Step by Step Instructions to Build an Audience without Spending Money on Facebook or Google Ads

Most new founders are schooled that they should put aside a substantial financial plan that is to be spent only on Facebook and Google.
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Glenn Burgess

Glenn P Burgess Author, Speaker - UK's No1 Fintech & SaaS Marketing expert.

Have you been trying to build an audience without spending money on Pay Per Click?

Most new founders are schooled that they should put aside a substantial financial plan that is to be spent only on Facebook and Google.

But why so?

This is because most people have no clue as to how they can build their audience without spending money on PPC ads.

In recent years, Groundhogg grew to 1,200+ active installs, an email list size of 2,000+ & 800+ people on their Facebook without spending a single penny on PPC.

Read on to learn how they did that.

But wait.

Let’s first discuss a very interesting thing!

How To Waste $3,000 In 30 Days

Initially, Groundhogg had set a separate budget to run Facebook ads & Google ads.

By the end of the month, they had already spent $3,000 & in return they made $0.

Ouch! That hurts. Right?

Surely an epic fail.

Why did this happen?

Let’s discuss.

  1. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing, so their advertisements sucked.
  2. They barely had any social proof to support their advertisements.
  3. They spent a lot of money in irrelevant locations.

These mistakes resulted into a $3,000 bill that will never get back.

Eventually, they had to cancel their ads & find an alternative way to reach their potential audience but for that, they needed to do a survey.

Who is the Ideal Customer?

This is perhaps the most common question & some might have an answer to it as well but there are few details that most businesses miss out at this stage.

According to Dan Martel, you need to be super specific when planning your ideal client; even if the model does not include the customers that you currently have.

You need to have answers of the following questions about your customer.

  • How old are they?
  • Their gender?
  • Their geographical location
  • What is their marital status?
  • Where do they work?
  • Where do they like to drink or do they drink?
  • Are they working as managers or are they employees?
  • Do they or their kids have any interest in sports?
  • How much engaged/tied-up they are?
  • Do they have their own day job?
  • Do they fork out time on social media?
  • What shows do they watch?

Once you have the answers, you’ll have a better understanding & thus, be able to connect better with your customers.

As Groundhogg started re-finding its potential customers, its entire perspective changed.

They realized, that their ideal client wasn’t really entrepreneurs & business people but, digital marketing agencies & freelance consultants.


Since, most entrepreneurs are caught up building their own business and dealing with their clients, they don’t have enough time & energy to build a sales funnel.

So, they prefer outsourcing their marketing to other agencies, that create a CRM for them to use.

They then needed to change their ads to draw attention of the offices & offer Items that would enhance the agency’s experience.

As an outcome, their deals quickly took off.

Here’s an example.

Suppose, you’re a marketing agency & your potential client is an independent company, 2-5 workers, in the ladies’ retail fashion space.

Ladies fashion retail is something we’re not much aware of, yet we can answer a portion of the essential inquiries we need, to put our strategy together.

Remember, we need to be very specific, this doesn’t really mean we can’t take the clients who do not match our description, into consideration.

  • Male/Female/Other: Female
  • There geographical location: Cities, 100,000-500,000 people
  • Do they have children: Yes
  • Are they married: No
  • Where do they work: Their retail area
  • Are they working as  employees, or are they managers: Managers
  • Which sports their kids play: Soccer
  • How busy or tied-up are they: Very
  • Do they own a business or company: Yes
  • Do they spend time on social media: Yes, instagram
  • What shows do they watch: The Devil Wears Prada

We’ll call the description of this individual, “Janet.” You should go through this cycle a couple of times & pick the profile of the individual you’d generally prefer to work with.

The Halo Effect

Despite the fact that Groundhogg’s potential clients are marketing agencies, 66% of their clients are still solopreneurs & entrepreneurs, not agencies.


That’s Simple.

Your ideal customers bring in other types of customers with them.

This is known as the Halo Effect.

