In my previous post about climbing the ladder to build a 7 figure business, I mentioned the term viable audience.
This term is not new to me as I've heard it many times before but when Clay Collins mentioned the term, it really stuck this time...
...and made me think about what a minimum viable audience really is.
What is interesting is that when you start an online business the first instinct we have is to try to reach everyone.
We try to sell to everyone because we naturally think that everyone can benefit from what we're selling.
We try to reach a maximum audience because the internet is global and the more people you're able to reach the more sales you would possibly make.
Being seen by millions would surely make a huge impact and maximize your return on investment.
But we know we can't please everyone...
...Major brands have a target audience and cater to their audience in a specific way that works well.
These companies earn millions by focusing on a target audience.
That is because they know who their ideal prospects are.
In the interview Clay Collins had with Pat Flynn he explained that the first step to building a 7 figure income is to build and grow an audience.
This audience would become your minimal viable audience.
So What is a Minimum Viable Audience?
If I understand correctly the expression "Attain a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)", means to focus on first building an audience through content creation and education.
The purpose of creating engaging content is to learn what people's pain points are.
By communicating with your audience you learn who they are, what their problems are and more importantly the solutions they are looking for.
This stage helps you better understand your audience and guides, you towards building a product they would be very happy to buy from you.
People buy from people they like and trust, so the relationship established with your audience, warms them up to you and they know you are providing a solution that is going to help them.
At first, your content ideas will be a shot in the dark...
...You'll have to guess what your audience wants to discuss. You can improve your chances by first doing market research.
This will, in turn, help you determine:
- who you're trying to reach,
- figure out where they hang out,
- learn their challenges and desires,
- how they're currently coping with these challenges
- and finally how to improve their lives.
How do you know when you have a Minimum Viable Audience?
Following Clay's example, after a period of three to six months, you should have grown an audience of at least 2,000 people.
That's 2,000 email subscribers and not social followers.
Social followers are great to have, but you have a better chance of getting your message through by using email.
My experience has shown me that you can grow a massive audience and not get much engagement from them.
So to avoid that you have to learn how to attract the right individuals, and have those individuals qualify themselves...
...and convert into subscribers, because they want to learn more about what you have to say.
You've effectively grown an MVA when you're starting to receive communication from your audience in the form of comments,
emails, and social media engagement.
This feedback would effectively improve your content so that you can better serve your audience.
An added benefit of having an MVA is that your audience will start to grow through word of mouth thanks to the power of social sharing.
The more your audience grows, the more you'll learn to serve them by having, a more effective communication or relationship. You'll know exactly how you can help them solve their problem and they will be forever grateful.
The 5 Benefits of Having A Minimum Viable Audience
1. Audience Relationship Equals Market Research
When you start creating content and real people start paying attention, something beautiful happens and they become engaged.
You start to learn more about their interests, desires, fears, and concerns.
This interaction helps you craft better content. Content that your audience wants, and as a result...
...you get a better-educated guess on how you can solve their problem.
An added benefit to serving your audience means that your content will be shared to a similar group of interested individuals, through the power of social media sharing.
This is a passive and powerful way of drive lots of targeted traffic to your website.
2. The feedback helps you build a better product
By creating content your audience loves, you become equipped with better insight, all thanks to the conversations you have with your audience.
When you finally create something you can sell, chances are that it will not be perfect at first, but your audience will be willing to give you hints and suggestions on where and how you can make improvements.
This is a win-win situation as you're sharing something useful with your audience, and they immediately give you feedback that can help you give them more value.
3. An audience creates additional exposure
When you have a community of raving fans, you inadvertently, start drawing attention to yourself.
Other people who are also interested in your content will hear from you through social media and that, in turn, will also attract potential business partners or advertisers.
4. A valuable asset
Much like having your own mailing list, building a minimum viable audience means that you are growing a valuable asset.
When you create an MVA you are in a sense creating a valuable intellectual property because you own an authoritative website.
In conclusion, to acquire an MVA you should focus on establishing empathy with your audience, so you become closer to them in a way that you really understand what their problem is, how they feel about it and how they're trying to solve it.
Once you really know your audience, create an offer based on what you have learned.
This offer would be the answer your audience has been looking for or at least a step closer to solving their problems.
In this stage, you want to focus on selling and improving your offer. After all, you are providing a solution.