In August 2016, Justin Bieber switched his Instagram account to "PRIVATE" mode. 

In doing so, he cut ties with his 78 million followers (the 7th largest audience on the 8th most popular social media platform).

I'm sure he had his reasons. I'm not judging him. That said, as a content marketer, building audiences is my profession. So, I was disturbed to see him walk away from something so awesome and profound: an audience only a handful of corporations - much less people - in the world had the ability to attract and retain. 

All that attention, all that opportunity: gone, like a wisp of smoke. 

Takeaway: as a content marketer, your most valuable asset is not your content (e.g., individual articles, infographics, videos, eBooks), it's your audience

An engaged audience, after all, is the culmination of all the hard work, all the energy and thought and grit it required to create that content. 

So, if you're skilled enough to have built an audience, don't waste it; don't throw away all that potential attention. Respect it. Honor it with relevant, consistent, quality content that adds value to your subscribers' lives. And when the time's right, make your audience an offer. 

Because an engaged audience is just sitting there, waiting to be sold.