How to Build an Audience From Scratch

It can feel super deflating starting a website, blog, or podcast that no one cares about.

You put in hours writing content, recording video, and sharing on social media. You have an awesome idea, service, or product to share with the world, but it feels like you can’t grow an audience.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen the movie Field of Dreams. In the movie, Kevin Costner hears a voice whisper, “If you build it, he will come.”. Here’s the clip for your viewing pleasure:

Creepy, I know..

But, this strategy doesn’t work. If you build it first, they won’t come.

Especially when you are starting out.

But what if you had a roadmap to help build an audience of raving fans? (FYI.. This takes work!) Start with these two things:

Build an Email List

Your number one priority should be building your email list.

You need an email list more than you need a website.

If you have an audience on Facebook, that’s awesome! But let’s say Facebook shuts down one day or decides to take away business pages. If your audience was only on Facebook, you wouldn’t have an audience anymore, and in turn, no clients or business!

Having an email list gives you a direct connection to your audience that no one can take away from you. (Pro Tip: You can sign up for a free MailChimp account and start building your list).

Once you build your list, you can share value, drive traffic to your website and build an audience.

Do you need ideas? Check out this article on how Bryan Harris started an email list from scratch!

Provide Value

Have you ever had a question and began searching Google, Facebook, or sought advice from a friend?

There are tons of people online seeking answers or advice.

Find your online community related to your service, product, or interest. Then, begin answering questions, sharing your knowledge, and engaging in conversation.

The more you provide value to them, the more they respect you as an authority in your area. Also, be genuine about it and don’t ask for anything in return. You’d be surprised how many people mention your name in the future or reach out to you later on.

Gary Vaynerchuk calls this Giving Without Expectation (Contains some language)

Here’s an example:

My wife and I have a wedding photography business, The Westerns Photography. We are often asked, “What are the best wedding venues in the Winchester area?”.

To help, we created a Winchester Wedding Venue Guide and gave it to our email list for FREE. We provided value and solved a common problem for our audience.

To summarize:

  1. Create an email list, ask people to join, and continue providing value to them as often as you can.
  2. Find two or three groups online where you can provide value and begin helping. (No Spamming)

16 thoughts on “How to Build an Audience From Scratch”

  1. I can’t say I’d have any clue about having an email list without you.

    Great article! Thank you!

    There’s so much online, how do I decide which groups to join for my business? Are some sites better than others?

    • Thanks! You’re welcome Carissa! 🙂

      There are lots of groups and question/answer sites you can join. An easy way is to search for your area of business or interest on Facebook and request to join a few groups.

      An awesome question and answer site is You can search for questions related to your business and provide answers.

  2. Awesome article, Casey. I will be putting this into practice as I develop ideas for any future project!!!!

    • Thanks for reading and also for asking the question Chris! When you go to implement these ideas, I’d love to hear about how it went. Please share. 🙂

  3. Great thoughts here! I really appreciate the emphasis on creating and offering a deliverable that is valuable. I think so many people are jaded by the constant barrage of worthless spam and overhyped bloat, that when people do find something that is of real-world use, it helps endear your audience to your product.

    • Thanks for reading and for your feedback Shawn! It’s definitely true that people are constantly spammed and aren’t provided any real value.

  4. Great article with simple and practical ideas! I really like the idea of giving something of value away to your audience for free! Thanks for sharing, Casey!

    • Thanks for reading Faith! I’m glad you liked the idea of giving something away for free. I think that’s a lesson we could all put into practice more.

  5. This is great advice! I often wonder how you can get your product or service out there without causing a person to feel like you are spamming? What would be an appropriate approach to someone out of the blue about your product/service?

    • Thanks for reading Becca! It’s all about building a relationship with your audience first. No one wants to buy from someone who has a “me, me, me” mindset. When you genuinely help people with something related to your product or service it starts to show. 🙂

  6. This is great! I’m interested in reading more of your ideas on this! Invaluable information here! Keep up the great work! Best of luck to you!

Comments are closed.