Are you a coach or service provider? And you’re looking for the secret sauce for growing an audience full of ideal potential clients? 

If yes, you’ve probably come to understand this: 

To be in business, you need three things

(1) something to sell (<< this is an offer: for example, a 1:1 coaching package; a course, a membership) 

(2) content to sell it 💰

(3) people to sell it to (<< a growing “audience.”) 🌱

In today’s blog post, I’ll be zero-ing right in on #3: How to grow an audience of people to sell your offer to (as a coach or online service provider). 

I’ll be diving into four main categories of growth strategies. 

For each category, I’ll share: 

🧩 some basics about the strategies

💪🏼 a smattering of my own experiences, wins, and observations (from 8+ years in online business)

🎯 why and how publishing long-form content will set you up for the most easeful, High-leverage 😉 audience growth in this category. 

🍋🍋🍋 Ooooooooo this is going to be a juicy one… 

But first, a couple important things before we dive right into the audience growth details…

Warning: Don’t try to do All The Things!

I want to be crystal-clear about this: I do NOT recommend using all — or even most! — of the strategies I’m sharing today — at the same time. 

Rather, I suggest you take this opportunity to learn the basics, evaluate what might be a fit for you, and choose ONLY A HANDFUL of specific strategies to implement. 

The goal is to create your own custom “audience growth stack” — and then get consistent with the activities needed to leverage that small selection of growth strategies. 

(For example, my ‘audience growth stack’ for 2024 is: Email list building, Summit hosting, Pinterest, and Threads.) 

Claim your Instagram account on PinterestClaim your Instagram account on Pinterest

Okay, next let’s talk about…

My core belief: Publishing a library of long-form content gives you the best leverage for audience growth.

For each of the four audience growth categories I’m covering today, I’m sharing:

🧩 some basics,

💪🏼  my take, and

🎯 how long-form* content plays into your ability to see success with each strategy. 

(*I teach my system for creating strategic, long-form, thought leadership that converts your audience to clients inside my course, High-leverage Content. So long-form is my jam.) 

So I want to take a moment to put that last part (about 🎯long-from content) into context…

Because this core belief I hold definitely informs what you’re about to read… my “take” on growing an audience.

You may have heard the phrase, Small hinges swing big doors.” ?

I want you to think about your body of work — your strategic, long-form content — as the hinges that swing the big doors of audience growth opportunity wiiiiiiiiiiiide open. 

Your long-form content (this usually means blog posts, podcast episodes, or long-form Youtube videos) serve as the cornerstones of your marketing

With the right strategy, your thorough, detailed, long-form content supports all forms of audience growth strategies — making them feasible, easier, and more impactful. 

In this blog post, I’ll present a slew of strategy-specific details and examples of this… And I’m excited to share them with you, so let’s get to it.

Without further ado… 

Here are the 4 main types of Audience Growth Strategies for coaches, service providers, and other online experts: 

1. Email List Growth

In this section, I’ll cover some list growth basics, what works for me, and why long-form content will make email list growth a breeze. 

🧩 The Basics:

I’m covering this one FIRST because growing and nurturing an engaged email list is really a non-negotiable in today’s online business landscape. 

As I (vehemently! 🤣 ) mentioned above, when it comes to growing your audience, it’s crucial not to try to do ‘All The Things.’ (If you try to show up on all social platforms, speak at every event, be active in every group, etc, etc… You’ll spread yourself waayyyy too thinly and burn out.) 

But, that said… 

Email list growth is the one audience growth platform or strategy that is an absolute must. Don’t skip it. 

Your email list is the most powerful and most sustainable place to grow an audience. And for most coaches and service pros, it’s where most of their sales happen. 

That’s why, in my opinion, all audience growth strategies should lead back to email list growth. (And it’s why you’ll notice some cross-over with some of the other strategies mentioned in this blog post.) 

Okay, so email list growth is a must… Got it. ✔️

So now, how do we get people onto the list, hmmm? 🤷🏻‍♀️ There are two main ways to drive people to opt-in:   

✔️ You can create and offer a lead magnet. This is a valuable free resource you give in exchange for your future client’s email address. (Here’s an example of one of mine.) 

