Growing Your Audience & Keeping the Faith WPCP: 125


Just when you think you’ve got a grasp on something… a little dose of reality comes in.

In this case, it’s a good thing.

After last weeks episode on winding the year down and with Christmas quickly approaching, I’m starting to really wrap my head around what I want 2017 to look like for me.

I’m still going to do a full ‘year in review’ episode but I want to share some of the things I’m doing as I wind down the year to prepare for next year.

Beyond sitting down with my colored pens, planner of choice and BIG ideas.

I’ve been talking a lot about going back to basics and mastering the fundamentals (maybe I can come up with an acronym for that?). The first two areas I’ve focused on have been copy and email marketing.

When it comes to copy, I haven’t even gotten into the sales type of copy yet (think sales pages, ads, etc.). I started simply by working on headlines and paying attention to copy.

Let’s talk about paying attention to copy first.

This whole journey of getting interested in copy began at the very beginning of this year when I decided to sign up to work with Jason Hornung’s Facebook advertising agency. I connected with Jason through another friend, had him on my podcast and knew I wanted to work with him. I won’t go into detail on that experience in this episode (it was great and I’m planning on having Jason back on the show to do a follow up), but I got a bonus education outside of Facebook advertising.

I was impressed with Jason’s understanding of ad copy, persuasion, the psychology of copy and what drives people. When he got interested in Facebook ads he jumped in with both feet. He studied copy, advertising and direct response marketing. Books that had been around 30+ years… he created a solid foundation for building his own ad agency.

Prior to working with Jason I had zero desire to do any type of copy (or get attempt to get decent at it). But when I heard Jason’s story, observed what he did to master his craft all of the sudden I had a different respect for the art of copy. So I started studying and practicing.

I tend to be someone who baby steps my way into things or I leap like a lunatic. In this case I baby stepped my way into it (but I’m slowly working my way up to a jog). I’ve focused on practicing headlines this year. For posts, emails and ads (although I haven’t run an ad in a while, more on that in another episode).

First thing I did was start paying attention to what headlines spoke to me.

What about them did I like, what drew me in to want to read more / learn more.

Then when I would go to write my post title I would head over to the CoSchedule Headline analyzer (which I’ve talked about probably more than you’ve wanted to hear) and start with my first headline.

Holy moly were some of them bad.

Then it became a game to see what I could come up with and how I could improve the score. Depending on the topic, I’d write 5 or 6 headlines or sometimes I would stick with something clear (and maybe not very exciting) for SEO purposes.

Once I had settled on my headline I’d write my post (which believe it or not I spend way more time editing than I used to). After the post is written the next step is to write a couple more headlines (or use a few that I had written in the headline analyzer) and use the Thrive Headline Optimizer to run some split testing.

I have yet to have my original headline win one of those tests (pretty interesting, right?).

I can guarantee you that 5 years ago I was not spending this much time on headlines or content. Not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t really know better.

Which brings me to growing your audience.

In the recent survey I did with my email subscribers this is what people most wanted to learn from me. I asked the question “If I were to teach a class, which topic would be most interesting to you?” Which made sense since the other topic people wanted help with the most was lead generation.

Which I TOTALLY get also.

Here’s the thing though…

All of these things go hand in hand… and it can be a little overwhelming. I had a coaching call this morning and my client asked me if I could do a checklist of what needs to be done (he’s new to building his brand online but has the technical skills to do what he needs to do) and in order of priority. And of course I said yes…

But beyond the checklist, there isn’t a magic answer to accomplishing your goals for your online business. The only way you’re going to get closer to what you want is through the doing. I’m not saying that you should blindly go about building a business, but at some point after you’ve done the initial planning you have to show up and see what works.

Write the post.

Share the post.

Create the product.

Record the podcast.

Do the livestream.

Sell to your audience.

Ask for support.

Promote and market the BUCKET out of your business.

Then you take a step back and measure the results.

And guess what? It’s quite possible NOTHING worked the way you wanted it to. But now you have data and something to measure things by.

In a recent email to my list I talked about a new YouTube strategy that I’m starting. I should clarify that it’s not a new strategy for YouTube itself it’s just that I’m finally putting an actual strategy in place. And let me tell you… it’s going to be a lot of work. But I get it now… all of this IS a lot of work, fortunately I enjoy it though and I know that by putting in the time now I can work less down the road.

I’m seriously thinking of doing a class or course on growing your audience but I need to find a way to make it somewhat interactive (without me managing a forum… possibly a FB group)… because that is how you grow your audience. You have to connect and engage with people, reach out, support other people, provide value and solve problems.

I’m starting to rant a little bit… think it’s time to move onto keeping the faith.

Keeping the Faith

O.K. guys… bear with me on this topic because I have a feeling it might be a little bit of circular Kim-speak, but I promise to come back to the main point.

Which is NOT giving up on yourself when you feel like you’ve done everything right and still haven’t ‘gotten there’.

I’ve had a lot of times in my business (and still do), where I’ve doubted myself, wondered what I was doing wrong (or wasn’t doing) and questioned if I had it in me to keep this going.

Then of course I think about getting a ‘JOB’ (I never get past the ‘thinking’ phase) and realize a part of my soul would probably die if I did that.

And not just because traffic in the Bay Area is a nightmare, but because I truly love online marketing and KNOW this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

So how do you keep the faith when you hit that wall?

Do you double down?

All or nothing?

I don’t know. Only you can answer that.

There are a few things I do for myself: meditate, take a bath, talk to my mentor, get more rest, get OFF the computer, get a massage, remind myself of what I have accomplished… then when I’m out of my funk and ready to get back to life (trust me, I have just as many desires to run off to cabin in the mountains and retreat as anyone else), I do one of two things:

  1. Pick something I enjoy doing (playing with a new tool, writing, looking for graphics, reading) or
  2. Dive into tasks that need to be done but don’t require the same level of creativity but I know I’ll feel better having accomplished them (and they’re off my plate)

The marathon strategy can be trying to say the least. You have to produce and show up but may not see results for a while, then one day you realize you’ve published 4oo blog posts and 125 podcast episodes.

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So at the end of the day… it might not be easy to grow your audience and build your business, but it’s worth it.

Take small, consistent action everyday and before you know it you’ll be reaping the rewards.

Links from this episode

Jason Hornung Interview- The Truth About Facebook Advertising

CoSchedule Analyzer

Thrive Headline Optimizer

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