Communication: the key for audience-first products

Building products, businesses, or whatever you want, communication is always necessary. How should someone know about your project, when you’re not telling anyone about it. No communication, no customers. Remaining quiet and doing absolutely no noises makes sense if you are a spy, but not as a builder.

Here comes the tricky part.

What’s taught in your business school books doesn’t work for builders.

Big companies already have an audience and the manpower to plan and analyze every step beforehand. They don’t have the pressure to get in action visibly. Creating a classic communication concept for business projects often takes a lot of time. There is nothing put into practice. So it’s not a builder’s way to do it.

A lot of start-ups and indie companies jump into action without having any idea what to do. That’s the second way how it doesn’t work. They are putting all their eggs in one basket, but don’t know which basked the desired audience prefers. So basic research is mandatory.

Even if you find a fitting platform you have to convert the audience properly. The platform fit may change: its popularity, its algorithms, etc. and you are at the mercy of those factors.

Another mistake: false promises.

When the marketing machine starts running, some companies tend to exaggerate. They praise their products as ultimate solutions. Maybe you think it is the perfect tool, but your customers will find features that are missing or that could run better. The higher you build your expectations, the higher you can fall.

In other words: planning too long means not having customers. But jumping uncoordinated into action could create a negative image.  

So what’s the way to go? We think the audience-first project approach is quite promising. We will dive deeper into audience-first in one of our new articles.

The thing is: A small company has to:

  • Get a loyal audience first, aka your 100 true fans
  • Find their perfect way to communicate
  • Be visible and get customers

For example – targeting. The classic way is to create personas. Big companies have market research departments. They can create their fictional customers based on data and expertise. Smaller teams often don’t have these information yet. Furthermore, they work with generalists, who wear many hats. So make your communication doing the work:

  1. Choose your channels and prepare funnels
  2. Interact, ask questions, comment, build trust
  3. Do a real live check! Does the audience/channel fit my assumptions?
    • Yes: Find out needs concerning your potential product
    • No: adjust the measures and start again
  4. Build your Personas in an organic way

Write about your project status. Make hurdles or even errors public. The audience will see that you work on something great and will help you.  Don’t see communication just as a way to become more popular. Use it as a flywheel to improve your skills and product and grow your audience!