✔️ You can simply invite people to join your list if they are interested in working toward the outcomes/transformation that your offers help with. (Here’s my opt-in page for this.) 

And either way, you’re going to need content. More on that below.

But, first… 

💪🏼 What has worked well to grow my email list: 

The strategies I’ve used to grow my list have evolved over time. 

✔️ As mentioned above, I’ve successfully used lead magnets like free downloadables. 

✔️ I have a popular free Pinterest masterclass (which is also a type of lead magnet) that grows my list on autopilot to this day… even 4+ years after I created it. 

✔️ I’ve appeared as a guest on podcasts where I share a small sliver of value to hook people in. Then I offer my free lead magnet as a logical, no-risk, next step to learn more. 

✔️ At the time I’m writing this, my main list growth strategy is hosting my own list growth events —  Micro Audio Summits. (My last one grew my list with 800 new subscribers! More on that below.) 

Note: Again, by design, these last two tactics (podcast guesting and summits) cross over into the “leveraging other people’s audiences” strategy. (More on that below, too.) 

🎯 How your long-form content makes email list growth work: 

When you create and grow a strategic body of long-form content, email list growth becomes so much easier. 

Here’s how: 

1. Long-form content will inevitably help you develop a more effective lead magnet that will attract new people to your list.

When you “test-drive” content to see how people respond to it, see what they respond best to, and subsequently us that content as a lead magnet, your conversions and growth will skyrocket. 

Behold… A few examples of how this happens in the wild… 

    • My high-converting Pinterest masterclass, ‘The 5 Secrets for Attracting Clients Using Pinterest,’ was actually an expanded version of five of my most popular blog posts. (Shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone!) 😉

      ** This masterclass alone has generated more than 5,000 subscribers to my list over the years.
    • Sheila, one of my High-leverage Content students, was recently able to quickly transform one of her detailed blog posts into a kick-ass 5-day challenge around “Releasing Toxic Smallness.” (Cool, right?) Now she’s running it to generate clients and course sales. 💪🏼
    • Talia, a High-leverage Content student and health coach for women who keep kosher, assembled some of her most-loved recipes, resources, and strategies she’d written about in her blog… And she turned them into a ‘Free Guide to a Healthier Kosher Kitchen’ that now reliably grows her list with ideal clients. 📈

So, if you want a lead magnet that people are knocking down your doors for (not one that feels like pulling teeth to get people to opt-in for!), look no further than your long-form thought leadership content. Your best lead magnet is there. 

And…

2. You’ll be able to use your library of High-leverage Content to generate emails that people are excited to receive… so they will sign up to get them. 

You may decide to simply invite people to join your list — when they are interested in working toward the outcomes/transformation that your offers help with.*

(*Note: This “sign up for my emails” thing was once considered an outdated strategy. People said, “No one wants your newsletter!” … But just like my mom’s high-waisted denim bell bottoms from 1976, it made a comeback in 2023! Again, here’s my opt-in page for this – in case you want to check out how I’m doing this.)  

To do this effectively — and to keep them loving your emails and staying on your list — you’ll need to email them regularly with good stuff! (I think 1x per week is a good place to start.) 

Now… what to send? 🤷🏻‍♀️

When you are growing a body of strategic, deep, thought leadership content — it’s a lot easier, because you always have a library of content to dip into, and repurpose or re-package.* 

*Inside the High-leverage Content course and system, there are two chapters that teach you my strategies for doing this… for (a) sharing your long-form content directly to your list; and for (b) repurposing your long-form content into exclusive micro-content for your list. 

Okay… next up, I want to talk about the audience growth strategy that is currently working best (and most quickly!) 🤩 for me… (Ahem… 800 new subscribers in 6 weeks!) 

