Your “Audience” is a technical term in marketing, and it includes all the people who are “looking” at your business. If you have a sign out front of your business, the people who drive past and look at it – are your audience. The people who follow you on Facebook are your audience. The people that read your newsletters or blog posts, are your audience.
The first challenge is to convert as much of your audience as possible, into a community. Your audience becomes a community when you have engagement. If people are commenting on your posts, or talking to each other, or messaging you with questions, you will feel your audience turn into a community. It can take a lot of energy to create community. You need to ask questions, and get people talking. Sharing stories, tagging colleagues and inviting people to join you on non-business related activities (even if its just reading a book), are all strategies for building engagement and community.
If you are lucky, you will convert some of your community into fans. Fans are the best. They are deeply committed to you, curious about what you are up to and subconsciously reserving space in their day or week for you. Fans are interested in what you’re wearing, what you’re drinking, how you styled your office, what you do in your downtime, what kind of products you buy… This level of interest is because your fans want to feel like they know you. In your own life, you can probably think of someone else that you feel compelled to follow. Aren’t you curious about all the things you have in common? Whenever you write something in your social media, you should envision yourself, talking to someone who is a fan. Review your social media posts and check: Do you have images of yourself? (So your fans can see your eyes?) Are you sharing things that a fan would want to know about?
Of your audience, a much smaller percent will become your community. A smaller percentage will become fans, and an even smaller percentage will become buyers. Official clients. Depending on the nature of your business, only about 2-15% of your audience are “buyers”. So for most small businesses, the challenge isn’t that their prices are too high, or that they don’t have enough customers, the fact is that their “audience” isn’t big enough.
The initial group of people that you have to get in front of, needs to be in the thousands. While that sounds intimidating, social media makes it easier than ever. If you need to grow your audience, we recommend dedicating 4-6 weeks to an aggressive social media campaign. Boost your posts, participate in groups, share your life. Intend and visualize the growth of your audience, and you will see the numbers trickle down as you grow your community, your fan base and finally, your client base.