How To Build An Audience The Right Way

August

11

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Visibility is profitability. One of the best ways to increase visibility is to grow an audience. This is easier said than done, which is why our special guest Dan Sanchez is with us today. He’s going to share what he’s learned about audience growth and how to build an audience the right way.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Dan Sanchez for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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How To Build An Audience The Right Way

Tim Fitzpatrick
Visibility is profitability. One of the best ways to increase visibility is to grow an audience. Now, this is easier said than done, which is why our special guest is with us today. He's going to share what he's learned about audience growth and how to build an audience the right way. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth, and marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have with me Dan Sanchez, also known as Danchez. Danchez, thanks for being here, man.

Dan Sanchez
Thanks for having me on, Tim.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. I love how you've combined both names. It's catchy, man. It's memorable, right? I love it. Before we jump in, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions. Help us get to know you. You ready to rock?

Dan Sanchez
Let's go.

Tim Fitzpatrick
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Dan Sanchez
Thinking. Ask my wife. I'm always walking around thinking with a pen and paper, writing things down, or putting things into my iPhone. I like running just because it's more thinking time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, there you go. How often do you run?

Dan Sanchez
Probably weekly right now. If I'm preparing for a race of some kind, then it's usually multiple times a week. For right now, just once a week, twice a week. But it's fun. I don't have to put on a schedule because I enjoy getting out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, cool. What's your hidden talent?

Dan Sanchez
Hidden talent? This is weird, but crab walking.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I know. Crab walking. Okay, I love it, man. I've never heard that one before.

Dan Sanchez
I've been in a lot of relay races and I just destroy people. I don't know what it is. I've been in a relay race of hundreds of people and for some reason I'm way out ahead of people. I'm like, I don't know where they go, but I freaking gallop like a horse. But you're crab walking. I don't know what it is. I just built for it. If it were an Olympic sport, I'd probably be competing in that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There you go. What's the best piece of advice that you've ever been given?

Dan Sanchez
One that's been I got from a book. It was like this massive leadership textbook, and there was one line in it that it was like a little side note. But I remember reading it, and then it ended up starting transforming my life in a little tiny ways. The authors alluded to this idea of like, if you just write your goals, but not only write it once, but rewrite it. In fact, write it more in different ways in different places. The more you can rewrite it, the more for some reason you end up burning it into your brain and you just naturally gravitate towards executing towards that goal. It was a little side note, but since then, because I read that, I ended up picking up other, seeing how that played out across a lot of people. Some people do dream boards, some people do Journal. So it's something I've gotten the habit of, and I find that it works remarkably well if you're you actually pick a few things that you're going after and write them down repeatedly, maybe daily. It's a tiny little piece of advice that I found is really simple, but gets a lot of mileage.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Dan Sanchez
Other than the crab walking thing?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, other than some crab walking.

Dan Sanchez
I drink Yerba mate instead of coffee. It's by far my favorite drink. It's a South American tea. It's a loose leaf. You have a weird little metal straw in it, and it's a fantastic drink. But back before remote days, when I was working the office, I'd be bringing around this little wooden gore with this metal straw in it because that's how you drink the tea. And people look at me and be like, What the heck is that? What is that, bro? It looks like something illegal. You might be smoking something out of it. But I'm like, It's just tea. It's got coffee. It's fantastic.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yerba mate.

Dan Sanchez
Yerba mate. It's a South American thing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What does success mean to you?

Dan Sanchez
Man, success, to me, looks like playing the long game. Almost everything when I count down to like, Why am I doing this is almost some long game. I want to have good, strong relationships. I have lots of kids. I have four kids right now and I'm like, man, it's hard because two of them are under three and one. And then I have an 11 year old and nine year old and I'm like, life is hard sometimes. But I'm like, this is going to pay out dividends later. And it's great now, but it's hard. Why am I building an audience? Because it's a long game because I know the benefits of building an audience. There's always more advantage on the long side of things. So success to me is playing the long game.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Dan Sanchez
Probably on a trail running somewhere. Good music in my ears, pen and paper in my backpack so I can write thoughts down along the way.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What kind of music?

Dan Sanchez
I like PodRunner. It's a free podcast. They have a bunch of different tracks that play to beats per minute. I find I like anywhere between 160 and 170 beats per minute. There's something about it. It's like natural caffeine. Your legs want to run on the beat. There's all kinds of tracks and great little grooves and technoey transmixes, but it's fast. You're running through the trail. It feels like you're running to your own little soundtrack, like your Tom Cruise running through the jungle or something like that. It's thrilling moments.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's interesting, man. It just naturaly, your body naturally wants to adjust to the cadence of the music.

