Building an Audience of Thinkers: Why It Matters and How to Do It

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Highlights in this episode:

  • [00:00:41] Building an audience of thinkers. 
  • [00:05:00] Be the Rooster in Your Marketing. 
  • [00:08:51] Creating an audience of thinkers. 
  • [00:11:07] The missing piece in content plans. 
  • [00:15:55] The best content goes beyond vanity metrics.
  • [00:19:14] How do I measure content that speaks and sings to the silent lurkers? 
  • [00:22:09] Less crappy marketers out there.

Be The Rooster In Marketing

being the rooster and building trust with your audience

The phrase “Be the rooster in marketing” is an analogy that highlights the importance of taking charge and leading in your marketing efforts. This concept is the precursor to the idea of building an audience of thinkers and creating sustainable, measurable content for solo-ish online businesses.

Being the rooster came from an incident in my chicken yard–so if you read rooster and thought chickens, you’re right! There’s a specific chicken story about one of my hens trying to take on the role of a rooster, resulting in bullying behavior. To address the issue, we learned from a chicken expert that we need to “be the rooster” by asserting dominance and making the hen submit. Those familiar with dog training will know the same lesson! This action not only resolved the bullying behavior but also provided a valuable marketing lesson…

Building An Audience of Thinkers

While there are all types of audiences, building an audience of thinkers is my favorite–and the topic of this article. Now, I’ll fully admit–I don’t know everything! But I enjoy working with those who can think for themselves. My favorite conversations at conferences were always those after the seminar at the bar, where there’s give and take, when you can have deep conversations and really get to the heart of the topic.

I like working with those people who’d engage in that sort of conversation. And that requires people who are willing to think critically.

I want to work with people who can think for themselves.

In the show notes write-up for this topic, my note assistant provided this: “The podcast host begins by sharing a personal story about her children who often expect her to know everything. She humorously admits that she doesn’t know everything but uses the phrase, “I haven’t thought enough about that yet,” to imply that she is open to thinking about it in the future. This phrase sets the stage for the discussion on building an audience of thinkers.”

I haven’t fully explored the topic of building an audience of thinkers, and I’m sharing my insights based on experience and knowledge. I’m uniquely set up to do this because, in part, I know a little bit about a lot of different things, which helps me make connections and relate complex ideas in a simple manner. I take pride in using everyday stories, such as chicken stories, to convey marketing lessons.

Taking the lead creates an audience of thinkers

Back to being the rooster in marketing, which means taking the lead and guiding your audience through a journey of building trust. By using content to create a relationship with the audience, businesses can establish themselves as the authority and gain their trust.

marketing like a rooster means building an audience of thinkers

In the chicken yard, the bullying hen filled the rooster void by acting, in some ways, like a rooster would. Much like an older child that starts taking on a parenting role to younger children in the absence of parents around, the hen took the leadership role. In your business, your goal is always to provide a clear path for your target audience–especially in how they think about the problem you’re an expert at solving.

If businesses fail to take on this leadership role, someone or something else will fill that void and potentially steer the audience in a different direction. That includes leading your audience to think about their problem in a way you know won’t help them. 

Key Takeaway:

If you don’t take the lead in your marketing, your audience will gravitate to someone else who will–and that person may lead them astray.

I want to emphasize the importance of being proactive and taking charge of marketing your business. My Instagram reel about being the rooster in my chicken story received positive feedback from colleagues, potential clients, and actual clients. It was amazing to see how the lesson resonated with the audience and highlighted the significance of being the driving force in marketing.

being the rooster in your marketing

In conclusion, “Be the rooster in marketing” is a powerful metaphor for taking charge and leading in marketing efforts. By being proactive, we can build trust, create relationships, and guide our audience through a journey of engagement and conversion.

Sound Bite Marketing vs. Thoughtful Marketing

Building an audience of thinkers is a crucial aspect of successful marketing in today’s content-driven world. I believe in moving away from generic, drive-by content and focusing on creating valuable, thought-provoking content that resonates with the audience. If you’re providing services that aren’t just “for everyone” and you have a specialty, a really honed-in skillset, you’re out of the baby business stage, and you’re well into the entrepreneurial middle class… it’s time to leave behind commodity content that just anyone can make.

I feel frustrated with the current state of content marketing, which tends to promote sound-bite marketing rather than encouraging critical thinking. I desire to work with individuals who can think for themselves and seek guidance rather than step-by-step instructions.

Buyer journey content with open loops

building an audience of thinkers as a service provider

To build an audience of thinkers, I suggest creating buyer journey content that closes one loop and opens another in each piece of content. This approach keeps the audience engaged and encourages them to take action. By providing valuable insights and guiding the audience through a journey, we can establish ourselves as thought leaders and build authority in our respective industries.

I also need to touch on the importance of understanding the different segments within an audience, including action takers, looky-loos, and friend-zoned individuals.

  • Action takers are those who actively engage with the content and follow the guidance provided.
  • Looky-loos are casual observers who may stumble upon the content but do not actively engage or become followers.
  • Friend-zoned individuals are those who consume the content but have no intention of purchasing from the business, often due to the abundance of free value provided.

To overcome the friend-zone and build an audience of thinkers, I suggest sharing valuable content while also providing a concrete next step for the audience to take. This approach encourages engagement and helps move the audience from passive consumers to active participants.