So keep reading because this one is sooooo powerful right now… 

(Pssssst…. You can 📌 pin this article for reference to your “Marketing” board:) 

How to pin your Instagram content to Pinterest

2. Leveraging Other People’s Audiences to Grow Yours

In this section, I’ll cover some ‘other people’s audiences’ basics, what’s working for me, and why long-form content will position you for the most profitable collaborations.

🧩 The Basics: 

This category of strategies involves seeking out collaborations with others in your field or complementary niches — and gaining exposure to their established audiences. 

It’s a powerful way to hack growth — and it works beautifully for people who have deep expertise and need to gain or expand an audience. 

To do collaborations, you can pitch people with larger audiences to do something together. 

And, as you get more established as a thought leader in your space, you’ll find that you’re being approached for this type of joint effort, too! 

These collaborations can take various forms, each with its own unique benefits. Here are some of the most common ones: 

(*Remember, the best CTAs for these collabs are the ones that lead to your email list!) 

Podcast Interviews: Being a guest on a podcast allows you to get your messages in front of an established audience that has been built by that podcast host. You’ll showcase your expertise and personal insights while providing valuable content to that show’s audience. 

Social Media Collabs: If you’re on social, you can go live together with someone who has an established audience. Again, you get to showcase your expertise and bring value to your collaborator’s followers. 

Summit Speaking: Summits bring together thought leaders around a certain theme or topic — and eager audiences looking to learn and connect. Being a speaker at a summit gives you exposure to the audiences of the host and other speakers, so it broadens your reach. It also positions you as an authority in your space. 

Summit Hosting: When you’re the host, you do all of the leg work to organize the event. Your speakers agree to promote the event to their audiences, and those who sign up for access are joining *your* email list. 

Guest Blogging: Writing for another entrepreneur’s or brand’s blog (or having them write for yours) can introduce your expertise to a new set of readers.

💪🏼 My experiences with leveraging other people’s audiences: 

Over the years, I’ve appeared on dozens of podcasts. These have proven to be really fruitful for me — both immediately and in the long-term. 

I’ve signed clients who heard me on a show in the same week it was released! … And I have guest spots out there that are evergreen, always attracting new listeners, and still drive people to my website and offers — years after I was a guest.

I’m also pitched at least once a week to be a speaker in summits that other experts are organizing… And I get regular requests, from people with established accounts and large followings, to do social media livestreams and the like. 

Finally, as mentioned above, I am presently in a season where I’m running quarterly Micro Audio Summits to grow my audience. In these small-scale events, I invite a handful of hand-chosen experts to share their knowledge. They also promote the event to their audiences. In this way, I grow my email list, because when people in their audiences register for access, they are joining my list. 

(Psssst… If you want to learn more about these Micro Audio Summits, click here to read my biz-bud Wendy’s blog post.) 

Now… Here’s what I really want you to take away from reading about my successes with leveraging other people’s audiences: 

💥💥💥 The reason these collaboration strategies work so well for me is that I have established myself as an expert in my space with my thought leadership content. 

Which leads me to… 

🎯 How your long-form content positions you for the most successful and profitable collaborations: 

For the past 8+ years, I’ve been creating long-form content on my blog, and using it to position myself as a go-to expert in my space. 

When you publish your own long-form body of work, it will be your #1 way of establishing that kind of authority, too. 

There are essentially two ways that long-form will set you up for profitable collaborations that grow your list: 

1. Long-form content will establish you as an expert. 

When people who have established platforms are seeking speakers, they are looking for the genuine article — people who really know their stuff. They will only pitch you — or say yes to your pitch — if they can see that you will bring worthwhile insights. 

That’s because, in most cases, the quid pro quo breaks down like this: 

They have the audience. You bring the valuable, expert content. 

Having a library of high-quality, long-form content makes you an attractive collaborator. It demonstrates your expertise and gives potential partners confidence in your value to their audience. 

(Plus of course, collaborations can drive their audience to seek out more of your work, leading to even more audience growth, as described above in the section on email list growth!)

2. Long-form content will help you develop the right speaking topics. 

Similarly to the way that your deeper content will set you up to easily create in-demand lead magnets (as discussed above), your body of work should also be the source for your speaking topics. 

