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I’m breaking the rules of audience building... and it’s working 😈 [M&M #062]

Published 7 months ago • 5 min read

Audience Growth Hack:
The ONLY thing that’s better than content.


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Just Stop. It’s Clearly Not Working…

Building an audience is a slog.

It feels like those really long fight scenes in Gladiator where you’re thinking, “How are they still fighting by this point??”

That’s what trying to grow your audience feels like.

You’ve probably tried:

  • Email Newsletters
  • Podcasts
  • Youtube Videos
  • Online Networking Events
  • Posting as much content as you can on Social Media

And unless you’re among the ‘lucky few’ who somehow have their content explode across the internet…

It’s a dragged-out dogfight just to get people’s attention; Let alone getting a new follower for bloody’s sake.

So here’s the 007 golden gun strategy to finally start growing your audience and therefore your business…

Stop trying to build your audience.

Just Stop.

It’s clearly not working and it’s sucking the life out of you a little bit more each and every day that you continue to try.


Instead, shift that effort over to what I’m about to share with you and you’ll begin to:

  • See growth in your business
  • Get incredibly valuable insights to help you improve
  • Feel great about your effort:progress ratio
  • AND you’ll build an audience that’s incredibly engaged with what you do

To prime the main point for today, let’s take a glance at an overly simplified look at the two ways to build your following.


The 2 Organic Methods of Growing Your Following

1. Content

Content is simply the packaging and distribution of words that aim to deliver a specific message.

You format your content to be either text, audio, or video and it can live on your website, in an online group, or most commonly, posted on social media channels.

Outside of running paid ad campaigns, the whole aim of social/content marketing is to deliver value to your target audience (the people you want in your tribe) with the intent that they begin to come closer to you and your brand - from a random person on the internet to your next brand loyalist and customer for life.

There are a ton of reasons why creating and posting organic content is critical to the success of your solo business. Things like:

  • Improved Discoverability - more chances to be seen
  • Demonstrated Authority and Expertise - prove why they should listen
  • Continual Deepening of Trust - continue to show up and provide value

But what makes content so hard to lean on as your only audience-building tactic is that it can take a long long time before the momentum begins to build.

For example, it took @MrBeast 5 years to reach 1,000 subscribers.

And I know you don’t want to crawl at that snail’s pace - especially when time is money.

That’s why focusing on building quality connections that root for you is today’s audience-building growth hack.

Check this out...

2. Connections

I define connections (in this context) as your digital buddies who share similar values to yours and are continually cheering for your success.

For instance…
Even in the past 2 weeks, I’ve built solid friendships with these four guys:
Sulaiman Botha - Young, Motivated Client Acquisition Specialist
Mitch Wilder - Advertising Agency Guru turned M&A Specialist
Justin Roux - Software CEO turned Solopreneur
Matt Barron - Digital Product Sales Expert

On X/twitter alone their combined following is well over 11,000.

I have 196 at the moment. (help me break 200! 🙏)

That’s 1.7% of the total following those guys have.

I’m not caught up in these numbers by any stretch.

They just serve as data to showcase my point. Trust me, I’m insanely grateful and humbled to have any followers at all. And I’d rather have 1,000 deeply engaged followers, than 100,000 of the opposite.

My goal is not to get my digital buddies to share my stuff with their audience all the time. Although I’m always so grateful when they do because hey!...

It’s more exposure to new people that may not have found me otherwise.

Creating solid online connections with other solopreneurs has a slew of benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Cross-promotion of content and offers
  • Collaborations on new content and products
  • Idea sharing and feedback
  • Increased rate of knowledge growth
  • And my favorite… The “I have a guy for that” inside hookup

…and these all fuel audience growth or retention in one way or another.

I’ve been doing this almost exclusively on X/twitter so here are some tips to help you build your pool of connections on the platform.


6 Tips to Build More Connections

  1. Follow me @the_evanshank
    Let’s connect and chat! This is the easiest one of them all.
  2. Reply to every single DM coming from a real person.
    Only a certain percentage of people sliding into your DM’s will turn into a great connection. But give everyone the benefit of the doubt - You can sus it out as you go.
  3. Move the conversation to a video call as soon as you possibly can.
    The longer it lingers, they’ll get busy, forget who you are, and what could’ve been your newest best friend will be another name in the inbox archives.
  4. Invite them to your email list if you genuinely think they’d enjoy it.
    The more places you can show up, the more they’ll begin to understand your direction and specialties. Who knows? They may begin to share your stuff with their audience too!
  5. Engage with as many people in the comment sections as you can.
  6. Set up an Auto-DM to send out to every new follower.
    This one could be an entire other entry alone.
    (lmk if you’d like me to do that)


I’m Not Saying This…

Before I finish, let’s get one thing straight.
So as to leave no room for confusion here.

“Oh, you’re just pretending to be friends so you can leverage their status and their audience to build your own thing… That’s really shitty of you Evan.”

Not gonna lie… You’re like 15% right.

There’s a massive upside to getting in front of others’ audiences and this is absolutely part of my intentions. But this potential opportunity is only one small element of the much bigger picture.

Yes, it’s a growth tactic.

But it’s also an honest way to build with and alongside others set out on a similar path.


There’s room for all of us to win.
And so I’d say we do it together.



Til Next Time ✌️🙂
Ev

TL;DR

Problem: Audience Building Takes a Long Time

Solution: Build Connections Instead - Much Quicker and More Valuable

Result: More Attention, More Support, More Opportunities, and More Audience

How I Can Help You


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