Make Marketing Suck Less

The Myth of Audience Growth: What the Web Celebs Aren’t Telling You



I don't know if you've noticed, but audience growth is tough right now.

People aren't joining email lists like they used to. It's harder and harder to capture people's attention.

The marketplace is getting flooded with a lot of AI content crap.

This makes it harder for your amazing content, and amazing messages, to rise to the top so it’s seen by the people who need what you do.

Getting new people to sign up for your list is a herculean task. Yet, you still need to build that audience of future buyers, especially if you want to launch a group program.

So let's talk about the heart truth of what it takes to grow your audience right now.

(Click play or read the transcript below.)

In this episode:

  • The reality of audience growth (and it’s not about you)
  • The crucial obstacle you have to face if you want to launch a group program 
  • How many times someone needs to “see you” before they actually act
  • A deep dive into “The S-Curve:  How Business Really Grows”
  • My personal journey with my audience growth 
  • What is the “second launch fizzle” and how to avoid it

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:


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

Michelle Mazur [00:00:00]: I don't know if you've noticed, but audience growth is tough right now. People aren't joining email lists like they used to. It's harder and harder to capture people's attention. And the marketplace is getting flooded with a lot of AI content crap.

And that makes it harder for your amazing content, and amazing messages, to rise to the top. So getting new people to sign up for your list is a herculean task. Yet, you still need to build that audience of future buyers, especially if you want to launch a group program. So let's talk about the heart truth of what it takes to grow your audience right now.

Let’s do this.

Michelle Mazur [00:00:57]: 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 Mazur, the author of The Three Word Rebellion and your Rebel Truth Telling Guide to building a business that gets noticed.

Michelle Mazur [00:01:27]: Throughout the month of August, I have been sharing with you, behind the scenes glimpse of what's happening in my business right now. We've talked about the numbers behind the open house of the Expert Up Club, why I'm changing the name of this podcast to “Make Marketing Suck Less” and launching a companion newsletter.

And today, I wanted to shed some light about the truth of audience growth. I'm gonna warn you, this episode might bum you out a bit, but it's really my intention for you to feel like you're not doing anything wrong if growing your audience has been hard because guess what? It is hard. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work, the results you get, your clients, it's just really hard to be seen by new people.

So here's what I am noticing with the Expert Up Club because many of my experts want to have a group program. And I can't blame them. I love running the club. I love witnessing the incredible interactions, how supportive they are with each other, the relationships that are growing in the group, the business that is happening between the members, It's inspiring. It blows me away every day. So it's no wonder that other people want to gather a group together to be on the same mission, to be doing the same work together because there's something beautiful and magical when that happens.

But there's one crucial obstacle you have to face if you want to create that type of space and experience. The reality of audience growth. So let's be brutally honest. Approximately 98% of people that are on your email list or who are following you on social media are not ready to buy from you.


At any given time, you are likely to get about a 1 to 2% conversion rate into your programs. This is something the web celebs who promote “Oh, stop trading dollars for hours” never talk about - that you need a critical mass of people in order to promote your program so that they generate enough revenue to sustain your business.

So let's talk a little bit about that myth of audience growth. So there was a mythical time in online business where audience growth was easy. So this is back when Amy Porterfield and James Wedmore were the people to be watching. They had huge audiences. They came up in the heyday when Facebook ads were converting at less than a buck, and they amassed platforms. And today, they're still sharing the same audience growth tactics that worked for them back in 2010. But here's the deal. Audience growth tactics like SEO, social media, podcast guests, pop up on your website. Yes. They still work, but they don't work like they used to. You're not going to see the same results. And if we're really being honest, people like Amy and James, they didn't grow their audience through a pop-up on their website. Lewis Howes promoted them and gave them a foundation. He helped them build the audience that they still have today, which helped them build their huge ass businesses.

Honestly, I don't think audience growth has ever been as easy as the web celebs made it out to be, which is unfortunate because we bought into that myth of, “oh, I'll just grow my audience and sell a course and make money while I sleep”. And none of that is actually true.

So if you've been feeling like nothing is working or happening when it comes to your own audience growth, that you've been hustling your ass off and not seeing results, I wanted to share an article with you. It's in the show notes. It's called The S Curve: How Business Really Grows. In this blog post, they pause it, it takes an average of ten times of someone hearing you, seeing you before they act. I'm gonna talk more about that in my own business in a moment. But before we dive into the hard facts about my own audience growth, let's take a quick break.

Michelle Mazur [00:06:42]: Want to know the quickest way to make marketing suck less, spend 2 minutes, and take the discover your Marketing Achilles Heel Assessment. This assessment pinpoints your biggest marketing gap so you know exactly where to focus your efforts to make marketing twice as effective. Go to to take the assessment now.

Michelle Mazur [00:07:05]: Alright. We're back. So let's talk about my own journey with audience growth. I'm gonna warn you, this section might bum you out a bit, and that's okay. I really want to show you the reality is. So if you're struggling with this, I want you to know it's okay because I'm struggling with it too.

I've been in business for nearly 12 years. And I've had the privilege of being featured on over 60 podcasts. Now some of these podcast opportunities came to me, especially after the release of the 3-Word Rebellion Book while others were the result of me hiring a team. I worked with Brigitte Lions over at Podcast Ally to pitch me for podcasts. and podcast guesting can help you get clients. But if you're expecting to be on a podcast, and see a massive amount of email subscribers on that podcast. That's really not how it works. It is a long game because it's that dang S Curve again. that they talked about in the article. Because if you hear me once on a podcast, you might think, oh, she's interesting. She has some good insights. I like her and then do nothing. You move on to the next podcast or cleaning your cat's litter box or whatever. Then they hear me on 8 more podcasts or see my posts on LinkedIn or stumble upon one of my own podcasts. And by the tenth time, they finally take some action and think, oh, maybe, you know, I'm gonna check her out.

