Blog Something 2012: Growing Your Audience
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog where I tried to take some blog styling tips from someone I admire, Christopher Penn. It was fun to write and it actually got some response, much to my delight. Last week, Chris challenged his readers once again to get their blogging hats on and get to it. It’s an exercise he is calling Blog Something 2012. Basically, he has given us a picture and a topic to relate the picture to for each day. This will be going on all of this week and I must say I am pretty excited about the whole thing. So, with that explanation out of the way, let’s get to the first entry.
This stout fellow is a Puritan. Now, be honest, when you first saw this, what did you first think about? Was it burning “witches” at the stake? Well, they did do that. Did you also know that the entire reason they came into being was that they believed enough in what they were doing to stand up and oppose the established order of things? Whether you agree or don’t agree with their beliefs is not the point here. The point is how can we take the lessons the Puritans can teach us, and apply that to growing our audience?
- Believe in what you are doing. Right or wrong, the Puritans were 100% convinced that what they were doing was the way to go. They would never have grown their numbers as large as they did otherwise. Imagine, if you will, you are at a Puritan meeting and they say ,”Ok, we are going to oppose the Catholic Church.” Then, someone else said, “Me thinketh that a poor idea.” Then, the leaders agreed and the movement ended. No more following, no more anything. Get behind what you’re trying to do. Do you think you have the best product in the world? If not, why are you trying to sell it? The first person you have get behind your cause is you. There is more power in believing than you can comprehend.
- Have a clear direction and set of goals. The Puritans were not running around haphazardly without any idea of what to do. They had a purpose in their minds, they all agreed to it, and all tried to move towards their goal. It is very hard for people to get behind you or your brand if they don’t know what you’re all about. It’s hard for you to convey what you’re all about if you don’t know yourself. Take a break, sit down and decide what direction you want to go and what your goal is. Do you want to attract leads? Do you want to sell an e-book? Do you want views to your blog? Whatever it is you want, get clear about it and you can then take steps to attract the right audience.
- Focus! The Puritans did not get distracted from their goals. Do you? Do you set out to do something and then get distracted by something else? It’s ok, it happens to all of us, it happens to me. Develop your focus. Lock straight in on your goals and allow nothing to deter you. When you start to waiver, your audience starts to waiver too. If you hooked them on your goals and your direction and you stray from it, they will quickly find someone who didn’t waiver. Building an audience isn’t enough, you have to keep them, too.
- Don’t back down. Maybe you have built an audience but they aren’t doing what you intended. Maybe they are viewing your blog but you wanted email subscribers. Well, you should probably scrap the whole thing and go back to square one. Heck, you might even delete your Twitter account, right? WRONG! The Puritans faced a lot of opposition, they didn’t always get the results they wanted. They pushed through and did what they thought they needed to. So can you. Maybe you need to tweak your strategy, maybe you’re sending Tweets at the wrong time of day, there are a quite a few things you can try, but never give up. You can get the engagement you want from your audience with a little perseverance and elbow grease.
- Don’t be afraid to be who you are. I am a nerd. I’m not ashamed to admit it and celebrate it. Heck, I wrote a whole post about the Transformers last week. The Puritans, love them or hate them were who they were. Are you being yourself online? Even if you are running a company account, you can still let your personality shine through. People like real people. As much as some folks, me included, would love to have a robot that can fetch them a drink from the fridge or grab the remote, they don’t want to feel like they are talking to one online. People will follow real people they can relate to so just be you, whoever that is.