Oftentimes, you look at a startup’s website and you see them describing themselves as being “The _____ for everyone.”

I have to admit, I really hate this approach. But I appreciate how hard it is to narrow down.

The reality is, the goal shouldn’t be to focus on everyone. The goal should be to tightly focus on a big audience.

eCommerce marketers.

College students.


These are big, yet specific, audiences.

“But what about Facebook?” you ask. “Everyone is on Facebook.”

Not at first. They started with college students, remember? College students are a big, specific audience, and it’s an umbrella for personas you discover along the way as you get to know that audience better.

Sorority girls.

College athletes. 

See what I mean?

One big audience enables community building and network effects for growth. Then you can expand from there.

Pick an audience with existing communities. Yes, there’s something to be said about creating an audience… but there’s a lot to be said about creating a new product and bringing it to an existing group. Doing both at the same time is hard.

At the end of the day, you want your audience members to talk to one another. Ideally, you grab an audience with existing clubs, professional organizations, or popular hashtags. You want them to spread the word about you in existing marketing channels.

So pick something big, yet specific. That’s my take. Thoughts?

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