This article is going to take an in-depth, raw look at what it takes to be of service to your audience when building a successful business.
Learning how to be authentic for my audience allowed me to:
- Be proud of what I had built
- Scale-up my business, so it’s bigger than ever
- Tune in to exactly who my audience is, what they need, and what my company could offer them.
Let’s dive in.
For any entrepreneur, there is always a focus on growth, whether that’s increasing your income, your brand awareness, your email marketing list, or taking a step back and strategizing for where your business will go for the next year.
Focusing on the future is how you will guarantee your business keeps moving and thriving. However, for many new entrepreneurs, looking to the future – to growth – frequently leads to them neglecting one big thing: the present.
One of the biggest mistakes I see blog and business owners make is ignoring their current audience in order to focus on the bigger and better things the future can bring.
The thing is, though?
Those 50, 100, 1,000 people reading your content, making purchases with your business, engaging with you now are what you need to focus on. Forget about the next 1,000 people and how you can reach them and instead ask yourself, how can I be of service to my existing audience?
This mantra, right here, is what completely transformed my business.
I’d been running The Wallet Moth, a website that focuses on providing frugal living, home organization, and lifestyle advice to millennial women looking to cultivate a life they love, for about two years.
And truth be told, it was chaos.
I had zero direction. Zero real strategy. Zero business funnel to make my website successful. I was too focused on growth, how I could get the next 10,000 visitors to any and every post I published, how I could get a new email list because I felt like I’d ignored the thousands of people on my existing list for far too long.
Then, I made a non-business-related decision to deepen my passion for yoga and take a yoga teacher training. Try something new.
Here, we really delved into the concept of being of service.
The connection to my online businesses was instant. As if a veil had been lifted, I could see that the embarrassed, almost ashamed feelings I felt towards my business were because I had been in it for me.
I’d been trying to monetize so I could make a living – but not thought about what my audience needed. I’d been neglecting my existing audience to focus on growing a bigger and better audience for the future.
This shift in mindset is what helped me to transform my business into something I want to tell everyone about. It is what enabled me to actually start making a full-time income, but with none of those slimy, sales-y feelings associated with it.
Every day, I’m being of service to my audience and, as a result, finding abundance naturally.
If this has resonated with you at all, below, I’ve shared a few key lessons I learned when thinking about how I could be of service when running a successful business.
#1: Tune in to who your existing audience actually is
If you have an existing business, there will be data available that shows you exactly who your audience is. Google Analytics will show you your viewer’s average age, gender, location, and interests – if you don’t have tracking data yet, learn how to make your metrics work for you.
Using this data, I created a series of ‘audience profiles’ to turn those statistics into real people in my mind. I named them, gave them jobs, listed their likes, and their biggest challenges.
Now, when I plan for my business, I think of these people and what they need and shape my business plans for them – rather than trying to seek out the right people that I can try to fit into my plans.
#2: Talk to them!
If you’re not sure how you can be of service to your audience, then all you need to do is ask them! Building relationships with your audience (and, therefore, potential clients or customers) is essential.
I now ask my readers a question at the end of every newsletter and email campaign I send out and guess what, people answer!
If your audience likes what you do (hint: if they’re letting you send them emails, that’s a good sign they do), they’ll appreciate that you want to do more to help them. Ask your audience what they’d like to see more of, what they need help with, or even just to share something with you.
Once you start actually seeing your audience as real people with real problems, you can narrow in on how you as an individual – as a business – can be of service to them,
#3: Look for gaps in the market
You might have seen on various entrepreneurial blogs the recommendations to emulate other successful people in your niche. This is good advice to an extent.
However, there is also something to be said for recognizing what there is a need for that isn’t currently offered – to find a void and fill it. Just by being you, you are offering a unique perspective on whatever your business is focusing on. More than that, though, what can you provide an insight into that no one else is quite offering right now?
Be of service by filling that need.
#4: Monetize with authenticity
Authenticity is making a conscious choice about how we live our lives. It’s about making the decision to be real, be true, and unapologetically yourself.
You don’t need to lose a single ounce of this authenticity in choosing to monetize your business. It just means being more selective about the ways you monetize.
In the case of running a website, this means choosing the products and services you partner with care and with the needs of your audience at the forefront of your decision-making. I talk about this in detail in my four-pillar guide to monetizing a blog with authenticity.
#5: Continue to learn
Continue to strive to be an expert in your field by always taking the opportunity to learn from others and invest in your education in order to offer the best service possible to your readers.
Take every mistake, every failure, as an opportunity to grow. Make it a habit to stay up to date about changes and trends in your industry, and seek out the best courses you can take to stay at the top of your game.
You need to invest in your business in order to get more out of it.