And I get it. It’s been a wild ride since the early days of Facebook and all the copycats that have followed.
Not everyone wants to be public or have their name plastered everywhere as a type of billboard that says “Look at me, look at me, won’t you p-l-e-e-e-e-e-a-a-a-a-s-s-s-s-e-e-e-e-e look at me!”
The good news is you don’t have to. I’ve found the fastest way to grow an audience online. You can then use creativity to make 6-figures from those loyal supporters if you choose.
I’m no guru but I have played this online game for 9 years straight. I don’t work a job anymore and this is one of the main topics I research.
Here’s the fastest path to grow online.
Use email better than everyone else
Email is the key.
Yep, we’ve had to rewind 20 years to discover what’s old is new again. Everyone who wants to grow online needs an email list also known as an email newsletter.
The next part is new…
Beehiiv, $ubstack, and ConvertKit offer recommendation programs — and they confuse the heck out of creators.
There are three levels:
- Level 1: Fans recommend your newsletter for free to unlock some $0 reward.
- Level 2: You pay other creators in the same niche to recommend your newsletter for every subscriber they give you.
- Level 3: Other creators recommend your newsletter for free.
The level three option is the one creators miss. Instead of using social media you can redeploy that time into networking with other creators.
To do so you’ll need a few high-quality pieces of content that are already published. Then all you do is reach out to other creators via email and social media direct messages and ask if they want to do a newsletter recommendation swap.
Inside Beehiiv, $ubstack, and ConvertKit there’s a recommendation button. You search for the creator and click recommend.
They do the same for you. Now every time they get a new subscriber, your newsletter gets offered up as well and there’s a good chance they’ll become a fan of you too.
This organic form of growth is so damn powerful.
Remember: you only need 10 high-quality creators recommending your newsletter and your audience will grow faster than it ever will with social media.
The trick is you don’t want to reach out to those that have 10M followers. They’ll ignore you. You want to pick the small-medium creators. People just like you. People who understand how hard growth can be. And people who love the same topic as you.
I’ve found the bond I have with creators on a topic is more persuasive to them than the number of email subscribers or followers I have.
Bond with creators over topics. Recommend each other. Grow organically.
Social media is rocket fuel
Now comes social media.
If you’re like me and don’t want to hide in a cabin by the fire smoking a corn cob pipe then jump on social media. Pick one of the big platforms — LinkedIn or “X” (tweet app).
All you do then is post to drive attention and awareness to your email newsletter. Give away 50% of a piece of long-form content but make the audience subscribe to get the other 50%.
Now they have the motivation to join your email list.
The reason this matters is followers are useless. You want a direct relationship with an audience, especially if you want to monetize.
Email list = main game
Social media = secondary game
Just share what you know
At this point people freeze.
They don’t know what to say or share which is silly. We are all experts in something, and we’re all obsessed with at least one topic. Focus on that.
I often make my content a form of journal. I share things I’ve learned, stories that have happened, or other people’s content I like. The key is I don’t overthink it.
Value is subjective.
Not everyone will like what you share, but the people who do are the real fans. True fans help you make this a full-time pursuit.
The audience hack I see no one using
I saw my friend Nicolas Cole use this.
He recently launched a new ghostwriting book. He obviously told his email list about it — with a subtle difference.
He shared some valuable insights from the book with his email list but you had to click a tweet, go to the app, like and comment, and then he’d email you the reward in the form of a PDF.
What this does is get people to share your premium content with their social media audience. More people then see it, and those eyeballs lead to more email subscribers.
Such a simple tweak but highly effective. Learn from the pros.
What you do on the internet is your legacy
Many people ignore what I say about building an audience.
They think it’s just for influencers or those big egos that want to create a pain in the ass “personal brand.” That’s not the point.
The internet is a place to share your ideas. Writing is a way to think and join the dots between ideas. That work becomes your legacy.
Use what I just taught you to build an audience faster than most and have it become part of your legacy. The 6 figures you’ll make in the process is a dog and pony show in comparison.