The key to assembling an audience that can be activated is to patiently build a meaningful and relevant emotional connection with them. This can occur two ways: passively or actively.
A passive emotional connection occurs when people come to know you through your content alone, typically over a long period of time. As people begin to see and enjoy your work, they progress through four phases of an emotional journey:
Awareness: They discover your content and know you exist. Perhaps 98 percent of the people who find you will move on, but a few will stick around to move to the next phase. That’s why it’s important to constantly build awareness and attract potential new fans.
Engagement: The new connections want to see more. They may click on a link, explore your website, comment on your blog, and even share your content with friends. It’s starting to become a two-way connection. They are learning about you and liking what they see.
Stable connection: New fans opt-in. They subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another channel. Your content is adding enough value to their lives that they want to follow your work regularly. For the first time, you may know a fan exists because they’re subscribing to you. A subscription means, “I trust you and I want to see more.”
Loyalty: Your fan not only follows you but encourages others to follow you, too. This is the elite group that’s most likely to be activated. They’ll spread your ideas, donate to your charity, or hire you to speak at an event. Your ideas and your content are becoming a part of the fabric of their lives. They can’t get enough of you.
– from “Known”