Building trust with your audience will help determine the success of your blog or business. Serve them and your audience will grow. Ignore what they want and you might fizzle out when no one pays attention or buys your products and services.
To build trust, you have to define your audience.
Why define an audience?
You should define your audience because:
- Understanding an audience and their needs help uncover related business opportunities
- Identifying an audience also identifies what you should create for them (products, services, content)
- You’ll understand how to reach them effectively – where they hang out, the language(s) they use, etc
There are three main ways of defining your audience:
- Look into your existing audience base. Log into Google Analytics (see Chapter 1) and find out the breakdown of your audience.
- Zero in on your personal brand and niche. Produce content that’s uniquely in your voice, style and delivery method
- Target specific audiences. A bit more strategy-focused, they might target high-income earners who enjoy a particular hobby and live in a particular country
Which methods are better? It’s not one versus the others. The best method is more like a combination of all three.
- Some content creators prefer using their existing audience base as their foundation, then work on their personal brand and niche.
- Others feel very strongly about setting the right tone from the beginning, unwilling to compromise or tone down their core values (or language usage!).
- The rest look for audiences based on economic potential.
All three methods are like three criss-crossing roads that ultimately lead to the same location. The end goal is the same: you want to create content that attract and retain the type of audience you want, so you get to monetize from them.
What if you’re starting from zero and don’t have an audience yet?
Follow your competitors, do what they do, add a personal touch and go from there.
Take notes on:
- The types of content they produce
- Which topics get more likes, comments and retweets
- How they engage with their audience
- How they make use of social media
- How they optimized their content for sharing
- The ways they improved user experience in their website
- And more
Building trust with new and existing audience
According to Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give & Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, the most successful people over the long-term are ‘givers’ – those whose natural tendency is to spend their life providing value to others.
Not everyone is natural ‘givers’. Most of us are ‘matchers’ – we do equal-ish amount of giving and taking, while ‘Takers’ may enjoy short-term success but will eventually develop a pretty bad reputation. There are also obvious downsides to being a ‘giver’, (being taken advantage of, especially by ‘takers’) but we can implement some ‘giver’ qualities strategically.
Here’s how you can find and grow your audience by giving strategically:
- Leave helpful comments. On blogs, websites, online forums and communities, social media, and other places where your audience hangs out
- Create online communities. Create places where people can hang out and, learn and ask questions about your niche
- Make free content. Organise free webinars, give out free ebooks and downloadables and more. This is a great way to collect emails for email marketing too (Chapter 5)
- Feature someone else in your platform. Interview them and create articles, podcasts, videos – whatever medium you prefer. More often than not, they will share the content to their followers, thus exposing you to more audience
We are 100% comfortable in sharing this information because (1) it works for ‘givers’ and ‘matchers’, (2) it increases the quality of online content, which benefits everyone, (3) we want to help ‘givers’ make money from their efforts, because they deserve it, and (4) ‘takers’ cannot do the above methods without appearing fake and insincere.
We think that’s a win-win-win scenario all-around!
What content does your audience want?
By now, you know you should produce and give out content liberally, but what content should you create?
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. Here are some common ones.
We tend to enjoy content that:
- Is educational, entertaining or inspiring
- Is better than your competitors’
- Provides solutions to a problem (even if that problem is ‘boredom’)
- Satisfies a marketing aim (brand awareness, etc)
- Is presented in a suitable medium for your target audience
Do you find it hard to create high-quality content? If you do, follow the steps in Fizzle’s free 80/20 Copywriting Workbook. We can’t recommend it highly enough.
Example Content that Serves its Audience
Because the word ‘quality’ itself is subjective, the best we can do here is to provide you with some case studies. Here are some content creators who create great content within their niche:
CleanFoodDirtyGirl.com focuses on ethical eating and offers free whole food, plant-based recipes.
MamaInAStitch.com gives free knitting and crochet patterns.
TheInteriorsAddict.com provides countless interior decorating and renovation ideas in a consistent, trustworthy and relatable voice.
Fizzle.co helps others create profitable, sustainable, meaningful businesses.