🌿 Grow an audience
2 min read

🌿 Grow an audience

It has never been easier to stay close to the experts you want in your life. Social media is designed to connect but it is also a very noisy place. Let's highlight a still underrated tool to stay in touch: newsletters. For more than a decade I use newsletters as a reminder for things I would like to learn more about.

Let's take Leo Babauta's zen habits as an example. I came across his blog in 2012, a small and beautiful website with intriguing articles (and an ingenious uncopyright disclaimer). I read a few articles and was happy. I knew that when I sign up for his newsletter I will come across Leo's writing again and again in my inbox. While I never planned to read every single post, I treated his mails as a recurring invitation to come back to the blog and dig deeper. It seems I was not the only one as Leo has now more than 2 million readers.

If done right, growing an audience is a virtuous circle that connects your expertise with the people in need of that expertise. It allows your audience to get insights and learn on a subject they care about. It also provides an opportunity for you to create value and earn a part of this value in return. Just like growing a garden, it takes time and requires work but it can be a very rewarding activity.

A prompt

What is currently the best way for someone interested in your expertise to stay connected with you? Are you using this channel to broadcast insights from your expertise to this audience? If you would be given the choice, what would be your favorite channel to grow an audience?

πŸ“§ Reply with your answer and I'll send you feedback

Where text starts (Drafts app)

One of the most underrated productivity apps for creators is Drafts (iOS and Mac). It is where I write most of my texts. More than in Notion, more than in Roam. Living up to its tagline it is for me where text starts. It is the place where I capture ideas and create first drafts of many messages, especially emails. I describe some of its main benefits for me here.

Video and social media for churches (Brady Shearer)

I came across a video by Brady Shearer when researching camera gear for my Zoom setup (I describe my setup here). What strikes me with him is not only the professional production of his videos but also the specificity of his expertise. Brady creates his video tailored for churches that want to stream or engage in social media. Now guess how many people subscribe to his channel on YouTube (and check for yourself). I think it is a vivid example of how niche expertise can result in substantial audience sizes.

Small bites from the web

  • 1,000 True Fans? Try 100 (a16z.com) - a thorough article from Andreessen Horowitz with a fresh take on Kevin Kelly's famous essay 1,000 True Fans. Obviously, I agree and you find in the article good examples of entrepreneurs that make an amazing living with small communities. (thanks Indy)
  • The magical science of storytelling (youtube.com) - every creator should know the importance of storytelling when delivering a message. This is a TEDx talk from David JP Phillips. You'll learn how four important neurotransmitters induce physical experience when we listen to stories. (thanks Christian)

PS: Can I ask you for a favor? ☺️ Please reply to this email with short feedback on the newsletter. What can I improve, what do you like? One word answers are fine, too! You can find past issues here.