When they announced the winner, Bobby Bones, we looked at each other in confusion.

While on vacation recently, we had a “chill night” with the kids, snuggled in early with each other and some fuzzy socks, got yummy room service and watched a little TV. This night, we happened to catch the finale of “Dancing with the Stars.”

And while I tend to be judgy in many ways (not proudly, but grab a cocktail and we can chat because it is funny), we are what you might call “a dancing family.” I danced in competition and on stage in theatre through college, and both of my daughters are in dance and performance now. Frankly, getting “our groove on” is a regular pastime here in the Phillips house. (The Tall One, aka Ian, is very supportive by being a patient audience of one and dancing along by nodding his head. Champion head nodder, that one is.)

Being the dancers/head nodders we are, we know a thing or two about the art of dance. Most of the performers were simply incredible on the show’s finale… like best-broadway-show-I’ve-ever-seen incredible.

The winner Bobby, on the other hand, wasn’t. He was charming and entertaining but kind of a terrible dancer.

And “the internet” freaked out when he won.

So, how did this happen?

Well, you see, Bobby Bones already had an audience. He is a nationally syndicated country talk show host who reaches millions each week on XM Radio. And DWTS (the hip way to refer to the show by me and octogenarians across Nebraska) is not merely a display of dance. It is a popularity contest. While the judges’ scores matter, votes from the public matter more.

Bobby was the only finalist with a built-in audience and following, so he won.

While that may upset people, even you might want to be different, this is how pop culture and marketing work. Those with the biggest audience win. It isn’t based on who has the best product, or does the greatest work. It is who you are and the size of your tribe.

Look at Kylie Jenner, who is reportedly worth a billion dollars and was named one of America’s richest self-made women by Forbes. Her Lip Kit cosmetic business is estimated to be worth $800 million after only launching two years ago. Is her makeup the best of all makeup out there? Of course not, it’s that she has the biggest audience of raving fans.

How does this impact you?

If you are spending all of your time on craft and none on audience building, you can’t grow your business. Just think about all the great books written that never sell…

On the other hand, if you grow your audience first, and then sell your product, you are setting yourself up for success.

But Kim, that’s going to take for freaking ever…

I get it that the process might seem overwhelming. I started with 350 “friends” on Facebook and it took time to get to the 1 million+ reach I have now.

But the power of an audience is a-may-zing. We can send out promotions and within minutes people sign up to take a new course or attend an event. It’s like having a built-in cash machine, but better because this one changes lives.

My friend, the thing is, unless you start, your audience will never grow. Any day that you delay is another day later that you just made yourself wait to reach your goal.

Get started right now with our free 10,000+ fans challenge at 3daysto10k.com.

Build that audience, grow your tribe, change lives and get paid to do what you love.

Meanwhile… I’ll be over here dancing…

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