Make Marketing Suck Less

Stop Growing Your Audience: Why Building a Huge Audience Isn’t Necessary to Grow Your Business


What if you stopped trying to build an audience?

The common knowledge is that as a business owner, you should be growing your audience, building your email list, and growing your community.

But is that true for your business?

What if, for expert business owners, growing your audience is actually the wrong approach?

Then what should you be doing instead of focusing on building an audience so you can reach new people who need your business?

Well, that's exactly what I want to dive into in today’s podcast.

In this episode:

  • Why building an audience may not be the best approach for your businesses
  • The most important audience growing asset that builds security and stability for your business (it’s got nothing to do with social media)
  • Why you should grow an audience of future buyers instead of casting a wide net

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:



Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:

Dr. Michelle Mazur: (00:00) What if you stopped trying to build an audience? The common knowledge is that as a business owner, you should be growing your audience, building your email list, growing your community. But is that true for your business? What if, for expert business owners, growing your audience is actually the wrong approach? Then what should you be doing instead of focusing on building an audience so you can reach new people who need your business?

[00:35]: Well, that's exactly what I want to dive into on today’s podcast. So let’s do this.

[00:47]: Get ready for the Rebel Uprising podcast, the only podcast dedicated to business owners who feel overlooked for their expertise, skills and experience. Let's claim your expertise and turn your complex ideas into unmistakable messaging that grows your business. I am your host, Dr. Michelle Mazer, the author of The Three Word Rebellion and your Rebel Truth Telling guide to building a business that gets noticed.

[01:17]: The Money is in the list. How many times have you heard that gem of marketing advice? A ton, right?

[01:26]: And while I won't dispute the high level wisdom behind it, because I do think it's a smart move to have an email list in this day and age. Because let's face it, social media is always changing.

Instagram is probably the most frustrating platform, changing its features every other day, and you just don't know how to use it. And TikTok, heck, it might be banned in the United States, and who the hell knows if Twitter is going to be here in a year?

So for the security and the stability of your business, having an email community is vital. But when we hear the common wisdom that the money is in the list, we assume that we need a big list in order to be profitable, in order to pay yourself exceedingly well.

In fact, it's not us who makes that assumption. It is the web celebs who are teaching audience growth. And that puts a lot of pressure on us business owners to constantly be growing your audience, getting in front of new people, building the brand awareness.

But do you really need to put that kind of pressure on yourself? And my guess is probably not.

The first question you should ask yourself is how big of an audience do you really need for your business? One article that changed the way that I thought about building an audience was Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans[a][b]. He was talking about for creators and artists that if you can have 1000 True fans who pay you $100 a year, you can make $100,000.

And those True Fans not only just buy from you, but they advocate for you. They share the work you do. They're excited for that work. So I always love thinking about growing an audience based on, okay, who are the right people for this?

So answering the question, how big of an audience do you really need? It truly depends on your business model. One of the members of the Expert Up Club only needs one to four projects a year to make his business work. So his audience building should be focused on relationship building, referrals, networking with the right people, getting buy-in from the gatekeepers who are making the initial decisions. He shouldn't be trying to reach the masses because his work is not for the masses. It is for a highly curated group of people. And that takes more high touch marketing where you don't need to build a huge audience, you need to cultivate those relationships.

Now, my business is a little bit different because the model that I want to grow is the Expert Up Club. It is a community based offer and my long term goal is to make the Expert Up Club the premier community for expert business owners who want to be known and hired for their work. And I want 100 people in there.

What that means is I need to focus on getting in front of more people, more of the right people. And I don't need a million people on my email list to reach my goal of 100 people in the Expert Up Club. I do need to focus on growing my list, though, getting in front of more people with my work. And so that means, yeah, I'm going to be networking on LinkedIn.

I have this podcast to nurture people. I created the new marketing assessment that leads people to the Expert Up Club. I have my email newsletter. My focus is much different.

