“Where attention goes, money flows.”
I remember the first time I heard those words, but they didn’t make much sense to me in the beginning.
Fast forward a few years and I now live by that sentence.
Attention = money
Money is not made from products, courses, software, etc.; money is made from audiences (also referred to as ‘eyeballs’ or ‘bums on seats’).
You could create the next ground-breaking product or even re-invent the wheel, but without an audience to market it to, you’re not going to sell very many.
This is why authors can write such fantastic books, have them published, and sell hardly any. People can’t buy what they don’t know of.
Compare that example to a celebrity or a reality TV star who employs a ghostwriter to write a book for them. That book may not be as good as some of the work published by other unknown, more experienced authors, but that celebrity’s book then sells like hot-cakes and skyrockets to number one in all of the charts!
Why? Because they have peoples attention.
Yes, paid advertising plays a part in making sales, but it’s much more cost-effective if you already have an audience who wants to hear what it is you have to say.
What is classed as an audience?
Your audience is essentially anyone who wants to hear from you, follow you, and see what you’re up to. It can be any number of people from ten to a few hundred, to thousands, to millions.
Some online examples of where an audience can be found (and grown) include the following areas:
- Facebook pages and groups
- Twitter followers
- YouTube subscribers
- Instagram followers
- Podcast listeners
- Email subscribers
- …you get the idea.
Quality over quantity
Although a big audience is desirable, the quality of an audience is absolutely key.
Think of it this way; would you rather have 1,000 hardcore fans who watched every video you posted, commented on your every Instagram post, and bought every product you released, or 10,000 fans who didn’t do any of that?
I’m guessing that you’d rather have the former, and you’d be right.
The lesson here is to not go chasing big numbers just for the sake of being able to say you have X number of followers. This is a prime example of vanity over sanity and it would also make you a ‘dick swinger’. (Read more about that here – Do You Know a Dick Swinger?)
The quality of an audience is measured by it’s engagement; higher engagement rates = a higher quality audience.
1000 true fans
There is a famous concept which dictates that you only need 1000 true fans to be able to do what you love as a full-time profession.
A true fan is similar to a hard-core follower; they will like, follow, and subscribe to you on every platform. They will always comment and engage with you in a positive manner. And if you bring out a new product or service, they will be one of the first to purchase and/or subscribe.
So let’ think about that and do a bit of business maths…
You have 1000 true fans, and you design a T-shirt that gives you $5 profit per sale. You sell one T-shirt to each of your true fans, making you a nice profit of $5000.
Another example. You have 1000 true fans and you create a small piece of software with a monthly subscription fee of $3. Your 1000 true fans sign up, which equals a revenue stream of $3000 per month.
As you can see, once you have 1000 true fans who are happy to follow you, engage with you, and invest in your products and services, you can easily make a full-time living out of doing what you love.
How do you create an audience?
So, the next logical question is, how do you create these 1,000 true fans?
Well, the most important thing to remember is that you have to give before you can receive. So, to build your audience and fan base, you need to create content that people find valuable, and you need to give that content away to your audience for free.
Some examples of content that you can give away include:
- blog posts
- explainer videos
- email courses
- webinar courses
- …again, you get the idea.
Of course, you can’t just create a couple of blog posts and a video and be done with it. You need to do it regularly, either on a daily or weekly basis.
Over time, your audience will start to build. It will be slow going at first, but if people enjoy your content your following will eventually start to snowball.
Yes, you have to give it away for FREE.
This is a point that many newbie entrepreneurs struggle with. They want to monetize it all and stick everything that they create behind a paywall.
I understand, we all need to eat and we all need to make money, but as the saying goes, “You’ll catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.”
The free content that you give away will help you do a few things:
- prove to your audience that you know what you’re talking about
- help you to build credibility and trust with your audience
- tell your potential customers that they’re in the right (or wrong) place
- the value that you give your followers will create the urge for them to reciprocate that value and purchase your products
In essence, the free stuff that you give away will make it easier and more cost effective to make sales, resulting in a higher ROI over the long term.
To wrap things up…
Creating an audience is tremendously underrated. Many entrepreneurs are out there trying to make sales when instead, they should be trying to build high-quality audiences.
Once you have eyeballs watching you, the sales and marketing part becomes a whole lot easier.
On the same day as publishing this post, I launched a new book for my business. Within 5 hours it was an Amazon #1 Bestseller in its category. At that point, not a penny was spent on advertising, I simply told my audience that we had a new book and they went and bought it.
…and that right there is the value of attention.
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