Finding your target market online can be just as challenging as offline. But with the right tools, you can reach out to thousands of people with your content and voice.
Here is a complete tutorial to help you get started.
There are certain elements to increase your probability of being recognized in your niche. You just need to put in the work and reach out to your audience or potential partners the right way.
Build a WordPress Website
Having your own website might require dedication and some work, but the pay off is immense. You can get started with Bluehost, where you can choose your company name for free and get your domain online quick and super easy.
There are of course other hosting services I would recommend. It really depends on what you’d like and how much you’re willing to spend.
Here are 3 companies that can help you start your own website in minutes.
- Dreamhost — I’ve hosted literally dozens of websites on Dreamhost over the years (and I still do). All similar features like 1-click WordPress install, free SSL certificate and site security aside, one of the biggest pros of going with Dreamhost compared to other hosting companies is that they offer a true pay-per-month plan that allows you to pay for the cost of your website hosting each month with no strings attached. Here are a few other web hosting companies that also offer monthly payment plans.
- HostGator — The thing that sets HostGator apart from other hosting companies, is their fantastic level of customer support and the fact that they also offer a true monthly payment plan (which helps if you’re starting your website on a budget). HostGator ranks amongst the largest hosting companies, now powering over 8 million+ websites around the world, making them a great partner to scale your website with over time.
- Kinsta — This is probably the best hosting solution on the market. They provide premium managed hosting with a focus on solely on WordPress websites. They are top-notch and perhaps the best in the world. However, in terms of price, you pay for what you get. Their cheapest package starts at $30 per month. They do offer a demo version and a month of free trial.
With a personal website, you can promote your business through content like articles, videos, reviews, and blog posts.
This might take some time, since writing articles is a time-consuming procedure. But quality content that ranks well on Google can help you reach out to thousands of people.
You can also save hundreds of euros or dollars on advertising fees for agencies or online ads.
The downside: you need to put in the extra work and be patient. I have a complete tutorial to help you make your articles receive traffic and stand out from the crowd.
Publish on Medium and Linkedin
Medium is one of the most popular free-for-all publishing platform launched in 2012. It is a website where you can build an audience or import an article if you have written one on your website and share it with the world. You can get followers or follow others. The main idea is to provide quality content as always.
You can publish anything on any given topic. But be aware that nonsense usually gets a warning or removed. Occasionally someone from Medium checks your articles and highlights certain flaws, but it’s there to help.
Linkedin has a publish an article function to generate more readers. It is also completely free and only requires an upload if you’ve already created your blog or article.
Use Social Media as a Business Venture
This might be obvious for some.
But having a Business Page for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram are crucial to let people know you exist. If your content is attractive and worthy of people’s time, they will like, share, and comment.
The aim is to create engaging content or stories that your audience can relate to. Every comment you receive boosts your post’s visibility. Linkedin is particularly good since every like is the equivalent of a Facebook share.
Be aware of the different niches that get promoted on these social media platforms:
- Facebook: Entertainment, fun, hot topics, cooking, travel, social issues.
- Linkedin: Business, economics, investment, career, university
- Twitter: latest news, updates, opinions, feuds
- Instagram: travel, fitness, health, nude imagery (yes, I said it right.)
Just make sure that you focus your energy on the right social media platform and don’t overuse the ones that fall short of your audience’s interest.
For example, don’t use goofy videos for Linkedin, or very technical stuff on Facebook. You can try nevertheless, but the payoff is mediocre. There is a place for everything.
Paid content on social media performs alright… as long as you keep paying. This is their business model. My suggestion is to try certain Facebook Campaigns to a certain point. But after receiving a few thousand likes or followers, you need to stop.
Having a few thousand likes on social media is a good indicator for many people that you have an existing audience.
A webinar is an event held on the internet, attended exclusively by an online audience. There are times when booking a place, attracting people to go out or just want to reach out to a more introverted audience is necessary. You can announce an event on social media, or on your website.
This usually requires lectures, seminars or teaching something completely new.
In February 2020, I prepared a webinar that addressed women on the topic of digitalization. It reached out to 7,500 people and got more than 400 respondents. Webinars are a great way to target a specific range of people and invite them to attend.
Nurture an Online Community
Create a Public Facebook or Linkedin Group and start inviting people you know. This way you can build an audience by yourself without needing any technical knowledge. In the beginning it will be your social media connections. Later you can create an email campaign through your website, where people can sign up. If you don’t want to bother with building a website or engaging in an email campaign, for the time being, it is completely fine. In that case, you can resort to asking your friend to invite their friends or acquaintances to join you. Given that you provide some sort of value for them, they will spread the word themselves.
Join Multiple Online Communities
An alternative way to build your audience is to join online communities. This is an easier way to engage with people by applying to someone else’s community, like a popular person/organization or an influencer’s community. You can comment or share your own thoughts.
People can see it and respond to you OR you can respond to their comments. In the end, if you’ve provided some sort of valuable info, you can share a link to your own website.
An example would be if you were to join a Facebook group that talks about Cooking Ingredients. Someone was to ask the best recipe for gravy and you happen to know a lot about it and have even written an article on the perfect recipe.
This is your chance to briefly explain and share a link to your article to help the inquirer.
Create Events on Meetup.com
Meetup is perhaps one of the best platforms to join or host events that is close to your niche. If you live in big cities, chances are, there is an event related to your interest right now.
It is quite easy to sign up and people are usually welcoming. The aim of Meetup is to nurture a community that you can revisit in the future. Therefore I’d advise you to sign up for some of these events and meet with like-minded people. Who knows, you might land a colleague or partner to do business with.
The aim of this is to find people just like yourself who want to network and explore similar topics.
Provide Something for Free
Imagine you go into a cookie store and they give you a free sample. Chances are that more people will come and visit that store and if the customers like what they tasted, they might want to come back for more. This is the same principle you can apply. Provide a small sample for free. People just love the word FREE. If you don’t have a product, you can always give free advice or consultancy to people. Word-of-mouth of good services is the most powerful marketing tool in the world.
Everyone loves good videos. But not everyone makes them. Even I’m skeptical when it comes to talking to a camera, watching myself over and over again as I edit everything. It somehow made me cringe at the start.
But since videos are so easy to make these days, it still comes as a surprise that many people avoid them. All you need is a phone to get started
Content is King!
This is crucial for anyone who owns a website. Creating high ranking content that gets a large search volume with little competition is the key to attracting page viewers, followers, and readers.
If you have a website but get no readers or page visitors I have created a detailed beginner’s guide to help you get started with online marketing.
Researching a keyword is the act of finding and getting specific words to target an audience through an article you publish and want people to find on Google. This guide above will explain everything you need to know and get started. 🙂
There you have it. 10 ways to build an audience from scratch. But to recap on everything, there is one very important concept that surpasses all the others. The true secret to building an audience from scratch lies in one simple idea.
Giving information, giving value, giving new content to your audience is the best form of audience attraction. It gives people a reason to keep coming back to you, so you can get traffic and gradually become a recognized person. I’m not saying celebrity status.
But people do appreciate free and useful content, which you can later monetize through various methods. But while you are a lesser-known name in your industry, it is important to keep on giving to your audience. This principle has helped many people and it will help you too.