Believe it or not, content is the fuel of permission-based marketing, and a great instigator of engagement.
It’s the marketing that your audience wants to receive.
However, having good content does not necessarily (or automatically) get you a big audience. You need to plan for how you’re going to find and grow that audience.
Some just get lucky!
You might be familiar with the name Susan Boyle (no relation!). For many years Susan had been singing just to her friends and family. No-one was aware of her incredible voice because she hadn’t found the right audience.
She was a superstar but didn’t know it. It took a reality TV show for her to find her audience, and now she sings all over the world. Admittedly this is an extreme case, but you don’t have to go to the depths of a reality show to find your audience.
My point is no matter how good you are, if you don’t get your work in front of the right people, it isn’t going to matter at all — not for the world, and not for your business.
Find people of influence who will spread your word
So when you’re starting out, if you put your content out there and some members of your audience happen to see it and enjoy it, great, but the people you really want to attract are people who will spread your word.
There are many books, people, ideas around that without “the right people in the right places” would never see the light of day! Every niche in every industry has these powerful “promoters” you just have to identify them, and get your content in front of them.
How to reach “Promoters”
I won’t tell you this is easy, it’s not. But it is possible.
There are many ways to do this effectively, and many ways yet to be discovered, but to get you started I’m going to show you three examples of how you can reach out to these people.
1. Involve them in a project
Promoters are often interested in all sorts of projects but don’t necessarily have time to do it themselves. If you can make it easy and rewarding then they may often say yes!
- Come up with project ideas
- Do your homework
- Prepare your approach
- Go for it
2. Conduct Interviews
This sounds harder than you think, but is incredibly straight forward to do. So effectively it’s an interview with someone who runs a business related to your audience’s interest and needs, in which their marketing is analysed and exposed for their benefit, your benefit and both your audience’s benefit. It down to:
- You and someone you respect.
- Talking about the finer points of an area within your industry.
- Made available to both of your audiences.
This turns out to then become a win/win! And all parties involved learn a lot through the process. Here’s some suggestion on how to go about this:
- Survey your audience. Either directly ask them or pay attention to what they say about what kind of information they are looking for from experts. Create a list of options that you are confident will be valuable to them and for people who aren’t yet part of your audience but should be.
- List the “Promoters” who you think can best provide this information and whose audience potentially overlaps with yours.
- Prepare your interview or case study, and make sure you ask open ended questions so you can get a good debate going on. Some real gems can come out of this.
- Contact the “Promoter” and make sure you explain how easy it will be plus what the benefits will be for their contribution.
3. Develop a training or presentation for their audience
I’m sure you’re more than aware that these “Promoters” are busy people. It’s take time for them to create and build their following. If you can create something really valuable that will benefit their audience as well as yours then they are sure to be interested.
Here are some ideas:
Determine Topics. Look at your audience and see what problems need solving. You also need to look at the Promoter and see what problems their audience need solving.
Create the Product. This can be anything from videos, to powerpoint presentations, whichever you think will work best with the audience. It’s important to pay close attention here and make your offering sound almost irresistible.
Propose your solution. Whose audience you want access to. An email that offers excellent free content for their followers. Be prepared to let them preview it, and be willing to accept criticism and make changes.
Provide the freebie or run the training. It’s important to plan your timing here, as this may take a chunk of your time to make sure you allow enough to answer questions, etc. This is also targeted to your new audience
Your opportunity to add your value
Remember, there has to be something in it for the “Promoter”! It has to be worth their while they need to make sure the risk they are taking is worthwhile, not just for their followers but for yours too.
There are lots of different reasons why people form joint ventures or short-term partnerships.
Whoever you decide to target with your content, make sure that they have the influence you need to make a real impact on your business. If you work at it hard and long enough, eventually you’ll have a large, dedicated audience of your own.