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How to Find Your Audience By Starting With Yourself

Before creating content, let's learn from our favorite creators and explore what works for them.

Oren Cohen
Oren Cohen
. 6 min read
Photo by chester wade / Unsplash

So, you decided. You now want to analyze and share your thoughts about Mass Effect's inter-galactic politics in a series of blog posts. And where do you go to share it? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

How can you do that effectively? I mean, of course, you can use tags and reach at least some of these people. But where do they hang out? Where do you hang out?

And more importantly, how can we make them care?

Let's go over a few platforms and how to share your content effectively.

Subreddits

Suppose you're highly engaged in the conversation around your niche. In that case, you will find Reddit to be a great place to share videos or articles you authored and receive some incredible feedback.

The downside here is that you can't just come and share your stuff. That's spamming. Follow the rules and see when is the appropriate time to share your links or videos in the subreddit.

For example, I shared my video interviews with Brennan Lee Mulligan - the Dungeon Master of Dimension 20 - in the subreddit with the same name, and got lots of upvotes and click-throughs. I wasn't selling anything, I was sharing a video with information that entertains or informs the audience of that subreddit, and they appreciated that.

And regardless, building an audience is about building relationships. Nobody will want to read what you have to say if you just barged in and shared your content. You need to pay attention to other people in there first.

Facebook Groups

Let's go back to the Mass Effect example. There's a great group on Facebook that I'm a member of, and it is the perfect example of a community where you can share your content.

In fact, I shared an article there a while ago with my thoughts about Mass Effect Legendary.

The admins don't want you to spam the group, so all posts need to be approved by one. And if your post is offering something to purchase, it is most likely going to be declined.

Research the right Facebook groups for your niche. Enter and start crafting relationships. If I were in your keyboard (or shoes, if you will), I'd first begin engaging with existing posts before even sharing my own.

You need to genuinely care about other people before you ask them to care about you.

Twitter

On Twitter, things are quite different. People post random thoughts all day long. And those thoughts are either dull like, "I'm having cereal" or very concise and powerful.

You need to be the latter. Think about what people see in their feed all day. They either see news, ads, promotions, etc.

Why is your tweet different? Why should your tweet be something they read? There's a barrier here that doesn't exist on Facebook Groups and Subreddits. People don't get notified about your posts, and thus you need to grab their attention.

The way to do that is a whole pack of research that I should probably do in a different blog post. Let me know in the comments whether that is something interesting to you.

To close the point, you need to think about the people you are targeting with your tweets and tailor the copy to them. For example, as a Mass Effect fan, I would probably stop and read a tweet on my feed that starts with "Commander Shepherd..."

Think about yourself and how you would consume those tweets.

Instagram

On Instagram, you can only share a picture (or video) and text on each post. It's not like Twitter or even Facebook that allows you to share links on every post. So, again, go back to how you consume content on Instagram. Are there specific accounts you follow?

For example, you might be following Marvel or DC's Instagram account. Why is that? Because you know that they will always post content related to their brand. They have a specific voice, and they're using it in a way you enjoy consuming.

Make a list of all the things you like about the Instagram accounts you follow. Does that list include the type of visuals they share? Maybe they have high-quality videos or photos? Maybe they teach you something in the captions of their posts? What about the frequency of their posting? Write all of these things down to give you a clear view of what you enjoy.

But it doesn't end there.

Now, go look at the comments of these accounts. Are there a lot of them? What do the people say? Do the creators respond at all? You can learn a lot about the vibe of an Instagram account by reading the comments they may have.

Start with research, and you'll find you're better equipped to handle your own Instagram account.

TikTok

What do you like to consume on TikTok? I usually enjoy videos that either make me laugh or teach me something new.

In a way, TikTok is a bit like YouTube, which we'll get to in a bit. Older videos can pop up on your 'For You' page months after their original publication. That spells good things for you. In a way, it means that as long as you keep posting videos, your views will increase.

I'm always getting videos from people I don't follow on my feed. And every time that happens, I motivate myself to create another video.

One of the things that I love to see on the app is when a video explodes. Imagine this scenario: you publish an idea you had, not because you expect it to go viral, but because you want to get it out there. It's been sitting in your mind for a while. Now, imagine leaving the app for an hour or two and come back to a million likes and 200k new followers. Over one hour!

The funny part? It's been done before! One of my favorite creators on TikTok - KallMeKris - is averaging 100k new followers every day. She has almost 17 million followers.

The one thing that makes TikTok and YouTube different than other platforms is that you can see people's faces and hear their voices. It's a lot different than reading their words online. While I'll admit, writing a blog is still a powerful tool, it can't compete with human interaction.

YouTube

We all use YouTube for different reasons. You might search for entertainment; I might search for coding explanations.

There's one ground truth common to all uses of the platform - we all search for something. Unsurprisingly, YouTube videos are ranked very high on Google results.

If you want to start a channel and share content on YouTube, this needs to be your primary line of thought - YouTube is a search engine.

If you tailor your content to what your potential audience might search on the platform, you will get more hits than what you assume your content should look like.

YouTube videos live a lot longer than their original posting date. The added value is that you find them in search results instead of just getting them on a feed as TikTok does with the 'For You' page. The way to improve your visibility on YouTube is by optimizing your keywords, but that is a whole other article.

Make Sure You're Providing Value

Now that you did some research about the platform where you would have consumed content and by which creators, you are ready to start sharing your own content with the lessons you learned.

But what would you share?

Your biggest mistake would be to share a post like, "go read my latest blog post." Nobody cares about you, at least not yet.

Make an effort to share helpful content online. Answer people's follow up questions. Here are a few quick examples of how to do it on the various platforms:

TikTok - respond with a video to a comment asking a question you can't answer in a comment's length.

Instagram and Facebook - Reply to a comment with your answer. There's enough space to be as lengthy as you need to be.

YouTube - Answer the simple questions by replying to the comments on your helpful video. If there's a pattern of questions, you just found your next video idea.

You get the idea - don't leave people hanging. It doesn't reflect well when new people see you for the first time and realize you don't engage with your community.

Conclusion

In this piece, I shared a simple way to find your audience by analyzing your own behavior. We talked about how we can take a step back, explore the content creators we love, and learn what they are doing well.

Afterward, we talked about what kind of content you should share. Sharing self-promotional content will not fly.

Now it's time for you to do the work. Grab a pen and paper or a new note on your favorite note-taking app, and start exploring the creators you love. What did you learn? What is a recurring concept across creators or across platforms?

Feel free to share in the comments what you learned or any follow-up questions you have for this piece.


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Oren Cohen

I'm a software engineer, blogger, and aspiring fantasy novelist. Helping geeks build online homes. Reach out! I don't bite :)