So, yes, the podcast interviews I have been on have paid off. They have led to one on one clients, but if you were thinking you're gonna see an immediate bump from podcast guesting, in your audience growth, that's not how that works anymore. I'm not really sure if that's how it ever worked, but it is still valuable to be on those shows a) you're building your brand awareness, b) you're meeting a potential collaborator in the host. Who knows where those relationships can lead.

Alright. So 60 podcasts. I've also successfully sold almost 6000 copies of the 3 Word Rebellion. And when I looked up that stat, it fucking floored me. Most traditionally published books are lucky if they sell a 1000 copies. So being able to get the book in so many hands has been amazing for my business. A book for me was a really great way to combat the S Curve because people buy book, and then that book takes a physical space. They see it. They might read a chapter or 2. Then a month later, they come back and start doing some of the exercises, and then they get distracted and months later, they come back to the book. And then one day, they're like, oh, yeah. I really need to, you know, get this messaging dialed in all of a sudden. They're on my email list. they're listening to my podcast, and then they might be working with me. Right? So that book has been awesome.

And then finally, let's talk about social media. On LinkedIn, I have accumulated almost 3000 followers. On Instagram, I have gathered 6500 followers, and I have about 1600 people following me on Threads right now. So I have put a tremendous amount of effort into growing my audience. And I know I was doing it on multiple platforms, and I preach against that, but I was all in on Instagram for a really long time. And then when they started doing all the short-form video content shit, I just couldn't do it. So I moved over to LinkedIn, and that has been my focus.

I'm not telling you my numbers to make you go, wow, she has a big social media following, and that makes her credible. It does not. I'm telling you this because the next number I'm gonna talk to you about gives you some context. Even with selling so many books and having a pretty decent following on social media, my email list stands around 2600 people. That's it. 2600. You would think people think I have a much bigger list than I do. I do not. I’ll admit, I clean the list regularly and boot people off who aren't opening emails, but I know because of that 2600 number, I'm reaching a point where I feel like I have exhausted or almost exhausted my potential client base for the Expert Up Club.

So I've got to focus on audience growth, and I've gotta some unconventional things. So I'm doing things like lead magnet swaps because being in business for 12 years, I know really awesome people who are doing great work, and I'm excited to introduce them to my email community because I would rather be promoting folks who don't have the biggest platform but are amazing at what they do. to my community, so they're not getting duped by the web slabs. That's why I am doing it. It feels very aligned with my mission.

I am also going to be collaborating with Marissa Corcoran to create what I'm thinking of as an Unsummit. If you're familiar with Marissa's work she has the Copy Chat. She does these events that are so thoughtful and In-depth and well positioned and beautiful that I'm like, I want to create that form of the Expert UP Club for myself, for my business, and give those opportunities to speak to an audience, to the people that I love.

That is what I am exploring because I firmly believe in the power of the expert up club, and I feel that more people should be aware of it. And if I want the club to replace my one on one work fully or make it so that I'm only working with, like, 3 or 4 clients a year, then audience growth needs to be my focus.

So what does this mean for you? So here's what I'm seeing with my clients, my colleagues, members of the Club, that if you want to have a group program, a community, a membership, a course where you're serving more than just one person at a time, you need the audience size to support it.

And it all goes back to that statistics that 98% of people aren't ready to buy from you yet. So if you have 200 people on your email list, you can realistically expect only 2 to 4 individuals to sign up for your program. That's it.

And then the second launch if you're not growing the audience, you probably won't even get that level of sales again. In my opinion, if you want to have a group program, create it. They are wonderful things to put out into the world, and it's so amazing to gather people. But the caveat haven't 1000 people on your list before you consider launching a group program. In fact, make sure you're working towards doubling that number if you want to avoid the disappointment of the second launch fizzle.

And if you don't know what the second launch fizzle is, it is a phenomenon where a person with a smaller list has a great first launch of their group program. And then the second launch, oof, it doesn't go very well. They get half of what they got in the first launch. And then the 3rd launch completely flops. No sign-ups because they don't have the list size to support it.

I wanna be clear. It has nothing to do with the quality of their program, how great they are, how it's positioned, it is simply the math. It's just math. Before you put your heart and soul online, launching a group endeavor, my recommendation is to grow the audience, go ahead design the program, dream about what it can be, maybe even launch a beta version to get the feedback.. But keep working on the audience growth. And, yeah, this is gonna be a longer term strategy. You might have to work one on one with clients. God forbid. I love working one on one with clients. I don't know why demonize that so much. And it's perfectly fine to work 1 on 1. In fact, you're gonna gain more insights and develop a closer relationship with your clients, and that's gonna allow you to understand what they need. And then that knowledge can undoubtedly benefit the programs you create.

If you haven't crossed the threshold of having a thousand people in your audience, it may be wise to put that idea of a group program on hold from now. Trust me, it's better to postpone a launch and focus on growing your audience first, then go through that disappointment. of having a launch flop simply because you didn't have the audience growth.

I hope this episode did not bum you the fuck out. I wanted to be honest I wanted to tell you it has nothing to do with you or the quality of your programs and everything to do with it's really hard to grow an audience right now. And believe me, focusing on audience growth to support that program you wanna launch will lead to far greater success in the long run.

Michelle Mazur [00:17:23]: 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 PodLink. 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

The Rebel uprising podcast is a production of Communication Rebel. Our production coordinator is Jessica Gulley-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.

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.