Are you building an audience or just renting one?

Are you building an audience or just renting one?
Photo by Reed Mok / Unsplash

Which is the better way to get customers and build an audience?

Path A: You invest time and resources in creating valuable content, telling your brand's story, and fostering genuine connections with your audience.

Path B: You pour money into ads, seeing immediate traffic spikes and quick conversions.

The answer is both.

Yet time and again, especially with startups ( though this is not only an early-stage problem ), the default and the focus is paid ads.

Do they work?

Sure do ( when done right ).

But here's the biggest problem with paid ads.

You stop paying. They stop working.

I don't care who you are. At some point, budgets get tight.

And smart startups should put every dollar they can into improving the product.

What is the brilliance of building content and offering value, insight, and connection?

It's a customer acquisition engine that never ends, never sleeps, and doesn't cost a dime once you put it out into the world.

Yes, it can take a while to get traction.

You're not likely to go viral and get customers overnight ( this is why we supplement with a small-ish ad spend ).

But it will make everything you do much easier in the long run.

With a clever ad, you may convince someone to buy something from you once.

But you can sell to people who trust you and for whom you've provided value over and over and over again.

Which sounds better to you?

The Shift: From Renting to Building

If you're currently 'renting' your audience, don't panic.

Here are the steps to start building:

  1. Identify your audience's pain points and interests
  2. Create content that addresses these needs
  3. Develop a consistent content calendar
  4. Engage with your audience authentically
  5. Gradually reduce ad spend as organic reach grows

Remember, it's not about eliminating paid advertising.

It's about creating a foundation that reduces your dependence on it.

The Future of Your Business

In an era where consumer trust is at a premium and ad costs continue to rise, building your audience isn't just a marketing strategy—it's a business imperative.

By investing in content and community, you're creating fans.

And fans are priceless.

Trust me on this.


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