Dan Sanchez
Do you run?

Tim Fitzpatrick
I don't run, but I mountain bike, so I could see potentially something similar like that.

Dan Sanchez
You can try something different. Mountain biking has a slower beats per minute, but generally, whatever the cadence is for a high running beats per minute, if you just cut it in half, so 160 beats per minute, you would cut down to 80 beats per minute because you just hit it every other beat is how it works for recycling.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Interesting. Very cool. What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Dan Sanchez
I find that my friends are all very much thinkers and entrepreneurs. They're dreamers that are trying to achieve things. They're not just dreamers as in they dream about things, but they're tactical. They like to actually go and do the stuff. Their topics they get into can be all over the place. But they're generally, you almost want to call them leaders. You almost want to call them entrepreneurs, but they're out there trying to achieve medium to big things. Those are the people I like to hang out with and who I spend time with.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Tell us more about you, Danchez. I know you got a day job, you got a podcast, you're building an audience. Give us more insight there.

Dan Sanchez
Man, audience growth. It's something that I've gotten into only within the last few years because like many marketers, you find out how strong it is to just run paid media, send people to a landing page, get them to convert either on a piece of content that leads to becoming an MQL of some kind. But eventually you create all these awesome funnels and you split test the ads and you split test the landing page, you get your conversion metrics up. I was playing that playbook and I was playing it well. I tripled the size of a small university with that playbook and it was fantastic. But that was between 2015 and about 2020 and something started happening that woke me up to the fact that you can't depend on that playbook for long. That is a short term playbook that will only get you so far. Because what happened, like it happened to many people, is Facebook ads was hot. Hot, dirt cheap ads. I mean, when most universities are paying $100 per lead, I was paying three dollars per lead for that little university that I was growing. It's just pennies on the dollar. And some universities spending $1,000 per lead is ridiculous. So I'm here running 3 to 5 dollar leads and creating all the landing page and the marketing automation and the followups and the sequences and getting the call center involved in how we call them and sell them and upsell them and get them to the application process and all that stuff. We did well. But guess what happened? Facebook started to get expensive because everybody woke up to the fact of how good it was, how cheap it was. When they started putting ads in the feed, man, it was just like heyday for a couple of years. And of course, we doubled down, we split tested more, we got better conversion rates, we got all kinds of creative things going on. But it kept getting worse and worse and worse. And I felt like I was a slave to Google ads and Facebook ads. And I was trying Pinterest, but that was even more expensive. I was trying LinkedIn, but that was even more expensive. I was held captive by the paid media, and I sucked at earned media. And I found out nobody's really that great at earned media. It's just like... There's a few people that just know how to get really creative to get the buzz going. There is a skill to it. I don't have that, maybe someday. But I was dependent on paid media. So when I started working at Sweetfish and started understanding podcasting, started to understand the owned media game, finally grew a social media audience on LinkedIn, understanding podcasting as I got plugged into that podcast agency and growing an audience on a podcast on LinkedIn, I was like, Oh, my gosh. This is the way. Because you can always spin up ads and landing pages and conversion sequences rather quickly. But if you can play the long game, oh, my gosh, it's like the whole other pillar that's been missing in my marketing life. And it's so much more powerful because once you have an audience, in the process of building an audience, you're also building a smaller community that can give you feedback, that can tell you how you're doing. You can actually get to know the market. You can actually just go and interview your ideal buyers and make awesome content together. It opened me up to a world that was not only more effective for generating leads and generating revenue, but it's also way more fun. It's actually way more meaningful because I'm building real relationships. I'm helping real people. Instead of trying to get everybody interested in me, I'm getting interested in everybody else. I'm like, man, this is what fantastic marketing should be. This is what marketing should be about. If we all played this game, if we all played the long game of building an audience, marketers wouldn't be scored down here right next to lawyers and used car salesman. Maybe we would be a little bit higher in people's books as people who add value to the world. So in a way, I'm trying to show how marketing can be such a valuable addition to the world, such a valuable expansion of whatever great things a product or service are doing for the world. Marketing can be an expansion of that, expansion of that dream of the message of the mission that people are trying to accomplish with their product and service. Marketing can be a fantastic addition to all of that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's such a great example, Danchez, because it's Look, there's nothing wrong with paid media, but it's a marketing channel that we rent and we don't own. I think it's always important to, hey, if you're using paid media, make sure that you're taking the time to build marketing channels that you own, whether that's, like you said, your podcast, your email list, your website. You got to have own channels for long term success, I think, and stability.

