The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship
Podcast Episode 035 – Honor Your Audience, No Matter the Size
Honor Your Audience, No Matter the Size
If you know my story, you know how all this started—I was all wrapped up in Corporate America. Back in those days, I barely knew what social media was. The only profile I had was LinkedIn, and even that was barely fleshed out; I kept it up just enough to showcase my resume and stay in touch with people I met at conferences.
I’ll tell you the full tale of how I broke away and built my own company some other time, but for the sake of today’s conversation, our story starts a few years after I’d launched my offline consulting business. I was technically succeeding, but the business I’d built wasn’t exactly the business I’d dreamed of. So, I took to the online space to reinvent my brand and start anew.
Of course, with new ventures come new mentors. I hired a one-on-one marketing coach to help me find my footing in the wild world wide web. And do you know what the FIRST thing she told me to do was?
“Get a Facebook account.”
Harumph. At that point, I was convinced that Facebook was just a place where people posted poorly lit pics of what they had for breakfast. No thanks!
But ever-bent on success (and on following my mentor’s advice), I got myself a Facebook profile (not even a Business Page, people—a personal profile, in 2015). I friended two people: my sister and my coach. And I set out on an adventure to learn the ins and outs of online business.
Suffice it to say that the early months weren’t easy. I’ve earned a reputation as the Facebook Group guru over the years, but at the time, I had NO clue how to leverage social media to grow my online business.
When I say I started with zero, I do mean, quite literally, that I started with ZERO.
But slowly, zero turned into two or three. And those two or three turned into five or ten. A few new faces at a time, I was able to grow my tiny little Facebook circle into a Business Page and, eventually, a Facebook Group that COMPLETELY reshaped my business’ identity and allowed me to reach heights that I never thought were possible.
This wasn’t luck. It wasn’t a coincidence, and I didn’t go back to school to earn some kind of degree in social media marketing (although I DID take as many online courses as I could get my hands on). I simply learned a little at a time and NOURISHED the heck out the few business relationships I did have.
No doubt about it—that’s something you can replicate. Keep reading to learn exactly how.
HOW BIG IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
Maybe you’re just starting out in your business. You might still be grinding that 9 to 5 and just starting to grow a side hustle that you hope evolves into something more.
Or maybe you’ve been at this for awhile. You saw some growth in the very beginning, but your online presence has been stagnant for awhile.
Either way, it doesn’t really matter—the key to growing your presence online is the same regardless of where you are on your journey. So many online entrepreneurs grow frustrated searching for the answer, when really, it’s so, so simple.
SHOW UP & HONOR YOUR AUDIENCE, NO MATTER THE SIZE.
Yep. That’s it. If you want to grow your online audience, you MUST show up and honor your audience, no matter how small it may be.
It’s not enough just to hop onto your Facebook Live once in a blue moon when you’re prepping for a launch or rolling out a new service. You have to be there for your audience CONSISTENTLY, rain or shine, acting from a place of service and gratitude.
WHY HAVING A SMALL AUDIENCE IS AWESOME
Have you ever hosted a dinner party? 20 people may not sound like a big number, but if you had all those people standing around in your kitchen, you’d feel overwhelmed.
Showing up online is kinda like that. You might go live and see that you only have five or 10 people watching in the beginning (heck, it might even be two or three people in the VERY beginning). It can be tempting to slack off or feel embarrassed at the low numbers. But how would you treat those people if you were sitting at a table with them?
Would you say, “Sorry, I know I invited you to dinner, but I was REALLY hoping that all 50 of my friends would show up. Since only five of you are here, I’m not really interested in hosting anymore.”
Of course not. How rude!
Instead, you’d serve dinner, pour some wine, tell some stories, and do your best to make those five people feel super welcome. You’d ask theme lots of questions about themselves, and they’d go home wowed by what a gracious host you were.
And next time you sent out a dinner party invite? You can bet they’d definitely show up! Heck, they might even bring a couple friends.
See what I’m getting at here? You don’t get to wait until you have a huge audience in place to suddenly show up and start serving. If you truly want to grow your online audience to that next level, you have to start serving TODAY.
Wanna know the cool thing though? Even though you may feel like you’re spending all your time talking to just a handful of folks, you’re totally growing your core network of SUPER FANS. When you take the time to form solid relationships with the people supporting you now, those same people will have your back later. They’ll cheer you on years from now, saying, “I knew her back when this all started! She’s great!”
Remember that next time you’re feeling low on energy and motivation—you might only have ten people, but without those ten people, you have nothing. Serve them well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s episode of The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship. If you read the blog but haven’t listened to the episode yet, scroll up to the top of this page and hit play! I promise, you won’t regret it.
How do you show up and serve your audience? If you host a Facebook live, virtual coffee meetup, stellar blog, etc., I’d love to hear about it! Tell me all about your ventures in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out.
Thank you so much for showing up for me, for yourself, and for your business today. I hope to see you right back here this time next week. Bye for now!
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