There are many ways to build an online business, but they boil down to two main questions; will you begin by creating a product or gathering an audience? It’s a question that even the most experienced entrepreneurs still ponder.
Product first puts you in sales mode from the start
“The easiest path to making money right now is to build a product first because if you don’t have a product you’ve got nothing to sell.”
One problem with the product first approach is that you’re in sales mode right from the get-go when you lack an audience. Instead of targeting a motivated group, you’re selling to a whole range of people; i.e. anyone who might want to buy.
That takes determination and energy, and you need to relish the marketing hustle to keep that momentum going. If you love the selling and marketing lifestyle, then product-first could be the way to go.
It is the faster way to build your business, but the enterprise is likely to fail unless you know what you’re doing.
“Audience first” is the tortoise rather than the hare
There’s no doubt that building an audience is a slow process which won’t earn much income at first. You need consistency and patience to attract like-minded people, discover their pain-points and create a product to serve those needs.
“The audience-first approach… creates a really strong, long term business because the audience that you build organically… over time becomes your biggest asset.”
After you’ve done the hard work of growing your fan base, you’ll have new leads coming in every day without having to run advertisements all the time to attract customers.
Go with your skills and strengths
“If you know how to hustle your way to selling your stuff then a product first approach can be really good.”
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, with differing skills and talents, leading them to one approach over the other.
Some are drawn to content creation, some are technically minded, others have terrific marketing skills, and are great at researching what people need. All of these strengths will influence their business decisions.
“You can make things work in so many different ways but, for most people — assuming they’ve got time to build things slowly — then audience-first is going to win every time.”
In a nutshell
There’s no right way to build your business. The best way for you depends on your skills, strengths, passions, and whether you have time to grow a business slowly, or you need to start earning now.
Product first can generate quick income, but you need a lot of marketing hustle to keep it going.
The audience first approach is a slower process, but likely to bring a long term, more stable income.
Ultimately, you need passion and a will to do good in the world to keep your business going through ups and downs, trends and changes, and even pandemics.
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