“You have to be able to show up for the people that are already there, before you get to the point of being able to deserve and, having earned, the much bigger group of people.”
So you’re waiting for 500,000 followers, or subscribers before you dive into that podcast you’ve always talked about? Or before you really go all in to your business, or before you commit to a contract with an assistant/lawyer/accountant, etc. You’re just waiting…but that is only going to hurt you, AND more specifically hurt your business. You are holding yourself back from getting in front of the eyes and the ears that need you right now!
We’re going to talk today all about how starting now with a smaller audience is actually a huge advantage; plus
Don’t forget to head over to the link below to fill out an application for my 21 Day Business Coaching Program. This program is going to help you come up with a really clear plan of action for your business, how to scale so that you can make the money that you deserve and reach the people who need to hear from you with what you’re offering them, then coming up with a really clear offer or maybe clarifying the offer that you already have. Plus me, right in your pocket for all the help you need for 21 whole days! So jump over to that link, if this sounds like you need, fill out the application, and let’s get started! Grab your notebook and a pen and take a listen, it’s time to go all in, my friends.
Look for references from today’s episodes? Find them all here:
Are you ready? Get listening right away by clicking the link above, or if you’re more in the mood to read keep scrolling for the full transcription of today’s episode! Let’s do this!
Why a smaller audience can actually be a huge advantage.
Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow podcast. Emily here, and today we’re going to be diving into why a smaller audience can actually be a huge advantage, and a caveat to that, I’m going to challenge you to stop waiting to show up as the true, big, beautiful version of yourself, because you’re waiting for a massive audience before you do so. Because that’s the other side of this that I’m seeing is that some people are really holding themselves back, because it’s almost as though they’re waiting for that big audience before they show up as the true version of themselves. And that’s going to do nothing but work against you. So we’re going to get into all of this today. I’m so excited to dive into this.
First I want to let you know, I am offering something brand new. It’s actually not brand new. I just don’t typically publicize it. So I do business coaching as well as podcasting coaching. And I have been working very quietly on the side with clients business coaching on the side for a while now, but I never made it public and I’m going to unpack why I haven’t made it public and in a future episode, probably soon. So don’t worry, you want to wait too long. But I do want to make it available on a little bit more public scale, because I’m seeing a lot of people struggling right now. And rightfully so, like this year has been a little bit bonkers, shall we say? It’s been a lot this year, let’s just put it that way. It has been a lot. There’s been a lot happening. And there’s been a lot of pivots, the word of 2020. And just kind of confusion and overwhelm and all of the things. So I wanted to come up with a particular type of business coaching, that wouldn’t feel like you were adding even more to your plate. So what I’ve come up with is I’m actually offering a very small handful of spots because this is very intensive coaching. You’re going to be working one on one with me very closely, and I’m going to do 21 Day Business Coaching. This sounds a little bit crazy because most packages for business coaching that you see are like 6-12 months, something like that. And I love doing those ones. And I do work with clients in that capacity as well. But I wanted to offer this 21 day intensive, basically because it is intensive. And we’re going to be doing a deep dive and these 21 days. So what happens is, we see if we’re a good fit, there’s going to be an application form that you’ll fill out. We would even say if you’re a good fit for me, if I’m a good fit for you, and then we would start by doing one 90 minute intensive call with each other. After that, you get 21 days, so it’s a total three weeks of Voxer support. If you’re not familiar with Voxer, it’s an app that’s all audio messages, but it’s actually like a walkie talkie so you can even hear each other in real time. It’s totally mind blowing. I’ve heard of a Voxer for years and just recently got on board and it is the best ever. I love it so much that I’m incorporating it into my coaching. That’s how much I love it. So this would be 21 days of intensive business coaching. Why this is helpful is because the world is changing fast. It is changing so fast that we can barely keep up this year, this year has just turned everything and everyone upside down on our heads. And right now, you might actually feel as though a 6 or 12 month commitment to coaching seems overwhelming in and of itself, especially if you’re already a bit more established and looking for extra support. And you’re looking to take massive action because you’re