Discover, Define & Target Your Audience (FS049)

There’s one question that can get to the heart of whether what you’re working on is a soon-to-be-failed side project or a business with a good shot at financial success.

This is the question that kickstarted my career as a designer. After wallowing and fiddling with side projects for years, I finally grokked the bit I was missing.

In this episode you get to hear a handful of experienced entrepreneurs, people who are actually earning a living doing something they care about (in many cases a handsome living), answer that question along with some insights from the Fizzle team about:

  • The audience who, if you aim at it, will kill your business… every time.
  • The difference between a side project and an actual business with earning potential.
  • Two failsafe questions you’ve got to answer for your business to earn enough to support you.

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Happiness occurs in the overlap between “what I want to build” and “what they want to buy.”
  or copy + Facebook

The Best Info In A Free Guide

Defining your audience is a critical step on the journey. The insights from the interviews in this episode (and the next, wink wink, nudge nudge) are massive, so I’ve compiled them into a free guide including:

  • Bullet point notes on each of the expert interviews with links to specific tools they use.
  • Worksheets and exercises to get to the truth about your audience so you can resonate and sell to them.
  • The big list of questions to ask about your audience (including the two failsafe questions).
  • Quick summaries of the most important concepts in customer development (that’s what the startup world calls it) to keep you on track (without wasting a bunch of time).

Download the guide and start getting to clarity and insights for your audience:

Download the Fizzle Audience Guide

In one of the many surveys Corbett’s done with the audience, I stumbled into a story about an entrepreneur who fk’d up big.

She spent 14 months building her audience, creating great stuff for them, delighting them, only to realize THEY COULDN’T PAY FOR ANYTHING, no matter what she made. She had created a decent sized audience of people she could never create a sustainable income from (at least not in any way she’d be comfortable with).

Eventually she realized the mistake, pivoted, and recovered in time. But she wasted over a year building something without doing a few bits of critical research that would have saved her the heartache, money and time.

So, get the book. Even though we have an excellent course within Fizzle on this topic, and we earn our living when you pay for this kind of thing… take it. (We’ll try to figure out something else to sell you later.)

Folks we Heard From

Rob Walling“Lessons learned by a Solo Entrepreneur.”

Pat Flynn“Lead by example. Be honest. Hold nothing back.”

John Lee Dumas“EntrepreneurOnFire: Awarded Best in iTunes 2013 IGNITE!”

Tara Gentile“Helping small business capitalize on big ideas.”

Jason Glaspey“It’s not just that I’m good at not working, it’s that I’m good at making not working work. #mountainbikes #dad #husband #geek”

Steve Kamb“Rebel Leader of @NerdFitness. Frequent traveler. Strength training enthusiast. Complete goofball. Decent piano player. Awful singer. Ostrich whisperer.”

Confident you’ve got the right audience?

Send us your questions and we’ll answer them on the air. (We’ll be doing another Q&A episode on Apr 25th.)

In the mean time, tell me in the comments how confident you are that you’ve targeted the right audience? What bit, from the numerous interviews in this episode, sticks with you and helps you most?

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • Carter Bowles

    So you can just call up Pat Flynn and right after he says “what’s up dude” you can just go “Alright here’s my question for you,” no “how’s your father” or anything? I think you have networking skills I will never possess.

    • Chase Reeves

      HA! “How’s your father” is one of my fav callbacks right now. +1

    • Pat Flynn

      I hear Chase’s voice, and then I just do whatever he says.

  • Robin Hallett

    Loving this episode, and the people you interviewed rock – such important points around making the mistake of not being clear on your ‘right’ audience which might be different than the one you’re currently speaking to… p.s. Hurry hurry on the Audience Guide, I’ll wait right here ;)

    • Jeff Jones

      How did I know I would find you here. These guys rock and I’m ashamed for being behind on them-LOL!

      • Robin Hallett

        We have good taste Jeff, what else is there to say? ;) xxo

  • Regie Bariuan

    Great episode! Love the interviews! How do you know if the audience are willing to pay?

    • Chase Reeves

      Check out Nathan Barry’s interview here:

      Josh Shipp’s as well.

      Both have great tactics for answering that question.

      • Regie Bariuan

        Thanks Chase! Will do check it out!

  • Marcle Sha

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  • Ben Austin


    I loved the format of the show. It was great to hear how many people who I respect are targeting their market. I thought it was really interesting how someone like Pat Flynn incorporates both the keyword data and the personal phone calls in his research.

    It is really interesting that most of this research is taking place out of the public eye. We really don’t see all thankless work that goes on behind the scenes.

    What I am struggling with, is focusing on just one target for my marketing. I find there are so many types of people that I want to help. It is hard to narrow it down to one person with a specific problem.


Up Next:

Should You Delete Negative Comments? + Other Audience Questions (FS051)

All month we’ve been sharing tips and tactics for defining your audience, complete with loads of interviews with experienced entrepreneurs on how they do it. This week we feature two more interviews and listener questions covering some of these topics:

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

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