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Audience Building

September 7, 2023

How to Build a Presence When You Have 2+ Interests

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher

I got a question from a new ​Build in Public Mastery​ student:

"I'm still new to building my online presence. I have 2 interests: Slow Productivity & Photography. Can I explore them at the same time?"

First thing I said to this student was — let's understand the science behind building a presence.

We build a presence because we want to get known for something

When a particular group of people sees you and instantly figures out what you do, then you're known for something. That's the prerequisite to experience growth.

Since it is easy to remember, they can now share "you" with their friends too.

On the flip side, if they see you and get confused about what you represent. They bounce and don't even wave goodbye. Sad!

This means even if you have amazing content or the best products, they don't even get to check them out. Extra sad!

This is why I think if you can brand yourself as the "XXX guy" or "YYY girl", it is great. It gives people an idea of who you are within 1 second. Once they enter into your world, you can talk about a broader range of topics. The key is — they get it and are willing to enter!

The key is to reduce friction in getting to know and remembering you.

I also told this student there's one thing she shouldn't mix up.

Don't mix up niches and interests

Of course, we all want to make a living around our interests, like Photography. But we also need to assess the opportunity realistically.

What kind of businesses can you build around Slow Productivity and Photography? How easy is it for you to reach those audiences who would be interested in your offers?

So far from observing my audiences & students, I see that a lot of people mix niches up with interests.

Niches are accessed with demand & opportunity.

Interests are what you enjoy sharing.

Alright maybe this is a bit abstract, so let me use my presence to explain a bit more.

I decided to focus on "Build in Public" back in late 2020 because I saw a lot of people were getting into it. But when I did a quick Google search, I found that no one (literally no one) was teaching & guiding people how to do it. Opportunity: check.

I asked myself if I could talk about this topic for 2 decades. Self-interest: check.

This could be my niche! Then I went on to build my 1st free project to test out my hypothesis. Clearly, the rest is history.

On the other hand, I love family & parenting. Maybe you already know this. I enjoy learning & sharing everything I do in the family. I even tried to start a YouTube channel back in 2018 (when I wasn't even married) to talk about this topic (HAHA!).

I also have a notebook called "KL Parenting" (Kevon & Lydia).

But was there an opportunity? Not clear. Do I want to talk about it for 2 decades? No.

So what do I do now?

In my book, ​Find Joy in Chaos​, I talk about a 40-20-20-20 framework.

It means that 20% of your presence should be dedicated to showing your personality. This is important to build deep connections with your people.

If family is so important to me, then I'd talk about my family in that 20%! That's why you see me posting family stuff on social media or here once in a while.

So I told my student — maybe Photography could be her 20% personality instead of a niche.

It is hard enough to get traction, so let's not make it more difficult.

You can do a check — ask someone new to check out your profile. If they cannot understand "you" in 3 seconds, it is time to simplify.

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Table of Contents

Leverage Human Psychology

I used human behavior to grow my Twitter/X following. I went from having 0 followers to 423 in 8 weeks, and then it organically grew to 1,489 in another 8 weeks. It is not a massive audience, but it is enough for me to start monetization.

Read for Free

Leverage Human Psychology

I used human behavior to grow my Twitter/X following. I went from having 0 followers to 423 in 8 weeks, and then it organically grew to 1,489 in another 8 weeks. It is not a massive audience, but it is enough for me to start monetization.

Read for Free