Larger, More Established Companies Find Audience Building Difficult
I stepped into my first job as an Internet marketer nearly a decade ago.
Initially I worked for a startup tech company. Then I made my way to two larger, more established companies. I followed that with some work as a marketing consultant.
I learned some things during these years of marketing experience. I learned that large companies—and often people with a ton of business experience—despite their very best intentions and the great people who work there, often find it difficult to do the single most important thing an online business must do: build an engaged audience.
It’s not easy to do that building. It takes coming to the table consistently with your best stuff over and over and over. You must…
- ...maintain a laser focus on audience needs.
- ...be willing to have and express a clear opinion.
- ...be human.
The bigger and older the company gets, the harder it is to do those things, especially if those elements weren’t built into the company at its inception.
You've Got the Advantage
To you who is venturing out on your own or are new to Internet business, you have an advantage. It might be nice to hear these things.
- You have not been tainted by old school marketing techniques. This means you can fully buy into an audience first philosophy of marketing without reserve.
- As a newcomer to online commerce, you most likely have the ability to run a tight ship financially. This is important because it will allow you to focus on audience building before trying to make a ton of money.
- You can talk with your engaged audience and learn from them. This means you can develop a product or service based on their needs. By the way, as you grow, don’t ever lose this mentality of listening to your audience. This can happen easily.
- You avoid the large company challenge of tying up your marketers in responsibilities across departments, instead, keeping them (or you) free to focus on building your audience.
- Because you have no stakeholders yet, you can be flexible and adaptable. You can take risks—difficult to do when you have multiple stakeholders’ opinions weighing in. If your attempts fail, you can try something else.
- You don’t have to impress executives. This means you don’t have to write marketing plans geared to impress executives. This is good because often, those plans become so comprehensive that they are utterly useless.
You can do this.
For you audience builders, even if you are inexperienced: You can do this. You have many advantages. You can pivot quickly and build what your market is needing now because of the reciprocation of influence you’ll experience with your audience
For a great podcast on this topic, check out Pat Flynn and Clay Collins from LeadPages talk about “Laddering Up.” Their podcast influenced this blog post and a goldmine of information for anyone looking to build an online business through first building an audience.
To victories great and small!
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