Build Your Audience Not Just a Posting Schedule

by | Jun 18, 2019

It's very easy to fall into the 'Content Trap'. Cranking out large quantities of valuable content that you 'just know' will be really important and useful for your prospects to read... only to find when you double check the Analytics, it's reached nowhere near enough people.

How did that happen?

Well, all too often I see teams focussing so hard on writing meaningful content, they forget they should also dedicate time towards building an audience of people who will actually read it. What's the point in spending valuable business time creating thought leadership content if no-one is reading it?

When this problem is identified the next logical question becomes 'how do we build an audience of people that will want to read and engage with our content?' and most importantly 'how do we then get them to take action on it'?

The answer to this ultimately depends on who your audience is, where they prefer to consume content, and how quickly you're looking to grow your audience. Since I'm writing this on LinkedIn, let's start with this platform.

On LinkedIn, people like to engage with content from other people, not necessarily pages. What this means is you need to start building up your audience of listeners on your personal LinkedIn profile primarily, and your Company Page secondly.

How Do I Build An Audience On LinkedIn?

You need more connections. The only people that are able to see and consume your content on LinkedIn (without making the posts public and using hashtags and @ mentions etc) are your connections. If you want more people to see and consume your content, you need more connections.

LinkedIn works by having three degrees of connections (audiences). 1st degree connections, 2nd, and 3rd. You need to have a 1st degree connection to be able to connect with a 2nd degree connection, and a 2nd to be able to connect with the 3rd. A 1st degree connection means someone you already know and have an existing relationship with. They could be a work colleague, an industry connection, or a prospect. Once you have connected with them, you are then able to share content to them, engage with them, and key - you are opened up to be able to send invitations to connect with their network - also known as your 2nd degree connections. Once you connect with a 2nd degree connection (someone from their network) you can then build a relationship with them, and also connect with their connections - your 3rd degree connections.

Ultimately what this means in plain english is you need to get more 1st degree connections to build up your audience. Once you have enough 1st degree connections in your target audience, you can start to connect with a whole plethora of people and you'll start to show up as someone their network might be interested in connecting with. It's kind of like 'so and so has just connected with [Joe Bloggs], would you like to connect with them to?'. You're raising your profile to be infront of more people and therefore more potential customers.

I'd recommend setting yourself a goal of at least 1,500 connections. That means a minimum of 1,500 people in your 1st degree connections list.

To do this, you can start off by...

1) Creating a set of connections criteria. Who do you want to connect with and why? Write down attributes like Job Title, Industry, and Company Size.

2) Using Boolean Search or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to actively seek out your new audience. Search for "CEO" AND "Accountancy" to seek out CEO's in Accountancy firms or "CEO" and "Oracle" to connect with the CEO of Oracle.

One by one manually add each connection that is valuable to your business, and also worthwhile having in your audience.

You will notice that generally speaking the more people you add into your network, the more people see your posts. This is because more people are now able to see your posts and interact with them.

You are building your audience, not just your posting schedule.

The only way your content becomes valuable to people is if they see it, and engage with it. Incidentally that's also the only way it becomes valuable to you, if people see it and do something with it e.g. read it, comment on it, ask you questions about it, or share it with a friend.

If you want to raise your profile and start to generate more awareness and leads for your company online, build an audience, not just a posting schedule.

If you're interested in taking your LinkedIn presence to the next level and are keen to have a chat about how I can expertly manage that for you (so you don't have to learn how to do it, or find the time to do it yourself), email me at natalie@zestformedia.com.

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