Build Audience Organically

Let’s be real. When you’re bootstrapping your brand, you probably don’t have buckets of money to pour into advertising. Even $50 a day can seem astronomical. Now’s the perfect time to quote Benjamin Franklin, who famously said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” What if I told you that you could save a penny and earn an audience? Intrigued? Let’s take those steps to building your audience organically.

Psst. We have a list of 25 ways to build your brand’s audience organically. Check it out here.

Step 1: Focus on Facebook

…And Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Medium, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…

Social media is not just a platform for keeping up with your friends and favorite celebrities. It is an unavoidable part of brand development. No one wants to do business with cold, faceless brands. No one wants to read blogs without knowing your name. And no one wants to trust a brand without a social presence.

Think of the last time you saw a brand that didn’t have at least one social profile. It was creepy, right? That’s because not having a social presence makes the brand seem robotic, one dimensional, fly-by-night, scammy, or inactive– maybe all of the above. All of these perceptions will actively repel an audience.

You need a social presence to show your current and future audience that your brand is human. Here’s some more great reasons you should be on social media:

+Convey Brand Tone

Social media allows you to give your brand a personality and tone. While you can and should do this with your blog also (more on this topic later), social media provides a great opportunity to define your brand persona. For example, an interior designer may want to pin photos on Pinterest that showcase his or her design aesthetic.

+Engage Your Audience

With a social presence, you can speak directly to your audience. They post a question, you answer, and vice versa. Instead of hoping that your audience remembers to visit your blog (which can be a hit or miss), you can provide content that your audience cares about directly on their feed. With your relevant social updates, you give a powerful incentive for them to follow you back to your blog.

+Help Educate Your Audience

Do you offer a product or service that needs to be explained? Perhaps there are different ways to use your offerings, and you want to illuminate them to your audience. For example, you can share explainer videos on YouTube that show how to use your product. Alternately, you can use these videos to discuss topics related to brand message, like Moz does with their Daily SEO Fix series.

+Provide Value

Whether for education or entertainment purposes, your goal with social media should always be to provide highly relevant and useful information for your audience. That’s the way you gain trust as an authentic brand persona and authority as an industry expert. For example, you can host a monthly “Ask Me Anything” hour on Google Hangouts.

Step 2: Build Your Blog

When you’re building your audience, you can’t neglect your blog. It’s the cornerstone of your growth strategy. Your audience needs relevant and consistent content from you.

Search engines love blogs, also. When you have a lot of updated and optimized content on your site, you’re more likely to get found on search engines.

But let’s back up. What do I mean by updated and optimized content?

Unlike a static website where your content rarely changes, your blog is continuously updated with new content. And your blog should always talk to your target audience. A lot of brands make the mistake of talking to their industry and not to the people who will actually purchase their offerings. Don’t do that. Remember who your audience is and then make content that they would likely search for on the Internet.


For example, if you run a doggy daycare, your audience is a pet owner who works or travels a lot. Your blog posts may focus on how to choose the best doggy daycare for a pet’s personality or daycare vs. a dog sitter. Both of these topics are what your target audience would likely search for on Google when trying to decide on the best option for Fido.

If your blog post contains the phrase your audience searches for along with detailed meta tags that provide information for the search engine bots, Google will often reward you by giving you a prominent spot on search engine page. Don’t know what a meta tag is? A meta tag is a code in the HTML that describes the content of a website. You can create a meta description tag that search engines will display on results pages that your site is listed on. You can read more information about meta tags here.

Imagine ranking number one for a popular phrase in your industry. The best way to do that is through optimized content with your targeted audience in mind.

You should also keep this blog updated. And don’t be afraid to refresh older blog topics to zoom in to your audience. Google Analytics makes it possible to find key demographic indicators about your blog readers, such as gender, age, or interest. Armed with this information, you can then laser-focus older blog posts with targeted tweaks.

Step 3: Create Contests

It’s no secret that we think contests are the best thing since sliced bread. That’s because contests can help you grow your audience like nothing else. As you’ll see in that post, you don’t even have to lure them with a free iPad. With the right contest, you can build your perfect audience– the ones who’ll stick around after the contest ends.

If you offer a prize that’s directly tied to your brand, such as a free hour of coaching, you know that the contestants attracted to your offer are also your perfect audience. Once they enter your contest, start selling them right away on how you can be valuable to them. For example, in your contest confirmation email, drive them to relevant landing page where you share your most popular blog posts on the topic.

It may seem obvious, but it’s the small touches that set you apart from the competition. You can’t assume that your contestants will venture off onto your blog and consume your content. They may not even know you have a blog. Perhaps they were referred by a friend via email and they know nothing about you, but they like what you have to offer in your contest. Now’s the time to educate them on who you are, what you offer, and why they should care.

Step 4: Don’t Forget About Your Email List

Last but certainly not least, you can use your email list to build your brand’s audience. An email list goes hand in hand with a blog, a contest, and even social media. If you have even one person coming to your site, you should have an email capture tool that allows them to subscribe to receive your content. This content could be blog updates, brand news, upcoming classes, fun contests, meet and greets, or a host of other valuable information.

You should provide exclusive content in your email list that can’t be found elsewhere (such as on your blog or social profiles). This content is a perk for subscribing to your email list.

There’s something magical about an email list– it creates engagement. Your audience is either reminded of your brand continuously, or gently nudged back to your blog– and both of these results are good.

In order to build your audience in this way, you should entice them with a highly relevant gift that’s related to the content on your website or blog. For example, if you blog about gluten-free recipes, you can offer an ebook on gluten-free dessert recipes in exchange for an email subscription. This way, everyone’s a winner.

Final Thoughts

The first steps to growing your audience are doing the things you already do, but with focused intentions. Always provide highly relevant content for your audience– content that they are actually searching for in Google and social media. That’s the best way get people engaged and keep them coming back for more.

Psst. We have a list of 25 ways to build your brand’s audience organically. Check it out here.

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