In this episode, I want to share with you how to start building your platform (aka your audience) for your business.
PLUS we are going to do it in a way that is aligned with your feminine energy AND doesn’t require you to have a huge marketing budget right now.
You can start building your platform organically RIGHT NOW, so that’s what we’re going to do together.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Grow Your Audience free training: tashcorbin.com/audience
Let’s dive in!
Where does all this talk of “platform” come from?
This conversation started among the #ladyposse when I attended the Hay House Writer’s Workshop, and one of the big conversations in the workshop was the fact that in order for you to be considered by a traditional publisher, you need to have a platform.
The book recommended to us there at Hay House Writer’s Workshop was Platform by Michael Hyatt.
I don’t actually recommend that book – I don’t like the strategies that are shared in most of that book, and I find it very masculine-energy orientated. It even recommends outdated strategies such as: “Go and follow 1,000 people on Twitter and they’ll follow you back.”
It’s really not how we do business these days, and particularly for women in business – it’s not aligned.
What do we mean by “having a platform?”
Having a platform means having an audience. More specifically, a high-quality audience.
That you can have a conversation with on a regular basis, who:
- Want to have a conversation with you
- Want to hear from you
- Are interested in the work you share
- Are hungry for the outcomes that you help them to achieve
One of the figures shared at Hay House Writer’s Workshop is that to be considered by Hay House in the USA, you need to have a following of 500,000 people.
We’ve seen from some examples that it doesn’t always have to be the case, but that number created this ripple throughout the audience. So many people were saying that they weren’t even at 10,000 people yet, so they were FREAKING out!
In this podcast we will dig into this further and get clear on the platform you actually need to grow your business, and how can you start building today.
Your most important platform…
The biggest indicator of platform size is not the people following your Facebook page or in your Facebook group. Even though I have a group of 34,000 now in the Heart-Centred community, that’s not actually my platform. My platform is my mailing list.
The first reason why a list is most important is that people who have signed up for your mailing list want to have a deep conversation with you and learn from you.
They’ve actually made a conscious decision to give you their email address, and that’s a big indicator of trust.
If you’re giving me your email address, you are trusting me to give you great value and not spam you.
Whilst I don’t agree with some of the Platform strategies in the book, I do agree that having your own platform is important. Let’s dig into four key things to start building your platform now, wherever you’re at in business.
I also have a great freebie to help you grow your list on autopilot.
1. You don’t need thousands of followers to make sales
This is one of those chicken-and-egg or cart-before-the-horse things that I see a lot of people get caught up in. They think the fastest way to make more money in their business is to get more followers, but that’s not at all true.
I have women in my Take Off program who have under 100 people on their mailing list, and they’ve already made over $10,000 in sales.
A giant audience is not required in order for you to achieve sales. In fact, when you’re in the start-up phase of your business, your list size does not directly correlate with your income.
In the start-up phase, you want to focus more on conversion than reach, so that you’re proving your offer and messaging before you jump into big reach and list-growth strategies.
If you’re in start-up, I want you to focus on getting clients first before growing your list. If you’re not getting clients in your business right now, if you’re not actually making money and struggling to get those first sales, the answer is not to create a long, convoluted funnel process to grow your mailing list.
The key is to find those high-connection strategies that convert really quickly, and keep list-growth as your long-term business growth strategy.
You do not need a giant audience to make money.
2. Growing your audience is great, but give it a purpose
For example, if you had half a million people on your list, and you were not being chased down by a publisher, I would say you are doing something wrong in your business.
At the end of the day if you have an audience of that size, it should be converting really well, right? You’d surely be a multi-million dollar per year business?!
If you are going to start growing your audience, give it a purpose.
If you don’t have people converting into buyers, you’re just building a giant list with no purpose. It needs to be converting people into something, so have a think about to what end your list is being built for.
What do you want them to buy from you?
What are they potentially investing in by signing up to your list?
A course? Membership? Mastermind?
Give your list a short-term purpose as well as the long-term purpose of growing your platform.
3. Your email list is still your best audience
While it’s great to grow your Facebook page, Instagram following, groups, etc., your list is still the best audience you have.
Have a look at the correlation between how many likes you have on your page and how many people you have on your mailing list. I will tell you hand-on-heart that my Facebook page has fewer likes than my mailing list has people on it. My job is actually to make sure that when people jump on to my mailing list, they also like my Facebook page because that’s another way for us to continue that conversation.
I’ve been really focusing on growing my list, to the extent that it has now outperformed the growth of my Facebook page.
For most people, they have twice as many likes as they do people on their list, so we need to make sure that you are converting the audience from liking your page and interacting with you there, onto your mailing list.
For me, the place that I want to convert off of Facebook at the moment is my group. I have a lot of people who are in my Facebook group (34,000+) but my mailing list is not that size, so I need to start making sure that the right people are converted from that group if learning from me is a priority for them.
As you can tell, your email will still always be your best audience.
Make sure you are giving lots of time and space towards growing that list and converting sales.
4. List-building strategies are different at the four different stages of business
I want to talk a little bit about the four stages of business and how they differ because, as I said, growing your list and conversion on email is a more advanced strategy compared to what you do in start-up.
Stage 1 – Direct Sell
Direct sell is when you mostly sell to people directly – this could be on your Facebook page, in groups, in your extended network and through conversations with people. It’s the initial stage of business in which you sell 1:1, and deliver 1:1. This is where you are working out your niche, messaging and offers, and refining it quickly through making sales via conversation.
List-building in this stage is best focused in two areas:
1. People who sign up for your webinars
That’s where you are starting to really create that momentum and give yourself opportunities for the direct sell at the end of a webinar.
2. When people discuss or are working with you
If someone signs up to work with you, or signs up for a discovery call, or comes along and says: “Oh you’re amazing!” and you start having a conversation with them, just ask them if they would like to be added to your mailing list. That’s usually where the list growth comes from during those early stages.
Stage 2 – Scale and Systemise
Once you jump into the scale and systemise stage of business, then you can look at those one-to-many methods of list growth. For example, you might be batching and scheduling content and inviting people at the end of each of your videos to come and join your mailing list either by grabbing a freebie (like I am doing today), or by just saying: “Sign up for my newsletter because that’s where I give the most up to date information, and you can get a great newsletter from me every week.”
You might also do Facebook lives where you’re inviting people along to an evergreen (always available) freebie. What I recommend when you’re in this phase of business is to keep doing your webinars regularly and add some evergreen freebies to the mix as well.
I have a mix of different things – some of them are live and some of them are self-study – and I have a system for getting all of them out in front of the eyes of my audience consistently and inviting them onto my mailing list.
Stage 3 – Launch and Leverage
When you jump to this phase of business, you are launching courses/programs. Therefore, your launch lead magnets become one of your main sources of list growth for your business.
Every time you run a launch, you could be growing your list by hundreds, if not thousands of people. PLUS in-between your launches you are still sharing your evergreen freebies and content to grow your audience.
This means that the next time you launch, you have a larger audience that has already been warmed up, thus improving launch conversion.
Stage 4 – Process Orientation
When you have reached this stage of business, most of your list growth will come from ongoing list growth via advertising and your launches.
This is where you make those tiny adjustments and really focus on improving conversion, sign-up rates, and effective list nurturing.
As you can see, list-growth changes at the different stages of business. That is why I have created my special list building freebie. I think that a lot of coaches and strategists out there are teaching advanced list building strategies to people who are in startup, and it’s not an appropriate strategy for their business stage.
I’ve created this super short and sharp training on how to grow your audience – AND it breaks the strategies into business stages.
You can grab it for free at tashcorbin.com/audience
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.