The 3 Pillars of Growing an Audience

Tim Fitzpatrick

Let's talk about building an audience. How do we initially start to acquire a larger audience or an audience at all?

Dan Sanchez
If you're trying to do this as a B2B company, there's a few things that usually hold B2B companies back. One is what I call the quarterly conundrum. It's that conundrum where you're trying to generate a certain amount of MQLs in the quarter. So you try a bunch of fast tactics in order to drive up MQLs. Even if those MQLs aren't the greatest, even if they don't lead the revenue, that's why we like LinkedIn ads because they generate a lot of those leads and not a lot of those leads turn into revenue. Chris Walker just published a report on the findings of LinkedIn ad saying, look how many leads they get, except look how much revenue it doesn't generate. So that's a problem. And we're doing a lot of other short term tactics in order to generate those leads because that's the model the whole sales engine is built off of. So the quarterly conundrum is what keeps people from playing the long game because it's trading in all your time for short term gains that don't go very far and don't help you next quarter, let alone three quarters from now, when you should probably be setting aside a certain amount of time, a certain amount of dollars and effort into growing the long game while you're playing that short term game. You have to create a bridge where you invest more and more to the point where you don't have to scramble every quarter so much. You have to start investing in that now. Kind of like when's the best time to plant a tree? Yesterday. But not yesterday. I might as well start today. So that's a major problem. The other one is what I call the meatball Sunday. This is a riff off of Seth Godin's book, meatball Sunday, but in a little different way. A lot of people try to build an audience with their corporate channel. The problem with building an audience with your corporate channel, your corporate website, your corporate LinkedIn account, your corporate social accounts, your corporate email list, is that it's always going to have too high a mix of your product marketing, your product content. And even your good content is still thinly veiled sales content. B2b companies wonder why people don't subscribe to it or why they have to go buy email lists in order to fuel their audience. And people just unsubcribed. They're just like driving it to the ground. It's because it's a meatball Sunday. You need all that content. You need all the product marketing, the customer testimonials, things that just talk about your product and news and announcements about the company. Your bottom of the funnel cares about it. Your customers care about it. Shoot, your employees might even care about it. But your top of the funnel doesn't. Your audience doesn't. They don't even know who you are yet. Why would they care about your product? So what I say is have your meat balls, but create a separate side dish, man, for your audience. Talk about all the things they care about, not just the niche that you're going after with your product. Create a separate media brand or even personal brand sometimes that can focus on all the topics your audience actually cares about. And then you can advertise your thing within that channel. Instead of going after your corporate LinkedIn channel, build a whole separate LinkedIn page that talks less about your company and more about all the... Essentially, think of it as a little media channel. People do it with Instagram all the time. It's like a memes channel that just focuses on hospitals or just health care. Those channels are out there on Instagram. We could do the same thing on LinkedIn. Those are the two major problems I see running into B2B companies is the quarterly conundrum and the meatball Sunday. How you get around that is using what I call the three pillars of audience growth. Most people think about audience growth. They think about the first pillar, but there's two more pillars you have to take into consideration in order to actually grow an audience. The first pillar, of course, is acquisition. How do I get more people to subscribe to my thing? And the way I walk people through that is just thinking through it like a marketer. Well, what's your channel you're trying to grow? Trying to grow a newsletter? Fantastic. Newsletters are great. What are we doing to grow the newsletter? Can we get some paid media to grow that newsletter? Can we just run ads instead of spending all that money running LinkedIn ads? Can we run LinkedIn ads to that same target audience and get them to subscribe to the newsletter so we can nurture them a little bit longer to turn their revenue later. So can we set aside some paid media? I generally recommend setting aside 10, 15 % at first and expanding as it gets more effective paid media.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Ten, 15 % of overall budget?

