In the 48th email from 50 days of writing, David Perell talks about how to build 'an Audience-First product.'
David mentions the following:
The Internet swallows up an increasing percentage of our leisure time, but people under-estimate the economic opportunities it presents — even for college seniors. For instance, the Internet is a better job matching tool than a job fair will ever be. Even in college, when I had less than 1,000 followers on Twitter, I could reach the kinds of decision-makers online I would have never met at a job fair.
After I left the job fair, I committed to finding a job by using Twitter. The next week, I woke up late on a Tuesday morning and the rain was coming down sideways. I didn’t feel like going outside, so I skipped class to write a series of tweets about the future of online publishing. With them, I attracted the attention of Jason Stein, the CEO of Laundry Service, a New York-based advertising agency I wanted to work for. Impressed by my ideas, he replied with eight words that changed my life: “Interested in working with us when you graduate?”
Then later David goes on to explain the three-step process to find professional opportunities.
Here is how he dissects:
My method of “Audience-First Products” is still experimental, but I believe it’s repeatable. It’s a new way to test the feasibility of a business idea. It stands in stark contrast to the “old guard” model of attending job fairs, working mindless jobs to learn professional skills, and raising money before you start a business.
Here’s the three-step process he used to capitalize on the transition to the online economy:
(1) Build an audience
(2) Build a product
(3) Scale the solution
previously when the internet wasn't a thing, builders used to build a product and then find an audience to sell. But the Internet allows us to find our audience first and build later. This actually helps build better products and solutions to help the collective good.
Sharing our ideas will help in
- Attracting like-minded people.
- Bring in opportunities for potential investors.
- Most importantly you will receive feedback instantly.
Define your own intersection of ideas by writing about topics nobody else is writing about and putting a name to your perspective. When you write about a specific topic, you’ll find you and your audience share common challenges that double as areas of entrepreneurial opportunity and topics to write about. As you write this way, you will define your unique lens on the world, share it passionately, and attract both casual friends and professional collaborators. - David Perell
Lastly, David ass us to focus on resonance rather than scale. Resonance is building relationships. That will help in growing a lot sooner than focussing on the scale.
Building an audience first is extremely important. but here me out, Audience building only happens when you
- Solve a problem people are facing.
- Provide information that they find interesting.
- Entertain them with quirky and fun writing.
That's it. That is all I understand about audience building. I took this 50 days of writing to one learn how to write in a way people engage with my content.
I feel I am confident to write articles in my voice unlike before. This confidence is only because I wrote for myself and I genuinely had fun while writing.
Audience building is not a new concept, it just is getting individualized. Now everyone is expected to have an audience to sustain and that is absolutely fine. The only problem I have is currently you need to be at a certain level to get paid and it is not the way to encourage newbies. The only solution is new creators set small prizes for every small achievement you reach.
As for me, the smallest achievement I want to celebrate is to enjoy a day-off just playing Valorant for completing 50 days of writing. I am looking forward to that day.
Building an audience is a hard job, but it's fun if you are consistent and provide value. you don't have to get to a number, you just have to show up every day.
As James Clear, would say
Master The Art Of Showing Up
How will the audience know you will deliver unless you show up every day.
Thank you for reading.
For more of Perell's work, you can signup for the 50 Days of Writing Course by clicking and signing up to receive one mail every day with an amazing take on writing.