Entrepreneurship, Creator Economy
So you are a techie like me, and you build a web application that solves a problem for non-techies. Not a product for developers, not a product for a hi-tech or an IT company.
I am building a platform for auction events. It can be used by creators, like artists, and people with antiques can use it. So the audience whose problem I am trying is non-technical.
The challenge you face is that you need to forget the audience within which you live your professional life. The technical websites, the entrepreneur websites like Product Hunt or Indie Hacker, and the technical communities are not where your audience lives.
I know this sounds like a piece of advice in a relationships column. But effectively, when developing a product for a non-technical audience, you need to meet new people. It would be best if you forgot your past life.
How do you meet your new people and reach new audiences, you hang in the same social networks, but you join different groups and search for posts with tags other than what you are used to.
In my case, where my first target audience is artists, like painters and sculptures, I am going for art groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Search for #art tags on Twitter and Tumblr. And go for subreddits for art on Reddit.
Instagram has become a more critical part of your daily watching diet, as many artists hang there for obvious visual reasons.
All the technical newsletters I have been reading are useless for meeting new people. Yes, new technologies may be introduced to my platform. But my audience is interested in how my platform will help them. Not in the tech. This is what people interested in art and antiques are telling me.
Suddenly I discover many problems that artists face, and I will have to face them.
Artists struggle with how to price their creations. This is why I believe an auction is a better pricing mechanism for creators.
Artists struggle with shipping a piece of art and insurance for the shipment.
Following the /ArtBusiness subreddit on Reddit, you learn new terms and new ways of thinking.
Artists have the same problems that many SMBs have building a website, setting up an E-Commerce store, and promoting themselves on social media, like Instagram.
But they talk on commissions, like doing a software project given a requirements document.
Artists worry about where and how their art is being presented because their art is a product of inspiration, and they want to guard it, being unique.
True, it is hard to copy-paste a painting or a sculpture, yet artists encounter someone copying them.
When trying to reach a new audience, you may be tempted to hang with the founders and entrepreneur crowd. You can meet them on Medium, and Twitter is full of them.
While they may be like you, they are not your audience if you are not building some new messaging system or a project management tool, or a marketing automation tool. In a sense, this is an audience that is feeding itself. What is called in the startup world, eat your own dog food.
Jump over this audience and go to the audience whose problems you are trying to solve.
As a techie building a platform for artists, antique enthusiasts, and design lovers, I need to meet new people and forget my old audience.
If you are building something to serve non-techies and non-geeks, you should do some forgetting and start hanging out in new places.