For example, when you guest blog or speak at a summit, you can draw from this rich reservoir of content to create your content for the collaboration.  

And/or, strategically repurposing *parts* of your long-form content for these collaborations can maximize your reach and impact. 

For example, maybe you write a comprehensive blog post about “How Executives Can Get Better Sleep & Be More Productive as Leaders.” A rich piece of long-form content like this can be adapted into a series of guest blog posts, a podcast guest topic, or an outline for a summit presentation. 

(*This not only saves time but also ensures your topic will be well-received and that your message is coherent and consistent across various platforms! Smart, eh?)

3. Growing Your Audience Using Search Engines

In this section, I’ll cover some search engine basics, what works for me, and why long-form content will help you get discovered by people on search engines. 

🧩 The Basics: 

Let’s take a look at the three main search engines on the internet: Pinterest, Google, and Youtube. 

Pinterest: This under-utilized but hella-powerful platform is actually a search engine. And it can give your content exposure to a highly targeted audience, because its users are often searching for specific things to do, try, and buy

So, with the right strategy, you can get found on Pinterest by people who don’t already know you… but who are already interested in *exactly* what your coaching, consulting, or service-based business helps with. Hello, audience growth! 😍

(For example, let’s say you’re a thyroid health coach. When people search for things like “foods for Hashimotos” or “healthy thyroid natural remedies,” Pinterest can show them your pins, boards, and profile… Amazing, right?)

For more on how Pinterest works for coaches, service providers, and other online experts, you can read this blog post of mine: How to Use Pinterest for Lead Generation

Google: Similarly, your content can get discovered by new audiences on Google. 

When you create strategic long-form content (like blog posts, podcast show notes, or Youtube videos) that are based on your ideal audience’s questions, problems, desires, and interests, that content will get “indexed” by Google. That means when someone searches for something, Google could “serve” your content to them in the results page. 

There’s a *BIG CAVEAT* here, though. Google SEO is complex, highly competitive, and can take a *very* long time (we’re talking many months — even years) to “kick in” for your business. 

So if you’re starting a blog to get clients, SEO is not a strategy I recommend out of the gate. (More on why below!) 

Youtube: Youtube is an interesting mention here, because it’s actually a long-form content platform AND a search engine. 

In other words, full-length Youtube videos allow you to go deep on a topic, and to fully explore and include the things your audience needs to learn, hear, and understand — to be ready to buy — so in my book, they are long-form content! 

And when you choose Youtube as your long-form content of choice, you have the added benefit of Youtube being a search engine itself. So again, with the right strategy, it can be a powerful audience growth tool. 

💪🏼 My experiences with using search engines to grow my audience:

If you’ve followed my work for awhile, you know that Pinterest is my bae. 🥰

I started specializing in setting up Pinterest for coaches and service providers around 2017… And it has yielded awesome results for my clients who have great content… Additionally, I have personally seen great audience growth by leveraging the platform for my own business. 

(For example, with minimal effort these days, I still get opt-ins to my email list every single day from my Pinterest pins.) And, I teach my Pinterest for lead generation methods in my course, Pinterest with Purpose. 

My personal experience with Google has been overall positive — but as mentioned above, it’s a slow-growth strategy. 

Because of this, I recommend *against* worrying about SEO when you start your blog — because I don’t want you to get bogged down and not start… Or write two posts and abandon your strategy after just a couple of posts. 

Instead, I teach you how to write (or record) a small but powerful suite of long-form content that is designed to convert your audience to clients. (That means you write posts about the 9 things your future clients need to hear, learn, and understand — to be ready to buy. This is what I teach inside High-leverage Content.) 

So the way I teach things, SEO can be a happy byproduct of long-form content, but we don’t wait around for it, because it’s a slow-growth audience-building strategy. (And if you wait for it to work, you’ll go out of business before it brings you clients.) 