done sitting on the sidelines. So this coaching is going to pack a punch. And when I see some of the longer contract coaching, and I’ve been this person who’s been in that longer coaching space where it’s 6 or 12 months or whatever, and you don’t take action quite as quickly because you know that you have more time and that’s the other reason why I wanted to make this short and sweet, because I only want to work with people who are very serious about taking action and taking action right now, because that is how you’re going to see the biggest wins. And right now, I think everybody probably feels like each of us could use some wins under our belts. And I want to help you get those wins in 3 weeks, 21 days of intensive coaching. So I’m so excited about this, I’m so excited about this. I’m excited to introduce Voxer into it as opposed to just email. Because it’s so much more personal, it allows me to be so much more connected to you. If we end up being a good fit. So I’m really excited for this. And this is for anybody looking to come up with a really clear plan of action for your business, how to scale so that you can make the money that you deserve and reach the people who need to hear from you with with what you’re offering them and coming up with a really clear offer or to give the people who are coming to you even more clarity as well that’s going to help you in a huge way. Jump over to the show notes, the application form there. Please feel free to email me email@example.com or shoot me a DM, @emilygoughcoach, I’m always hanging around Instagram, so never feel like you can’t reach out I’m there to chat anytime and just pop into my my DMs and we can have a little chat. Okay. I’m super excited about that. So go check that out. Yeah, the application form is directly hyperlinked in your show notes, or jump over to roomtogrowpodcast.com. And it’ll all be over there for you.
Okay, let’s get into this. So let’s start with anyone who is waiting until you have a bigger audience to then show up as the true version of yourself. And that might sound crazy, right? You hear that and you’re like, Well, why would anybody do that? We’ve all kind of done that to some degree, because we’ll end up thinking to ourselves, well, there’s nobody listening. I’m screaming into the void. Nobody cares. Does anybody even listening, is anyone watching? What does it matter, whereas in your head, you’re thinking, Oh, if I had 500,000 people ready and waiting for me, and hundreds of thousands of likes on every photo, of course, I would show up. That’s not how this works. You have to be able to show up for the people that are already there, before you get to the point of being able to deserve and earn a much bigger group of people. And waiting until you have the massive audience to then show up as the true version of yourself is only going to hurt you. And it’s going to keep you from getting in front of the eyes of the people who need to hear from you the most. When we do this, you know, we’re sort of then treating our business as a real business as opposed to a hobby. And we think to ourselves, okay, you know, when the massive audience comes, then I’ll take excellent care of my clients, then I’ll connect with people and share my journey in a bigger, you know, almost more vulnerable way, then I’ll build up the systems that will make my job easier, then I’ll hire any type of help to set you on your journey. You’re never going to be able to build the business that way. Because those are the exact behaviors that build your business in the first place. That is what gives you your foundation. And listen when it comes to like hiring people and stuff like that. I’ve been a solopreneur for a long time, so I get it. I totally get it. It’s only this year that I sort of made a commitment to myself at the end of 2019. I was like, I can’t do this anymore. Like I’m going to have to find the ways to make the money to pay some people to help me because I cannot handle this workload anymore. So I do have an incredible virtual assistant. She’s amazing. I hired a lawyer to take care of some trademark agreements for me because I could have technically applied for them myself. But I was probably going to screw them up. And I just couldn’t take that on, that was going to take so much of my energy. I hired an accountant. I’ve hired somebody to redo my entire website, all of these things that I’m not good at any of those tasks. So any of those tasks, I knew were my weaknesses and I knew it would take me so much longer, and not just longer but take so much of my energy that I had to kind of move some things around to make it happen. And yes, that is not possible for everyone where you’re at at this moment. But that is something that you can work towards. And I want to plant that seed in you that that is possible and that that’s not necessarily nearly as far away. Hiring help is not nearly as far away as you think it is. But you have to treat your business, like a real business, as opposed to a hobby, or you’re never going to make the money. I’ve been there too. I also used to treat my business as a hobby. And you know what, I didn’t bring in the money and my audience wasn’t really growing because it was a hobby, I was treating it like a business.
