Climbing the Pole
Little did I know that I was engaging with a shooting star of social media. Danny has blown me away with his strategy of engaging and building a loyal community of followers.
He went from zero followers in less than a year to hundreds of thousands who have read the dozens of guest posts he’s written for his own site and for ProBlogger, copyblogger and many other top-ranked blogs.
Danny tells the story of how he did it his new book Engagement from scratch, in which he has enlisted leading authors and bloggers to contribute chapters on audience building. I highly suggest that you read it if you are trying to build an audience. I’ve certainly learned a lot.
In his foreword, Danny says, “My partner and I had just launched a promising new venture called Firepole Marketing that offered a marketing training program for small businesses, entrepreneurs and non-marketers.
We had already built the training program, and just launched our brand new blog. We had no readers, no subscribers, and no relationships with the big players in the industry.”
Danny and his partner started out by launching a contest to promote their training program. As he recounts, “So what were the sales results? Nada – we didn’t sell a thing.” He learned that first you need to build your audience before you make a sale.
The Four Stages in Growing an Audience
Danny also learned there are four distinct stages involved in growing an audience online that every blog and website has to go through. He says:
Stage 1. Truly Awesome Content. Know who your audience is, and create something extraordinary for them.
Stage 2. Build Your Community. Connect with other people who can help you along the way – not just the big players that you look up to, but also your peers, who are trying to do the same thing you are.
Stage 3. Be everywhere. Do the work to become ubiquitous in eyes of your audience.
Stage 4. Get viral. Harness the formula that I outlined earlier (in the book) to generate some real virality and growth but only we’ve got the critical mass for it to work.
What the Experts Say
Luminaries such as Guy Kawasaki and Brian Clark write about general principles of engagement and building an audience. Other authors tackle tips on developing content and using social media, steps to take and lessons learned.
Just this month Danny was an “expert” panelist on a webinar The Business Blogging Teleseminar organized by Tom Treanor at RightMixMarketing. The panel also included blogging guru Denise Wakeman.
Wow, Danny, way to go! Excuse me while I go implement the advice of you and your experts.
For more information about Danny Iny, visit Firepole Marketing. His book “Engagement from scratch! How super-community builders create a loyal audience and how you can do the same!” is available on Amazon.com. It can also be downloaded for free at EngagementFromScratch.com.