Image by Tara Hunt
Many years ago I did stand-up comedy and the clubs where I performed always wanted a big name headliner who could bring in a large audience. There was usually a two drink minimum and I was a middle act, selling tee-shirts at the back of the room. But it was the headliners who were the most valuable commodity. If they had the power to pull in their legions of dedicated fans, they got paid the big bucks. And that\’s why they were booked over and over again.
My comedy club days powerfully mirrors the modern business landscape. Today, people will only want to do business with you – and partner with you – if you can bring an audience. And because all businesses, from a one-person outfit to a large corporation, have the opportunity to reach far and wide across many platforms, growing a large and devoted following is no longer the exclusive realm of rock stars, actors or comedians.
Every so often business owners tell me, “I don\’t like social media”. In reply, I say this: “Social media is your best asset. It\’s the one place where you can easily interact with your audience, and also build your audience. It\’s essential for partnership which is key for growth.”
Your number one asset is your mailing list because you own it and you can control it – and you should take every opportunity to help it grow (while also attending to your other plaforms such as Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn and anything else that pleases you).
The beauty of being engaged in social media is that it\’s interactive. The audience will always tell you what\’s working. It\’s the same in stand up; you may think you have a great joke but if no-one in the room is laughing, the joke has to go.
Crucially, anybody thinking about partnering with you will immediately look at how many people \’like\’ your Facebook page and how many Twitter followers you have. They\’ll view your Google analytics, research how long your website has been live and what your audience engagement is. If you have healthy numbers, and can show that you participate and interact with your audience on a regular basis (for example, by answering customer queries on Twitter or being active in groups on LinkedIn), you\’re in with a chance of a great partnership.
And by the way if you\’re reading this – from the bottom of my heart – thank you for being in my audience and part of my tribe, you\’re most appreciated.