You know, taking excellent care of your clients. The best advertising you can have is word of mouth. So if you’re taking amazing care of your clients, they’re going to spread that they’re going to let people know like, oh, if you need help with x, y, z, make sure to go to this amazing person. You know, connecting with people sharing your journey. That is how I have built my business the most, is actual relationships. I talk about that on this podcast all the time. I can reference countless episodes that I’ve talked about because it is so important, especially in this day and age, where people are feeling more disconnected from other human beings than ever before. And that connection, that personal touch goes such a long way. And we’re going to circle back to this in this episode, because I’ve got more to say about that as well. Building up the systems that make your job easier. Again, guys, I’m listing all these because I have been guilty of every single one of these, okay, and some of them I am still working through a little bit more than others, but I have at least recognized that they are problematic. And I am not good at building out systems. And then it makes my job and my assistants’ jobs so much harder because I’m like willy nilly all over the place, and it doesn’t work. So I’ve started to nail down some actual systems, and I still have a long way to go, but it is already making a really huge, huge difference. And it takes away so much stress, too. So it’s really important but it you know, let’s say you’re holding a webinar, and only five people show up, or only five people are signed up, and you’re like, well what is the point in kind of like sending out the replay and building a system around this and like coming up with a little email funnel or something like that to these people, you need to show up for those five people, because those five people gave you their email address because they want to learn from you. So you better make sure that you’re showing up for them. And you have to stop believing the lie that you have to have a large audience to be financially successful, as well. I need to make that very clear. Having a smaller audience is an incredible, incredible gift. It’s a gift. Say that to yourself again, that having a small audience is actually a gift. Because it allows you to connect with people on a far deeper level, personally and otherwise, and people end up feeling far closer to you.
You will likely get way better engagement. You know everyone loves to complain about the algorithm. Let me tell you something.
First of all, Tyler McCall talks about this a lot. I will reference Tyler’s episode on the podcast because he’s just an incredible human. He was the purifier on the podcast, it was amazing. So I’ll reference that episode. But he will talk about if you’re getting low engagement, basically, you need to look at what you’re posting, because something isn’t driving and you need to switch some stuff up. So that is rule number one. But, whenever you see larger accounts, larger social media accounts, there are tools that you can use to check engagement of various social media accounts. And what you’ll notice is that when you look at those large accounts, engagement typically goes down. Whereas with smaller accounts, if you’re doing it right, and you’re showing up with content that people are enjoying and stuff like that, your engagement is actually proportionately usually much higher, then far larger accounts. So somebody who has a million followers is probably percentage wise going to have lower engagement. In fact, almost always, then somebody who has an account with 1500 followers, as opposed to 1 million. Again, that’s assuming that you know you’re putting up content that people enjoy, like content is key content value all of that. That is rule number one. But beyond that, having a smaller audience typically actually equals higher engagement, which is awesome. And when you have a small audience, it provides the time and the space to listen, to truly get to know people to get to know what your clients are struggling with, and how you can help them solve a problem that they’re experiencing. And it can make you feel a little bit more comfortable sharing parts of yourself that are more vulnerable.
I have to tell you, if I had a massive audience, especially, like a year or so ago, if I had a massive audience when I came out with my story around my former partner’s nine years of infidelity and stuff like that, yes, I’ll reference that episode as well. Episode 170. I think I would have been far more terrified to release some of those more vulnerable stories about myself than I would have been otherwise. And that kind of still stands, just having that many more eyes on you is stressful, especially if you haven’t kind of worked your way up to it. And that’s heavy. That’s a lot. I have to tell you to like some of the big names in the industry, big, big names that that you would know anyone in the online business space would know. I’ve some of them I’ve been following for years and years from when they had far smaller audiences. And I’ve watched them, shift and grow and evolve. Some of them have done this better than others. Because some of these coaches that I’ve watched, they’ve grown out of touch with the people they’re trying to serve. And it’s as though they became too far removed. Or they were kind of at the start of their journey so long ago, that they’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be in your shoes as a potential customer or client. And that’s where having a smaller audience is a huge advantage because you don’t really have an option to leave people behind. Because people are showing up in your DMs or connecting with you and they’re, they’re probably much more likely to try and reach out to speak to you, as opposed to someone who has a million followers. I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I wouldn’t really bother to respond to somebody’s stories just for something fun or whatever, if they have that many followers. I might laugh and think that it’s funny or you know, I’ve got something to say. That is part of the beauty of the accessibility of social media is that we have the ability to reach out to these people who have massive followings and even celebrities and like whatever whatever you’re into, but the chances of them actually seeing that are next to nothing. You know, their team might see it, but is it likely to actually make it to the person, probably not. So that’s where it’s a huge advantage to have a smaller audience.
