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23 Comments

Instead of building an audience...

Building an audience can be scary and very overwhelming. You can look at others doing it and feel totally inadequate.

I can look at myself and say I'm building an audience, but really in my own world view, I am not.

This is not how I see it. This is not how I personally feel comfortable. I'm not sure I'll ever truly feel comfortable receiving praise. But I can say for sure it gets much easier over time and doing it digitally and being somewhat in control of what is put out there is very helpful to me.

So instead of building an audience, I like to reframe it as:

  • finding belonging
  • building up your network
  • create trust in who you are
  • creating value
  • making something out of nothing
  • doing something you love
  • creating community ☁️

By using these words they have more meaning, to me at least.

So if I want to find belonging, personally I will turn to places where I feel like I will fit in:

  • Indie Hackers ♥️
  • With other community builders
  • with women in tech/business
  • with unschoolers
  • with people local to me
  • etc.

If you take each of the bullet points I recommend creating a list of things you could do and then a picking a few things that seem achievable to you right now.

I'm pretty sure you'll end up building an audience as a result.

  1. 8

    I like to call this building my Hero Cluster where the people I want to serve are the Hero and I'm just the sidekick.

    I wake up everyday wondering how can I best serve this Hero. How can I help their journey even more? If you continue to do this consistently over a period of time you'll begin to find that people flock to you because they see you as an enabler of their own success.

    It's too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to be the expert to build your audience, when the reality is you just have to be seen as the person that is going to bring value back to them in some way.

    If you want to get started doing this then the best way is to be the promoter. Boost other people up. Shine a light on them.

    1. 1

      ^^ LOVE this thinking! The more you people you "enable", the more they see your value --> inevitably if you do this consistently for a period of time, as you said, people have no choice but to notice you.

    2. 1

      Who are your heroes? :)

      1. 1

        People who want more freedom in life and understand that money is their freedom.

    3. 1

      love the humility of this idea

  2. 5

    Interesting take.

    I'm more of an introvert myself but have learned that this stuff is getting more and more important, so def gotta step out of my comfort zone and this is a good approach.

    1. 5

      I'm an introvert too, most people won't believe me when I say that.

      I think most things in life just take a lot of practice, the more you do it, the better you get.

      I remember doing the IH podcast, now about 18 months ago, I was so nervous at the time. I've done a bunch of other things since (podcast + virtual speaking) and it feels so much easier.

      Still not sure about getting up on a real stage, maybe one day, eh?!

      1. 1

        I think most things in life just take a lot of practice, the more you do it, the better you get.

        True, "just" gotta have the courage to start 💪

    2. 1

      I think we need a community for introverts who've reluctantly realized that in order to be successful founders, networking and community building are important. Are you in? ;)

      Part of the problem for me is just TIME. I checked out what you're working on - (definitely interested! I hate it when I see a notification pop up but I can't read the whole thing or am in the middle of another bit of work, and then I'm digging to figure out where it came from so that I can read it and respond) - and I think I'm in a similar boat. Full time job, freelance side hustle, AND trying to get a startup off the ground with multiple co-founders. Oh, plus the regular life stuff, like tried to be a good spouse and taking care of my own health, etc. I know that community requires authentic connection, so how am I supposed to find the time to truly invest in building any new relationships? ya know?

      1. 1

        Are you in?

        Already building that haha jk. Should def be text only 🤓

        Think you're right it's definitely a big time commitment I have for example only put on my list to go on here once every day and write a couple comments, to get the ball rolling.

        Thanks checking out our stuff and the follow I think juggling multiple things is becoming more and more common plus as you said all the things of "normal life" on top of that.

        What helps me in regard of "juggling everything" is that I like to plan my week in connection with "roles".

        And then I will assign 3 goals each for the week, this helps keep a balance between everything and that I actually do these things instead of going all in on one or two for the week. This is from a book I've recently read not my own idea

        So if you want to build a community or network you could see your role as a "Community Builder" next to "Co-Founder of Startup" and "Spouse", "Healthy" or whatever else you have and then try to get at least some stuff done for each role if that makes sense. 🤔

  3. 1

    Let me tell you a story.

    Once upon a time, in middle 2020, Matthieu wanted to increase the number of followers he had on Twitter. On top, he wanted to promote his blog a bit more. He's working, like many indie hackers, toward freedom.