Your potential clients hold similar attributes with other types of customers & those similarities draw in a more extensive scope of purchasers, once they see the level of satisfaction of your existing customers.

Now, that you know who your potential customer is, it is time to find out a way to make them a part of your community..

Where Does Your Ideal Customer Hang Out?

This is the main question you could ask about your potential client.

The answer to this question is similar to the question, Where can I find more clients/consumers?

Take marketing as an example.

Do agency owners invest a lot of energy & time looking through their Facebook feed?

Well the answer is “No” & even if they do, they spend their time in groups & messenger.

This clearly demonstrates how Groundhogg wasted $3,000.

Thus, it is essential to know where your prospects hang out & it is also useful to know how & where do they invest their free time.

So, where do agencies in the WordPress space hang out and invest their time & energy and for what reason are they, there?

  • Facebook groups: for help and advice
  • WordCamps: to learn new trends & network
  • Podcasts: to learn new strategies
  • Masterminds: to learn new strategies & offer their insight.
  • Conferences: to network & discover clients

Taking the above example of Janet and her retail fashion business, lets sort out where she invests most of her time.

  • On instagram sharing photos of her clothing lineup.
  • At conferences, exhibiting and selling new products.
  • At the soccer field, with her two sons.
  • In a facebook group called “ Fancy Fashion Shops California”
  • At small runway fashion events.

Anyway, the question arises as to how to manage this data?

Are you where your Ideal Customer is? 

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s easier to go to your customer than to have your customer come to you”

Do you know who said this?


That’s okay.

I don’t know that either.

But whoever said this was 100% correct.

There is no business that can understand this phrase better than the food truck. The food truck goes to places where the individuals are; a fair, shows, schools & every other place where people are.

When building your audience from the scratch, you need to act like a food truck. You need to go to places where your clients are investing their time & energy.

You need to make sure that you are there to satisfy their requirements.

Groundhogg company invested a ton of time & energy in WordPress centered Facebook groups, tuned in to marketing & WordPress centered webcasts, they even went to WordCamps & nearby business meet-ups & meetings.

By doing this, they wanted Groundhogg to have a presence in all those areas. They even used to get a stall & support meetings, be a visitor speaker on web recordings & join each one of those Facebook groups.

Once, you have your presence in all areas where your prospects are, the next question comes out to be, “How would you turn presence into clients?”

Would you rather be Helped or Sold to?

Since, you are now in the eyes of your prospect, what do you do next? What would you say?

There are two approaches; I believe one to be much more rewarding than the other.

Most people: Always be closing!

Have you watched the film, “Glengarry Glen Ross”? One of the most celebrated sales strategy is taken directly from the content.

Always be closing!

You must have seen countless entrepreneurs & sales representatives claiming that their data & deals go down an individual’s throat.

However, that doesn’t really help in any way.

Think about all the YouTube advertisements of a drop shipping fellow with probably a leased Lamborghini. Honestly, whenever I see it, all I do is moan.


Well, all you see in that advertisement is him & his success, not your issues or how can they be solved, which is what your clients need.

Even if someone does make a purchase based on the way of your selling, the odds are that they will not stay a client for longer.

It is best if you keep your sales methods & advertisements as customer friendly as possible. This way you’ll be able to hold your existing customers & attract new ones as well.

Always be helping!

I am sure you might have experienced the feeling of helping someone with their problems.

Keeping this feeling in mind, whenever you search for new customers, do not tell them what you’re selling, but instead tell how you can solve their problem.

Here’s another quick question.

Do you like Mr. Smarty Pants? Or I know-it-all kinda guy?

I’m sure NOT!

If you have any experience of services, you must have seen that people are more responsive & tent to take advices from only those who stay modest.

When Groundhogg was being developed, they would join different people groups, Facebook groups and simply answer queries that people had related to marketing & CRM.

When responding to the question people had, they would use Groundhogg as a solution to all their problems.

As they addressed their queries, their first reaction was, “Thank you so much! What’s Groundhogg?”

And this is exactly what is needed to start the sales conversion.

