Rebel Uprising Podcast

What to Think About When Your Audience Growth Stalls Out

  • Ebbs and flows.
  • Feast or famine.
  • Ups and downs.

These are all the catchy phrases that we use when our audience is hot and steady one second and then stalls out the next.

But here's the thing, your audience shouldn't be treated like an old car that is unreliable when it comes to starting. An old car is responsible for getting you place to place, but your income (and livelihood) depend on the participation of an engaged audience.

If your audience is stalling out month after month, you need to take a hard look at what's causing this instead of enrolling in another course or coaching program that promises to magically fix the problem.

The truth? GOOD Messaging + GOOD Marketing = A Primed Audience

Your marketing and messaging have three fundamental jobs that I call the ACC way and each of the three jobs your messaging and marketing does informs the different stalls we experience in our business.

But what are the jobs that need to be done with your message and your marketing that make up the ACC way?

  1. Capture attention
  2. Create conversation
  3. Cultivate connection

Today on Rebel Uprising, we're going to dive deep into the first job of capturing attention because this will really help capture the idea of where we are initially stalling on our audience growth.

Listen in or read through the transcript below:

Resources mentioned in this episode

How Big of an Audience Do You Really Need to Have a Sustainable Business?
Eugene Schwartz and Breakthrough Advertising
Schedule a call with me

One of the first cars I ever bought was a Saturn. Now there were a ton of reasons I decided to buy a Saturn, but the biggest reason was that I didn't have to negotiate for the car. They had the whole, “no dickering over the price.” But as my little Saturn aged, it had some interesting quirks to it. Some mornings -- usually when I was running late for my day job -- I'd go to start the car and it would start whirring to life, like just about ready to turn over, and then stall out.

And then I try starting again, and I would just hear click, click, click. And knowing my car as I did, I knew that meant one thing I needed to wait about 10 minutes, then try it again. And the car would always roar to life. But the stalling out thing was definitely a huge problem as it was keeping me from showing up to my day job on time. And at the time that was how I was getting paid! So I wanted to be a good employee. I needed to get to the bottom of it. Get it diagnosed so I could fix the stall.

And so many times in business, our businesses are a lot like my Saturn. We experience some type of stall. Audience growth, stalls out. New people interested in working with us and signing up for consults, stalls out. Cashflow and sales, stalls out. 

And instead of triaging and thinking, “Okay, I need to get under the hood and see what the real problem is here and how I can fix it, “ we put our heads in the sand and hope that something will change or maybe we enroll in a new course or a new program thinking that that's going to be the magical fix. 

But here's the deal: you and I have way more control over the stalls then we think. There is so much we can do to get under the hood and figure out what's really going on in our business. And today we're going to be talking about those major stalls. Over the next three episodes, tackling how to get under the hood and diagnose what's really going on so we can fix it. 

So let's do this.

You’re listening to the Rebel Uprising Podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought leadership businesses.

I’m your host Dr. Michelle Mazur and I’ll be your no-BS guide in the art of building a business that gets noticed. Each week I share strategies, tools, and insights into how to change your complicated ideas into powerful messaging and solid business structures.

Are you ready to create an uprising in your industry? Let’s do this.

In the last episode of the pod, we asked the question “how big does your audience need to be?” And I walked you through a process for how to think about it. And if you haven't heard that episode, go back and listen to it. It's in the show notes. 

During the pod, I introduced Kevin Kelly's idea of 1000 True Fans. When he talks about a true fan, it's a person who will buy what you do no matter what and why he picked a thousand is he says, “If we can get $100 of profit from each of our true fans, then that sets us up with a pretty comfortable income.”

What I see an online business is that business owners tend to stall out at about a hundred true fans. And before we can think about diagnosing stalls with lead generation or cash flow, we have to think about why our audience growth is stalling out. Why our programs are harder to sell after the first couple of launches. This typically means then our cashflow starts to stall. 

So why is it so hard to go from a hundred true fans to the thousand that we need? Well, it simply goes back to an equation: messaging plus marketing equals primed for sales. And yes, you need both pieces. Your marketing and messaging have three fundamental jobs that I call the ACC Way. Each of the three jobs, your messaging and marketing does informs the different stalls we experience in our business. 

So what are the jobs that need to be done with your message and your marketing that make up the ACC way? Well, they are capture attention, create conversation, and cultivate connection.

So today we're going to deep dive in on the first part of the ACC Way, capture attention. Because this idea really helps us figure out why we're stalling out with our audience growth.

So let me first tell you what I mean by audience growth. I mean new people. New people to you discovering your business and following you. Every business needs to be focused on audience growth to some degree. So if your audience growth is stalling out, if it's not growing as fast as you like, the problem under the hood, is that the message and the marketing is not gaining attention. It is not capturing the minds and the hearts of your ideal client. 

And here's something interesting: Microsoft in 2020 commissioned a study to look at our attention spans. And what they found is our attention spans have actually decreased. They went from nine seconds to eight seconds, which means now we have attention spans that are less than a goldfish.

