You send an email to your list. Nothing happens. You work hard and publish an awesome new article. Nothing happens. What the heck?
There’s a crucial difference between subscribership and engagement. I submit that what you’re seeking with your marketing is engagement, not subscribership. I know, this is deep stuff. Yet our focus is usually placed in the exact opposite direction. So I’ll say it again…
We keep wanting to reach MORE people. Why?
- It’s time-consuming.
- It’s expensive.
- It begins a new relationship…which is good, but a NEW relationship is also the most difficult to monetize.
The days of building huge websites that get tons of traffic and then simply monetizing with ads and affiliate links are over. This is old news, but most of us who market ourselves online haven’t changed our approach.
Small is awesome
Focus on who you have NOW. Do only 20 people subscribe to your blog? Don’t discredit yourself, and most importantly, don’t discredit THEM! TALK TO THEM! Get a response. Be awesome to them. Give them cool stuff like a free report that is actually WORTH something. Maybe give them a video or some chocolate. I don’t know. Be cool to them. You know how to be cool. You don’t need me to tell you how to be cool. You’re a reader of Dangerous Tactics, which means you’re already way smarter than most people! Your brand of cool is going to be different than mine, and that’s cool. What matters is that you connect, engage and convert. That’s what businesses are made of.
Getting more people is not the answer. Increasing engagement is the answer.
What happens when you’re awesome to 20 people? Lean in close, because I’m going to reveal a massively powerful SECRET to marketing right now…
When you’re awesome to 20 people, they tell other people how awesome you are! All of a sudden you have 40 subscribers. Not impressed? Maybe you should be awesome to those 40 people too. I know…40 people to be awesome to…that’s a lot of pressure. What are your alternatives?
- You COULD just go spend an insane amount of money on ads that don’t convert.
- You COULD triple the number of times you link out to your own stuff on Twitter and Facebook, alienating your friends and followers.
- You COULD buy a coop email list with 300,000 ill-gotten email addresses on it, and become a spammer.
- You COULD spend a thousand dollars per month (or more…probably more) for a SEO firm to help you get more traffic.
You could do any of these things if you want. Or, you could just be awesome to the people whose attention you already have. The cool thing is that when you do this, people talk and spread the word for you. It’s free, and it’s WAY more powerful and effective with regards to building your blog’s readership, your email list or whatever it is you’re building.
Do you want a BIG list and a LOT of readers? Or do you want a RESPONSIVE list and LOYAL readers, who “get” what you do?
Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but it IS more expensive and wasteful
More and more people on your list who don’t respond…that’s what happens when you focus solely on “getting more subscribers” or “increasing traffic” instead of actually TALKING with the people you already have on the line.
I’ve seen sites with tens of thousands of subscribers close up shop. They called it quits after achieving what most bloggers can only dream of. Lack of engagement is why. Are you trying to become a rock star? OK then, if so…you’re reading the wrong blog right now. Are you trying to build a very profitable business using web marketing? If so, you’re on the RIGHT blog, and you DON’T need tons of traffic or a huge email list to make it happen!
There’s an important need for things like traffic generation, SEO and such. I’m not completely disregarding these things. They’re important. But most of us place way too much importance on it. Focus on the attention you already have. It’s worth a LOT more than you realize. Attention is not the goal; it’s merely the first step.
In new articles coming soon, we’ll discuss the 5 stages of marketing you need to use in order to have maximum impact with your small audience. Until then, don’t sweat the small stuff…be small, stay small. Lean and mean. Lose the need for an ego stroke…you don’t need thousands of people to come out to your site every day, and you don’t need a huge email list to make a great living do this.
Do you want 100,000 subscribers who don’t respond to your content? It may feel good to have the numbers, but it doesn’t mean ANYTHING if the engagement is not there. Here’s a litmus test you can use:
Is your small readership hyper-engaged and responding really well to what you’re doing? Do you only have 20 subscribers? If so, you should still be making sales. Not a lot of course, but something. If you’re making no sales with your small amount of traffic, why do you think getting MORE traffic will help? Zero times a bazillion…is still ZERO!
Place your focus on increasing engagement and really doing something that connects…something that is really MEANINGFUL to a small number of people. Who can you truly reach in a meaningful way? That is your true audience. That is your true list. Everyone else…all those people who don’t respond…are just fake subscribers. Maybe they’ll come around one day, but don’t hold your breath. You have better things to focus on in the meantime.