To read my more nuanced thoughts on this topic, you can head to this blog post

Youtube was the long-form content format of choice for my content management client, Kaye. I served as her Content Manager for 5+ years, and together we created a body of work that still (to this day!) continues to drive visibility and sales of her coaching program, courses and services –month in, month out.  

If you enjoy being on video, the one-two punch of ‘long form + powerful search engine’ is super-powerful, so I give it 5 or 5 stars for you if it’s your jam! 

🎯 How your long-form content makes it possible to get discovered by people on search engines. 

Long-form content plays a pivotal role in discoverability and audience growth on search engines like Google, Pinterest, and YouTube. 

Here’s why: These platforms are all geared towards providing users with comprehensive, authoritative, and engaging content. 

On Google, detailed long-form content is favored as it tends to thoroughly answer user queries, leading to higher rankings in search results. 

On Pinterest, for the most successful strategy, you need long-form content to link to from your Pinterest pins. Plus, again, in-depth content linked to pins provides valuable context and information, making it more likely to be saved and shared. 

On YouTube, longer videos have the potential to keep viewers engaged for extended periods, signaling to the algorithm that the content is valuable, thereby boosting its visibility. 

And perhaps the most important reason why you need long-form content is this: Audience growth is important, but it’s only *ONE* of the *THREE* pieces you need… 

(*Remember in the introduction of this post, I shared the three things you need to be in business: An offer, an audience, and content that sells your offer to that audience!) 

As a coach or service provider, you only make money when you are able to get your audience booking and buying… So in short, you need to know how to create content that converts your audience to clients. 

More on that below… But first, let’s look at the fourth category of audience-building strategies: 

4. Growing Your Audience Using Social Media

In this section, I’ll cover some social media basics, what works for me, and why long-form content will make list growth a breeze.

🧩 The Basics:

It’s a challenge to talk ‘basics’ about social media audience growth in any meaningful way — because there are so many different platforms, each with their own strategies, content types, best practices, etc… 

But I’ll say this: 

The coaches and service providers I’ve seen successfully use social media for audience growth have typically mastered these key things: 

Being active on 2 to 3 platforms only: Focusing your energy on just two social media platforms (maybe 3 if you have support) allows for a more targeted and effective approach. 

And it prevents you from over-committing, feeling disappointed that you can’t “be everywhere” like you expect from yourself… and giving up. #RealTalk 🤷🏻‍♀️

Content repurposing: You should not be reinventing the wheel on multiple platforms. You want to get really good at breaking your long-form content down into micro-content. 

This saves time and reduces burnout. But it’s also highly strategic, as repeating your content in multiple places reinforces your message, helps you become known, and is actually quite necessary to make sales!

Posting consistently — but not constantly: Regular posting keeps your audience engaged and your brand top-of-mind, but it’s important to balance quantity with quality. 

And remember… You’re not an influencer; you’re a coach or service provider who spends at least half of your working hours working with clients. Do not hold yourself to the same standard as someone who makes money in a very different way than you do. 

Prioritizing CTAs that lead people to your own website and email list:  Encouraging followers to read your more detailed content, and to join your email list, can transform your social media efforts into a powerful lead generation tool. 

It also will make you LESS reliant on social — which sometimes can feel like an insatiable content-gobbling monster. And this is KEY for a business with staying power. 

Okay, now… 

💪🏼 What social media audience growth strategies work for me:

In addition to the four items I shared above (which are all based on what has worked for me, and for clients, students, and online business buds over the years), here are a few of my more personal observations:

1. On occasion, it pays to be an early adopter — which usually means more audience growth, faster. 

I am not always the person who is first to all the platforms. In fact, I’m usually the one digging in my heels and saying, 😠 “Nope. I’m not adding anything new.” 

However, sometimes… If a new platform feels really fun to me, I’ll try it out. When I do, I try it with no expectation. And if I really enjoy it, I’ll try it for six months (the minimum time I believe it takes to evaluate any strategy). 

This has paid off for me twice — Once on Clubhouse, where I grew a significant audience quickly; and once on Threads, which I’m still evaluating at the time of this post, but has already grown quickly for me. 

