If you want to build a business, you need to build an audience. These days, we’ve never had more tools available to us—but the landscape is changing quickly. Even if you’ve already built a strong following, the way people connect to you and each other is constantly changing.
At the Audience Driven Summit, which runs tomorrow and Wednesday, October 12–13, we’ve brought together some of the voices at the forefront to tell us what works—and what doesn’t anymore.
Here are some of the things you can expect to learn at the Summit:
Email is still a thing
Despite celebrating its 50th birthday this year, email shows no signs of slowing down as medium. While so much of the web has become consolidated under the control of the big tech and social media companies, email remains a stubbornly open vestige of the old web—a way to reach your people directly.
But don’t let email’s longevity fool you—how you use it is changing fast.
Nathan Barry, the CEO of ConvertKit, will share his thoughts on where email’s going. He points out the power of automation to engage your audience based on where they are in their stories, without having to handle everything yourself.
Email platforms are amping up their monetization, too. Companies like Substack, Patreon, and others have heralded a new era of paid newsletters, while ConvertKit is pushing further into integrated sales.
Podcasting still has room for you
While podcasting has exploded, there’s no sign of it stopping. If you’re dedicated and clever with your approach, you can build a powerful following—and a revenue stream. Podcasting pro Espree Devora will be sharing her top tips for how to get started.
But podcasting isn’t just an opportunity for you as a host—you can also make a huge splash as a guest on other podcasts. When you get the hang of being a guest on other shows, you can get your name in front of tons of other people’s audiences!
Video growth is there for the taking
Ali Abdaal grew his YouTube following like crazy. He emphasizes the importance of getting in your reps:
“I had a theory that my first 100 videos were going to be terrible, so I resolved to get through those first 100 as quickly as possible.”
Naturally, if you save yourself some time not worrying too much about quality control in the beginning, you can help build the habit of shipping regularly. Streamlining your work helps make things even more sustainable—Ali’s simple but powerful advice?
Figure out which bits you can batch.
At Audience Driven, Ali will be talking about how to achieve consistent growth with your video channel, even if you’re creating part-time.
Online courses and cohorts are proven winners
The tools are better than ever for turning your knowledge into an online course you can sell online forever. Once you’ve got an audience built up, an online course can be a perfect—and big-ticket—way to convert them to paying customers.
If you want to provide even more value, people are clamoring to get not just quality courses, but cohorts to learn alongside. More course creators are facilitating a group of students through the process of learning the material and helping them troubleshoot as they go. Wes Kao of Maven will help you get your own cohort-based course rolling.
This is community’s decade to shine
Building community on the internet has always been a powerful thing to do—but now, finally, people are truly starting to value it. Accordingly, we’ve seen a proliferation of well-built, mature platforms. Circle, one of our Summit partners, powers our SPI Pro community as well as our Academy community for course students.
Learning how to build a sustainable community is no easy feat—What’s free? What’s paid? How do you keep people engaged? How do you curate your membership without being too exclusive?
Anne-Laure Le Cunff of Ness Labs will address these questions and share the secrets to how she built her wildly successful online communities.