If you’re wondering how you can move from no audience to a large fan based community, here’s the 6 steps to follow that will get you on your way.

1. Find where people are already showing up and join them. Your potential fans are already congregating together in different places. Show up in person (or better yet, get an opportunity to speak) at conventions and conferences. Follow people on Twitter and get involved in Facebook groups and pages. Do interviews with other experts in your space. Find where people already are and then get involved.

2. Start a blog and write regularly – This is your home base and where you want everyone that finds you via social media to inevitably land.  Use it to expound on your ideas and teach what you are learning.

3. Setup your email marketing – Gain access to directly email your fans.  This is where the people that truly care about what you are doing are going to be.  Move people from blog readers to email subscribers.

4. Train your community to get involved – This is key.  Start small with things like Q&As but ratchet it up over time.  From early on, teach your fans that you expect them to roll up their sleeves and work with you.

5. Cultivate your top 1% – As you ask your community to get involved you’ll start to see a few people’s names show up over and over.  Invite them in to interact with you and start giving them tools to get even more involved.  These will be the people that will have the biggest impact on growing your fan base.

6. Connect your fans to each other – The goal is not to grow a large list of disconnected followers.  The goal is to build a community.  This means they need to interact with each other.  Give them opportunities to do this via digital and physical means.  Forums, Ning communities, workshops and book signings are all examples of this.

These are the steps that have been used over and over to start and build a community of fans that will buy your book and help spread your message.  The exciting thing is you can get started right away!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Picture via notsogoodphotography