Why an audience makes an entrepreneur more successful

November 08, 2021 · 4 minutes reading time

Did you ever build something that nobody bought, although you think that your product idea was absolutely awesome? It is highly likely that you followed the “product-first” mindset: “Let’s create something cool – there will be people who buy it!”


What if you had chosen to discover and build an audience first?

The “audience-first” mindset says: Become an entrepreneur who is solving the problems of a bunch of interested people – a person who cares for them, and who is constantly learning from them. That way, they will tell you exactly what they need you to build.

So, “audience-first” is much less risky than “product-first”. It almost gives you license and permission to build a promising business!

What exactly is an audience?

An audience is everyone who should be interested in you, your business, and your products.

(Arvid Kahl wrote this on the first pages of his book The Embedded Entrepreneur)

Your audience includes people you don’t know, and who don’t know you or your product. Your product may not even exist yet, and nevertheless, your audience is already out there! Fascinating, isn’t it?

An audience are people who do certain things, and therefore need a solution for their problems, their needs, their aspirations. An example: bloggers. They enjoy to write. They want their writing to succeed. They want to make an impression on the world, by their very writing!

If you know exactly that you want to serve bloggers, you should not develop a text editor right away. It is likely that the text editor is not their most important problem. Instead, you should join a bunch of bloggers for some time, have conversations with them, and analyze what’s standing in their way towards a “dent in the universe”, made by their writing.

The benefits of building an audience

Imagine you’ve got an amazing group of people around you: your audience. They are interested in what you think, what you have to say, and what you can do for them. If you had this group, it would make a real difference, and you would enjoy the following benefits:

  • You reduce your business risk because you need not make as many unverified assumptions as before
  • You find really supportive folks around you
  • You’re able to ask them for problems and solutions
  • You get first-hand experience while working with them
  • You’re sensing the real problems that they have
  • You are giving value and getting value
  • You can easily (in-)validate your ideas, before spending time or money on them.

You reduce risk, and you save time and money, all by serving an audience, instead of jumping into product development right away. What an amazing deal!

Getting an audience for your business

So how do you get an audience for your own business? I’ll break it down for you into three areas:

  1. First of all, discover who “they” are, or make a deliberate decision who they are. Make a choice whom you want to serve! Select an audience that shows demand (e.g. check Google to see the search volume for their keywords). Find them where they hang out online. Twitter is usually a good place to be.

  2. Discover their problems, needs, and aspirations: Be active in the group of “animals around the watering hole”, e.g. find the (digital) places where you meet them. Example: Bloggers know Copyblogger – look at their community, on Twitter or elsewhere. Listen to your audience and find out what’s important to them: Is it tools, methods, processes? Or emotions like pride and fame? Talk to them and learn! Hypothesize a problem, and ask them if it’s real, if you really understood what stands in their way.

  3. Create an audience, and a product or service for them: Help them solve the real problem that you discovered together, and that you learned from them. Work with them on the necessary details. Finally, enjoy the feeling of a “permission to build”, because now you have a validated problem and an almost validated solution idea. Get their feedback to remove the unknowns, and make sure they really desire what you will build.

This feels great, doesn’t it?

Get started: Build your own audience!

Sit down and make a small plan. This shouldn’t take you more than an hour, don’t sweat it. Plan the steps that I described before:

  • Decide whom you want to help
  • Embed yourself in your audience and learn
  • Let them give you “permission to build”

Enjoy the process and the journey of being an entrepreneur with an audience around you. Good luck for your product!

P.S.: If you want a tool that helps you find “them” and understand what bugs your (or your competitor’s) audience, use Get The Audience. Start a free trial today, right after your short planning session!

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