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Build your Audience and Then Build Your Business
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The same old question comes to mind: Egg comes first or the Chicken?

Traditionalists would choose the egg.

For them building a business first always came before selecting its audience.

The second practice, for those who chose The Bird, came to practice just a few years ago, where the audience is chosen first and a business was built surrounding them.

This, obviously does not mean that the first practice is extinct. Both are running parallel, what we need to decide is, what gives us a more profitable business.

Let us have a quick run, through the pros and cons of both these models of business:

The first  model, where a business is created first and then its customers, it may gain you some quick profits, but you run the risk of creating something that may not interest a lot of people.

The second one on the other hand, have ample research on the customers’ wants and needs, and finally develop a product or a service that is that can have amazing conversion rates. This is achieved mostly by effective content marketing. By targeting your content to a particular niche of consumers, you gain an insight to their preferences, thereby getting a chance to create a great product. The downfall of this model is, however, slower return rates.

So what is the best model for you?

We would say, neither is “better”than the other in most cases. It all depends upon your own preference, your skills and investment strength. Both the models have their own records of building millions of successful businesses all across the globe and their share of fruitless ones.

If  you can afford a delay in revenue, the second model should sound good to you.

This blog is meant for those, who prefer to choose the “audience- first” structure  the business. We have compiled 7 points that will help you to build an audience for your business with “content marketing” and create a successful product.

Locate your customer:

Nothing happens by accident.

You need a proper strategy and a process to find your audience and then start building on them.

When you are seeking your audience, try to target them, who you care about. I lay focus on this “caring” part, because you will be spending your time, energy, intellect and resource for months from now, without gaining any major returns. So it is best you select an audience you will like working for and with.

Working for someone you care, helps you to stay motivated.

For us, personally, we prefer marketing. That is why we love writing blogs and articles in the interest of small scale business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers. We  care about this group of people and hence writing for them keeps us motivated, although it does not give much monetary gain.

So, make a list of your potential audience, whom you would not mind working for without much profits.

You also need to be very choosy about this group. There should be a very niche set of people.  It will help you to focus on the initial stage, you always have a scope to expand later.

Be careful about selecting your audience. Do not select minimalists, who have too less or an almost negative chance of purchasing your product. So you also need to know, whether your selected group of people has the demand for the product you are planning to create.

 

The audience comes first:

The audience comes first before the product and before many other things. You need to understand your audience before creating any content. Take out time to do ample research finding the demographic and psychographic information.

To start with the demographics, as we all know, it deals with:

The location

The age

The gender

The educational status

The income level

The marital status

The number of children

The religious belief

… to name a few.

If you are interested in creating purses and clutches, the gender factor will matter the most. Similarly, if your interest lies in home decoration, the gender here is not much of a factor.

You can use Google Adwords while selecting the parameters that are relevant for your research. This will enable you to specify your reader group and build contents accordingly.

As for the psychographic information, it will give you an idea about:

What they want to read about?

How important is your product is for them?

How do they prefer to learn?

What are the general questions they have?

How much do they know?

..and it is all related to your niche!

You should have relevant answers to all these questions.

Remember, you are building your business around this profile and it is very important that you are savvy in reading the mind of your target customers.

 

Build your audience

 

Establishing your position:

The initial step determines that your target audience, is willing to spend money in your business, for your business. This means, that they have been spending money on similar business. Which in turn means that you have competition.

It should not put you off. Just focus on your position in the competition.

What determines your position? It is determined by how your audience associates your brand with the existing other brands of similar products in the market.

Content is an important tool for determining your position. Ensure that you are creating content that the others do not provide. This will be a big appeal for your brand.

Producing content meant for a specific group of people, helps them to believe that you are able to read their minds. Not only does it get you loyal readers, but expand your audience considerably.

To find out what is valuable and engrossing for your selected audience you need to identify the differentiators.

The differentiators determine the likes and the dislikes of the readers.

Some common differentiators are:

Difficulty- easy/hard

Detail-explicit/thorough

Length-short/long

Type- text only/image and text/image, text and videos

Experience Level- amateur/professional

Cost- cheap/expensive

…and there are others. Give them all a good though before creating content.

