Building an Audience: How to Grow an Audience Effortlessly

Ship 30 for 30 Team

Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

The power of owning your own slice of digital real estate cannot be overstated.

And that's exactly what earning social media followers, subscribers, or fans is - your own audience you can pitch offers to and sell!

But how do you go about audience building?

You're in luck. Today, we'll let you in on the secrets the biggest social media accounts use for building an audience. We'll teach you how to grow an audience on any social media platform - Twitter, blogs, or on your own newsletter.

Really, building an audience is more straightforward than most people make it out to be. But first - what are the different types of audiences?

The Different Types of Audiences in Writing

Before we teach you how to grow an audience, we need to talk about the types of audiences for writing. Essentially, there are 3 types of audiences in writing:

• Rented

• Owned

• Monetized

The fastest way to grow at first is to focus on your rented audience. And then leverage that to grow on the owned and monetized fronts. Here's a quick breakdown on each type of audience before we go any further into our guide on audience building.

1. Rented

You don't own the relationships with your audience but have access to massive distribution.

Think social networks & search engines.

2. Owned

You own the relationship with your audience but there's low shareability and discoverability.

Think free podcasts & newsletters

3. Monetized

This is when you turn folks from either your rented or owned audience into customers for your business.

You can do this via memberships, subscriptions, commerce, etc.

Now that you understand these differences, let's dive into the actionable stuff - keep reading to learn how to grow an audience.

How to Grow an Audience: Everything You Need to Know About Building an audience

Now that you know about the different types of audiences, it's the moment you've been waiting for: how to grow an audience yourself!

Below, we'll discuss the tried-and-true principles of building an audience so you can get started on the right foot:

Tactic #1: Optimize for reach

To grow fast, you need to avoid niching down too much, too early.

Pick a specific but broad subject/industry.

Then, explore different ideas within it without specializing.

Two great examples:

While optimizing for reach, keep this in mind:

Every time you tweet, only a fraction of your entire following will see it (because of the algorithm).

Leverage that to build mini-niches within your total addressable audience.

Tactic #2: Borrow other people's rented audiences

Find some of the biggest and medium-size players in your space.

Then, find ways to curate, remix & build upon their work.

If they like your work, they could retweet and share it with their audience which = potential new followers.

Tactic #3: Idea Arbitrage

Stop staring at a blank page trying to reinvent the wheel.

See something working on LinkedIn?

Steal it & post it on Twitter.

See something working on Reddit?

Same thing.

Two great examples:

Tactic #4: Test, test, test

Leverage the fast & cheap feedback loops of social platforms to validate ideas.

Then, use the data to inform your content strategy.

Before an essay, write a thread. Before the thread, a tweet.

Don't waste time working on untested ideas.

Tactic #5: Engagement Jacking

Another benefit of rented audiences: public data.

You can see what everyone's doing and how it performs.

This way, you can have other creators validate ideas and find opportunities for you.

Use other people's engagement to inform your strategy.

Tactic #6: Look for small ways to differentiate

Minor details can make a major difference.

Especially when everyone's using the same tactics.

Take some time to actually think about this & start experimenting.

If you're doing threads, how can you make them unique & different?

Tactic #7: Promote your stuff

This is kind of obvious.

Yet, most people don't do it (or they do it wrong).

If you're putting out lots of valuable content, ask people to subscribe to your newsletter or buy your product.

After all you've shared, they'll be happy to!

Two reminders before we wrap up:

Social platforms like Twitter are ruled by power laws.

3-5 posts will drive 80-90% of your growth. The rest will perform "meh".

But, for that same reason, you gotta swing a lot. If you want to learn how to make viral content, we have a full guide on the topic. You can also learn about how to write a twitter thread in particular, so you can harness the power of viral tweets specifically.

But really, these principles of audience building apply to all channels - Substack, LinkedIn, Reddit, Medium, Quora, or even starting a newsletter - you name it!

Final Thoughts on Building an Audience

That's everything you need to know about how to grow an audience. One more thing you need to take note of, though:

Don't think of your rented, owned & monetized audiences as independent silos.

They're connected.

And each one should inform your content & growth strategy.

Now that you know all about building an audience, there is only one thing left to do - put these principles into practice to begin your journey to owning your own online audience! Having your own real estate on various social media platforms will prove to be one of the best assets in the digital age.

If you enjoyed this post, I highly recommend you watch the video below.

Here, Dickie, Cole and the co-founder of the Morning Brew, Alex Lieberman, covered all these points in much more detail:

Otherwise, you can learn more about digital writing - like how to become a freelance writer with no experience, how to write a ebook and make money, and more. We're here to empower you along your path to becoming the most prolific writer possible

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