To build an audience of thinkers, we need to create valuable, thought-provoking content that encourages engagement and action. By taking charge and establishing ourselves as thought leaders, we can guide our audience through a journey of engagement and conversion, fostering trust, building relationships, and setting ourselves apart in the competitive content landscape. So, serve up brain food, be the confident rooster in marketing, and watch as your audience starts looking to you for wisdom and insights. It’s all about standing out and making your mark in the world of thinkers.

Deep Thinkers Are Silent Lurkers

deep thinkers are the social media silent lurkers

Deep thinkers are commonly observed as the silent lurkers in the online world. In a more humorous bent, we’ll call the them the Non-Creepy Lurkers, or NCLs. They are individuals who consume content, deeply contemplate it, and reflect on its implications without leaving visible traces of their presence. Although they may not actively participate in lively discussions or leave comments on social media posts, it is important not to underestimate their impact and influence.

In the era of social media and viral content, businesses often face the temptation to prioritize vanity metrics such as likes, shares, and views. However, these metrics can be deceiving and do not necessarily indicate the quality or impact of the content. On the other hand, deep thinkers are more inclined towards substance and value rather than popularity.

Crafting content that resonates with deep thinkers needs a different approach

Your critical thinkers need a different kind of content than the soundbite marketing scrollers. To capture the minds of true thinkers, you gotta go deep. Dive into the problem’s core and offer insights that go beyond the surface. Sure, it won’t make you an internet sensation or get you a gazillion followers, but it will captivate those who genuinely care. Quality over quantity, my friend.

Deep thinkers appreciate content that challenges their assumptions, expands their knowledge, and encourages critical thinking. They’re all about those thought-provoking ideas and insights that make ’em hit the brakes and go, “Whoa, hold on a second.” You won’t see them jumping into every discussion or leaving a trail of comments. They’re more like silent sponges, quietly absorbing information and blending it into their own mental mix. They may not shout it from the rooftops, but their minds are working overtime.

Bridging the gap between the before and after states of the problem your best client has is how you move beyond the surface-level content your competitors and colleagues are creating. We lay it all out—symptoms, solutions, and the urgent need for action. That’s how we get ’em nodding their heads and going, “Alright, let’s do this thing!” It’s all about crafting content that speaks their language and lights that fire under their analytical behinds.

How to Measure Your Content’s Effectiveness

how to measure content that's thoughtful

Since the deep thinkers aren’t leaving that trail of comments, how do you know if it’s working? You’re creating content that actually does the heavy lifting in your business, right? So you want to know it’s working?

You’re going to need to follow the lead of podcasters everywhere, here, because a podcast inherently is difficult to track, unlike other forms of content.

  • Video channels on YouTube have full sets of analytics
  • LinkedIn, Instagram–all the social media platforms have some sort of metrics tracking
  • Blog articles written with SEO in mind are easy to track

But podcasters, without a single platform they’re all using, have always struggled with accurate analytics. We’ve had to learn other ways to gauge interest and efficacy–and that often involves talking with our audiences.

Key Takeaway:

If your best clients are silent lurkers, how do measure whether your content is working well for you? You create a new kind of feedback loop.

Measure content by lead generation

Measuring content success? We’re talking about:

  • capturing the interest of potential clients,
  • turning them into paying clients,
  • increasing that sweet revenue in the process,
  • so we can help more people in the future.

This is lead generation. While it’s not the only way to measure if your content is working, it’s the end game. It’s like the holy grail of metrics, telling us if our content actually gets people to take action. Measuring leads generated by content that speaks directly to those silent lurkers—it’s how we see if their silence is also loyal and influential. 

How to measure for lead generation with vanity metrics

Here’s the scoop on measuring content success.

  1. Quantitative data – the numbers
  2. Qualitative data – your mood, verbal feedback, quality of questions

First, we have to look at the numbers. How many leads are we getting from specific pieces of content? That’s the quantitative data that tells us if we’re grabbing the attention of potential customers. But quality matters! Getting a ton of leads won’t mean a thing if they’re not the right fit for our businesses. It’s like catching the wrong fish, and coming home with tilapia when you wanted salmon isn’t going to cut it.

But wait, there’s more. Quantitative data isn’t the only game in town. I can’t remind you of the importance of qualitative data enough—stuff that goes beyond the numbers. We’re talking about the mood of the business owner or content creator, positive feedback or questions during sales calls. It’s about looking at the big picture and seeing if our content resonates with our target audience.

Thinkers always remember the content piece that convinced them.

And guess what? Engaging with our audience and getting their feedback is pure gold. We absolutely have to straight-up ask them which content made ’em go, “Yep, these folks know what they’re talking about!” Their insights help us make informed decisions and keep improving our game. It’s like a feedback loop that keeps us sharp and ensures we serve our audience better than ever.

In the end, measuring content by lead generation is our secret weapon. It tells us how effective our content is, helps us fine-tune our strategy, and builds those precious relationships with our audience. In this cutthroat content landscape, measuring content by lead generation, rather than vanity metrics, sets us apart from the rest of the pack. We become the thought leaders, the ones who know how to make it happen.

Ready to start crafting evergreen thought leadership content?

I love working with those who enjoy nuanced thinking and want to share those thoughts–because they know it will make a difference for their people. I’d love to partner with you.

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!

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