Pretty much every professional field, from IT to craftmanship, from scientific writing to bakery, leverage on audience building.
Building your audience should be the primary focus of your business.
I started as a tech and it took me some time to understand that concept. Tech is important, innovation can make a huge difference, but you need to have an audience. Followers, early birds, fans, mailing list, call them what you want, but if you do not have a way to build your user base, your project is doomed.
It is important to consider that this concept is not limited to the digital market.
Even though it is easier to understand it with social network’s followers or Google Analytics’ audience, it applies to bakeries or sports bars.
Market analysis will demonstrate that if you open your bakery in Paris, the first and most important indicator to considerate is the “catchment area”.
Why? Because it defines your audience.
The importance of your catchment area
For those of you who do not know (and do not want to google it) what a catchment area is, it is the geographical area surrounding the physical place where you intend to make business. It also takes in consideration the concept of accessibility and attraction.
For example: if your bakery does “all-natural” products, you should be located in an area where your potential clients are wealthier than average and have no problem spending more for this type of product because they are seeking better eating habits.
That is why Adwords and the general display business is still huge in the digital world, because it allows a product to expand its catchment area through money.
Since there is no such concept as physical proximity in the digital world, it makes it extremely hard for a product to start getting attention. Especially without money.
No wonder why business angel/technical engineer make such a good #CoupleGoals in our digital world. Your product quality, your price list, your income streams,etc… It comes afterwards. Reaching an audience is the key.
Basically, I am saying that you can have the best product in the city, you will always get outperformed by a shop that focuses on its audience.
Understanding product valuation
One of the main startup valuation method today is based on your user base. I invite you to take a look at this article that can help you understand the different valuation indicators.
The main outtake from these indicators is that they are almost all based on the number of users (essentially paying/premium customers). As a tech, it can be difficult to accept. The engineering serves the product but it does not influence valuation. At least, not directly. Very few startups get sold based only on the technological advantage they have.
The easiest example of this concept is Instagram.
The technological advantage was close to none when bought by Facebook. But the size of the user base and the quality of it made the difference. Quick reminder of the model: by liking posts with hashtags, it becomes easy to build a consumer profile and target advertising specifically for you.
Back when stories did not exists, the only action was to add a filter on a picture… Not the sexiest tech feature of the decade! (If you worked in the Instagram tech team: no offense)
Use your entrepreneurial mindset
This title may sound like a bait but the idea is to start thinking like you are going to sell your company. Try to boost the valuation of your current products or your upcoming projects. Even if you are not selling anything.
A few examples of platform where you can build your audience:
- Create an account on Medium and start writing content ;
- Create a profile on LinkedIn and add people to your network ;
- Start a newsletter about a topic where you have an expertise ;
- Start a blog with an email subscription for people interested in your articles ;
- Publish public projects on GitHub with a Readme and comment your code
The common aspect of these platforms is that they can be used by any type of entity. You can be a company or you can be a human being. You can have something to sell or you can give free stuff. You can be a tech, an artist, a guru or even a baker.
Thank you for reading my lines.