Product First or Audience First?

Should you create a… Product First? Or an Audience First?

A burning question for anyone starting an online business: Listen to my take at

And as much it might seem similar to the complicated “Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg” discussion, it’s actually not all that complicated when it comes down to the core nature of these two strategies.

There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer here, so I’ll try to break it down as best as I can, given my own experience selling a number of products online since 1998, and then add to that my experience coaching and consulting with clients since 2003.

There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to creating an online business. Each one involves a completely different strategy.

Strategy #1) You create a product first, and THEN find an audience for that product
Strategy #2) You build an audience first, and THEN create a product

Strategy #1 is basically to start with what skills and resources you have and create your product or service first based on your own knowledge and experience. And then you find an audience for what you’ve already created. And then you keep improving the product and extending it and then creating other products and services around your core product or core niche, as you get more feedback from current, past and future customers.

Strategy #2 is basically to first build an audience, that is hopefully big enough, hungry for a solution to a pain, can actually afford to pay for it, is easily reachable, and easy to work with. And then create something FOR that audience.

There are a lot of tangents I can go in when talking about some of these things - like how big of an audience do you really need? That really depends on what kind of a product or service you’re selling. If you’re selling something for 1000 dollars, and your goal is 100,000 dollars, then you only need 100 clients. If you’re selling something for 20 dollars, and your goal is the same 100,000 dollars, then you need 5000 clients. So I won’t get into that discussion today, as I have that planned for a later episode. For the purposes of today’s discussion, I’m just going to stick to the two strategies: Build Product Then Audience, or Build Audience Then Product.

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