The key to being early to a platform always comes back to growing my email list *using* the social media platform. That way, when a platform loses its sizzle and my reach tanks (I’m looking at you, Clubhouse!)… I feel safe to abandon ship and keep in touch with the audience I grew via email marketing.

2. I really use social media mostly for ‘social listening.’

Through trial and error, I’ve learned what works best for me: It’s to consider ‘audience growth’ a happy byproduct of my social media presence. 

I make it my highest priority on social to simply be social, ask questions, observe conversations, and learn more about my audience’s needs. I call this ‘social listening’ and I find it crucial in my business — and a much bigger flex than using social media for audience growth. 

Again, all roads lead back to my email list and my website (blog)… 

Remember, my ‘audience growth stack’ for 2024 is: Email list building, Summit hosting, Pinterest, and only one social media platform — Threads. So, by NOT relying only on social media to grow my audience or sell my offers… I’m freeing myself up to leverage and enjoy it for market research instead.)

🎯 How your long-form content makes social media easier and more profitable: 

Regardless of whether you want a minimum-viable social media account or whether you’re “all-in” and want to post daily… You’ll need some killer content to post on your chosen channels.  

Here are two reasons why publishing long-form thought leadership content will make the answer to “What should I post on social???” waaayyyyyy easier — and more profitable:

1. Long-form content is easy to repurpose. 

When you have deep, detailed content to draw from, you’ll be set up to easily repurpose it into micro-content for social media. (I teach this inside High-leverage Content.) 

From one piece of HLC content, you’ll seamlessly see *dozens* of smaller pieces just waiting to be eaten right up by your social media followers!

(Conversely, if you’re not creating any long-form content, you’ll probably need to create social content from scratch… and that is a drag.) 

2. Since your long-form content designed to convert, your repurposed social media content will be more effective, too. 

When you’re following the High-leverage Content (HLC) method, you’re learning how to choose topics and structure their content in a way that is highly-strategic and high-converting. Meaning… 

The HLC system is built around nine types of content that encompass the things your audience needs to hear, learn, and understand — to be ready to buy. 

And here’s how this relates back to social media audience growth… 

When you have a library of long-form content like this, your social media posts will also be strategic (not random, like a lot of people’s social posts!) — so they will be high-converting as well. 

(And that’s honestly what makes social media audience growth worth your time!)

Conclusion: Growing your audience is important, and strategic long-form content gives you the most leverage for doing it. 

Audience growth is one of the three crucial factors that make an online business thrive. It’s a lever you need to be able to pull to be profitable. And… 

Publishing long-form, High-leverage Content makes audience growth easier and waaayyyy more effective. 

Having a library of strategic, high-converting thought leadership content will… 

✔️ Establish you as an expert — and position you as an attractive collaborator, so you can get in front of other people’s audiences. 

✔️ Help you develop an “I’ve gotta have that!” lead magnet that attracts new people to your email list every day. 

✔️ Be a constant source of fascinating, high-converting emails that your ideal future clients sign up for and are excited to receive 

✔️ Set you up for ‘long-game’ audience growth on search engines like Google, Pinterest, and YouTube that reward comprehensive, authoritative, long-form content. 

✔️ Serve as an evergreen bank of content to repurpose to social media — which makes your social presence easier, more strategic (less random!) and more profitable.  

Bottom line: A strong audience growth plan *starts* with strategic long-form content. 

Get the system for creating strategic, High-leverage Content with ease. 

My signature course and system, High-leverage Content (HLC) will equip you with *everything* you need to produce high-quality long-form content that showcases your unique thought leadership and generates sales. 

You’ll learn what specific things your audience needs to hear and understand – to be ready to buy. 

You’ll get all the plug-and-play tools and outlines – and create with ease. 

And your content will convert your audience to clients in half the time. ⚡️⚡️⚡️

You’ll be able to leverage and repurpose your HLC content in countless ways to grow your audience… And EVERYTHING in your marketing ecosystem works better (and faster!). 

Join me inside High-leverage Content today!