Dan Sanchez
Yeah. That's shocking. Okay, go back down to 5 %, but start somewhere and build up. There's one thing I wish I would have done, even growing that school and tripling their enrollment. I could have been doing this the whole time. So I had a good sized paid budget. I wish I would have set aside 10, 15 % of that paid budget to grow an audience first. Man, to be like saving for a rainy day, knowing that, hey, things are cheap right now. I can generate an audience probably for a dollar a lead instead of getting them to request information about the university because acquiring audience to content, well, come on, that's easier. It's going to be cheaper. And you get the email, you could still start tracking it early and set up all your fancy stuff in HubSpot to track that lead later on. Maybe call them if they're showing the right indications that they might be interested in buying. So you can pay to do it. You can also leverage your own media, the stuff you have going on already. Most companies have that to some degree. They have a little bit of an email list, a little bit of social going on. Why don't you leverage that to get people on your newsletter? The amount of times I've seen a B2B company that don't even link to their podcast, it's an active podcast they're posting to. You can't even find it from the main menu. You can't find it in the footer. There's no word to it on the homepage.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That blows me away.

Dan Sanchez
I wouldn't say it's less than half, but it's a lot. It's probably like 30 to 40 % of B2B companies. Last time I did an audit of 500 websites that had a podcast buried. Yeah, you couldn't find it. They're not even leveraging owned media in order to grow their audience. Weird. Then, of course, earned media. If you do owned media really well, people come to you. Chris Walker has said this multiple times, and I agree with him. I mean, this is what's happening right here. I'm doing owned media about audience growth. Now I'm live on your podcast. This is an example of what happens when you do good owned media. The earned media comes to you. That's everything Those are like, there's many sub talking points to all those things, but those are the three marketing pillars that you use for any marketing plan you can use for audience growth for acquisition.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. Number one is acquisition. We need to make sure we first understand what we're trying to grow that's going to help dictate the tactics that we choose to employ. What are the second and the third steps?

Dan Sanchez
Retention. Because what good is it if you acquire an audience and they're unsubscribing immediately? You have to have a bit of an acquisition plan. I like to think about it like one thing the audience, if you're listening right now to this live or recorded later, think about how you onboard customers. Do you have a plan for that? What are you going to do in the first two days, three days, 30 days? Do you have a roadmap plan for when customers first become active with your product? You probably have a little bit of an email sequence to help them warm up to the basics. Take that same thinking and go and apply that to your audience retention plan. When someone first becomes maybe a newsletter subscriber, this is the easiest place to do this, but there's other ways to do it for podcast or for social. But let's say you get a newsletter. How do you welcome people into the newsletter? What's the thank you page after they subscribe? What's the first one, two, three welcome pieces? What can they expect? How can you deliver a quick win for them? What's some of your best piece of content that you know is super actionable? People just do this one tiny little thing, they're like, Big breakthrough. How can you deliver an instant win for them so that you don't just get a subscriber but you start building loyalty instantly? How do you get them to actually go from just being a subscriber in one place and how do you get them to go to other places? This is pretty common now, but you'd be surprised how many people still don't be like, Hey, long time podcast listener, do you know I have a newsletter? You should join it. Here's why. Hey, are you connecting me on LinkedIn? So popularizing, not only get them to retain longer, but get them spread out across all your content. You want them to stay ick around longer, consume more, longer form content. So from social media to newsletter to podcast, longer, deeper. And you want them to spread out, consuming you in more areas. So that's generally how I think about retention. You need to onboard them, get them spread out, and get them going deeper.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it.

Dan Sanchez
Retention plan.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Have a retention plan.

Dan Sanchez
Especially if you're paying to acquire them. You better have a retention plan because naturally, people don't say they subscribe forever. You have to think about they're going to leave sometime. Let's extend that path. So their subscription lifetime. There probably needs to be a new name for that. You think of LTV, lifetime value. There's a subscriber value in there before they become a customer too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What I'm hearing you say is with retention, the first place that we really need to focus on is the initial onboarding. Once they actually subscribe, what does that experience look like? Because if we can give them a great experience from the get go, there is a much higher likelihood that they're going to stay much longer.

