How To Identify & Clarify Your Audience (If It Feels Vague Or Imprecise)

When starting, you need to ensure that you have a “minimum-viable audience” — a group of people who needed your book yesterday.

After those people read your book, they can recommend it to a broader audience that will like it — but not be “first in line” to buy it.

Here are some clarifying questions to identify your audience:

  1. What type of person (don’t just think demographics, but also beliefs/psychographics) is kept up at night by this issue?
  2. How would they describe the thing/problem that keeps them up at night — in their own words?

The way they phrase it may be very different than you. For example, you may write a book about respect. Still, people may talk about loneliness, not being understood, being underpaid, or being unable to get a date (just some examples off the top of my head).

The best way to “niche” down isn’t to narrow your audience but to have a unique solution to a common problem. You can write to a broad audience if your solution/premise is unique and stands out.

It’s typically better for your “niche” to be psychographic, not demographic– so, people who share beliefs, not necessarily people of the same age, etc. A broad audience is excellent as long as your message isn’t diluted and you appeal to a certain mindset.

If you want to write about other topics in the future and are worried about how this will affect building a general audience, start with whatever you want to focus on most — and remember that you can always pivot later on. Some people might leave your audience if you shift, but others won’t, and you’ll attract new people!

If/when you pivot — you’ll have a head-start with everyone in your current audience that might have an overlapping interest.

For example, my first book was on sports betting, and my second was on writing. These are VERY different topics, but a few people in my old audience were interested in writing! I told people about the pivot, changed my website/newsletter name, and moved on. Many people left, but many didn’t.

And suppose I had wanted to continue writing or building a business around sports betting. In that case, I could have kept my existing audience and started a second newsletter (and could have promoted it to my current audience).

How did we do?

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