There is no need to emphasize the importance of growing audience at this point. Not only did online presence become a must, it also became an important sales channel for many businesses. Unfortunately, the competition for customers’ attention is getting more fierce each day. Advertising costs are hiking up. Algorithms are changing.

It seems like all businesses online are being taught to grow an audience the same way. So how can businesses grow their audience online in an unconventional way? 5 experts will share unconventional ways to build your audience online.

  1. Bring networking back online

Chantelle Paige Turner, community growth strategist, emphasizes a major social change that comes from technological advancements and how people interact.

Turner quotes, “right now, people feel a lot more disconnected than ever. We may be connected through social media and internet. But the community and networking aspect is gone etc”.

A lot of people forget that we’re all humans on social media. Even on social media, we’re interacting with other human beings. Turner encourages the practice of bringing the human networking interactions back online rather than focusing on the number of followers.

She adds, “don’t attract a bunch of strangers that’ll just open emails etc. Have the perfect party that will mix with each other in communities. I recently had one of my clients who applied this philosophy in building a community of his own, and generated multiple 5 figures in sales in a completely new niche”.

2. Put yourself in a competition proof container

“We are moving into a time where competition is more fierce than ever. As well, consumers want to buy human connection alongside their purchase. So when you’re growing your audience, you need to pick a method that helps you create human connection while avoiding competition,” Alex Agresta, Speaking Coach, describes, “and speaking on stage is exactly that– a competition proof container where all eyes are on you and your brand”.

Stage is the only place where you’re not competing for attention since it’s just you on the stage. The audience is choosing to show up and be in your space. As well, in most cases, because the organizers are responsible for building the demand, there is no need for prior marketing and advertising either.

Agresta suggests starting out with free speaking opportunities, “some people throw free gigs off to the side, but free gigs have generated me multiple 5 figure deals and countless referrals. Focus on speaking to the right people on the right stages, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you grow your audience”.

27707 / Pixabay

3. Use Subreddits

Fiona Wong, Founder of Wild Pixel Marketing, suggests a severely under leveraged social media platform; reddit.

“The easiest way to grow your audience is to find the people in need, put yourself in front of them, and shift their attention from everyone else to you,” Wong says, “I did this through Reddit’s entrepreneur subreddits. Not only there are people consistently asking questions, but also it is extremely search engine friendly”.

When someone asks a question, genuinely be helpful. Response should be a size of a mini blog post, formatted with bullet points and proper citation. Since Reddit posts and users are anonymous, there are no judgment based on gender, age, or even location.

Wong also adds the cherry on top, “because of the platform’s anonymity, it forces people to start a conversation with you. As well, Reddit posts rank highly on Google search engine– meaning it is an evergreen organic traffic. This is how I built my business and my audience base without traditional social media marketing”.

4. Stop trying to be perfect

Susi Kaeufer, International Mindset and Business Coach, gives an advice that would be considered every marketers’ nightmare, “stop trying to be perfect. Why? Because everyone else is trying to be perfect”.

All brands online are trying to plan every single posts on social media– especially due to social media influencers and everyone sharing the best side of themselves online. Because of this, people are craving contents and brands that they can relate to. People want human connection. Showing picture perfect posts is not going to create that.

Kaeufer also adds, “in reality, things are not always picture perfect. Stop caring about what you feel people might say. Share fun facts about you. Be personable. This has been THE major tool to build my audience of 27,000 Instagram followers and 14,000 Female Entrepreneurs in my Facebook community”.

5. Focus on building a table of trust. Not customer base.

“We all have between 100 and 250 people in our immediate network. That means each person I connect to on social media will give me access to at least 4-5 more people that could become my audience,” Shelly Jorgensen, Co-Founder of the Executive Networking Events says, “so my job is simple. Use online platforms to build a table of trust, not customer base”.

As soon as you build trust with the people in front of you, they will be able to introduce you to at least 4-5 more people in their circle. When you do this with 100 people in your audience, it can easily increase to 400-500 new audience members without having to spend a lot of money on advertisements.

Jorgensen also adds, “the biggest mistake most people make is to build an audience for the sake of selling. But most of the audience won’t buy just by seeing posts online etc. So if you focus on building trust rather than selling, you stack the odds in your favor since it allows you to more easily access bigger pool of audience. Audience’s trust will go a long way in building your audience online”.