If You Can Build an Audience, You Can Build a Business

Andrew Chen first met with the Facebook team in 2006.

According to him, the place had a TV and a video game console on the ground. Clothes and trash were everywhere.

He saw a handful of young people working very hard to build an audience.

But Andrew was unconvinced Facebook would become the next big thing. In fact, he had in his mind that “Facebook would never become a billion-dollar company.

His belief was that Facebook would achieve the maximum of 3 – 5 billion page views.

He was so wrong.

Facebook is at 1 trillion pageviews per month.

Facebook built the audience because people keep returning to Facebook. And more people keep signing up on Facebook.

For 13 months, Derek Halpern built an audience. He did nothing else.

When he finally decided to sell his first online product, he pulled in $46,398 in 10 days.

Two months later, he relaunched the same product. Maybe better. He made $102,621.

Another three months later, he relaunched the product again. Maybe better. He made $196,654.

Derek built an audience for 13 months

Over a year of building an audience paid off in hundreds of thousand dollars.

When you have an audience, you have a business.

Google can release as many products as it wants. They have an audience, who is ready to use their products.

Some products will fail. Some will achieve a little success. Very few of them will become the next big things.

What matters is that they have the market within their grasp.

New startups need an active audience for their products when they launch. That is why they go to press.

They work hard to get featured in the main publications like the Entrepreneur, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and TechCrunch.

Getting featured on top publications

When Thenuka Karunaratne released his new defunct product, he got it featured in Time, Business Insider, and others with a $10 budget.

The website received about 420,000 page views and 90,000 unique visitors within a week.

Website received traffic from the press

The press has the power to send a lot of visits to your website.

But you shouldn’t always rely on the media.

What if you have your own audience who you can always reach?

That would be cool, right?

You can build a massive audience. But you must be willing to work hard.

How do you build an online audience that wants to buy your product and services?

Build an audience through organic search

People use search engines for research.

Most search users are in the information-consumption mode. They want a high-quality content that answers their query.

Visitors from search engines are more likely to stay longer than visitors from social media.

People use social media to keep in touch with their friends and meet new people.

Some people use it just to kill time when they are bored.

Some people use it to entertain themselves.

Search engines like Google and Bing are valuable channels for building an online audience.

Note that there are two types of traffic from search engine.

One is free.

The other is not.

Organic search traffic is free. All you have to do is create remarkable content on a consistent basis and apply SEO to get them ranking high on search engines.

Organic search traffic

Nick Eubanks created a website that receives 100,000 visits per month from search engines without spending $1 on advertising.

Another great advantage of search engines is that visits from them are consistent. You can see a big wave of traffic from Facebook today, and see nothing the next day.

These are the most important things to apply if you want lots of regular traffic from search engines.

  1. Gain high-quality backlinks.
  2. Create content around your target audience’s questions and problems.
  3. Become a regular contributor on reputable sites in your industry.
  4. Do keyword research to find the best keywords that will give you relevant traffic.
  5. Do on-page optimization for each content you publish on your website
  6. Create high-quality content on a regular basis.

Build an audience through social media

Humans have been sharing information longer than we can remember.

Sharing is part of us. It’s something we do every day.

We share valuable information with our families, friends – and even strangers.

Social media allows us to share. It’s easier to share on social media.

Social media is another channel where you can build an audience.

Social media users may not be in the research mode unlike search engines, but it still lets you connect with people… but in a different way.

Don’t forget the “social” in social media.

You don’t broadcast on social media. You interact with people. You connect with people. You entertain people.

interact with people on social media

You give them something they can’t wait to share with their friends. That’s how social media marketing works.

It’s about getting people to talk about you. It’s about making people spread the word about you.

Share valuable information on social media

Every social media site is not for you. And you’ll be spreading yourself too thin if you try to be on every social media site.

Instead, pick one or two social sites and focus on building a massive audience on them.

