade of real life adventures with photos & videos.

Should I change the dogs'names to protect their identity? I don't want to get mobbed by fans when I walk them.

PS my screen name Odysseus was originally for my dog when I opened a Facebook profile for him.
He's very cunning & crafty, takes his time getting home too.

PPS Blue Falcon
 

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Ooo. Please share more details!
There's nothing too special about it;
  • post engaging content regularly to social media
  • grow a following/fan base
  • understand that demographic, what they like/don't like
  • Look for gaps in the marketplace that other companies aren't providing
  • provide products the fan base want.
Social media in 2015 was a little easier to grow organically than it is now, but I still come across new accounts doing it.
 

Timmy C

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I've always been a fan of content marketing as a way to enter a new industry, get familiar with it, build trust, and then build a business on top of it. I love every business model that requires plain old content hustling - blogging, writing books, podcasting, shooting videos, etc. Yes, it's often saturated but there are very few people who truly hustle and publish new content over and over again for months or years on end.

If you have the right spirit, I don't think it's possible to fail with this approach as there's no luck involved - just hustling and putting out more and more content. As it grows, your audience grows, and then it's easier to grow your business, too (assuming you talk about something that's lucrative).

Just talking about it makes me want to start a new business lol.
I'm doing this at the moment. It feels like i can't possibly fail lol.
 

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Timmy C

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Some days your brain is fried or you have other things you are thinking about.

Coming up with new content can be hard.

You have to try keep it interesting and not always talk about the same thing aswell.

Curate content to.

As i'm writing this i could curate it later if it fits.

Problem solved.
 

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For me this approach was cemented in my head by Amy Hoy (Nathan Barry also learnt from her).
BTW his journey was not straight forward at all as it seems here.

Overall I feel like this approach is very viable.
It's strength is in the flexibility and lack of ego.
I don't start with my idea I start with the group of people that I want to serve and then figure out how I can help them.
Starting with the smallest education bit (e.g. an email to someone a blog post etc).
And gradually building up the products and offers while growing the audience.

Just a personal bias maybe but I feel like I personally have very little patience for content lately.
Mostly it's a time waste and mostly very repetitive.

Especially for someone that likes to write I think it's a really great strategy.
 
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Just a personal bias maybe but I feel like I personally have very little patience for content lately.
Mostly it's a time waste and mostly very repetitive.
That’s the opportunity. So much content is written for SEO or because, well, “content marketing”. People forget the goal is to help people with that content (or entertain or whatever). I think too many people are following blueprints and formulae and forget what the goal is.
 
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Andy Black

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Coming up with new content can be hard.
I find it comes easy if you’re interacting with people. Then you’ve an endless supply of “content”.
 

Timmy C

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That’s the opportunity. So much content is written for SEO or because, well, “content marketing”. People forget the goal is to help people with that content (or entertain or whatever). I think too many people are following blueprints and formulae and forget what the goal is.

I think as long as you focus on providing value

Even if that is content marketing or "growing"

As long as it's value and people are engaging with you.

Can't go wrong.
 

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Apparently it's not all milk and honey.
Here's a thread where the guy is struggling.
What is he doing wrong?
Can anyone offer some analysis or input on how he can rectify his situation?
 
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Andy Black

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My bad. I missed out @eliquid when I tagged a few people in the opening post. If I recall correctly, @eliquid advises in his Gold SaaS AMA thread to become an authority before releasing a SaaS product. Pretty much what the article says.
 

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What is he doing wrong?
Can anyone offer some analysis or input on how he can rectify his situation?
From his recent posts it looks to me as if he’s realizing that he’s been trying to reach his audience on a medium where they’re not as engaged. He’s been hustling with his blog in a very competitive space. He’s now seeing that his Youtube channel is getting way more engagement with much less effort.

It would be the exact same with my audience. Ecom store owners aren’t hanging out on tumblr blogs. They’re in facebook groups and on Youtube. You can make the best content in the world but if it’s not in the same room as your target audience then it will never get traction.

Looks like the guy in that thread is changing his strategy and going more in on Youtube.

I don’t think Youtube is the silver bullet but it does have a lot of potential when done right - especially if that’s where your people are hanging out.
 
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What resonated with me, from 6:15
"find out what they say about themselves & create content that says that"

"They want validation of who they are, they want to look good to their friends & family... they're commenting knowing their sister's watching, they're sharing knowing someone sees their shares... they're going to share something that tells them that they're successful"

Thanks Andy, I'll watch more of her videos
 

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Super interesting video about building audiences. I love at 6:54 ish where she talks about NOT building a personal brand.

View: https://youtu.be/-E3IUuJ09XY
I'm really liking this business model at the moment.

It seems easy but building the audience itself is the barrier to entry.

Few people would go through it.

Coming up with new content all the time isn't as easy as it sounds.
 

cmatth

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For me this approach was cemented in my head by Amy Hoy (Nathan Barry also learnt from her).
BTW his journey was not straight forward at all as it seems here.

Overall I feel like this approach is very viable.
It's strength is in the flexibility and lack of ego.
I don't start with my idea I start with the group of people that I want to serve and then figure out how I can help them.
Starting with the smallest education bit (e.g. an email to someone a blog post etc).
And gradually building up the products and offers while growing the audience.

Just a personal bias maybe but I feel like I personally have very little patience for content lately.
Mostly it's a time waste and mostly very repetitive.

