Beginning an internet journey might be daunting, particularly when looking at zero followers, zero likes, and 0 feedback. However what if we instructed you that you do not want an current following to make a major influence on-line? Meet Phil Agnew, a creator who began from scratch with probably the most tough format doable – a podcast called Nudge – and has since constructed an engaged neighborhood round his content material.

Constructing an internet presence like Phill’s with a format like Nudge’s doesn’t have the makings of an in a single day success story. “It is a marathon, not a dash. Consistency and endurance have been my allies. It took time, however the neighborhood I’ve constructed is engaged and genuinely all in favour of what I’ve to supply,” he shares.

On this article, we dive into Phill’s ideas and techniques that may enable you to grow an engaged audience from scratch.

How Phill makes use of his understanding of shopper conduct to create compelling content material

With regards to creating content material that draws and engages, Phill has a novel strategy that units him aside – curiosity about why we do what we do, often known as purchaser psychology. His curiosity within the area sparked his journey as a creator, so he understands how one can apply psychological rules to content material creation. “You must get into the patron’s head, perceive their ache factors, after which provide an answer that they did not even know they wanted,” Phill says.

Phill believes that creating an emotional reference to the viewers is essential. “Individuals do not simply purchase merchandise – they purchase emotions. If you can also make somebody really feel seen or understood, you have received half the battle,” he explains. This emotional resonance is what turns informal viewers into loyal followers. One precept that he makes use of to spice up this connection along with his viewers is the “labor phantasm” precept – giving a behind-the-scenes take a look at how a lot work went into what you’ve created so as to add authenticity and enhance the work’s perceived worth.

“Making one thing look “too simple” can harm your content material efficiency. It is why artists and creators typically share their course of or the “making of” their work. If folks assume you simply snapped your fingers and one thing superb appeared, they’re much less prone to respect the talent and energy that went into it. It is a positive steadiness, although. You do not wish to make your course of look so sophisticated that individuals assume they might by no means obtain what you may have, however you do wish to present sufficient to earn their respect and admiration,” he explains.

One other one of many profitable psychological triggers Phill typically employs is the “Zeigarnik effect” often known as Worry of Lacking Out (FOMO). Phill calls it the mind’s “learn extra” button, explaining, “It is why TV reveals have cliffhangers on the finish of episodes and why articles typically begin with a provocative query or assertion. It is all about creating that itch that the viewers should scratch. And as content material creators, we will leverage this to maintain our viewers engaged and coming again for extra.”

“Creating a way of urgency or exclusivity can drive engagement like nothing else,” he says. Whether or not it is a limited-time provide or unique content material, Phill leverages FOMO to maintain his viewers coming again for extra.

Not all his experiments with psychology rules have succeeded, although, as he shared an fascinating story about an experiment he ran with the “curiosity hole” precept on TikTok. He discovered that individuals may be tremendous engaged on one platform however unwilling to leap to a different, even when they’re intrigued. It is a lesson in understanding the consumer journey and the dedication stage required at every step. On TikTok, individuals are scrolling rapidly and consuming content material in bite-sized items. Asking them to change to a 20-minute podcast is an enormous leap.


Key takeaway: The great thing about Phill’s strategy to content material creation is that the rules are evergreen. They’re rooted in human psychology, in order that they’re relevant throughout platforms and codecs and simply repeatable. No matter content material format you’re employed with, understanding these rules can provide you an edge in capturing and conserving your viewers’s consideration.

Growing content material methods to remain constant and hold his viewers engaged

The simplest technique Phill talked about is cross-promotion inside the podcasting neighborhood. It is sensible; if somebody is already a podcast listener, they’re extra doubtless to take a look at one other podcast beneficial by a number they belief. This can be a basic instance of “going the place your viewers is” fairly than attempting to tug them into a brand new house.

To maintain up a constant schedule, Phill retains the adage, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” on the forefront of all his work. He elaborates, “I at all times have a content material calendar that is deliberate out not less than a month upfront. It takes the stress out of last-minute scrambles and ensures I am at all times forward of the sport.”

One other considered one of Phill’s only methods is batch content creation. “I dedicate particular days to content material creation. On these days, I am going to shoot a number of movies, write a number of articles, or document a bunch of podcasts. This manner, I’ve a content material reservoir to tug from,” he explains.

He emphasizes offering worth upfront, sharing that it really works wonders. Whether or not it is a helpful tip, an fascinating truth, or an answer to a typical drawback, giving one thing priceless proper in the beginning can hook the viewers.