There is something many refer to as, “law of reciprocity”. If you assist people get what they need, you get what you need.

Soon after doing this for half a month, members of Groundhogg found themselves having discussions with noticeable individuals from the WordPress community.

  • Jonathan Denwood (WP-Tonic)
  • Spencer Foreman (LaunchFlows)
  • Chris Badget (LifterLMS)
  • Jack Arturo (WPFusion)

They were then ready to join podcasts, web recordings to help their audience, while growing their own, simultaneously.

They went from 1-on-1 serving to 1-on-many, setting up connections & building bridges with individuals who were keen in helping out Groundhogg achieve their goal as they were helping others.

That is the most interesting thing about helping people. When others see you helping, all they wish to do is to help you in helping others.

You will then see how clients & income begins to stream in because of your liberality, & from that point you can keep building your own audience.

A year ago, a member of Groundhogg was on the WP-Tonic show & Chris from LifterLMS. After the call Chris contacted the Groundhogg member & asked if he could come on his weekly meeting with his group.

The member ended up knowing that a lot of his clients have CRM & email issues. On the other hand, the member knew a lot about email & CRM.

So, he jumped on the call with him & got the opportunity to discuss Groundhogg & how it would help his clients with their marketing & email.

And guess what?

They got a couple of clients in return!

A year later, Chris & him became old buddies & did a ton of cross promotions, proceeding to support each other’s audience. They additionally had a lot of LifterLMS customers as their own customers!

That is the power of helping & making a difference.

How do you Turn Helping into Sales?

Now, this is the big question.

Helping is good but without earning anything, how will you feed your family?

So, lets learn how you can convert your generosity into income.

The universe & the law of reciprocity deals with a ton of this for you.

However, you can get a little out by doing a couple of these things.

  • Don’t give away all that you know. Save some from your own bread & butter.
  • Use your product as a component of the solution. If you have a product like Groundhogg, the item itself may            be the solution, or you can use a certain feature of it as a component of the solution to the problem.
  • If they more help, let them know from where they can get it & direct them to a YouTube video or course. The            course or video can promote your product or service & that works great.
  • Be available; be available to answers and feedback. You can help more by being an active individual of the                discussion.

Actively search out occasions to help individuals; you don’t generally need to trust that an inquiry will come in itself. Commonly, the inquiry is there, however the client doesn’t have the words to shape it correctly.

Initially, when they began their help individuals method, they contactacted each WordPress Agency centered webcast & asked them if they that would take their offering to bring value by training marketing concepts during the show.

They did perhaps 5 or 6 web recordings with a few distinct hosts dependent on the show’s theme, “How to use digital marketing effectively in 2019.”

That sounds significantly more supportive than, “How extraordinary Groundhogg is & how they made $1,000,000 in 4 days.”

They offered discount offers at the end of most shows since they were useful & their content was very good. This is positively something you can do too.

Why don’t more people do this?

Answer? Simple.

  1. It’s hard
  2. It takes a lot of time

It’s a lot easier to burn $3,000 on Facebook advertisements than to spend 2 years in helping people & being an active member on different networks.

Undoubtedly, the efforts put in by the team in helping others is unparalleled & the results of this effort are far better than any money spent on advertisements.

In case you’re not pretending about your business & are genuinely concerned about your client’s prosperity,  the universe & your clients will surely reward you.

How do you Start?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Commit 1 hour of your day for only helping others. If you have more to give, give more!
  2. Join 5 groups, masterminds, clubs, whatever you need to get in front of your prospects. 5 is a decent number since it gives you enough variety; however it’s not overpowering to monitor.

After almost half a month of helping individuals & understanding their issues, make a webcast topic that illuminates the most common issue you’ve seen & connect with industry specialists that have web recordings & their own audience.

This isn’t a start to finish plan, but this how Grounhogg began & here they are 2 years later.

Do you have any advice or tips that will assist entrepreneurs in building their audience without burning cash on PCC? Post them in the comments below!

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