4 Truths You Need to Hear if You’re Trying to Build an Audience Online

It's possibly the most important thing you'll do for your business.



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by Neal Samudre in Recent Articles

I used to hate building an online audience. It felt slimey and disgusting, like I was more of a marketer than a creative with my work. I didn’t like it.

But now I realize, my mindset on building an audience was completely wrong, and it cost me the health of my past businesses.

Simply put, without an engaged audience, you don’t have a business. There’s no way for you to pursue your life’s work online without having an audience that cares for what you do.

So if this is the case, then why do we not prioritize building a quality audience more?

If you feel hopeless with your audience building, or feel like it's not important, this article is to help you change your mindset about it. To build the audience you need, start with your mindset first. Here's what you need to hear!

We’ve let too many ideas poison our mindset about building an audience online.

Because of this, building an audience can feel sleazy or hopeless. And if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to build a meaningful and sustainable online business, the last thing you want to do is anything that feels sleazy.

You need to change your mindset about building an audience, because without an audience, you don’t have a business. That’s what’s at stake here—your business!

Healthy execution stems from a healthy mindset.

Without first changing our ideas about building an audience, we can’t build an audience.

So if you’re feeling hopeless in your audience building efforts, here are 4 ideas to change your mindset about it:

1. Growing an audience is always an investment.

There are many cycles in our business that can cause us to put audience building on the back burner. For instance, you might be in a season where you’re building a product. Or you might be in a season where you’re serving your clients more.

Whatever the case may be, building an audience will always be an investment in whatever season you’re in. It’s that important.

Instead of viewing your audience building as something to prioritize when you get around to it, view it as essential for every season of business.

2. Quality matters just as much as quantity.

If you’ve dug into the world of audience building, you’ve probably come across a billion online entrepreneurs who instruct you to build a big email list. While building a big list is helpful, it’s just as helpful to build a quality list. Many online gurus ignore that a quality list is just as powerful as a large list.

Here’s my only caveat to that: for your small list to be profitable, it needs to be highly targeted. If your list is full of people interested in a broad topic like online business, then it’s smarter to have a larger list. But if you list is full of people who are interested in using a certain business tool, that might be specific enough for you to gain high profits off a small list.

All this to say: don’t ignore the power of a small list.

If you feel that growing a large list is hopeless, find encouragement in the fact that you don’t need to have a large list to have a sustainable business.

3. You’re not building an empire.

If there has been any idea that has soured my view of audience building, it’s the idea that building an audience is akin to building an empire. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but building an empire is not what I’m aspiring to in my business.

What appeals to me more is building a tribe, not an empire.

Here’s how they differ in my mind:

With an empire, you’re not connected with your audience. You instead speak to them from some high level. With a tribe, you’re connected with your audience more than you know. You’re on the same level—a leading learner rather than an expert.

With an empire, it sounds like you’re using people. With a tribe, you’re learning from people. It’s the proud versus the humble.

With an empire, it sounds like you’re more concerned with being on top. With a tribe, you’re more concerned with being where the action is—where people are learning and growing.

Building a tribe sounds more meaningful to me than building an empire does. So when I hear entrepreneurs talk about building an empire, it makes me cringe a little. Now I know that building an audience isn’t like that—and if I’m honest, this has saved my perception about audience building.

4. You’re qualified to speak to your audience.

Finally, you probably don’t prioritize audience building because you have this sneaking suspicion that no one should listen to you. You feel as though you need more credibility or more charisma to speak to an audience.

I still struggle with this believe it or not. The sea of people speaking about online business oftentimes discourages me. It makes me think as if my voice doesn’t matter.

But recently, I heard something that changed my perception on this.

While at a conference, the speaker on stage said that there are people waiting to hear your voice. Even though you might not feel qualified to speak, or feel as though you’re just another face in the crowd, there are people out there who will resonate with your voice. Those people might’ve heard the same truth in a million places, but your voice is the one they’ll listen to because you’re the one who’s most like them.

In other words, you need to let your voice be heard so that small band of people who only resonates with your voice can take action in their lives.

With that in mind, you are qualified to speak. All that’s left to do is find your tribe.

Businesses rise and fall on audiences, so you can’t let your mindset be poisoned on audience building. If you find yourself sinking into hopelessness about audience building, find which idea is ruining your perception on audience building. Confront that false idea, and move forward into execution.

And once you’re ready to take your audience seriously and find the quality audience your life’s work deserves, I invite to join a special webinar I have to help you make a full-time living from a small email list.

The webinar is called, “3 Ways to Make Your Small Email List Matter (So You Don’t’ Have to Build an Empire to Make a Living Online),” and it takes place on August 16th at 12pm CST.

Click the button below to go to the registration page and claim your spot. And even if you can’t make it, claim your spot so you can catch the replay!


Once you overcome your hurdles of building a quality audience, believe me, you won’t regret it. Your business, and overall meaning in life, will thank you for it.

  1. Useful hints here Neal, thanks!

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      You’re welcome, James!

  2. Hi Neil, stumbled across this post from the fb group RTS. Love it when you said “With an empire, it sounds like you’re using people. With a tribe, you’re learning from people. It’s the proud versus the humble.” I am glad I’ve found this blog. So much to learn from.

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      Thank you!!

  3. Totally on the same page with this post! I think the biggest thing to make the whole “building an audience” thing seem less gross is the fact that you’re providing real, actionable value to that audience!

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      Exactly what I believe Caileigh!

  4. Susan Ball says:

    Excellent tips! Love the fact that you talk about how to be successful with a small list. That’s encouraging for many!

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      Thanks Susan! That warms my heart 🙂

  5. Neal, I really enjoyed this one, especially because you aren’t saying what everyone else is saying. The difference between an empire and a tribe is key, plus the ability to make the most of your small email list. Great work!

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      Thanks Angela! Yes, I have a different perspective about audience building than most people, but it works! Thanks for the affirmation 🙂

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Get access to my master guide on creating an evergreen course funnel & the EXACT project workflow I use to create this course-selling machine.

start here
5-figure value, yours free.