    He spent a lot of time reading articles how to increase his Twitter reach. He was posting about his blog often, he was trying to participate in conversations, and he was experimenting with other strategies. He was looking at views, engagements, and other metrics often, then very often. "It needs to grow!", he thought. "I need more followers! More engagements!".

    More and more, he didn't like the way he was behaving. He was feeling like he was trying to sell himself, just copy pasting his old tweets, trying to automate everything in order to have a maximum of result.

    After a strong imposter syndrome, Matthieu realized that he couldn't post on Twitter anymore. He was disgusted by his tweets going into the void, and the opinion of the social media he had became pretty dark.

    So he tried to come back to his core values: what he was really trying to do, what was his real purpose in all of that?

    "Making the world a bit better than when he found it" was a really strong motivation for him, so he decided to try something: going on Twitter in a very precise chunk of time, only posting what he was perceiving as helpful, and doing nothing else.

    Now, Matthieu see Twitter as a way to:

    • Have clearer ideas. It's difficult to summarize an idea in 280 characters sometimes, but it's useful to really think about it.
    • Help as much as he can. He didn't expect a result anymore, just going in the direction he always wanted to go.
    • Connecting with great people, exchanging idea, and be inspired.

    Now, Matthieu is very happy. He doesn't look at metrics anymore; it's not for him. He's posting everyday, and even if one of his tweet help only one person, he's happy. It's all he wanted.

    He knows as well that this way will bring him closer to his goal, because he can sustain it.

    The conclusion of the story: the way you see things is crucial. Most of our world is in our head. Reframing this look on things depending on who you are and what you want will have unexpected results.

    1. 1

      Hey, let me tell you another story. Many many years ago Steve went on twitter, looked around for a bit and realised that for him it was a horrible place (he refuses to use the word’community’) that gave him no joy or feeling of belonging or being amongst his tribe. Steve felt he’d be selling his soul to stay a minute longer and that business must be about more than that. So he left. And never returned. The end. 😎

      I aim to do some big hacks this year, and i vow here and now that i will not start using twitter (or facebook) for any of them. No matter how many threads i read on IH saying “you must use twitter...”.

      In 12 months time lets measure what i achieve (it will all be in public) and see how successful i can be as a twitter-less hacker and creator.

      1. 2

        I think you can be very successful.

        My story was more about trying to see things from another point of view, but if you don't want to use it... don't :D

  4. 1

    I love this post! My cofounder and I had a conversation about this last month and I talked about the importance of creating a trusted space of belonging for diverse people in tech. We were so caught up in building our community, we needed to take a step back and assess what's important to our community.

    Thank you!!

  5. 1

    Nice reframe! I like the idea and will give it a try. I really think "building an audience" is overused and honestly like you, I feel not good enough as others when it comes to "building an audience", not to mention the long list of tasks and effort sub-consciously associated with that phrase.

    Community building, engaging with new friends, and sharing what works and what doesn't, as well as learning along the way sounds a lot more achievable and down to earth.

  6. 1

    This is so true. Audience implies it is one to many, like a broadcast. In fact, the meaningful relationships are very bi-directional. The more someone engages with the people, the more people engage with someone.

  7. 1

    I agree and I would even say that it as much about finding an audience than building one. First you need to find before you can build.

  8. 1

    Love this post Rosie 🙌

    Is part of this about sharing your work and findings? How does that fit in to your bullets? I think they're all solid points. Wondering if part of "creating value" is also sharing it with the community you belong to?

    Asking for a friend 😝

    1. 3

      It's all a mixture and an experiment, tbh.

      Try thing and see what works.

      These days on Twitter I mostly just rapid fire whatever I'm thinking about and then also do my best to jump in on conversations. I love the conversation part the most.

      1. 2

        I'm aspiring to use Twitter more like this. Sometimes the immediacy of getting your thoughts out makes them stronger because you have something to react to.

      2. 2

        That's helpful! Appreciate you sharing!

        1. 6

          And actually, sometimes my tweets end up as posts. This post is a good example. 😇

  9. 0

    I do say this is your view, your opinion. I do believe an audience is golden. There are 1000's of examples of when building an audience gains traction for your product/brand becomes an success story.

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