How about you? Are you more on the I need one to four people a year to make my business work side of things? Or are you more like me?

You need to reach more people. You can be somewhere in the middle as well. But the bottom line is that we don't need tens of thousands of people.

This brings me to the next consideration. Which are you casting the widest net or are you focused on building an audience of future buyers? When you know how big your audience needs to be, then you can stop casting the widest net, trying to grow your list to be thousands upon thousands and start focus on growing an audience of future buyers. Most marketing advice out there, most audience growth advice out there is really for creators.

If you are a creator, I love that you're listening to this podcast, but creators need a bigger audience because one part of their model is sponsorships of their work, whether it's a newsletter sponsor or a podcast sponsor. And if you want to get a sponsor for your newsletter, you need a minimum of 10,000 subscribers to make that work. So you have to focus on building a list and casting a wider net. And if you want that, if you want 10,000 subscribers so you can get a sponsorship, awesome. Then focus on growing your audience. There's nothing wrong with that. But most of you can focus on a smaller niche of future buyers who are excited about the work you do want to buy from you or have buy-in and advocate for your work.

Let me say that you want them to either buy from you or buy in to the work you're doing. So they advocate and spread the word about your work. And when you focus on creating an audience of those future buyers, you can get way more specific about who your work is for.

So here's an example straight from my business. One of the jobs my business gets hired for is to make marketing suck less. Because I know my people don't want to be marketing. They want to be working with their clients. So they need to be more effective and efficient with their marketing. So I could have a newsletter that is positioned as make marketing suck less. And this is going to talk to everyone who does marketing, including business owners, the CMOs of large organizations, people doing day to day marketing for corporations. It's the widest net possible. I could niche down a little bit more and say, make marketing suck less for businesses. Okay, more specific. I'm getting out of that role of corporate of like, you're executing marketing and it sounds a little bit more founder based.

Or I can get even more specific and say make marketing suck less for solo business owners who are experts in their field. Oh, okay. They have a whole different concern when it comes to marketing because most likely they are juggling marketing and client delivery at the same time and they're the type of person where marketing isn't easy for them.

So I get to create content that helps marketing suck less for that very specific group of people. And those are the people I want to help in the Expert Up Club. I create this podcast for that group of people. I created the Marketing Assessment discover Your Marketing Achilles Heel for them because I know they're struggling with what should I be focused on when it comes to my marketing?

And by the way, if you haven't taken that assessment, you should because it will help you figure out exactly where you need to focus your marketing efforts so marketing can suck less for you. You can do that

So if you hate marketing, if you overthink your marketing, the way you make marketing suck less for you is to talk to your right fit client, to talk to that future buyer, to talk to that person. When I do that, it excites me to create because I know that I can make a difference to that exact person. I know I can make a difference to you just from listening to this podcast. So you don't need an audience of thousands or tens of thousands to have a successful business that pays you well. But you do need to make your business visible to your future buyers.

[11:32] If the Rebel Uprising podcast is helping you claim and communicate your expertise so that your clients can find and hire you, please share the show with a friend. The easiest way to do that is through Pod Link. You can find the show at, and that page will allow anyone you share the show with to subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player. That's

[:11:55]: Subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player. That's Pod link Rebel. The Rebel Uprising podcast is a production of Communication Rebel. Our production coordinator is Jessica Gully Ward of Juggling Logistics. Our sound engineer is Stephen Mills. Rebel Uprising podcast is recorded on the unseated traditional land of the coast Salish Peoples, specifically the first people of Seattle, the Duamish people original stewards of the land past and present.

[a]Need link to article

[b] ??

Create Your One-of-a-Kind Message

Your 3 Word Rebellion is the Key to Growing Your Business & Impact

Yes! I’m ready to rebel!

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This



Create your one-of-a-kind message that is the ultimate hook and the message you want to be known for!

The 3 Word Rebellion is the key to go from business owner to thought leader.

Read our Privacy Notice. Unsubscribe anytime.