Dan Sanchez
That's it. Show them what they can expect. Help them unlock a quick win really fast. And you'll not only give them the thing they signed up for, but you'll build loyalty in the process. You'll actually make friends in the process. Soit's big. And most people don't think about it when building an audience or trying to build an audience. But it's where most people are losing most of their audience growth efforts is on the retention side. Now, if you want to go one level deeper still, we talked about acquisition, we talked about retention. There's what I'm calling elevation. How do we take it even further? I like to tie this into like, Okay, what bigger picture thing are we trying to play here? And it starts to become like storytelling now. What's the mission? What are we trying to accomplish in this? Maybe a media brand, maybe with your personal brand? I talked about it right in the beginning. Why do I do this? Because I'm trying to play the long game. I'm trying to dignify marketing again. I'm trying to make marketing a noble profession because I believe that it is. This is some of my core beliefs that I'm trying to do with audience growth. How do you get people to believe what you believe and the steps they need to take in order to get there? What's your origin story for why that happened? You notice I gave mine because I got in trouble with paid media at the beginning. So how do you indoctrinate people into your way of thinking and join you on your mission? How do you get them to start evangelizing the cause that you're trying to play? This is just marketing 101, but most people don't only apply to their corporate brand, they're not also bringing that into their media brand or their personal brand in some way. And that's how you get a lot more depth. But of course, I needed it to rhyme with acquisition and retention, so I call it elevation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Elevation.

Dan Sanchez
Instead of depth. That's ultimately what you're going for. There's one last component to it, and that is I just have a hard time believing that people will stay subscribed to anybody forever. What can we do to end it well? This is controversial because in marketing and business, you'd usually try to go cradle the grave, which is a term MTV invented or Viacom invented a long time ago. How do we get people from the very first moments of their life all the way to death? Let's be honest and not try to retain people forever. How can we graduate them onto the next thing and celebrate them on the way there? Is there a next step beyond me? Can I just cover this zone and then push them on to the next thing afterwards. Or I can just be great at this one thing. So that's even where I stop. I don't think I'll be going into business building as much as I'm just going to stay focused on audience acquisition. And if people get an audience and want to know how to monetize it, I think I'll let that go to someone else.

Tim Fitzpatrick
With Elevation, Danchez, what we're really trying to do is just get people to be more evangelists for what we're doing and what we're... What we believe in. Am I getting that right?

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Examples of People Building an Audience the Right Way

Dan Sanchez
You're trying to help people feel like they belong. It's the mission. It's the vision. They're part of something bigger than just the tactical reason why they came and showed up. And then graduation. How do you celebrate their graduation on the way back? Someone who does this really well... It's hard because this isn't the finishing point, but it's a big routine that they do in this massive of audience of... You heard of Dave Ramsey, right? Finance radio show personality. He does a lot of things with his company now, but one of the best things he does, you could almost call it a graduation, he gets people out of debt. So they actually make a pilgrimage over to his headquarters. It's actually local here where I live in Nashville. And they come live on his radio show in his studio and do this debt free scream. And it's like this, you finish the financial piece university thing. It's fantastic. I'm like, man, more brands need to be doing something like this where there's this mile marker of you've achieved something big. Of course, I think they're going more to like, Crattle the Grave. They're trying to figure out ways to keep it longer. But having those mile markers where people can celebrate some milestone as far as getting there with your help, I think it's huge. Most audience, people growing an audience don't have that mile marker set. We need to be thinking about that in elevation stage.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Dan, that's a great example because I read Dave Ramsey a long time ago, but the people that I talk to that are big Dave Ramsey fans, they do believe that they are part of something bigger than themselves. It's this movement, it's this way of life. And dang, when you can get people to buy into that and be part of that, well, one, obviously it helps with retention. They're not going anywhere because honestly, it becomes part of who they are.

Dan Sanchez
Yeah, massive. It goes beyond like, Oh, I follow so and so to I'm part of this tribe. I'm part of this crew. It's a sense of belonging that's just way deeper than just holding on to people a little bit longer for a few more emails. That's why it needed its own separate pillar because it's different in and of itself. You're doing different things in order to It's a lot less tactical and a lot more strategic and long term thinking.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Are there particular things that you can do from a tactical standpoint to help build and foster that elevation step?

