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It’s simple math – the more people you get to your site, the more sales you have the potential to make. The question is, how do you get them there, especially if you have a limited budget? The answer: use outreach to grow your audience organically – growth that is natural that and you don’t have to pay for.

Here are seven tips on how to do it.

1. Get to Know Your Audience

Before you can grow your audience, you need to understand them. Hang out where they hang out. That’s where analytics tools help. They let you segment your audience so you understand them better. Analytics options include:

  • Google Analytics, which is free and provides lots of depth. You can segment audience by location, technology, demographics and much more. Google Analytics integrates with your Selz store.
  • The built-in analytics in your Selz dashboard, which shows you customer location, how they found you, sales and conversion rates.

As well as getting to know your existing audience, you could look at your closest competitor’s audience. Tweepi is a good free tool for doing this on Twitter and allows you to follow people with the same interests that are already following known users or communities.

2. Harness the Power of Influencers and Advocates

Once you understand your audience, start a special campaign with those who already love your products and what you do. How do you find them? Either:

  • look for people who already love your product – perhaps those who have left positive reviews.
  • use a free tool like Twtrland or another social analytics tool, which lets you identify the most influential people you’re connected with, so you can give them the information they need to help others make a buying decision.

When you know who they are, you can work with them to get the word out about your product. As influence marketing expert Appinions points out, you can offer value to influencers by sharing their content, getting their feedback on your products, including them in events and more. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to talk about the products and services they love – and that’s good news for growing your audience organically. When influencers and advocates promote you to their networks, you get more traffic to your site. Ryan Biddulph is a blogger who’s a great example of someone that does this well.

3. Reach People with Great Content at the Right Time

There’s a reason that most successful businesses have blogs. It’s because blogging is proven to bring customers to your site and store. Good content gives your advocates and influencers (see step 2) something to share and provides useful information for the people who will ultimately buy your products.

In addition to content on your own blog, you also need to guest blog. No matter what Google’s Matt Cutts says, there’s always room for quality content. Guest blogging will improve the visibility of your Selz online store, build relationships with potential buyers, influencers and advocates, expand your authority and credibility and increase traffic.

Be scientific about how you release content. You don’t want to overwhelm people by having too much content going live at the same time. You also need to ensure your content is shared at the right time to reach the most people. Use Kissmetrics’ three-part series on the science of social timing or this Buffer article to get the timing right.

4. Let People Ask You Questions Online

Still on the subject of content, one way to get the word out about your product without having to do a lot of work is to make yourself available for interview on topics related to your product.  You could be interviewed by email, Skype, Google Hangout or podcast, which also gives you another resource to promote.

You may be able to talk generally about your products, the subject your passionate about, or any burning issues in your niche. It’s an exchange: you answer questions for others; you get a plug for your site and product. Resources for getting interviewed include HARO and MyBlogU. BlogBoostTraffic has an in-depth article on this strategy which is worth reading.

5. Use Social Media Efficiently

Social media is one of the best organic growth tools there is. We’re not talking simply about maintaining a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn but about using those sites efficiently to get people interested in your site and your products. Here are three things you can do today to make your social media use more effective:

  • Use the Buffer browser bookmarklet, web app or mobile app (or all three) to grab content you want to share and schedule social media updates via a schedule you have pre-set. Once it’s set up, adding content ensures that it’s drip-fed throughout the day to your chosen profiles.
  • Use Hootsuite, another social scheduling tool which incorporates social listening so you can respond to updates about your products, services or brand.
  • Integrate the free Selz Facebook store so people can buy your products without leaving Facebook. Facebook is proven to increase visits to your page; with such a huge potential to grow your audience, you don’t want to miss out.

6. Market with Email

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of email have been greatly exaggerated. It remains on of your most effective outreach tools, with a return of more than $44 for every $1 spent. A well-designed, mobile friendly email that provides useful information for potential buyers can still attract attention and bring them to your site. Combine this with the audience segmentation mentioned at the start to send targeted messages to different groups. And here are two pieces of good news. First, you don’t have to spend money when you start building your email list, because you can use a free service like Mailchimp. Second, your Selz store has integrations with some of the main email marketing providers, including Mailchimp and AWeber, making it easy to add new customers to your mailing list.

7. Let Offline Drive Online

Don’t forget about the power of reaching out to people offline to bring them to your site or landing page. It’s networking the way it was before LinkedIn and social media. Offline business networking events, public events, and meet ups like Wordcamps can all help to raise awareness. and help you connect to like minded people.

Finally, if you do have some money to spend on promoting your site you could try some promoting your posts on Facebook. Promoting your posts will help you reach more of your audience ( your posts typically reach only 6% of your fans), as well as Twitter, or Google Adwords. You can keep your spending to a few dollars at a time and track the results. You want to learn cheaply and quickly what works and doesn’t work.

Now its your turn. With these seven tips on blogging outreach, you can bring more people to your site for free. Or if you already successfully grow your audience organically, we’d love to hear how you did it in the comments section below.

Photo credit: Igorza76 via photopin cc

About the author

Geoff Austin

Geoff Austin

I talk and write a lot. Some of it about ecommerce, selling online, startups, SEO, digital marketing.

Currently, head of analytics for an automotive business in Sydney, facilitating a culture of data-driven decisions. Delivering data-based insights and intelligence.

Chauffeur to twin daughters and a pizza chef master.