What’s First, the Product or the Audience?
It is a question of the centuries. What comes first? The egg or the chicken? But, this question is actually simpler to answer. Any amazing product has always started with the idea of providing a solution to a specific audience. From laundry detergent to furniture, and informational books to design and information products, the best products are always designed for a very specific focused audience. However, there are some examples of the opposite working, too, but it’s a harder road to travel.
Building Your Audience First
Knowing the target audience you wish to serve is an important first step. You can start small with a blog that talks directly to your chosen audience. Naturally the audience you pick should be one in which you can brainstorm product ideas based on their needs within your area of expertise and passion.
By finding the audience first and building up a following, then creating the products that the audience needs, desires and wants, you’ll create more focused offerings that truly speak to your audience. You’ll need to build great content that attracts your audience so that they want to sign up for your newsletter to learn more.
The problem with this approach is a lot of people skip the product brainstorming idea, or market research portion and end up with an audience and following for whom they can’t develop products.
Building the Product First
If you’ve already built a product and now you’re seeking to find the audience, the problem is that your product might not speak to any one particular audience if you did not have a specific niche in mind when you created it. Now you have to backtrack and figure out the answer to the question: Who does this product solve problems for, exactly?
If you are able to determine a niche audience for the product you’ve created, you will still have to go back to the beginning, build up the audience, make them realize they want and need your products, and then finally offer the product to them. You can’t sell a product without an audience.
The problem with this approach is that if you’ve created a product that can’t find its niche, then you may have wasted your time and efforts. Nothing beats market research.
The Combination Approach
When you choose a target audience, do enough research to determine if there is a need for products that provide answers to this particular audience’s problems. Only then should you proceed with building that audience. If you can’t think of some vague ideas of products for that niche, don’t choose that niche.
You don’t need to actually create the products yet, but you should have a minimum idea of what products that particular niche needs before proceeding to audience building. This way, you can be building up your audience while you’re creating your product, simultaneously.
By the time the audience is built, and your newsletter has subscribers, you’ll be ready with your first product six to twelve weeks down the line. This is how you turn things around and create a truly viable business idea from a specific niche. Market research can never be replaced by speculation or wishful thinking if you want to create powerful, winning, money-making products.