And a smaller audience just allows you to stay in touch with the day to day issues that everyday people are experiencing. You, as an entrepreneur are here to solve a problem for somebody, that’s what being an entrepreneur is, and being paid to do so, like creating a viable business around providing a solution for a problem that somebody is having. So when you are able to stay in touch with the people that you were trying to help, it’s going to provide you a far better foundation to be a more successful entrepreneur. And it just gives you more ability to develop these personal relationships, to go out of your way to build true connections, to get to know people, even full blown friendships. I can’t tell you how many amazing friendships I have with people who I only know on the gram, which sounds crazy if you told me that like 5 or 10 years ago, I would have thought you were out of your mind. But it’s true. I have incredible friends I’ve only ever met on Instagram. One of my best friends Christina Montalvo, who has been on this podcast multiple times. We’ve only met in person three times, you guys, three times. And she knows more about me than I am pretty sure anyone else on the planet. We’re so close. We talk every single day. And we’ve only met in real life three times. Isn’t that crazy? It’s just so interesting how this works. But she and I are originally connected in a private coaching group. And that’s sort of how this came about.
They say that word of mouth is the best advertising. I want to circle back to that for a minute. That’s certainly been true for me. Like there have been all kinds of referrals that I’ve gotten from people who I had developed a closer relationship with on Instagram, just from connecting in the DMs because I have a smaller audience. Even the podcasting masterclass that I taught last week, one of the attendees mentioned that she preferred to buy my course podcasting for impact, specifically because I have a small audience. Are you hearing what I’m saying here? She wanted to buy my course, as opposed to somebody else’s podcasting course, because I have a small audience. And she said that it was because she’s seen what I’ve been able to grow even with a sort of small but mighty following. And she mentioned that it makes it seem so much more attainable. Like rather than buying a podcasting course from someone who has hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers, and 10s of millions of podcast downloads. I have a small audience, I have a small following. And yet this podcast room to grow is listened to in 100 countries and top charts in my category regularly. I regularly hit the top 200 in my category
You don’t need millions of people to do well. That is a lie. You do not need millions of people following you to do well. And if you don’t take care of the people that you already have, you’ll never make it to the millions of people, or millions of dollars, let’s be real. If you don’t take care of the people that you already have. Why would you ever get paid that kind of money? I mean, that’s like maybe just a karmic thing, but I don’t think so. I don’t know anybody who has a small audience and treats their clients like shit and and then ends up, you know, doing super super well for themselves. That usually doesn’t happen, usually doesn’t happen.
But by the way, if you want to also kind of maximize your impact and grow your podcast with an audience of any size, but especially a small audience, my course, Podcasting for Impact goes through all of that for you. So you can make sure to go check that out too. If you’re interested.
And honestly, having a massive audience, I would actually argue that that can make things a lot harder in some ways, especially in this age with the pandemic and everything that’s been going on this year. It’s much harder to pivot quickly. We’re going back to that word. The word is pivot. And when you have a massive audience, it’s kind of like the difference between making a fast right turn in in a tiny sports car versus a loaded way down tractor trailer. Like it can be done, but which one is riskier? Which one is more difficult? Which one is going to take a lot more effort and time and energy? I don’t know where these metaphors are coming from. But I’m thinking of like, like a Skidoo, or is it a Seadoo? Seadoo! I’m not a boat person you guys. You can turn the Seadoo incredibly fast in the water, but if you have like a ferry that you’re trying to drive, you aren’t going to be able to do that, it’s going to take a lot longer, it’s going to take a lot greater distance to do so and a lot more time to be able to turn. So that pivot is a lot more difficult when there’s that many more moving parts happening. Whereas when you have a small but mighty little following, you can go with the times, you can pivot as needed. And you can move quickly when you need to to best serve your audience.
