Once you found people that you want to help and empower and an interesting problem they have, you can begin to build an audience and build for that audience.
Audience building is a long-term process, it produces more value the longer you stick with it. It's all about building sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with your audience (the people you want to serve).
You should build your audience on the platform where your target audience is most active. However, building an audience and your personal brand on Twitter helps to get feedback from fellow indie hackers, if your audience is active on Twitter all the better.
Personal branding vs. product brand
Audience building is about building a business brand and your personal brand, your audience won't be merely listeners, but there should be a conversation, a two-way relationship.
Many big brands exist that can afford not to do this because they can take big financial risks not knowing what their audience really want, but as a bootstrapped indie hacker you would want to minimize that risk as much as possible.
Your audience building goal should be the following:
- Becoming a domain expert
- Building a product that serves your audience and solves their problems
Becoming a domain expert
Becoming an expert is about exposing yourself to a community, sharing your insights and learnings, and helping others. This leads to trust which over time builds a reputation for you in the community.
Start as an ambitious learner, share your learnings, and never stop.
Building a product
An audience-driven product approach starts with learning about your audience's problem, validate the idea by looking for others with the same problem and how much it bothers them, build a concept or the tool and observe the reaction of your audience to learn something new.
The audience-driven product approach is a closed feedback loop:
Learn -> validate -> build -> release -> observe -> learn (start over)
Growing your audience
There are three important factors to building an audience that is interested in your work:
- Engagement: Engage with people, don't just yell into the void
- Empowerment: Lift other people up and multiply eyes on their content
- Content: Provide valuable content regularly
If you learn in public others learn from you, if you teach in public others learn from you and you learn from them. A feedback loop helps you better understand their problems by enabling you to interact with them and see multiple perspectives.
The abundance mindset
The abundance mindset: Being active in a community is an act of abundance, not a zero-sum game.
If you're adding to someone else you're not losing anything.
The whole community is what you should support not just your potential customers. This way you will build a reputation.
When you share someone else's work it's a triple win:
- For you: You get a tiny fraction of credit for someone else's tweet
- For your followers: They're interested in things you share
- For the person: you increase their reach to a bigger audience
Connecting with people when you are not just looking for an opportunity to sell becomes much more interesting. You will talk to them as a peer, learn about them and understand them better.
They get to know you too and they will start talking about you with other people.