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Why You Have Like, Three Rabid Fans and a Whole Lot of Meh From Everyone Else

Small Business,audience,Content Marketing

There's nothing quite like getting your first fan. After weeks or months of this whole business thing being something that's shared between you, yourself, and if you're lucky, your mom, you finally get people paying attention! 

It's awesome -- for about two minutes.

Because then you start thinking ... "OK, clearly I'm doing something right. So why do I only have three fans? Why can't everybody see just how awesome this is?" And it only gets worse when you've had a few months go by and you're getting a few people like this:

And a whole bunch of other people like this:

So WTF's going on? Why do you have, like three rabid fans and a whole bunch of meh from everyone else?

It could be that...

You're new.

It could be that you just haven't had the time to build up the momentum yet. It's called building a following for a reason -- just like building anything else, it takes time. So if you're the person who's obsessively refreshing your Mailchimp List stats every two seconds just a couple of months into this whole business thing, chill out. Get clear on your objectives, make sure you're doing the basics right -- your brand is coherent, you're actually giving people things they need and presenting those things in a way that makes them want them, you're showing up on social media, and you've got a decent opt-in.

Then track your stats and see what works and what doesn't OVER TIME. This does not mean change everything up every time you lose or gain a subscriber. You're playing a long game here, give yourself enough time to see trends instead of simply reacting to new activity.

 

You don't really know your audience.

OK, so maybe this isn't your first rodeo and you've been doing everything right and you've given it enough time to see whether what you're doing is actually working and ... it's not. This is often a sign that you actually don't really know your audience all that well -- or that you're writing to the wrong audience. Those three randoms? They're probably cross-pollination from an audience that you're not currently writing to who just happen to be picking up on the little bits of your current branding that appeal to that other audience and filtering out the rest.

If that sounds like it might be what's going on, then start focusing on those three and try to figure out what the commonalities are between them, whether that's an audience you actually want, and if so, how you can amp up the things that are appealing to them and tone down the stuff that's turning the other people like them off. (Can't figure out the common thread between them? Read this.)

You've changed, but your branding hasn't.

Brands and businesses evolve all the time. But if you used to have a decent following and you're suddenly getting a whole lot of nothing, then it could be that you or your business has changed, but your branding hasn't caught up yet. This is also often the case when you find yourself attracting a lot of clients that you don't really want -- there's something about what you're putting out that's telling those people that you're their kind of business. So check for a mismatch between your business, yourself, and your branding. Until you get all three of those things playing nicely together, you're setting yourself up for issues. (Need help? Illana Burk's Get To The Good Stuff is fantastic for this kind of thinking. Get it for free here.)

There's a disconnect between what you do and how you talk about it.

This is especially common in service-based businesses -- people who know you from working with you can't get enough of you, but other people just aren't attracted by how you talk about what you do. While there's always going to be some differences between the actual experience of working with you and reading the stuff you write on your site, if there are huge, unreconcilable differences between the two versions of you that people can come across, that's a major mindfuck for people -- and when given the choice between being mindfucked and clicking off to someone else's site, people are going to click off.

That's a whole lotta maybe. But here's one thing you can know for sure: unless you get that messaging back on board, your biz will have issues.

First step to fix it? Get curious.

After all, you can't fix it if you're not sure why it's broken, right? While I wish I could give you the end all be all quick fix, the best thing for you to do is going to depend on your business, your people, and the actual problem that's going on.

So you can get someone to help you figure this stuff out. You can ask your peers. Hell, you can ask your audience -- if it's a branding disconnect, they'll tell you, though not in so many words.

It's not the most exciting, super-fun process to go through -- but it's more than worth it when you start getting rabid fans as your normal instead of outliers.

Blogged 'til you're blue in the face and still can't get anyone to pay attention?

Let's fix that.

Actionable tips, effective strategies, and absolutely irreverent advice for getting your words to actually work for your business, right here.

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