The next point that will determine your position is identifying your competitors:

If you are aware of your niche, identifying the competitors is not a major headache to deal with. Googling with the product will give you a clear range of business dealing with same or similar ones.

Have a list of 8 to 10 names on hand.

The next process would be to create a matrix with the information you have on hand. Select 2 identified differentiators. Fill in the names of your competitors with the differentiators on one axis and the competitors on the other, Hopefully this graph will show you a gap, where you can fit in. If not, you have to continue with another set of differentiators. That is your position among your audience.

Get it in gear:

So you got your position and you think you are ready to blog, right?

But where are your readers? How do you find them?

Until you have a vast personal network, your content will not reach to the readers. You need to lead them to your posts.

And how do you do that?

You reach out to your audience by finding them where they usually handout and bring them to your website. There are two ways to achieve this:

Write unique and original contents that will get them “hook, line and sinker” and subscribe to your newsletter.

Redirect them to a landing page offering them an irresistible lead magnet.

The core idea is to get at least a hundred dedicated readers, before you start blogging. In this way, your readers start promoting you and lead you in your growth.

To most effective and proven ways of getting dedicated readers are:

Do Guest Posting- write on the topics related to your niche. The attractive your posts are, the larger number of followers you lead to your own site.

Get Paid-Advertising- paying a nominal amount to get a premium amount of readers is worth it, if you have the money to invest in every month.

Grow your audience:

Once you have  a set of dedicated readers, it is not too hard to make the size grow over the months. Do not target for a leap of 30% growth in just a month, but an estimated growth of 5 to 15 % can be predicted easily. For that you need:

Good content ideas: You need a good content bank of ideas. Hitting on an idea every now and then and writing  on them will not help much. Think about a bulk of content ideas, that you can plug in, on a fixed schedule and keep a regular flow of quality contents for your readers.

Create a sustainable schedule: Twice a week or even once weekly seems quite an achievable goal. Do not procrastinate, just stick to it. Be consistent with your writing schedule so that your readers do not get the time to wean off your site to others. Consistency will lead to growth.

Stay in touch: To need to retain your readers. For that you need to be in constant touch with them. The best way to do it, is through e-mail marketing. Start building an email list from the initial days. You can also connect via the several social media platforms available. Building up followers via Face book, Twitter, Instagram and the likes is a next best option that you have on hand.

Build your product:

You have your audience ready, you understand them well. You have your position set. You have followers who love what you are writing for them. You have built a relationship with them.  They have the interest in your niche.

Now you control them to generate product ideas that they would love to get.

How do you do this?

Pitch for product ideas: By now you must be having at least 5- 10 ideas about the product you can launch. Pitch it to a small group of 50 readers. See how they react to them. Then pitch it to a bigger group. If you see a lack in response, pitch for the next alternative of the product. This will ultimately lead to pre-ordering of the products. The most responded product should obviously be the product you should target to sell.

Survey the readers: Read through the problems of your readers. If you are informing your readers about kitchen tiles, find out the problems that they deal every day with kitchen tiles. A good survey will get you this valued information. Once you have this in hand, you can have a great product idea revealed. Use the data to come up with the best suitable and preferred option.

Pay attention to what they say: The comment columns of your blog posts are invaluable. They will teach you how informative you have been, what exactly your readers are seeking, where you are going wrong or doing great. Much of the product ideas are customized according to the preference stated there. Once you get more than 5 people asking for a certain thing, offer the solution by providing it!

Turn the readers into buyers

Once your product is ready you just need to present and sell it to your audience.

You do not need any high budget selling expenses for it, because you have built a relationship with them.

The basic idea is, to educate people about a certain topic, find out their preference and then easy pitch it with events like a webinar.

If you have any other tips that we have overlooked or missed out on this blog, feel free to add on in the comments section below.

This 7 process guide is for those who prefer building an audience for their business before building the business itself. It also shows, how content marketing provides a system to build an engaged group of prospective buyers.

 

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