Have you ever been caught up in a creative flow? You’re excited and passionate about your “thing” and focus all your energy and attention on the creation: every detail, organization, design, and function. It’s a masterpiece. It’s gorgeous. It works perfectly. It provides a critical solution.
There’s just one little problem.
No one knows about it so there’s no one to buy it. All your energy was focused on creating and you forgot to gather your audience and fans who would want it, if only they knew about you and your amazing, beautiful thing.
During a recent email exchange with a student, she commented that she wasn’t ready to start marketing her new business:
I am in a transitional phase of my business. The website and social media are being fine tuned, and will not be ready for about a month. So I feel that marketing at this time should wait until then.
This is a common belief and one that can get you in trouble. Well, maybe not in trouble, but it can slow you down and create a perception, or reality, that you’re behind on achieving your business goals.
Another example is an opportunity that recently surfaced to work on a book launch. The author plans on launching his book in less than 4 weeks, yet has virtually no online audience and a minimal online presence. Yikes! Without an audience of fans, it will be tough to sell the book and, therefore, will require a strong post-launch campaign that includes aggressive audience building tactics.
So, what’s going on?
Your audience (buyer, customer, tribe, community, fan, client, reader, etc.) is essential to your success. Long before your “thing” is ready, you need to develop your audience. Without them, not much is going to happen.
Let’s look at the first example of the website that’s not ready. You can always be marketing, even when you don’t have your website ready. And, the earlier you start, the better positioned you’ll be for a successful launch, whether it’s a book or a website or a new business.The earlier you start marketing, the better positioned you'll be for a successful launch.
For example, you can use social networks to discuss you area of expertise, share other people’s related content and establish your authority on your topic. You can build relationships through casual conversation and content while you put the finishing touches on your web site.
Starting your marketing campaign before launching gives you the opportunity to get feedback, test ideas and get a jump start on honing in on your true advocates who will help you amplify your message when it’s time.
The success of any launch relies on the number of fans who use their influence within their own networks to extend your reach.
Waiting until everything is ready — the website is perfect or the book is published — puts you behind. You can be building the buzz now, in preparation for the big day.
I hope I haven’t upset or discouraged you. You have eyes wide open now and if you haven’t started your audience building activities, today is the perfect day to begin! Whether you have two weeks or two years, now is the time to start.
Where do you start?
The first thing I recommend is for you to read my post How Do I Start Building My Platform? This will give you some basic steps for building a solid foundation from which to start.
Next, don’t wait for all the pieces to be complete and perfect. Start on your favorite social networking site and develop a plan for telling your story with micro-content. This will help create more visibility so you attract attention to your message.
I cannot stress this enough. Everyone begins at zero. Those who are successful start early and work consistently to identify, target and connect with the people who are the perfect audience for their “thing.”
Need help building your audience? Contact me and we’ll discuss how you can achieve your online business goals.