If you’ve built an audience around your youtube channel, blog, social media content, or even a podcast, you may feel like a celebrity already!
“Okay, I do have an audience. But now what?”
First, pat yourself on your back and congratulate yourself. You are already there, where many aspiring creators want to be. You have already amassed an audience who consumes your content and looks forward to more of it. This blog will help you get into the next step. In this blog, we will cover “how to monetize your audience in 2021”.
The number one challenge that most brands, content creators, and experts face is getting a group of people to rally around their ideas.
As a creator, if you have overcome this challenge and already have the initial traction, you need to figure out one more thing – monetizing your audience.
You need to sell something immensely valuable to your audience while maintaining the trust you’ve fostered over the years.
In fact, if you do this process right, your followers will grow dramatically. When you sell amazing products to your audience, it shows that you’re really worth following. As in the long run, money acts as fuel to keep up with the amazing content that you are creating. Selling products would simply serve to enrich your content so that you can keep sharing them with the world.
Top ways to monetize your audience
Offering free value has limitations. If you decide to monetize your audience, you’re creating opportunities that will add greater value to the community. Right digital products can help you unite and grow your community to become more enriching and connected than ever.
Before we dive deep into the topmost way of monetizing your audience, here is a compilation of the most popular ways:
- Host display ads on your online website or blog
- Create and sell physical products online
- Promote other people’s products through affiliate marketing
- Create an event
- Launch a mastermind group
- Provide services
- Get paid speaking gigs and book contracts
- Create and sell digital products or subscriptions (like courses or E-books or online workshops)
In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the last one: selling digital products like online courses, e-books, and workshops.
Before that, I would like to address the hottest question that might be on top of your mind – How big should my audience?
How many email subscribers, social media followers, or blog readers do you need to monetize your audience in 2021?
In 2008, tech writer Kevin Kelly wrote an article that eventually became a business classic. He called the blog post 1,000 True Fans. The post was quoted by numerous business celebrities, including Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin.
So what do 1000 True Fans convey?
You don’t need to attract millions of followers as a creator to build a full-time career out of it. As a matter of fact, Kelly argues that all you need is 1,000 loyal fans to make a comfortable living. The maths behind it is simple. If 1,000 people spend Rs. 10,000 on you in the span of one year, that’s 1CR yearly.
But, don’t take this calculation literally. The point Kelly is trying to establish here isn’t reaching the six-figure mark or just crossing the 1,000-fan threshold. In the bigger picture, the post simply conveys that the imaginary bar for making a full-time career out of monetizing an audience is lower than you might think.
Our audience needn’t be huge or everyone. If everyone is your audience, then no one is your audience. So, assuming you have the right set of audiences, what does it take to sell something your audience will love?
How to monetize your audience through digital products
An online community gathers around a thriving idea, goal, or hobby. The shared rapport draws each member to join and participate among an online tribe.
Maybe your audience draws a lot from your business acumen. Maybe they follow you because you are a fashionista and you share relatable and thrifty fashion. Maybe you are a subject-matter expert and your audience gets to learn from you.
Either way, there’s a common idea, story, or domain that threads through your audience. Before you start selling anything, you must be clear about the niche that anchors your loyal following.
The selling process of a creator flows through learning and trust-building, all while maintaining relevance.
Monetizing your audience with digital products literally comes down to asking your audience what they will pay for, creating that product or service for them, and then launching.
Let’s understand how to translate this into action:
Step 1: Gather Insights About What Your Audience Wants
If you have built a tribe around your content, it means your audience is interested in your topic. However, in order to get them to pay for your products, you need to learn more and get into the specifics.
A few things that you can do to know more about what your customers actually care about (i.e. what they’d be willing to pay for):
Gather first-party data
Reach out to your audience, create a poll, ask them questions and encourage participation. You can also use Google Form to do surveys or quizzes with a few short and well-thought-out questions.
If you have already launched a digital product, or know creators who sell on similar topics, dive into the reviews. Leverage community platforms like Quora and Reddit. Look for common themes, problems, or questions that you see in reviews.
These insights will be able to tell you what your audience is interested in, which in turn will help you serve them better through the digital products. Moreover, you’ll know their pain points and create your USP around solving them.
Step 2: Create Your Best Digital Product
Your followers will begin to drift away if you start to sell them products that feel poorly thought out. This might sound too obvious but create something really killer.
When you pour your heart and soul into creating something that provides value, your audience will see right through it.
Your goal shouldn’t be to make some quick money. Aim to create lasting, memorable products that solidify the trust and credibility that you have created.
Make the first sale: How to do a killer launch
Once you have gathered the data and created an awesome digital product, it’s time to sell.
Make sure you choose an online course platform like Graphy which has elegant aesthetics, is easy to use, and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- For initial traction, give away something free.
- Lead your followers to purchase through seamless upsells.
Let’s take an example of you selling a paid course.
In this case, create a free live session packed with value. Nurture your registered participants and make them excited about the live session. By the end of a value-packed session, upsell your paid course.
Build momentum around the course by constantly talking about it for weeks prior to launch. Touch upon some of the benefits, why you created it, and how it’s a perfect fit for your audience.
In order to drive early interest, run some promotions, like giving the first 75 users 50% off. You can do all of these on your Graphy platform.
Related: Top Productivity Tips For Creators
Step 3: Maintain a brand that your followers trust
The job doesn’t end with a successful product launch. In fact, that may just be the beginning. The next thing that you should aim at is to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. You can make that possible by gathering feedback and continuously improvising. This step is crucial to maintain a brand that people trust.
If you have done your research well and have created a valuable product, people will appreciate it while suggesting the areas of improvement.
You might get a mix of insights about what people loved, didn’t like or totally overlooked. Use that information to iterate your first online course and create better ones.
Related: The Best Community Building Platform
To wrap it up:
Know that brand voice is key! As a creator, you need to keep it fun, valuable, and informational. Once you have earned their trust, you need to keep them interested. Focus on developing online course content with the customer in mind so that they make use of it.
Choosing the right online course platform might be a good place to start!