This week, I want to touch on a topic that’s a bit new to me, but super important: growing your audience.
Having an audience is a huge part of the growth equation.
With a dedicated audience, people are doing all sorts of things - launching new products, building startups, selling hundreds of thousands in courses, and building media empires.
I’ve done some homework ahead of time and want to share 3 findings:
✉️ How Josh Spector grew his email list to 25,000:
- Produce quality newsletter (spends several hours each week per)
- Released consistently (never missed a single issue except when he got married)
- Focus on a very specific audience (actionable ideas for people who want to improve their work, art, or life)
- Sends a weekly "here's what you missed..." to those who do not open the first one.
- Facebook ads for specific content instead of the newsletter itself.
- After the initial 200 came from FB ads, created a lookalike audience, and targeted those for better results.
- Posted newsletter on Medium (total of 3 places: Website, Subscribers' inbox, Medium)
- Cross-promote with other newsletter creators (who are relevant to your audience)
My thoughts: I love the idea of posting the content in multiple places to make it work harder for you. My personal content promotion chain looks like this: Newsletter (Yes, you fine folks get it first!) > Website > Twitter > Indie Hackers > LinkedIn > Medium > Quora > Growth Hackers.
Results? My articles usually get 3x the views on Substack (where I publish). If you did the same from your website, you’d just as likely get 3x the views. That’s 3x exposure to your product or lead gen mechanisms.
I also love the idea of using ads to promote your content and grow your list. I think this is a great strategy because conversion rates for “free” content will be much higher than say… asking for a purchase. There IS a risk of attracting lower quality audience and I think one has to pay close attention to engagement from these visitors. That means regularly cleaning the list and checking to see if they are responsive at all.
⌨️ How Bob Low engages people on LinkedIn
I’m sure this is just one of his strategies, but I found it interesting:
- Curates this week’s interesting articles (mentions them by title)
- Tags the article’s author in the post
- Chooses a few relevant hashtags.
- Links to all the articles in comments
- Replies to all the comments to keep driving engagement
My thoughts: I love this IN audience growth strategy! My own IN postings are very sporadic and need a lot of work. The biggest challenge has been getting people engaged beyond reading the post.
Will you give this a try? Or do you already have a better strategy that’s working for you? Please share with everyone in the comments!
🌪️ How Anthony Pompliano grew this Twitter followers to 338k and newsletter to over 50,000 subscribers
Here’s a summary, but the full interview is a must-watch if you are looking to build your audience:
- Focused on one channel at a time. Started with Twitter.
- Tweeted all of his thoughts out until nothing left to tweet.
- Tweeted persistently, every hour.
- If nothing left to tweet, read a story and gave his opinion on it.
- When he launched his newsletter, he worked up to writing every day. Talk about dedication!
- Did not give up when growth was slow. Persistence is key.
- Reused the same content. One video becomes multiple pieces of content - audio, short video takeaways, multiple tweets. (I also noticed he retweets his own tweets).
- Productizes himself. Every hour is spent on creating content that can be turned into a monetized product later.
- Responds to everyone who interacts with him. Yeah…! Twitter comments, Youtube comments, Emails. INSANE! Pomp says “The audience is the boss” and he obsesses over his audience. Pomp says this builds an emotional investment for people who are following him online, so they come back and engage more frequently.
💡 Pomp gives some specific Twitter growth tips in the video interview so check it out if you have time!
My thoughts: This interview is full of gold nuggets. I’ve worked with so many companies that do not reuse their content. They publish once and share on whatever social channels they have and that’s it. Done. Wasted opportunities.
I was very impressed with Pomp’s work ethic & mindblown by how he spends his time working only on the things that matter - and matter in a way that can be turned into a piece of content that keeps on working for him.
The way he follows up with everyone and answers everyone’s comments is amazing given the time it takes to do so. I think there is something all of us can learn here (unless you are Pomp reading this).
How I’m building Growth Insider Audience
In case you are interested, here is my current content path and how I am building Growth Insider:
- I read throughout the week and write up interesting findings (unless it’s coming from experience).
- This email is the first thing I touch - you all get it first! 👊
- Then I either post to website several days later OR skip this step and come back to it last.
- Occasionally I’ll tweet a thread. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I’m just too busy. I have a toddler who keeps me busy and a 2nd kid on the way. I REALLY need to step up my Twitter game. I’ve been on that platform since 2010 with only 400 followers to show for it.. yeah.. it’s that bad.
- I’ll post a revised version to Indie Hackers. This usually gets the most traction and nets the most subscribers. So… yeah I’m sure there are a few of you here and you know who you are ;)
- Occasionally I’ll share a short version on LinkedIn. Still very terrible at this. LinkedIn has the LOWEST engagement. I totally suck at it. The posts get at most ~ 300 views, with a few likes but zero comments. That’s why I found Bob’s post interesting.
- I copy the entire article to Medium. So far, this has netted very few views, but I’ll continue doing it just in case there is any traction.
- Also, post it on Quora. Again, not much action here yet. I do little to no interaction on Quora so that may explain it.
- I’ll share a link with some comments on Growth Hackers. I like this community but it’s a bit quiet. I get at most a handful of views on my shares. I’m probably doing something wrong haha.
The entire process takes almost the entire week — mostly because I have other engagements (I audit websites and design new ones).
Going forward, I would really love to implement Pomp’s strategy of being as responsive as possible and focus on delivering more insights for a diverse audience. This means I may have to figure out how to fit 2 emails per week without sacrificing quality. Unless of course, you find that too frequent and annoying.
And there you have it. I hope this was useful to you and inspires you to start building an audience if you are not already! If you found this valuable, a share with friends is much appreciated.
Lastly, I would love to see your writing / content and findings and share it with my audience. Be sure to connect on Twitter so I can see what you’re working on ;) Let’s get this networking cranking!
- 🤦♀️ GI #007: 70 websites, biggest mistakes
- 🔔 GI #006: Triggers
- 🤑 GI #005: Steal this content strategy for 10x conversions
- 🧲 GI #004 - First Users. Newsletters. Content Repurposing.
- ⏲ GI #003 - Strangely Effective