But here's the really surprising part: that when we are on mobile, your attention span is only four seconds. That means when your next client is scrolling Instagram, you've only got four precious seconds to make an impression otherwise they just keep on going.

Now, you probably feel that pressure. We have less time to make an impression and get people to even consider paying attention to us. 

Now, most of my clients who are struggling to find new people interested in their businesses are struggling with getting people's attention. And what I have found is that there are two main blocks and this will help you diagnose what you need to be doing differently. The answer might be both of these blocks.

So the first block is that they aren't speaking to people who aren't aware of their business already. And the second block is that what they are saying isn't captivating or intriguing enough, it doesn't stand out. So people pass them by.

So let's talk about not speaking to people who don't know you yet. So in Eugene Schwartz’s Customer Awareness, when we talk about speaking to people who don't know you yet, we call this the “unaware segment.” They don't know you exist. They don't know what your business does. They don't know what problems you solve. But, you know, they're out there. They could be your ideal client. They just haven't met you yet.

So, what I see a lot of the time is my clients aren't actually doing anything to reach these people because we have to reach them in a more emotionally connected, inspirational type of way. Where my clients are focused is on nurturing their audience. So they're talking about the problem they solve and how they can help. And they're also talking about the solution, how you can work with them. But none of that is going to get the attention of someone who doesn't know you. So we're not creating a conversation that captures a wide enough net

For example, I have been experimenting a LOT with unaware content over the past couple of years, and I know what performs well for me. So I do on Instagram these affirmation posts that help people show up regularly for their audience and people love a good affirmation. It's inspiring. It's reassuring. It makes them feel more powerful. 

And that's all the things that I want to do to get somebody's attention. I want them to feel powerful. I want them to be reassured. So if you feel like you're not making a connection with your people, Ask yourself, “What emotion do I want them to feel?” And then create content around that emotion that's going to get people's attention. 

Alright. Let's talk about the second issue. The second issue is that you're not saying anything captivating. So they're scrolling and all of a sudden they see your posts, but it sounds like everybody else's, or you're not saying anything that's really grabbing them in so they want to read more. 

And back in December, I covered the 10 marketing messages that must drown in the sea of sameness. And I chose those 10 because they are all over the web. And honestly, I probably could have chose 20 because when we're saying things like scale your business, find your voice, take it to the next level, there are so many people saying those things. You're not saying anything new. And it is work to stand out to think about how can I say this in a different way? How can I apply my viewpoints.

And another way, as you know, I'm known for the Three Word Rebellion, another great way is using your Three Word Rebellion in order to grab attention. Because the purpose of a Three Word Rebellion is to capture your right person's attention and make them curious to know more, to make them wonder like, “Hey, what is a three word rebellion? What is my three words? Or what is my why? And why should I start there?” You want them thinking about themselves because that makes them take the next step and go deeper into your content and into your world. For me, once you have that Three Word Rebellion, then you can have all of the other support people buying into that message.

All right. We've talked about a lot, but if you are seeing your audience growth stall out, ask yourself, these two questions.

Number one: who are you talking to? Are you talking to the people who don't know you yet? Or are you just preaching to the choir? Talking to the same people you've always been talking to? Because that is a sign you need to change up the conversations you're having so that you can reach people who don't know you yet. 

And the second question is: are you being intriguing? Are you interesting? Are you capturing people's curiosity or does your message sound like everybody else's? And if it's this issue, then it's time to really look at how you can share your strong viewpoints, how you can create a Three Word Rebellion that really makes people curious. 

Okay. So next week, what we're going to be doing is we're going to be diving deeper into the ACC. So let's say you're like, “Michelle, I do a great job of capturing people's attention. People are engaging. My audience is growing every day, but you know what's happening? I'm not getting leads. I'm not getting sales.”

So next week, we're going to talk about the lead generation stall and how to look at your marketing and messaging to triage that and diagnose the problem. And, hey, if you've realized that your efforts to capture your audience's attention to grow your audience well, I'd love to talk to you about creating that message that powers your marketing and sales. A message that demands attention creates curiosity so clients clamor to work with you faster than before. 

I invite you to request a chat with me about the Three Word Rebellion Messaging Intensive, and whether it's right for your business. I'm on a mission to help more amazing business owners like you who do transformative work, spread their word about that work so they can sell and serve more. So let's talk. 

You can get all the details and request a chat with me at drmichellemazur.com/talk. And until next time, look at how you are capturing the attention of new people. It is the key to unlocking your audience growth.  

Thank you for listening all the way to the end of the show. Your support means the world to me. Did you know the Rebel Uprising Podcast has a quiz that can help you pinpoint the number one way to build an audience of superfans while staying true to your unique personality? We do! And it’s called What’s Your Rebel Roadmap to Exponential Impact and Influence? and you can take it at therebelquiz.com.

If you’re loving the podcast do us a favor, rate and leave us a quick five-star review wherever you listen to your podcasts. It helps more people like you find the show.

Until next week, remember… your ideas matter. Now get back out there and cause an uprising in your industry. You’ve got this!

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