Especially for someone that likes to write I think it's a really great strategy.
Another fan of Amy Hoy here - I'm just finishing up 30 x 500 and learned a ton. One thing I like about the idea of moving content on to other platforms (Youtube, Facebook, etc.) is that it can scale much further than just your own email list.
 

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I'm really liking this business model at the moment.

It seems easy but building the audience itself is the barrier to entry.

Few people would go through it.

Coming up with new content all the time isn't as easy as it sounds.
And that's the whole point, anyone can use bots and gain followers with like for like and other shady tactics online, but it doesn't create an authentic, real following. Unique content, created for your audience does. You can't cheat the process, like so many want to and try to.
 

Timmy C

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And that's the whole point, anyone can use bots and gain followers with like for like and other shady tactics online, but it doesn't create an authentic, real following. Unique content, created for your audience does. You can't cheat the process, like so many want to and try to.
I am seeing this alot at the moment.

People trying to skip the process.

I'm just grinding it out.

I don't do follow for follow.


Current followers I have : 397 all authentic and genuine.

All organic.
No paid ads.

Just straight content marketing and newsletter hustle.

4 weeks in.
 

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People want the instant win, they want 100k followers straight away, without earning it. It just doesn't work that way, no matter how many You Tube videos people watch that say you can cheat the process.
 

Timmy C

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People want the instant win, they want 100k followers straight away, without earning it. It just doesn't work that way, no matter how many You Tube videos people watch that say you can cheat the process.
There is a few that are truly hustling.

There is quite alot more who are trying to scam people and do the same thing everyone else does.

Quite a few piggybacking of large accounts making it look like it's them. Selling them stuff and running with the cash.

When that happens to me, i know I've made it haha.
 

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I'm on the fence, there are quite alot of companies out there that don't focus so much on building an audience (if we are talking social media stuff) but just having a great product or service, having a productacracy or pushing out marketing. Although for the people focusing on social media content the productacracy rule applies, like having videos people actually want to watch.

Wouldn't it be more efficient as entrepreneurs to hack the process of social media followings and simply pay bigger accounts to give us publicity, or reach out to local news medias? I'm not sure if building an audience and then offering a product/service is the most efficient way of going about it? Not sure.

In my own experience this has failed multiple times. I actually regret having focused on this, everyone here can attest to how difficult it is to grow a following on various platforms.

Since you posted a few examples, let's pick on MJ just for fun. :rofl:

I follow his IG account and he's got about 18k and a few hundred hits on a post (low engagement)
39k on YT with the latest videos being about 8k views
FB is an interesting one where there is about 154k likes for TMF book.

Now despite the low social media followings, one of the two greatest books ever written on the entire planet has ''only'' 154k likes on FB, I'd guess he sold alot more than that throughout the world being the book is ?almost? allover the globe. So my point here is the rule of a productacracy. MJ himself has stated he's only spent a grand or two on advertising the first book, really the book markets itself. Personally I'm responsible for a few copies sold just by recommending it to other people.

I'm not sure if he created the forum before the book or vice versa, which if anyone knows please share... you can see the forum itself revolves around the book(s).

So to play devils advocate, maybe instead of having an audience first the more important thing to do rather than investing time into creating an audience which is a hell of a struggle, is to have a product or service verified first and then building an audience around the product? Since you put the word discussion in the thread, wanted to throw that out there. :clench:
 
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Timmy C

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I'm on the fence, there are quite alot of companies out there that don't focus so much on building an audience (if we are talking social media stuff) but just having a great product or service, having a productacracy or pushing out marketing. Although for the people focusing on social media content the productacracy rule applies, like having videos people actually want to watch.

Wouldn't it be more efficient as entrepreneurs to hack the process of social media followings and simply pay bigger accounts to give us publicity, or reach out to local news medias? I'm not sure if building an audience and then offering a product/service is the most efficient way of going about it? Not sure.

In my own experience this has failed multiple times. I actually regret having focused on this, everyone here can attest to how difficult it is to grow a following on various platforms.

Since you posted a few examples, let's pick on MJ just for fun. :rofl:

I follow his IG account and he's got about 18k and a few hundred hits on a post (low engagement)
39k on YT with the latest videos being about 8k views
FB is an interesting one where there is about 154k likes for TMF book.

Now despite the low social media followings, one of the two greatest books ever written on the entire planet has ''only'' 154k likes on FB, I'd guess he sold alot more than that throughout the world being the book is ?almost? allover the globe. So my point here is the rule of a productacracy. MJ himself has stated he's only spent a grand or two on advertising the first book, really the book markets itself. Personally I'm responsible for a few copies sold just by recommending it to other people.

I'm not sure if he created the forum before the book or vice versa, which if anyone knows please share... you can see the forum itself revolves around the book(s).

So to play devils advocate, maybe instead of having an audience first the more important thing to do rather than investing time into creating an audience which is a hell of a struggle, is to have a product or service verified first and then building an audience around the product? Since you put the word discussion in the thread, I just wanted to put that out there and play devils advocate. :clench:
There's no doubting it works, obviously not for everyone.

I believe the forum came before the books.

Will it work for me?

I'll report back!
 

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PS what's a bf?
BF usually means BoyFriend
I'm guessing bf = best friend? (from the language used, points that way)
"Using" a BF or bf to write material seems so wrong unless he offered
 

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