Here’s exactly how to decide whether you should start a new business by building an audience first or creating a product first.
One of the most common questions that new online entrepreneurs have is whether they should build an audience first or a product?
It’s a very good question, and not thinking about the implications of this question could cost you a lot of time and money, so it’s a very important question.
After starting numerous businesses over the last 10 years, I have tried both options, and I’m going to share my findings with you today.
My Name is Kath Kyle. I lead the Hustle-Less, Manifest-More Movement.
I help creators and change-makers manifest a massive audience and transform millions of lives by creating a Magnetic Movement using my proven Dream Business Framework©.
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Should You Build An Audience Before A Product? Here’s How To Decide
Before I share my own opinion on this topic, I’m going to explain more about the pros and cons of choosing either option and my experiences.
The Advantages Of Building An Audience First
The benefits of building an audience before you’ve created a product are that you will already have people who are ready to buy your product when you finally launch it. Making sales straight away really boosts your confidence.
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Another benefit of building an audience before your product is that your audience can tell you what product they actually want to buy. This way, you pretty much guarantee that you are going to make sales and continue to make sales as you are giving the people what they want. This is the best way to guarantee people are going to buy what you have.
Another great thing about building an audience before you sell a product is that you are basing your business on your audience rather than on your product.
When you find a group of people who are interested in what you have to say, you can tailor any future products to that audience, rather than having to find an audience who wants your product.
Products can come and go and will change with the marketplace, but an audience is something that will stick by you as long as you have their best needs at heart.
My Experience Of Building An Audience First
In my very first business, I did build an audience before I created my first product. The only reason I did this was that I didn’t really know how to create a product. Everything was new to me, so I was learning how to grow an audience and experimenting with that first. Then I moved on to learning about how to create a product.
Building my audience first actually served me very well because luckily for me, I did manage to grow a very large audience very quickly.
The only reason I actually created my first product was that my audience actually asked for it. They kept asking me exactly what I ate to lose the weight so I knew my first product needed to be a meal plan. I created my Green Thickies 7 Day Detox It sold really well straight away, and it continues to be my best selling product still to this very day.
The downside of this for me was that I probably missed out on a lot of sales as hundreds of thousands of people had consumed my content before I had my first product ready for sale, and I had nothing to sell them at that point.
Another downside of not having a product to sell straight away was that a lot of the content that I created would never have led to any sales, as I didn’t yet know what I was selling, so I just created content on very broad subjects, some of this went totally viral, but it still didn’t lead to any sales.
The Advantages Of Creating A Product First
The benefits of creating a product first are that you don’t miss out on any sales. Every single person that comes into your space will know that you have something to sell. This first product may not be the exact right product for your audience, but at least people will know that they can get help from you in some paid capacity.
The good thing about having something to sell straight away is that your audience knows that you are in business, and you are serious about helping them. They will take you much more seriously knowing that you are a business owner rather than just a content creator who might be doing this as a hobby.
Another good thing about creating a product first is that you can tailor your content around your product. If you don’t have a product to harness your energy, you can end up going off on a tangent and creating content on very random topics, which are likely to thwart your efforts of building an audience.
Having a product available to buy helps you stick to your niche, feel professional, send out a message that you are in business, and make sales from early adopters.
My Experience Of Creating A Product First
After my first experience with my first business letting so many people pass through my content without knowing that there was a concrete way that they could get the transformation they wanted, I decided that I was always going to create a product before I started building an audience, or at the same time doing both at the same time.
The first products that I’ve created haven’t always been bestsellers out of the gate, but they have definitely sharpened my skills when it comes to creating products, and I’ve had more material that I can use as bonuses for future products that I create, so nothing has gone to waste.
Having something to sell straight away has kept me very focused when it comes to knowing exactly who I am serving, what I’m helping them with, and making sure that all of my content leads to my products.
Products that haven’t sold well at the start have been bundled together with other products. I know that my earlier products that didn’t sell well are still helpful, but it is likely the name of the product, or the messaging that put people off buying them.
Creating numerous products makes you faster at product creation, and now I can create one new product every month, so it’s no big deal to me that a few of my products didn’t sell well. I just move straight on to the next.
I’d rather create and test products quickly rather than always be wondering if I should launch a new product or not.
A lot of people give the advice that you should pre-sell products, offer them for sale before you’ve created them. In theory, this sounds like a good option, but when you first start your business, you have no audience, so there’s nobody to ask. And even if you have a small audience, you might get no response.
A lot of people are lurkers, meaning they don’t like to comment, send emails or draw attention to themselves in any way. However, if they see an offer they like, they’ll just buy it.
So sending an email to an audience of a few hundred people and asking if anyone is interested in your product might not get any response at all. However, if you actually put out an offer for a small product that gets big results, more people are much more likely to just go and buy it.
A lot of people will buy directly from your content. In my first business, about half of my sales came directly from my blog, from people who were not on my email list, and weren’t following me on social media. They just found me, liked what they heard, and immediately bought. Therefore your audience may not be big enough to give you any meaningful data about how well something will sell.
To me, the best way of testing if something will sell is to just offer it everywhere and see if it sells.
I’m not a big fan of wasting too much time. What I like to do when I still have a small audience or no audience at all is to create a product in less than 3 hours and then offer it for sale. I start by creating a small product first, and if that sells well, I’ll expand on that same idea and create a larger offering.
Should You Build An Audience First Or Create A Product?
Here’s my recommendation. You would only be asking this question if you don’t already have an audience, so what I suggest you do is do both at the same time.
And when I say the same time, I mean in the same month.
Start by creating 1 new piece of content per week to build up an audience. Then spend less than 3 hours to create a new low-priced product. Offer that product for sale at the end of every content piece. Also offer a related free gift for sale and offer that at the end of every content piece. This will start the process of building your list.
When your list gets to around 1000 people, you can start to ask for feedback. You can do a launch and at the end of the launch, ask people why they didn’t buy and what they actually need help with. What would they actually buy?
When you get feedback, create another small product offering, and keep doing that until you have enough data to decide if one product is selling better than your other products.
Do you have content that is going viral? It might be a good idea to offer a paid product on the same subject.
You can create many products and do lots of different tests. If you create small products, you don’t get attached to any one product.
There are many ways to determine what to sell before you have an audience. Think back to when you were struggling with that same problem. What one small resource would have been really useful for you. Create that.
Now that you know whether to build an audience or create a product first, would you like to know how to grow a sizeable audience for your business?
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A movement totally puts your business on the map and creates a massive amount of desire for your products.
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Business Growth is a massive passion of mine, and I have many more posts and videos to help you reach your goals so stick around and see what else I can help you with by checking out the links below.
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How To Achieve Business Mastery
How To Design Your Dream Business Based On Your Own Personality, Create Crowd-Pleasing Products That Transform Lives, Attract A Loyal Following Who Are Queuing Up To Buy From You, Achieve Phenomenal And Consistent Growth, And Easily Manifest All Of Your Goals, Using My Proven 7-Stage Dream Business Mastery Method.
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