Dan Sanchez
I think having lots of conversations, you really want to lock in the narrative. The narrative is very difficult. What are you trying to achieve and why are you trying to achieve it? I think some of the more tactical things you can do, I'm pulling this from a book called Primal Branding, the best book branding I've ever read. I've even like all good marketers, like read books and they have to customize it for themselves. One thing he talks a lot about there is having a manifesto. What I really took that as is you really need to have core values that make you weird. So you have to have a mission. You have to have an origin story. But something else you can do, and this is just good brand building 101, is it has to be values based. This is something that you can do. What do you believe that none of your competitors in this space believe? It can't just be, oh, we value excellence. It can't just be normal core values. They have to be weird ones because the weirder they are, the more they're going to attract people because people are like, oh, that's different. Once you have those values, how do you create language around it? It's one thing to be able to write it down in simple terms, but how do you dress it up to really give it tooth? Help it be sharper. Once you have the language for it, you could call that copywriting. How do you create symbolism around it? How do you create visuals around it? This is where most people start with brands, the logo, the colors, and all that stuff. I'm like, No, go a couple of levels deeper. What are we trying to accomplish? What's the values that make you weird? How do we create language around it? Now, how do we come up with visuals that represent all that become short cuts for the values in the language? Once you do that, what can you do to build... I don't know, in the book in Primal Branding, he tells it rituals. Every time this happens, we think about it this way. Dave Ramsey is a good example of the debt free scream. That is a major ritual he has. He starts his shows always the same way. He has a little thing that he rattles off and always has a few ways that he finishes his little segments before he cuts the ads. How can you add that to your podcast? Can you state your beliefs when you wrap it off? That was something we started doing in B2B Growth before I left Sweetfish. We were talking about the things we believed in B2B Growth. There's multiple ways to win. I forgot a couple of of the beliefs, but that was one of the beliefs. We would just rattle a few of them off and cycle through them as a ritual we would do. What rituals can you build into your platform and into your audience to symbolize the language, to symbolize the values so that people create a mantra around it? If you look at religion, religion is doing all of these things. Their values dressed up with language, with visual icons, with rituals. There's usually a leader of some kind.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Dude, that's fascinating, man. As you're talking through it, one of the examples, Dave Ramsey is a great example. One of the examples from the marketing space that comes top of mind for me is Russell Brunson in ClickFunnels. I mean, he's done a phenomenal job of just building this community of people. And the people that are in that community, man, they're believers.

Dan Sanchez
They're loud and proud.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, they're loud and proud, and they let everybody know it. And he's just done a phenomenal job of taking a lot of these elements that you've been talking about in building an audience and then long term monetizing that audience in all kinds of days.

Dan Sanchez
Oh.Yeah. Gary Vee's got a strong brand. Why? Because he's got lots of strong values that he dresses up in all these little pithy sayings and creates good visuals around it. Has a whole library of Vee friends now to visualize all his values. Weight with his little... I forgot what you call that, the blockchain thing that he did. And enough people bought into it. He's got a loyal crew, man, that want to see him get to his end goal of buying the Jets. I'm like, I'm in that crew more than Russell Brunson. And I'm like, I don't like football, but I'll probably have a ticket to that Super Bowl if Gary Vee ever gets there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Gary Vee, he's been consistent. Over time, that message, what he believes in, it's just been super consistent. He hasn't veered from it. He's done an amazing job. In all of his content, he's not talking about all the various companies that he owns or he has interest in. But there are times when throughout his content where he may be talking about something. The one that comes to mind for me is some of the wine companies that he's invested in. There have been times when in his content, he's calling that out and asking people to go there. But it's not the main driver for all of his content. But depending on what he is happening in his business life, he weaves that into some of his content, and that's how he's leveraging his audience.

Dan Sanchez
There's a lot of ways to win. He's doing a lot of things right. If you love him or hate him, you got to admit, the guy has values and you may agree with him or disagree with him. But for those who agree with them, they're drawn towards it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, and the other thing, too, Dan, is that with Gary Vee that you've touched on multiple times is the long game. He's playing the long game. I talk about this a lot with marketing. It's like, man, so many of us make short term marketing decisions that are detrimental to our success long term because... Well, it goes back to what you talked about, the quarterly conundrum, right? We've got to get past that conundrum and focus long term because we're going to be much, much better off for it. But so oftentimes, we're just like, Well, how can I generate a lead today? How can I close a new client today? I'm far better off taking a long term approach with... Gosh, I don't think it's just marketing. I think it's business as a whole and frankly, life in general. But yeah, super important. Gary Vee is a perfect example of that. He plays the long game and he's winning because of it. Danches, this has been awesome, man. I love it. So audience growth, just to summarize, we got to focus on acquisition, retention, and then elevation. That's how we're going to grow an audience. We've got to take a long term approach to it. That's how we're going to be successful.

The 30/30/30 Method to Start Building an Audience

Tim Fitzpatrick

Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today?

