“So much easier to aim for the smallest possible audience, not the largest, to build long-term value among a trusted, delighted tribe, to create work that matters and stands the test of time.”
~ Seth Godin

The cold hard truth is that you can’t succeed in business if people don’t know you exist.

A group of people who not only know you exist but who are interested in you and your work is what I call your business audience.

These are the people who follow you on social, the people subscribed to your newsletter, the people in your network, who you have some sort of business-related connection with. Essentially they are the people who are listening to what you have to say and are on some level interested in what you are selling.

Without an audience to sell to. It’s hard to build a thriving and sustainable business. It’s hard to get clients, fill programs and workshops, grow your list and create passive income.

Now I’m not saying you can’t succeed in business without 10,000 followers on Instagram or at least 2000 subscribers on your email list. I’m doing pretty well myself without either of those! But you do need people to sell to or your marketing efforts and launches will feel like shouting into the abyss.

If you’re feeling like one of the best kept secrets in your industry, I highly recommend spending time working on some or all of the following. many of the links below take you to further reading, so if you are serious about taking action on these strategies, feel free to go a bit deeper by clicking the links.

1. Content Marketing

I know, I know, everyone and their dog has probably told you how important it is to create content for your business and unless content creation comes naturally to you, it can feel like a real drag. However, it’s undoubtedly one of the best ways i know to grow and nurture your audience.

Two things are important here.

Firstly, you need a content marketing system. It’s no good creating content without a clear strategy or some intention behind what you create. I teach a create — repurpose — promote model, which moves you away from spending hours on one blog post only to post it, get a handful of views, for it never to be seen again.

No wonder content creation feels hard when we put in all that effort for little return. It’s not enough to create your content and share it once, you must make the most of everything you create and do your best to make it as visible as possible.

Secondly, if you struggle with content, it might be because of how you are thinking about it.

When we create content with the sole purpose of getting the sale or enticing people to buy from us, it takes all of the creativity and joy out of it for us (as well as the recipient of our content!). Reframing how you think about marketing is a must here. Focusing on how our content can serve our audience, feels much better to create and is in my opinion much more effective at resulting in a sale.

2. Authentic Outreach

If you’ve spent any time in my world at all you’ve likely heard me talk about authentic outreach. The art of reaching out to individual members of your network with the dual purpose of connecting and serving.

It might seem odd to recommend a 1:1 strategy for audience growth, but once your network is activated, you’ll have other people sending people your way on the regular. Besides 1:1 outreach is what can lead to a plethora of other audience building activities like being invited onto podcasts or guest teaching.

I recently did an interview with Sarah Santacroce on this very topic so if you want to go deeper, you can watch that here.

3. Market Research

I’m a huge fan of doing market research and I typically recommend that my clients do this by running what I call a market research campaign. This is where we pull together an invitation that describes our ideal client and the problem that we help solve for them (our niche!) and then invite those very people into conversation with us.

In that conversation you then ask them important questions about their struggle and what they need from a service provider like you and in return, if you want to, you can offer the person some guidance or help. I like to offer 60 minute calls and spend 30 minutes on research and 30 minutes on serving.

The great thing about these is that you can share the invitation far and wide, in relevant groups on social media and with your network, asking that they share it with anyone who fits the bill. As you’re not selling anything, people are much more willing to share and participate and in doing so, many more people get to know what it is you do in the world and who you serve.

4. Paid promotions

This is the third prong of my content marketing strategy and is the best way I know to get my content and, therefore, my business in front of new people. The key here is to stop using ads to sell your products and services to a cold audience and instead pay to promote your free, valuable content first to your warm audience and then to a cool audience. Warm being those who already follow you on social and visit your website and cool being people you’ve identified as possible clients based on interests and demographics.

In my business, for example, every week I spent 5–10 euros paying to promote Facebook text posts (repurposed content from old newsletters just like this one!) to my warm audience first and then to people who I have identified as likely to have an online business. It’s not a ton of ad spend but it definitely ensures more people see my stuff.

Serving rather than selling with my ads is how I’ve grown an engaged and loyal audience.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There’s so much more to say about SEO than I could possibly share here but if you already have a substantial backlog of content/blog posts on your website, but you’re not getting the traffic you need to impact your bottom line, it may well be worth looking into SEO.

I got serious about SEO when I started to get clients from a blog post I wrote years ago. Turns out people were searching for alternatives to discovery calls and my blog post about gift sessions was ranking on the first page for “discovery calls alternative”. If I can accidentally get clients via Google from a blog post, imagine what can be done if you are actually intentional about SEO!

Inspired by my accidental success, this year I took part in a 4 month SEO intensive program and although I did learn a lot of the more technical stuff, the biggest aha I had was to really take into account the topics and questions my ideal clients might be searching for online and integrating those into my website copy and content. Writing my titles and content in such a way that it answers those search queries has been huge for me.

If you’ve yet to get serious about content, you can skip SEO for now and come back to it when you have content worth optimizing. And if you are keen to learn more, check out Love at First Search for lots of great articles and free resources on SEO.

6. Collaborations

This is one of my all time favourites, which makes me smile because just a few years ago, the word collaboration made me cringe. I’ve always been a “go it alone” type but in recent years, collaborating in my business has been fun, rewarding and financially fruitful.

Collaborations can come in many forms but one of my favourites has been guest teaching for other people’s audiences. I’ve taught classes for free to many of my colleague’s audiences and as a result have always got more subscribers, applications to work together and sales.

I’ve been around the block long enough to be invited into some places where large numbers of my ideal clients are hanging out (places like Tad Hargrave’s membership) but years ago, when nobody knew I existed, I was the one going out and creating those connections, interviewing people, inviting people to teach to my audience and generally doing what I could to support my colleagues.

All of these helped to grow my audience and visibility and now I’m often the recipient of the invitation rather than the other way around!

7. Gift session campaigns

Gift session campaigns are one of my favourite strategies for getting you and your business in direct contact with your ideal clients. Time and time again, my clients report back to me that they have signed up new clients as a result of a gift session campaign they’re running.

Similar to Market Research Campaigns, the idea is to create an invitation that speaks to a specific problem and your specific ideal client, which you then promote and share far and wide, then watch as people who fit your ideal client description start to sign up for gift sessions with you. There’s no selling here, but when done well, you can get subscribers, testimonials, referrals and of course new clients.

8. Generous freebies

Traditional online marketing advice will tell you that the best way to grow your audience is to offer a free opt-in to your newsletter. Typically this is a pithy, PDF with something along the lines of the “5 Top Tips to XXX”. I believe that people got tired of this sort of opt-in years ago. It’s also much more common these days for people to sign up for a newsletter just to get the freebie only to unsubscribe straight afterwards. That’s why I usually recommend that my clients do something else.

This is what I call the generous freebie. Freebies that are actually worth sticking around for, demonstrate expertise and build trust and deepen relationships. Gift sessions are an example of this, as our other mini services you can provide like website or copy reviews or free classes or workshops. Others might include a free 5–7 day challenge — one that offers real value.

An innovative freebie I love is Lauren Van Mullem’s Craft and Copy sessions, where you go and do crafts with Lauren (online), whilst getting the chance to ask her anything about your website copy.

So there you have it, 8 of my favourite audience growth strategies, all of which are designed not only to add numbers to your list but to build meaningful relationships with your ideal clients.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.