So I want you to stop letting having a small audience hold you back. Because it’s nothing more than a story you’re telling yourself. And it’s as powerful as you make it out to be. And just don’t fall into the trap of believing that you need to be everything to everyone in order to build a larger audience as well. Because Listen, I fully recognize that yes, if you want to have the kind of impact that you want to have and reach the number of people that you want to eventually reach. Yes, you are going to need to grow at some point. And I’m not saying don’t grow, I’m saying, take care of the people that you already have in order to gain more. And a big part of that is that when it comes to niching down, and getting super clear on what it is that you do and who you’re trying to serve, that can feel especially scary if you already have a smaller audience. But once again, it’s actually a huge advantage because you can be much more adaptable, and you don’t have nearly as much to lose from a number standpoint. There aren’t nearly as many eyes on you. So again, it comes back to that pivot, that ease of use with the pivot when you have a smaller audience. Then when you’re niching down, if you’re getting super clear on your offers, this is what I work with my business coaching clients around as well. If you’re getting super clear on your offers, then the people who are looking to you, are going to better understand what it is that you do. And yes, that is gonna weed out some people. But that’s good because it’s making more room for the people for more people that you do want, and you will end up growing, but it can be a bit of a scary transitional phase.
Something that was kind of fascinating to me. This is not like business technically, you know, this isn’t like money related. But something fascinating to me was when Black Lives Matter movement really picked up at the end of May 2020. After the murder of George Floyd. There was a lot of fear in the online space around speaking up and I know many online business owners were concerned about what they would lose. And the people that I surround myself with. All of them did speak up anyway. But all of us recognized that Yeah, we might lose some people along the way. And all of us were watching as some in the online space. Particularly, some of these coaches with massive, massive audiences sort of tiptoed around the issues. And they were struggling to face them head on, I don’t know whether that was by choice by lack of education or, ignorance, or otherwise, there’s all kinds of arguments that can be made there. I don’t know what was going on behind closed doors for some of these people. But they weren’t really handling it. Well, there were a particular handful that were not handling it well. And I made my stance very clear, I put up a post that I did not want anyone who didn’t support Black Lives Matter to buy from me because I didn’t want their money. And I meant that and I continue to mean that that is a value in my business, and in my personal life. And when I put that up, I 100% expected to lose followers, but I couldn’t have given less of a shit. It made no difference to me whatsoever. I’d be like, bye. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out because that’s not what we’re about here, we support Black lives. And if you don’t also support Black lives, you need to go like I’m not your person. All the better, right? One more discernment tool to weed out who I don’t want hanging around. I don’t want to work with people who don’t support this basic human rights issue. What threw me off and what I found fascinating about this was that I actually gained followers. And that was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. And yet, I actually know many people with audiences both large and small, who lost a lot of followers nearly immediately upon posting their support for Black Lives Matter. And I can’t make any assumptions about why I seemed to gain some followers, and we’re not talking a lot, by the way. Again, I have like a small audience, but maybe like 50 followers, give or take, which when you have a small audience, 50 is kind of a lot, right. It’s sort of indicated to me and again I can’t make an assumption here. But it kind of indicated to me that maybe why that happened is that perhaps it’s because I’ve somehow managed to cultivate a really solid audience of people with shared values. And if that’s the reason that means a lot to me assuming that that’s true, which it may not be, there’s no real way to know. But that does really seem like an interesting indication. And that was super fascinating to me. And part of I would like to thank anyway, that is assuming that that’s true. That part of why that is, is because I’ve been able to cultivate this really sort of tight knit, well connected group of humans who like to follow along my random ass business and podcasts and life and all the things that’s really cool if that’s the reason that’s really incredible. And again, I was not expecting that, I was fully expecting to lose people. And I was completely fine with that. I’m still fine with that. I still continue to post about Black Lives Matter and I will continue to do so in the long term. And anyone who doesn’t want to hang around for that can go, I don’t want you in this space. But it was just really interesting that I talked to so many friends who were in the online space, and they all lost followers. And I somehow gained 50 ish, give or take. And they’re real humans by the way I checked, they were like bots or anything. So it was just really odd. But interesting, very, very interesting. Again, and you can also reference an episode here about how to vet people and brands to work with. I’ll reference the the episode in the show notes because I get into a lot around how to vet you know, people, brands, companies, whatever that you are going to work with, around whether they’re going to be a good fit for variety of reasons, but especially around shared values, like these human rights issues, as well. So I would definitely recommend going to check that out because I think you’ll find it really helpful.
