A company that provides business education recently fell under my radar, as one of their primary lessons is on building an engaged audience.
That is why it is a fascinating exercise to consider how they built their own audience. After all, they really should be their best case study, right?
So how did I become an engaged member of their audience? Let me walk you through my own user journey, because it encompasses a lot of relevant approaches for associations:
HOW THEY GOT MY ATTENTION
I love Podcasts. When I travel from point A to B, I am always listening to something. Every once in awhile when the well dries up, I turn to Google for inspiration. In this case, my search brought me to a top 10 list, where I came across Business Reimagined. The host is a man named Danny Iny, who is their Founder & CEO.
Twice a day, as I travel to and from work, Danny has my undivided attention. At the beginning and end of the Podcast, the name of the company is always mentioned, which has become engrained in my mind.
In the episodes, Danny often draws examples from his own company. At one point I became intrigued and looked them up online. Their messaging was simple, yet inspiring. Without hesitation, I put myself on their email list.
HOW I CONNECTED
The tone of the emails I now receive are always approachable. Often times they include interesting articles or content on their website that I read through when the topic is relevant to me.
The emails always encourage me to respond directly if I have any questions, and one day I decided to put this to the test. I wrote, “Hello! I am curious. How does Danny go about finding guests for his Podcast? Within a few hours, I received back a friendly message from a woman explaining that she didn’t know the answer, but that she would find out; a day later she wrote me a thorough response.
I continued asking Danny’s team questions over the months, and 100% of the time the answers were timely, researched, and friendly. I wasn’t talking to a customer service agent, I was talking to Diane, or Alexis, or even sometimes Danny. And they were prepared to answer anything.
HOW THEY MONETIZED MY ENGAGEMENT
Now at this point, I had not yet invested a dime. I listened to their Podcast, I read their helpful articles, and I received responses from members of their organization, but not yet was there an exchange of money.
That is why when I started receiving the occasional email with offers for paid workshops, I was really receptive. When Danny released a new book, I immediately bought it. In fact, I accidentally ordered it twice, but did not cancel the second one when I realized. I had gotten so much value from them, that the extra investment felt well deserved. Further, I trusted that the final product would be great. After all, if I was getting so much for free, what would the paid version look like?
THE BROADER STRATEGY
As I just learned from Danny in one of his webinars, their email list consists of 80,000 people. While it’s true that the majority will not ever spend money with the company, the net is cast so wide that all it takes is a small percentage to invest for a really profitable business. Further, those who do not invest themselves may still provide valuable free advertisement by speaking positively of the company.
Does your association take a similar approach? Your email list is a good indication. Does it only contain your members, or are you speaking to a larger audience? Do you have an approach to monetize that larger audience?
To recap, here are the strategies used to turn me into an engaged member of their audience:
- Created a Podcast
- Sent emails with relevant content that they produce
- Put in place a system to respond thoroughly to email replies
- Invited me to (free) webinars
- Then started offering me paid services