Building your audience: Just ask

talkingAs we already know, marketing online requires an audience. If you have no audience, you’re wasting your time marketing online. But many people trying to market their organization on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn struggle with building that audience.

Last time, we looked at building your audience by doing them a favor. But taking one more step greatly increases your chances of getting them on board.

Simply put: Ask!

Now, it helps if you do them some sort of favor before you ask. You might Like their page on Facebook, Follow their company on Twitter, or even Endorse or Recommend them on LinkedIn. Whatever the case, doing them a favor first will increase the chances they’ll reciprocate.

Once you’ve done them that favor, simply send them a brief, private message, asking them to follow your organization.

Here’s an example message I’ve used.


I just endorsed you for some of your skills on LinkedIn. Would you would mind terribly following T&S Web Design on LinkedIn? (Yes, this is bribery.)

We’re building up our company’s LinkedIn presence to 50 followers, and would appreciate your help. If not, that’s perfectly fine. No hard feelings.

Just go to this link and click follow on the top right:


Okay, so I didn’t really message someone named Clark. I’m just a Superman fan. But if you’ll continue to play along, we can take a look at a few key elements of the message.

It’s personal

I didn’t send the message publicly, but privately. That makes it a little more intimate and personal. It means it wasn’t a desperate, public cry for attention. I really wanted to talk to Clark personally and ask for his help.

Gave them an out

In order to make it really non-threatening, I gave Clark the option to say no. Obviously, he always had the option, but in order to make sure he didn’t feel obligated or forced, I specifically mentioned that it was fine if he didn’t want to.

Was honest

I was very honest and up-front about my intentions. I even specifically joked that it was bribery. I fessed up, and injected a little humor in there at the same time.

Made it easy

By including a link right to our LinkedIn Company Page, I made it as easy as possible for Clark to take action. You may notice that I used a shortened link, rather than the long link that LinkedIn provides. You can do the same thing using a publicly available service like bitly.

Shared my goal

I had a specific goal for our LinkedIn Company Page, and I shared that with Clark. When you share your goal, sometimes people will take some ownership in helping you achieve that goal.

Stayed on the same platform

Since I wanted Clark to do something on LinkedIn, I made sure that the favor I did for him beforehand was on LinkedIn as well. The same would follow if you want someone to retweet something you say on Twitter, Like your page on Facebook, etc.

Get started on your own online marketing! Go to your favorite social media site and build your own audience by doing someone a favor, then simply asking.

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