Another evergreen techniques Phill employs embrace:

  • The 80/20 rule: “80 % of your outcomes come from 20 % of your efforts. Determine what’s working and double down on it,” he advises. This centered strategy permits him to maximise influence whereas minimizing effort.
  • Content material automation: “I exploit numerous instruments to schedule posts, analyze engagement, and even reply to feedback. Automation frees up my time to give attention to creating fairly than managing,” he says.
  • Flexibility and flexibility: “The digital panorama is ever-changing. Being inflexible in your strategy might be detrimental. At all times go away room for spontaneity and flexibility.”


Key takeaway: Whether or not you are diving into podcasting or every other type of content material creation, understanding your viewers and the way they work together with totally different platforms appears to be key. And do not underestimate the facility of neighborhood and collaboration. It isn’t nearly rising your numbers; it is about constructing a loyal viewers that values what you convey to the desk.

Adopting collaborations to develop attain with out diluting his model

Navigating the world of social media collaborations and partnerships might be tough, however Phill has managed to take action in a method that not solely expands his attain but additionally stays true to his model’s core values. “Collaborations are like relationships; they should be a two-way avenue,” Phill says, emphasizing the significance of mutual profit.

Phill is very selective on the subject of selecting companions. “Not each alternative is the suitable alternative. You must align with manufacturers or people who share your ethos,” he advises. This selectivity ensures that any collaboration he enters into feels natural and genuine to his viewers.

One in all Phill’s key methods is to leverage the distinctive strengths of every accomplice. “You convey one thing to the desk that they do not have, and vice versa,” he factors out. This symbiotic relationship permits for a extra impactful and wide-reaching collaboration that advantages each events.

For Phill, transparency is non-negotiable on the subject of partnerships. “Your viewers trusts you, and it is essential to not betray that belief,” he states. By being upfront in regards to the nature of his collaborations, Phill maintains the integrity of his model whereas nonetheless exploring new avenues for development.

Phill isn’t in it for fast positive aspects; he is trying on the long-term influence. “Fast wins are nice, however sustainable development comes from evolving partnerships,” he says. By specializing in long-term relationships fairly than one-off tasks, Phill ensures that his collaborations add lasting worth to his model.

Utilizing his day job as gas for artistic endeavors

Many creators battle with the concept of sustaining a day job whereas pursuing their artistic passions. The widespread notion is that one would drain the power and time wanted for the opposite. However Phill sees it in another way. His day job as Senior Product Advertising Supervisor at Buffer (*wink wink) has not solely offered him with a steady revenue but additionally enriched his talent set, which he instantly applies to his content material creation.

“My day job is not a hindrance – it is a catalyst. It offers me the monetary freedom and expertise to take a position again into my artistic tasks,” explains Phill. He views his full-time position as a complementary expertise fairly than a conflicting one. The monetary stability permits him to take dangers and spend money on higher tools, programs, and even collaborations that he won’t have thought-about in any other case.

“Time administration is essential. I’ve discovered methods to make my day job and my ardour for creating content material coexist with out sacrificing high quality in both,” Phill shares. Via meticulous planning, a suite of productivity tools, and intentional time blocking for content material creation, his disciplined strategy ensures that neither his job efficiency nor his content material high quality suffers.

He shared, “My day job has taught me how one can strategy issues strategically, and I apply the identical rules to my content material creation.” Working in a structured surroundings has honed his strategic considering, which is obvious in his well-planned content material calendars, focused viewers engagement, and data-driven decision-making.

“Having a day job would not make you any much less of a creator. It offers you a novel perspective you can convey into your artistic work,” Phill emphasizes. He believes that the experiences and challenges confronted in knowledgeable setting can present priceless insights that enrich your artistic work, making it extra relatable and grounded.


Via the lens of Phill’s on-line journey, it is clear that the highway to constructing an engaged viewers is neither quick nor simple. However it’s a journey price taking, crammed with invaluable classes, significant connections, and the form of private development that may’t be quantified.

“The largest mistake you can also make isn’t beginning since you’re ready for the right second or the right viewers,” Phill factors out. “There is not any such factor. Begin the place you might be, use what you may have, and do what you possibly can. The remainder will comply with.”

Phill emphasizes the significance of neighborhood in his journey. “Your viewers is not simply numbers on a display; they’re actual folks. Interact with them, take heed to them, and most significantly, worth them. They’re the rationale you are right here.”

As for what’s subsequent, Phill is optimistic. “I’ve acquired massive plans, and I do know that the neighborhood I’ve constructed shall be with me each step of the way in which. As a result of on the finish of the day, it is not nearly me; it is about us, rising and studying collectively.”

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