Building an Audience: Start With One

A black and white archery target with three arrows buried in a bright yellow center ring.

If you can’t get your mom to believe, you won’t convince your aunt.
If you can’t get your relatives to join your gym, you won’t get your neighbor.
If you can’t get your neighbor, you won’t get your town.
And if you can’t get your town, there’s no sense in paying for ads.
When building an audience, you must start with one person. Then get the second. Then get their friends. Then get your neighbors. And only then start talking to strangers.
Building an audience one person at a time is called sales. Talking to strangers is called marketing.

Work out From the Center

Where do your clients come from? The best clients come from a personal connection to you. The next best clients come from a personal relationship with your clients. That means you have to talk to people—real people, in person, one on one, before you do anything else. 
Eventually, you’ll build an audience using the amazing tools online. But you’ll never be good at it until you learn how to do it in person first.
The first stage of audience building is called Affinity Marketing.
Download our Affinity Marketing Cheat Sheet here.
You can find our full guide to Affinity Marketing in the Two-Brain Free Tools collection.
An Affinity Marketing plan looks like a bull’s-eye. In the Founder Phase, the personal connections used to grow a business are the entrepreneur’s own. The founder is at the center of the business’s first Affinity Marketing bull’s-eye.
Each ring or “loop” represents a new audience for your service. As we radiate out from the center, your audience size increases but its affinity decreases. You’ll have to do more work to “warm up” a potential client to get him or her to purchase, and even more work to keep that client.
The further from the center you get, the more education a prospective client will require before signing up for your service or buying anything from you.
Later in this series, I’m going to tell you how I built Two-Brain Business from this blog to the largest fitness mentorship practice on the planet. Yeah, there are paid ads and travel in there. But the reason people stick around and pay attention is because we talk to one person at a time.
I don’t write “sales letters” or “newsletters.” I send you love letters. And I tell you the same stuff I’d tell my mom if she wanted to open a gym (she doesn’t).
I don’t tell you how to run a physical therapy practice because I haven’t done it. I tell you how to run your gym because I have one. And I’ve screwed it up in a lot of ways before making it run exactly the way I want it to.
I don’t expect anyone to pay our mentorship team until after he or she has paid attention for a while. That’s what audience building is: earning the attention of one person and keeping it.
When gym owners complain that their funnels aren’t working or their new leads are “too cold” or their clients are “uncommitted,” I know they need help building their audiences. First, they need information. Then they need a model to follow. Then they need reps.
Get the knowledge you need to start here: the Affinity Marketing Guide.
In the next article in this series, I’ll give you a model to follow and tell you how I used Affinity Marketing at my gym, Catalyst.
Here’s a link that will help you get some reps.
On Jan. 10, I’m also going to run a webinar for you on this topic. I’ll walk through the process of audience building step by step and then do a Q+A.
As Seth Godin said this morning, “Marketers make change happen.” The world is our audience. Let’s have a conversation.

Other Media in This Series

How to Build an Audience
How I Built an Audience for My Gym
Stockholm Success: How to Build an Audience With Per Mattsson


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.