Thanks to the internet and multi level marketing companies like Beachbody, starting a business nowadays is relatively easy. What is not easy is getting customers. Because before you even get customers, you need to have an audience to turn into customers.
What often happens, though, is that people will start a business and skip straight to trying to sell a product before they even have a real audience (outside of your friends network). Then after struggling to get any customers because they never learned to build an audience first, they get frustrated and give up on the business.
I see this happen all the time, partially because people are impatient and want to start selling something immediately, and partially because people just don’t know how to build an audience.
What I have learned is that one of the most important things any entrepreneur can learn is how to build an audience. Your audience, also referred to as your following, are people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
In an article I read recently, an entrepreneur named Sagi Shrieber defined an audience like this:
Your audience is made of actual people (humans) that:
You build an audience by providing content and information that they find valuable. So since I sell fitness products, I try to provide value for my audience in the form of workout tips, nutrition tips, etc. that teaches people how to better their health and fitness.
This content could come in the form of blog posts, social media posts, videos, webinars, ebooks, etc. The more you post and the more valuable the info is that you are putting out there, the more likely people are to start following you.
The most important thing to remember is just to be yourself. People will only want to follow you if you are real and authentic.
There are a lot of ways to measure the size of your audience. Some people will measure it through their number of Facebook or Instagram followers, but your real audience is the people that have opted into your email list.
People sign up for email lists because they want to be notified when new content is available. So in order to measure how well you are doing at building an audience, you need to be building an email list.
If you aren’t sure how to build an email list, I wrote an article with some ideas here:
My husband sent me the following excerpt from an article he read online the other day. It was written by a guy named Glen Allsopp who has started several successful online companies.
The article was a case study on a business he started where he was trying to show people that anyone with very basic knowledge of the internet can start on online business with no money.
Ultimately one the best lessons in the article came at the end where he reflected on his persistence and his unwillingness to let setbacks cause him to get frustrated and quit. It was a great bit of encouragement for any entrepreneur, so I wanted to share on here. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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"I’ve been growing online businesses for 11 years and while the tools and tactics I implement have evolved, the general population has not. I meet far too many people who spend more time reading about online success than trying to replicate it for themselves.
I hope your biggest takeaway is not that I made any money or that you like the concept, but that my results are held up by a massive pillar of failure.
I failed to abandon my original idea quickly enough.
I failed when 40 personalised emails resulted in a single reply.
I failed when I made graphics for sidebars and fawned over a broken link check tool, only for people to tell me they still had no interest in sending fifty bucks my way.
I failed to look at the theme I purchased on a mobile phone.
I failed at predicting how long it would take to design the website.
I failed at enticing 99% of people I emailed to advertise on the show.
Yet without people telling me “I’m not interested in buying ads” or “You can’t use my content” or “I’d rather wait until your podcast is live”, I wouldn’t have known to pivot my efforts and find the 1% who were interested in buying ads, who said I could use their content and who trusted me without seeing a site.
If there’s anything I succeeded with, it was persistence.
The quicker you start failing, the quicker you’ll start succeeding."
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Here is a link to the entire article: https://gaps.com/startup-challenge/
If your brand has an instagram account, you are probably always looking for ways to grow your following. While I have dedicated a whole course to helping others do this, I am always looking for new ways to grow my following because I have seen how growing your social following can help grow your business.
This past week I discovered an awesome tool for Instagram called SocialRank. SocialRank helps you understand your followers better by telling you about your followers. It shows you tons of information about your followers than can really help you understand how to better interact with your followers.
It can show you which of your followers live in a certain location, which followers talk about certain topics, and more. My favorite feature from SocialRank is the ability to look at your Most Valuable and Best Followers.
Your Most Valuable followers are the accounts who follow you that have the biggest reach, aka the most followers. This is super important to know when you are trying to partner with other accounts for several reasons.
The first and obvious one is that the more followers they have, the more followers they could bring you. Secondly is that it makes it so much easier for you to approach them about a partnership because they should already know you since they follow you, so the chances of them partnering with you are much better than if you were someone they did not know.
Your Best Followers are the accounts who both have a good size following and are highly engaged with your content. That means they would be the most receptive to a partnership with you because they actively engage with your posts, and also have a nice size following to help you gain exposure for your account.
Thanks to SocialRank, knowing this info can really help you be more effective in who to approach about creating a partnership with in order to maximize your opportunity for growth. If you need some ideas for how to utilize partnerships, I go into a lot more detail on how to create mutually beneficial partnerships on my Maximize Instagram Course.
One of the things I underestimated in my business starting out was the power of an email list. I neglected putting much effort into building my email list when in fact it is one of the first things you want to focus on when starting a business.
You might be asking yourself why are email lists so important? An email list is a list of people who have told you that they are interested in what you have to offer. That’s a huge first step in the sales process. I would much rather talk about my products to 100 people who are interested than 100 random people who might not be interested at all because the chances of someone buying is much higher, of course, with the people who have already expressed interest.