Dan Sanchez
For those who are just starting out, because there's always like, Okay, this is the feedback I get. It's like, Dan, that's great. If you already have an audience, all those things, I don't have a paid budget to grow. What do you do if you're just starting out? This would be my advice if I were giving it to maybe a new college graduate who literally is starting from ground zero, do what I call the 30 30 plan. It's the best way to go. Find 30 books on very one niche subject and post about what you're learning from all those books. Trust me, it's way easier to read 30 books on one tiny topic than you think because they all cover the same ideas to some degree. Reading 30 books is a lot like reading seven books because you browse past the stuff you already know. But you'll know everything, or at least every published thing. Do 30 books, post about it on LinkedIn as you go. Do 30 podcast interviews with those authors or people that are just really good at that niche topic. You'll start to build a network and then you get to repurpose that content to other stuff you're post in what you're learning. People will watch you start to learn and grow as you're reading all the books and talking to all these people on a podcast. And hardly anybody ever says no to being on a podcast. It's the secret of podcasting. It's free to start on Anchor and have a StreamYard account or a Riverside account. It's not expensive. You can do fantastic ones or just Zoom. You'll gain a lot of network and insight being able to talk to them about what you're learning from the books. And then write 30 blog posts about what you're learning. And in those 30, 30, 30, you will start to gain the expertise you need to be able to teach and actually start growing a following. Because in the beginning, you just don't have a lot to say. So just be a student and talk about what you're learning in the process. Read 30 books, talk to 30 experts while recording podcasts and share your learnings on that podcast and on LinkedIn, someplace like LinkedIn, right now, here as you go along your way. And that's how you kickstart this audience growth. And then you can go back and think about, Okay, how do I acquire more? How do I retain more? How do I elevate more? More, then you can walk through the pillars, but start with a 30 30 30 plan.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that. 30 30 30. Dude, it's so interesting that you bring that up because I was reading something the other day about... It was something that was breaking down a particular creator's process and what they're doing. And one of the things that she said in there was like, look, if I remember, they write a twice a week newsletter. I was just like, look, I don't know all this stuff ahead of time. We are learning these things as we go and sharing those things. None of us know it all. We're figuring it out as we go. And I just found that fascinating because I think so many people feel like, Oh, yeah, they know all this stuff, and they're just like, They've just got it all at the ready. It's like, No, we don't. We're learning as we go. As we learn, we get out there and share what we're learning. I love it. That is a super simple way for anybody to get started. 30, 30, 30. Now for me, I read super slow, so it might take me a while to read 30 books.

Dan Sanchez
Trust me, it's mostly skimming. Once you get past three, almost everything else is literally just scanning and looking the new information. Thirty books sounds so intimidating. It's probably not even 30. It might be 15. I did this with thought leadership that topic, and there was only 15 books at the time. The first three took some time. But then afterwards, you're like, Read this, read this, read this, because you have to cover the same stuff. They're all on some small micro niche topic. They repeat themselves a lot.

Tim Fitzpatrick
When you touched on this earlier, too, Dan, has words, there's not a lot new in any given subject. It's just people present in that subject in a way that they've learned it and in the way that it makes the most sense to them and resonates with them. In a sense, it's repackaged with their thoughts.

Dan Sanchez
In reading all those books, too, you'll start to find where the gaps are, which is where you start to find where you can play. Because you could be like, Well, now that I've read it, I've started noticing no one talks about it here. What is that? You can find it, but you have to know what's already been covered for you to be able to pioneer new ground and start to solve for that.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, man. Where can people learn more about you?

Dan Sanchez
Find me at danchez.com. That's where I publish all these thoughts. If you want the 30 30 30 plan, if you want my acquisition, retention, elevation plan, if you want access to free courses that I put on about audience growth or how to grow a following on LinkedIn or any of that stuff, I have free courses available at danchez.com as part of the audience growth school. You'll see links to it there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it. Those of you that are watching, listening, you obviously, Danchez knows what the hell he's talking about. Go over there, check it out. If you're trying to build an audience and you need help. Dan, thank you so much for taking the time, man. I appreciate it. I was writing notes feverishly. Thank you. I appreciate it. Those of you that are watching, I appreciate you as well. If you are trying to accelerate growth, you got roadblocks. If you want to identify which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com, or you can always connect with us over at rialtomarketing.com. That's RIALTOmarketing.com. Thank you again, Danchez. Thank you for being here. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Dan Sanchez


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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