Fuck Audience Building.
I’ve spent the last several months trying to up my Twitter game.
The last Twitter thread I posted almost got 200 likes. That’s huge for me. the problem is, no one signed up to my product as a result of this post’s popularity.
I understand that attribution can be hard to measure, but my point is that one the one hand I have never been more popular on twitter and on the other hand it was a fairly average week for sales.
There is this pervasive idea that you have to build an audience before you can sell them a product. Whether that by getting them to sign up to a mailing list or posting a healthy ratio of “valuable” tweet for every promotional, or plugging your product when a tweet goes viral, or relying on soft conversion entirely, and letting people click through to your profile and finding your product from there.
I’m not saying this stuff doesn’t work. It must for some people. I’m guessing it’s particularly effective for one-off, aspirational purchases like informational products.
As someone who has a subscription software product to sell. All of this advice has been utterly worthless. Whether or not I should have built an audience first is irrelevant because the product is built and I’m looking for people to buy it.
The problem with the audience building approach is that an audience is largely centered around you as a personality. This is at odds with the idea of asking people to pay to solve a problem on a recurring basis. No matter how much people like me, they’re not going fork out cash everymonth to solve a problem they don’t have. Maybe I can get them to try it for a month or two, but I’m not going to build a business this way.
If I’m going to invest time into content marketing, (and let’s make no mistake this is an investment) then I’m going to use it to show people how my product helps solve the problem it was built to solve.
I’m talking about a straight up tutorial. Screenshots and step-by-step instructions. There is no sign-up-to-my-newsletter bullshit. I’m not going to apologize for promoting my product.
I’m going to assume you have the exact problem my product was designed to solve and then I’m going to show you how my product helps you solve it.
No upsell. No healthy ratio. I’m going to assume me showing you how my product solves your problem is “valuable”, and I’m just going to make sure you clearly understand how you can use it to sort your problem out.
I’m also willing to bet that this is goin to be more effective coming from a faceless business account, so I’m not going to use my personal account to do this either.
So yeah, fuck audience building.
I’m going to worry about showing people how they can use the product to solve the problem it was designed to solve instead.