Focus on a social channel where your target audience spends time online.

For example, you can focus on Facebook and Twitter if you’re targeting a general audience or consumers.

But if your target audiences are business owners, CEOs, highly professionals like marketing consultants, LinkedIn would be more appropriate and effective.

LinkedIn is the best social channel to attract professionals

Keep in mind that you’ll receive some negative comments when building an audience on social media. It’s normal.

Even successful marketers and brands receive harsh criticism on social media from time to time. How you deal with them is what matters.

Create a plan for dealing with negative feedback ahead of time.

And always respond when you’re in the right frame of mind.

Don’t reply to a rude or hateful remark when you are frustrated or angry.

Build an audience through paid social media

Organic search traffic and social media alone can take up to 6 months before you begin seeing any worthwhile results from them.

If you want to turn your efforts into profit starting the first month, then you should be willing to do paid social media.

Organic reach on social media is dying seriously. In fact, social media has become a pay-to-play game.

Advertising is not a bad thing. Ads are everywhere nowadays.

Magazines. Newspapers. TVs. Search engines. Billboards.

But social media is the best place to advertise and grow your audience.

Why?

It’s cheaper. It also allows you to reach as many people as possible.

Let’s use Facebook ads as an example.

With Facebook ads, you can target anyone who visited your website.

You can reach similar people who converted on an ad.

You can target people based on their education, income, location, interests, gender, age and more. There has never been any form of advertising that allows you to do this.

Facebook advertising

For example, Jeff Goins started buying Facebook ads to drive people to his automated webinar.

Jeff Goins Facebook advertising case study

According to Jeff, he made, he pays $1,000 a day to make $2,500 daily while still adding thousands of new people to his email list.

Jeff Goins Facebook advertising spend and ROI

You can use the same strategy to build a massive audience within a short time and with little effort.

I believe you now know how to build an audience for your business and yourself. Having an active online audience will increase your earning capability.

Keep this phrase in mind:

If you have an audience, you have a business.

Michael Akinlaby

Michael Akinlaby is a content strategist and SEO consultant. He’s the founder of RankRain, an internet marketing agency that helps businesses acquire and keep customers.

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9 thoughts on “If You Can Build an Audience, You Can Build a Business

  1. Hi Michael and Robin,

    Having a list of loyal fans are similar to having precious assets on your house. Building an audience is critical to the success on one’s online business. However, it’s not easy but if one’s consistent with right kind of strategy, it would be much easier than it looks.

    Social media is a great tool if use it right. People are making million dollars using the power of social media.

    Thanks for sharing such a value packed post.

    – Umesh Singh
    Umesh Singh recently posted…How to Get Your First 1000 Youtube Subscribers FreeMy Profile

  2. Hey Michael,

    A strong content marketing strategy will always helps to educate your buyers since the content you share will be closely related to what your business offers.

    This way your target audience will already know, like, and trust your brand enough by the time you launch your business.

    The starting point for growing your audience on any social network is strong profiles and pages for your social accounts. Eventually, thanks for sharing these wonderful facts regarding this subject.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar
    Amar kumar recently posted…11 Ways You Didn’t Know Proxies Can be UsefulMy Profile

  3. Hello Michael,

    Good post on Audiance / Traffic = Business
    Its a great thing that If you create traffic or audiance on your website. You can do any thing… Ads, Affiliate MArketing and also you can sell your own Products.

    Thanks

  4. Hey Michael,
    For any entrepreneur, the first quality should be involving people in his discussions, that’s what builds the audience, then automatically his business will be established well.

  5. Michael, congratulation for such a good post. An audience of any blog is just like a customer. You have to work hard to gain the trust of your customer or readers. Paid marketing is not bad when you are just starting out. Also, in the longer run, paid marketing does support your business as you rightly mentioned about Jeff.

    I would like to stress on retaining your audience after you have built it. It does take lot of effort, time and patience to do both.

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