A great example of this is when we launched our Instagram Course. Before launch we had 27 people leave their email expressing their interest in the course. Of those 27 people, I think we had 5 people actually purchase it when we announced it was live. Then we did the same announcement to our FFHG email list that had around 1000 emails at the time. We maybe received 1 purchase from that list. Why is that? When we send out other emails to FFHG subscribers, we get a great response. The answer is simple. The FFHG subscribers did not sign up to learn about how to grow their instagram. They signed up for faith, health, and fitness tips. They were not interested in an Instagram course. This was a great example of how much more likely people are to purchase from you when they have expressed interest in what you are offering.
Most of the time emails are collected in two different ways. One is when a customer places an order with you, they will leave their email address. This is an easy way to capture emails because it is usually part of the checkout process. The other is when people sign up for your newsletter. To some this way might seem daunting. You might be thinking to yourself, “How I do get someone to voluntarily sign up for my newsletter?” or “Most people already get too many emails to their inbox anyways, why would they want to sign up for another.” These are all completely reasonable thoughts. So here are a few quick tips on how to collect emails:
If you have not started building an email list, this is a great place to start. Start out by thinking of 10 people you know that might be interested in what you have to offer. Then message them (Facebook, text, email, or whatever makes sense) with something like this:
I'm starting a new site (or I have a site) teaching people __________________. Would you be interested in learning more about that?
If they say Yes, they have given you the okay that they are interested in what you will be talking about. If they replied via email, take note of their email address. If they replied on another form of communication, follow up with:
That's great! Let me know what your email address is so I can stay in contact with you about this.
And just like that, you will start building your list. After you have done this with 10 people, think of 10 more. Once you have exhausted your personal network, try the next step.
Place a sign up form on your web site.
How are people going to sign up for your email list if you don’t give them an opportunity to? Creating areas on your site where visitors can easily sign up for your newsletter is a simple way to grow your list. This is a pretty obvious one, but there is a lot more strategy behind this than you might think. You want to place these sign up forms in prominent areas where people will see it. Also, don’t just put them in one place. Sprinkle them around your site where it makes sense. Areas like the top of your home page and your blog side bar are great places for this. One of the areas that statistically receives the most sign ups is through a pop-up form on the home page. You have to be careful though with this method because people can find pop-ups to be annoying, but with the right wording it can result in a lot of people leaving their emails.
Offer something for Free
Offering something free in exchange for someone’s email address is one of the best ways to increase sign ups. When I released my Fit For His Glory devotional, I had over 100 people sign up in the first 24 hours through my site. I can confidently say that the number of new sign ups I receive on average per week has gone up since I offered this freemium. The better your offer, the more likely you are to get people to sign up. There are tons of ideas out there for freemiums, so make sure you offer something that you know your audience will want from you.
By implementing these tactics I can guarantee you will grow your email list. Try these out and let me know how it goes for you. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, what has worked and hasn’t worked, and which one you are going to implement today!
For all my Beachbody Coaches, a great way to get a head start on your email lists is to go to your Online Office and hover over the My Business tab, go down to My Customers, and then click Customer Search. This will pull up all of the customers that have ordered through you. You can then download it into a spreadsheet so that you can upload it into your email marketing manager (Mailchimp is free up to 2000 emails).
Instagram recently released quite possibly their biggest update to-date with their new feature called "Instagram Stories". The stories feature adds a new dynamic to what can be posted to on Instagram.
Instagram has always been known to be a more polished version of a brand’s social content with very pretty and artistic pictures and profiles. Now with Instagram stories, it gives you more freedom to post other things that might not have been so pretty on your profile, but is something that you would want your followers to see. It has more of a raw and organic feel to it. It also allows your followers to get to know you a little bit more, and for some who never used video in Instagram, it allows people to actually hear your voice, which in a weird sense, allows your followers to really feel more connected to you.
With the update, it's important to think about how you can leverage this new feature to grow your brand and your following. Creating and posting engaging content is key to leveraging the potential of this new feature. Here are a few questions to consider when thinking of content to post.
How can you let your followers see more of your brand?
What type of content would my followers want to see in my story that they can't see in my profile?
How can I use it to drive people's attention to other areas of my business?
These are just a few questions to get you started when thinking about how you can utilize Instagram Stories for your account. The content you post is up to you, but there are several ways you can go about posting your content. Below are 3 examples of ways that you can post content that work well in Instagram story
1. Tell a story
2. Make an Announcement
3. Do an account takeover
BUT DON'T FORGET! Ultimately you want to create content that complements your brand and your typical Instagram posts. People follow you for a reason. They like the content you post on your profile, so you want to make sure the content in your story simply complements that. People don’t need the play by play of your day. They don’t want to see every little thing you are doing because quite frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that. Just keep your content relevant and focused.
For more on how to utilize Instagram Stories to grow your business and income, check out our Maximize Instagram course.
Caroline and Brian's thoughts, tips, and tricks to help you grow your business and become an expert marketer, business leader, and mompreneur.
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