sly : marketing

Minimum Viable Audience


I am at my office, listening to some people outside. I can’t hear a word that they’re saying, I can only hear the sound of laughter. But, they’re there, no doubt about it. I’m thinking about why I started my business, and that I’ve told myself that I started my business for the wrong reason. But, like Kaarina said, it wasn’t the wrong reason, I’ve just evolved.

I didn’t do any market research. I trusted my gut. And, I had a minimum viable audience. That’s it. And, it worked great.

The thing is. I believe that if we have a minimum viable audience, we can start almost anything. We’ll get the support we need, and we’ll manage to keep going, for a very long time.

Minimum Viable Audience

I remember when I started writing my novel. At first, I was thinking, who’d want to read it. Then, after a few days of writing, I thought, most of my friends would want to read it. They’re my audience. The same goes for Fuzzy, a short story I published a while ago. I had the same thoughts, and then, I just said to myself, I have readers on my blog and I have subscribers to my newsletter. They would want to read it.

I am launching a vegetarian festival in about two weeks. I wouldn’t have launched it, if I didn’t know that people will show up. I have no idea how many will attend the festival, but I know that enough people will come to make it worth doing. And, this is just the start.

How do I know?

I am always thinking about who I know for sure will buy, or who I know for sure will support me. And, I analyze the situation, and ask myself, how many people do I need in order to turn this into a success.

For instance, how many customers do I need the first five months, if I am going to launch a new product? If I need 50, to me, that’s my minimum viable audience. I’ll start thinking of my fifty customers, and I’ll try to understand who they are, and what I should be doing to get them to buy the product or to get them on my list.

We all need support

I really enjoy focusing on productivity, and I really enjoy working with marketing. I’m alone at my office, but, the people outside are still laughing. I’m thinking that, sometimes, the minimum viable audience is only one person. The one person that is responding to your joke. The one person who is supporting you no matter what.

Sometimes, I believe in magic. I believe that I can do whatever I want to do. I believe that there are no boundaries, and there’s nothing stopping me. But, I always need support. And, I look for support everywhere, and I never walk away from a compliment.

I believe that we all need support. I believe that we all need to find the minimum viable audience for whatever we are doing. As long as we have discovered it, we can do anything.

7 responses to “Minimum Viable Audience”

  1. Thanks for that lovely tip of the hat Jens, and just remember: where you are today is where you take your next step from. Just keep stepping in the direction of your dreams my friend. Cheers! Kaarina

  2. Gary Boardman says:

    Hey Jens,

    It is inspiring to know that other people have these thoughts and feelings and also manage to get through them too.
    There are so many people in the world that there will always be others like us that share the same hobbies, interests and ideas.
    They are our audience aren’t they?
    This post has given me food for thought and helped me to understand my writers block on Sunday a little better too.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Josh says:

    I am a fan of evolution because it usually means growth and growth leads to more fulfillment and satisfaction, or so I hope. 😉

  4. Ritugupta says:

    Your solution to the problem of audience v. product is clever. It’s similar to Lean Startup and Agile techniques. Even if you go with the audience-first approach, you still need to have some idea of where you’re heading in terms of product. I wouldn’t be afraid to iterate, but it would be difficult to create a product in many niches.

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