When growing your audience, it is easy to get seduced into playing a numbers game.
How many subscribers do I have on my newsletter? How many people showed up for my event? How many people bought my product? This is a dangerous mindset for any knowledge entrepreneur.
While growing my audience, I'd always prefer a small number of dedicated individuals, over a mildly connected crowd!
An audience consists of human beings. Every single one of them has the potential to develop a strong and dedicated connection to you and your expertise. Everyone is a hero in their own regard. The earlier you adopt this posture, the more you'll see the magic happen!
I advocate this so strongly because it provides more value for both sides, for yourself and your audience. You should consider it a cardinal sin, to turn into someone that sees your audience as an anonymous crowd. It will detach you, it will hurt you.
Yes, technology allows you to deliver your creations to a huge amount of people. But you can do this alongside treating your audience as individuals. Not everywhere, but wherever you can.
Here a few recommendations:
Highlight individual contributors. Don't talk only about your audience as an anonymous crowd but rather attribute to individual members. For the Salon write-ups (example), I specifically name the people that contributed ideas that stood out to me.
Value small groups while you can. Savor small groups, whenever you have the chance. After each Salon, I typically stay a little longer for a "fireside chat" to connect with people that make an effort to stay. And if only a few people turn up for an event, I regard this as a precious opportunity to connect with them individually.
Answer to individual questions. I learned from Daniel Vassallo how valuable it can be to answer people's questions specifically. It creates an opportunity to turn your answers into more value later on. When Monica reached out to me with a question about newsletters, I answered her with this blog post.
I am only a little over two months in, on my knowledge entrepreneur journey and I already feel surrounded by a party of heroes:
- Yina not only provides stunning feedback but also gave me the best compliment that I could ever hope to get
- Max showed up continuously right from the start and pushed me to continue moving forward
- Lynoure who contributed valuable insight not only in the Salon but also via email
- Indy who holds a streak of participating in events and continuously cheers me up
- Ziga who turns up to so many Salons reliably adding valuable contributions
- Narayan who shared his experiences from the Braintrust unprompted and generously via Twitter
- Or folks like Mike and Cornelius who actively replied to my newsletter via email
- I could continue to talk about Angela, Dan, Josie, Reddy, and many, many more...
I wouldn't trade any one of them for 1000 anonymous followers.
Prompt :: Highlight individuals in your audience
If you have already a public channel, e.g. a newsletter or social media account, recognize those in your audience who stand out to you. Send them a message, either personally or publicly, recognizing that you value them.
Stack :: Magically edit video and audio via text (Descript)
In each newsletter, I describe a tool of the Knowledge Entrepreneur Stack. Keep an eye on these tools and use them for leverage.
I am well-versed in tech but the tool that Martin recommended to me blew my mind. Import a video or audio file into Descript to receive a full transcript. So far, so nice. But no start editing the text of the transcript and Descript will automatically cut the corresponding video or audio file 🤯 After removing filler words and stuttering you'll be surprised how well-spoken you suddenly sound. See an example of me editing myself in this video. And do take the time to see their hilariously well-done product video. (If Trickle grows up, I want such a video!)
As a knowledge entrepreneur, it is important to shape-shift your content and offer it to your audience in different forms. I now started to record the Salons, but them via Descript and offer them as an audio file (see example from me here). I'll experiment more with the tool and let you know what I find useful.
Profile :: Life advice sprinkled with the f-bomb (Mark Manson)
In each newsletter, I put a spotlight on a knowledge entrepreneur, so that you can use their journeys as inspiration.
It's been years since I stumbled across Mark Manson but I vividly remember how I had a spitting-out-water-surprise 💦 moment, after reading a few paragraphs. So I moved forward to listen to his audiobook The subtle art of not giving a f**** and was happy that it delivers on its promise. I had to laugh out loud so many times because of the surprising language paired with insightful content. When I looked up his website for this newsletter I read this piece and again burst out laughing into tears after a few paragraphs. He still got it! In the personal growth genre, this is such a refreshing take. As a knowledge entrepreneur, he launched a personal subscription model already in 2015 and his newsletter is now received by 500k people.
Small Bits from Around the Web
In each newsletter, I include a few links that were brought to my attention during the week.
- The Kanye Story (Yeezy.Dating) - A true story on how quickly an idea can catch fire on the internet
- explore.org - Nature livecams from all around the world (thanks Dan for using this in your presentation)
Have a wonderful week!
PS: If you know someone who could benefit from this newsletter for knowledge entrepreneurs, please forward this email with a link to the sign-up page 💌