And I just want to wrap it up with this. If you can’t show up the way you want for a smaller audience, you sure as hell can’t handle a larger audience. I’m going to say that again, if you can’t show up the way you want for a small audience, you sure as hell cannot handle a large audience. And you don’t deserve a large audience. If you can’t take care of the people who are already in your corner, why would more show up for you?
You have to show up for them before they will show up for you. It’s not the other way around. So I want to encourage you to start connecting with the people that you already have, to go deeper with them to ask more questions. To really get to know them. And to start recognizing having a smaller audience as a gift. And if you’re listening to this and you have a larger audience, amazing. That’s incredible. Take this as encouragement to make sure that you are putting whatever you can in place, whatever steps you can in place, maybe even a team members in place, who can help you maintain that sort of small, tight knit community vibe, and to still be connecting with people to not lose touch with the people that you were trying to serve. And even if you can’t get to every single one of them, if you can have people in your team who can help take care of that for you and with you who share your values, and who are very familiar with your company and all of those types of things. That’s what you want to be aiming for.
And one final reminder, I’ve said this before, I will say this again, the number of followers that you have on Instagram doesn’t mean shit about your revenue. It does not mean anything about your revenue. It does not mean anything about the revenue of the people that you’re looking up to. I know people who are millionaires, with 700 followers, 1000 followers. Trust me, you need to stop measuring everything against audience size to determine worth. That’s not how this works. And if that’s a trap that you’re falling into, it’s working against you. Because once again, when you are assuming that about other people, then you are also at the same time telling yourself the lie that you have to have a large audience in order to make the big money, shall we say, or you know, just in order to do well like in your business and in any way, like from a revenue standpoint, from an impact standpoint, from a connection standpoint, that is not the case. So start treating your business like a real business. Start showing up for the people that you already have. Connect with people more and stop basing the value that you see in some of these other accounts and stuff based on their number size. Because you are being given a huge gift by the people who are following along your journey, every single one of those people, they’re real humans. They’re real humans who are showing up for you. So you need to make sure that you are showing up for them.
All right. I’m done with my rants. I feel like I’m just fired up lately guys, got a lot to say. And I am just using the podcast as my outlet to say all the things. So don’t forget about the one on one private business coaching spots. These are very limited spots. I can’t stress that enough because I will not take on more than five tops. Because I give so much of my energy to these people. I simply can’t take on more than that. So there’s only gonna be about five spots here. 21 day business coaching. So we start with a one 90 minute intensive call, followed by 21 days of Voxer support from me, and we’re going to help you get super clear on your offers, help you scale, help you connect more and to have the kind of impact that you want to have all while getting paid the money that you deserve. Okay, super excited about this, go check out the application form or reach out to me. Again, you can shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or just reach out to me on the gram over @emilygoughcoaching and I would love to chat with you. And we’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other. Okay, thanks so much, guys. Take care.
Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. I’m so grateful you took the time and it means the absolute world to me. For any references in the episode and all show notes, be sure to jump over to roomtogrowpodcast.com, and if this episode touched your heart It would mean so much. If you take a quick second to hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media or with someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests.
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