In this section, we will explore the right mindset you want to start your audience-building journey with, and important is the role of consistency in building your audience.
The imposter syndrome
You might be wondering there are so many people better than you out there, why you should be talking about anything.
Your brain is protecting you from unknown dangers than putting yourself out there might attract.
Remember: Real imposters don't suffer from imposter syndrome
Building in public
By building in public, you're building wealth: Even if you fail, your struggle and your journey will be something valuable.
People will follow you because of your vulnerability not despite it.
Start by being an ambitious learner, share your learnings, share your journey, lift up and unite people around you and become the person that your community wants to engage with.
Be the hero of your own story
Many heroes' stories start with someone going on an adventure, running into trouble, things start looking better. Then catastrophe happens, the hero overcomes the problem and things start looking better.
Every one of us has an outstanding quality that can turn into our advantage, something unique that others can't easily copy it.
Don't create a faceless brand. Be yourself, your honest, truthful, imperfect self.
If some people don't like your content and don't want to interact with you, that's OK. You should be trying to surround yourself with people that you wanted to be surrounded by in the first place.
The audience building schedule
Audience building needs to be purposeful and intentional, hanging out on Twitter all day long won't get you anywhere.
The first step is to deal with your own "monkey mind". We get distracted, defer work, and ignore hard things.
The items in your schedule need to be done on time and every time. For that, an accountability mechanism can be very helpful: something that makes you want to work on your audience even when you don't feel like it.
Accountability tools work for people differently:
- External: Accountability groups (e.g. reading groups)
- Internal: Pact with yourself (e.g. paying to charity every time you miss a goal)
It is important that you start building an accountability mechanism for yourself from the start (when you don't have an audience yet), once you built the audience, their expectations will be the major source of the accountability.
The network effect
Audience building can be brutal, it can take a lot of time for you to see the result. It can feel like you're talking to a wall and barely anyone appreciates your work. This will pass.
Even the tallest trees start out as small saplings.
Audience growth is not linear, but geometric. Getting from 0 to 100 followers will probably take the same time as getting from 100 to 1000, due to the network effect. The bigger your audience is the faster it grows.
The regularity of your output matters more than the immediate results that you may or may not see.
Your persistence will only set you apart from those who give up.
Be consistent, persistent, and insistent.
It sometimes feels like the needle is not moving much, as a result of recency bias.
Take snapshots and notes. Every little success is a step forward, every single like under your post will be an expression of someone's belief in your mission.
Don't try to increase your number of followers without making sure those are who actually want to interact with you or your work. Don't look at just a shiny number, success is multivariate.