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How do you grow your audience when your focus is so specialized and narrow?

A member of my list sent me this question:

My number one question, when paired with your previous advice about being content with a narrow, specific focus:

How do you grow an audience when your focus is so specialized and narrow? Facebook ads? Google ads? Manually hunting down topical blog sites and asking for mentions? Instagram hashtags? Pining for Twitter mentions? Etc…

I’ll cover this topic in more detail over several posts, but for now, let’s start simple. You need a couple of things:

1) An email list for people to join

2) A good reason for them to join that list

Those may seem painfully obvious, but plenty of people get distracted by building an audience on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Those other places are fine, but they should always be used to pull people into your core audience, which in almost all cases should be your email list.

That second one, while again obvious, is so often overlooked. “Join our newsletter” is not a good reason for someone to join your list. You either need a solid lead magnet, or a promise of great emails once they join (preferably backed up by a sample and/or social proof).

A lead magnet can be a sample of some of your paid content, a relevant cheatsheet/short guide/checklist, an ebook (though I’d generally caution against that because of length), etc.

Alternately, sending consistent, helpful emails can be a good reason for someone to join your list. I’ve been sending daily emails for a little over two months now – of course weekly is another option (and a bit lower commitment).

That’s a good starting point, though it doesn’t completely answer the question. Stay tuned for more on this topic 😉