[363] Five ways to bust through an audience growth plateau

If you’re struggling to grow your audience on social media, the temptation is to keep trying more and more new marketing strategies. 

But this can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and overworked. And when you’re spreading yourself too thin - you can end up doing lots of things not very well - which can actually stunt your audience growth. 

If this sounds familiar, you’ll love this podcast episode on how to bust through an audience growth plateau. 

In it, I show you how doing things differently (rather than doing more) can help you kickstart your audience growth.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

1. Focus on one platform 

If you’re struggling to build your audience on social media, it may be because you’re spreading yourself too thin. Focusing on growing your audience on one social media platform means you can go deep on all the features of that platform - and experiment with different strategies - rather than ‘dabbling’ with three or four. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t post on other social media platforms at all; you can always repurpose some of the content from your main platform. But putting 90% of your efforts into one platform will almost certainly help you grow quicker. 

For example, the Instagram expert Kat Coroy focuses her social media efforts solely on Instagram - which has allowed her to sell thousands of her online course Instagram Makeover. 

The LinkedIn expert Helen Pritchard focuses solely on LinkedIn - allowing her to attract hundreds of students to her LinkedIn Bootcamp.

Love and London (an online resource for visitors to London) has over 100,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel. But while its founder Jess Dante has a presence on most social media platforms, her key focus is on Instagram - freeing her up to create high quality content and serve her existing clients.

2. Focus on engagement not numbers 

When you’re building an online audience, it’s tempting to think it’s all about the numbers. Which means focusing on building funnels and automating everything you can, right?


Numbers are important (the average conversion rate for online sales is just 1-2% which means most people need a much bigger audience than they think). But what you actually need to build is relationships.

So if you’re focusing on building funnels and automation - over having real conversations with your prospective customers/clients - on social media and in your DMs if necessary - your audience growth will almost certainly plateau. 

Building your audience is actually about building relationships. And you build this relationship one at a time.

3. Share more personal content 

People like to do business with people they like. So if you’re hiding away behind your laptop - or in your studio - you’re missing out on the chance to build relationships with prospective (and existing) customers. 

This isn’t about sharing your personal secrets - or airing your dirty laundry in public. It’s about creating connection points when you realise you share common ground with your followers.

For example, fashion illustrator Zoe Georgiou, said she decided to join my Build Your Audience membership programme after she came to one of my meet-ups and found me warm and welcoming (not the ‘hard-nosed businesswoman‘ she’d expected). But what nailed it was when I revealed I also hated tomato ketchup. Finding those areas of commonality and creating those ‘that happened to me too’ moments can be crucial for building your audience. 

And as Marsha Shandur points out in our podcast interview on how to use stories to attract your ideal clients, when you’re willing to be vulnerable and admit your life isn’t perfect, that’s when people often feel they can connect with you.

4. ‘Borrow’ other peoples’ audiences

Creating guest content for other peoples’ audiences e.g. guest blog posts, guest teaching sessions and virtual summits can be a great way to grow your audience - by tapping into other peoples’ audiences. 

There are pros and cons for each, but for me, by far the best way to do this is through podcast guest interviews. 

Being a podcast guest is a great way to get in front of your ideal customers/clients - and build your audience - fast. 

It’s much quicker than writing a guest blog post (most podcast interviews last between 30-60 mins) - which means you can potentially do several a week. 

It’s also a great way to build new relationships quicker. 

There’s something about being in someone’s earbuds that’s much more intimate than the written word. Which means that by the end of a thirty minute interview, people often feel they know, like and trust you enough to visit your website, download your free resources and/or even buy your products/service. 

And the best thing is, every time you appear on someone else’s podcast, you’re getting in front of a brand new audience - an audience you haven’t had to build yourself.

So if you set yourself a target to do three interviews a week, you could potentially build your audience by thousands - in a relatively short space of time.

Here’s how to pitch yourself as a podcast guest. 

5. Show up ‘in person’

Hosting a live event can be a great way to connect with your prospective customer/clients. There is something really powerful about meeting someone in person. You can create a much better rapport - and do it faster - than you can online. 

This doesn’t mean you have to put on a large live event.  A small meet up can be just as effective.

And if that really isn’t possible, you can add a personal touch by sending a voicemail or using a tool like Bonjoro. 

Key takeaway

Building an online audience can be tough and it is perfectly normal to hit a plateau. In fact, this can happen at any stage in your business. But if you can swap your a ‘funnel’ mindset for a ‘feeling’ mindset - using some of the ideas shared in this post - you’ll bust through your audience growth plateau quicker. 

Podcast shownotes

  • Why you need to think differently when you hit an audience growth plateau (2:50)
  • Why focusing on one platform will help you grow quicker  (04:09)
  • Examples of people that use one social media platform media really well  07:03
  • Why focusing on the engagement and not numbers will help grow your audience (10:32)
  • Steps to take on your platforms if you’ve fallen into an audience growth plateau (12:10)
  • Why conversations and engaging on social media can help grow your audience (14:55)
  • How sharing personal stories will help you connect with your audience (15:55)
  • How to choose the content topics that you post about  (19:00)
  • How ‘borrowing’ other people’s audiences can get you in front of a new audience (24:12)
  • How being a podcast guest can help you grow a new audience (and bonus tips) (25:59)
  • Why showing up in person  can help you connect and grow your audience (28:57)


Download 50 ways to build your online audience

Kat Coroy online course Instagram Makeover.
Kat Coroy Kat Coroy website 
Helen Pritchard  LinkedIn Bootcamp
Jess Dante YouTube  Love and London
Kate Lister florist Instagram
Julia Day The Independent Girls Collective
Voicemail tool Bonjoro

[190] How to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (and why you need to) (podcast)

[196] How to get more engagement on Instagram with Sara Tasker (podcast)

[253] How to land guest appearances on podcasts with Nicole Holland (podcast) 

[341] How to use stories to attract your ideal clients with Marsha Shandur  (podcast)

[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast)

[353] How to grow your audience through Instagram Stories with Tyler McCall (podcast)

[358] 13 Ideas for engaging social media posts (for when you’re all out of ideas) (podcast)

[362] How to grow your Instagram following to 27K - fast (podcast)

How to add closed captions to your videos using Rev and Kapwing (blog post)

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