Bloggers and marketers are funny people, sometimes. They use these words which say a lot about them… possibly without even realizing it.
Words like “my audience”. Or “my people”. Or “tribe”.
That one is especially funny to me. Who the hell made up the idea of calling your community your “tribe”? Maybe it was Seth Godin.
I hate that word, really. Seth Godin made a lot of good points in his book Tribes, but I think the mindset of looking at your community as a “tribe” is one which can lead down a dark alley.
I’ve even heard some refer to their blog readers as a “herd”. “I’ll drive my herd to your offer and we’ll make some money”. Jeez, how freakin’ dehumanizing. Turns readers into cattle.
In this business we’re in here, it is really easy to get caught up in the numbers. It is easy to get caught up in your analytics graphs, your email open rates, conversion rates… all that crap.
And it is all very de-humanizing. It makes us devalue the individual. And, in today’s day and age, there is WAY too much of that going on already.
I could go on and on about how people don’t like being treated like a number and how we’re all wanting to be acknowledged as individuals, but I think you already kinda know that. What I’m going to talk about here is the effect of this mindset on the blog owner and the marketer.
I’m reminded of a webinar I did not long ago about High Ticket Blogging, with my friend Tony Teegarden. On that webinar, we had several Blog Marketing Academy readers on there who were telling us the size of their email list, or their audience.
Numbers ranging from a few hundred people to many thousands. I seem to recall one lady who had a little over a thousand email subscribers. And, guess what she told us?
She said it was too small! It was almost as if she were downplaying it because she thought the numbers were too small to be relevant.
Look, even if we talk about a “tiny” email list of, let’s say, 300 people. Sure, in the land of “make money online”, a list of 300 might seem small. Too small, actually. You might think it isn’t even worth getting up in the morning for that.
But, here’s some perspective for ya…
Have you ever been on a stage, sitting there all by yourself, with an audience of 300 people staring back at you? Waiting for what YOU have to say?
300 people is a lot of people.
And that’s my point. When we dive so hard into our numbers, and we fall into the trap of these collectivist words like “tribe”, then we are actually devaluing the individual. We’re forgetting they even exist.
Each one of those flesh-and-blood people who come to your blog, or who subscribe to your list, are being turned into little more than an extra pixel on your analytics graph. And you’re possibly forgetting that they’re REAL. And that each one of them matters.
And what are the consequences of dehumanizing your readers like that?
- You could end up ripping on yourself because of your “small” numbers, and fail to recognize the opportunity sitting right in front of you.
- You could end up failing to serve the people who have connected with you, completely dropping the ball. All because YOU think the numbers are too small.
- You end up blogging from inside your own head rather than remaining closely connected with them and staying in tune to what they need and want.
- You end up making your content far less effective than it could be because you’re talking to a collective rather than an individual.
In short, you end up shooting yourself in the foot.
You could, quite literally, be sitting on a goldmine with your “tiny” blog and not even realize the opportunity you have.
But, I think it starts with an important mindset shift, and it is this…
This is not a “one to many” relationship. This is a “one to one” flow of communication. It is a bunch of simultaneous one-to-one relationships.
[Tweet “Think of your online marketing as a coffee shop conversation with scale. That’s all it is.”]
You are not in the mass media business. You are not in the business of talking down to a “tribe”. Let those other conceited a-hole marketers keep using that word “herd”.
You’re not even in the business of building an “audience”, either. You’re not some kind of stage magician. You don’t need thousands of people casually playing spectator and watching your online antics. That might float your ego, but it isn’t what businesses are made out of.
Businesses (online and offline) are built by serving the individual, fulfilling their needs and wants. And marketing is a flow of communication, between you and that individual. You can’t really talk to a huge group at once. It is hard. The best stage speakers in the world know that they’re talking to each individual in the room, not to a huge collective.
This is why the best copywriters in the world spend so much time creating their customer avatar. Because they’ll sit down and write all their copy to that ONE person. The moment you try to address the whole “tribe” at once is the moment your message falls on deaf ears.
Are You Sitting On A Goldmine?
Suzanne is one of my readers here at the Academy. I can tell you more about her later on, but the short story is pretty incredible. And it shows how changing your way of thinking about your “tribe” can have a direct impact on revenue.
See, Suzanne attended the webinar I mentioned above with myself and Tony Teegarden. After that webinar, she decided to begin working with Tony directly.
Up to this moment, my understanding is that she hadn’t made very much money on her blog at all. Some ad sales and some ebook sales. Never made a sale greater than $19 on her site, and even at that price point, not very many of them. Her average monthly income from the blog was about $150.
As of her third week of working with Tony, she (last I heard) had made 6 sales of a $997 coaching package. That’s about $6,000 in revenue ($5,982, to be exact). So, she more than 3X’d her typical yearly blog revenue, and she did that in just 3 weeks.
I should also add that Suzanne is not in a niche which has anything to do with making money. It is a tiny little niche having to do with digestive intolerance of some kind.
That’s the short story. But, the whole thing happened because she started by treating her readers like individuals. By lasering in on exactly what they needed, and doing it on a personal basis. It coupled beautifully with a high-end coaching package and she delivers the outcome her clients want.
Oh, and you think you could never charge $997 to somebody in your audience? Suzanne thought so, too. 🙂 Tony got her over that hurdle, and the results speak for themselves.
The truth is… you don’t need a big “tribe” to make good money from your blog. It can be done with small amounts of people.
There’s a good chance you could do the same thing Suzanne has done. There are certain prerequisites that need to be in place. Not just any blog can be transitioned into something like this, but one thing I know for sure is…
There are a lot of Blog Marketing Academy readers reading this post right now who could be making a lot more money from their existing blog by simply changing their approach.
The training that I deliver here at the Academy, coupled with the highly targeted nature of what Tony does, makes for a deadly combination.
Here’s two things I would recommend for you:
#1 – Watch this replay of the webinar I did with Tony. This is the very same webinar which Suzanne got started with. It is all about High Ticket Blogging, and is a completely different approach than you may expect. But, I encourage you to open up to it and give it some thought.
and as another option….
#2 – Consider attending a live event being held right here in my hometown of Tampa, Florida. It is called High Ticket Blogging LIVE.
This event will be a hands-on workshop where Tony will be personally going through everything Suzanne did (and I should add that Suzanne isn’t the only Blog Marketing Academy reader who traveled that journey… another Academy reader just crossed over the $9K threshold using the same process, in a 5 week timeframe).
One thing to also consider…
I will be at this event and presenting myself. It will be a small, personal setting. I will be there for a good chunk of it, and we also plan to do dinner together. So, this would be an excellent (and rare) chance to get my one-on-one help with your blogging, both at the event and over dinner.
Anyway, you can check out this page for more information on High Ticket Blogging Live. If you’re interested in attending, there is an application to fill out.
That’s right, no “buy” button. The reason for this is because we don’t want just anybody signing up via the general internet. This is going to be a small, intimate thing and Tony wants to make sure the right people show up. As do I. It’ll make the whole thing much more fruitful for everybody.