Audience-building for SaaS founders

What are you building?

First let’s be clear about what you’re building. This post is about building an audience (useful), but don’t confuse it with building a followership (not so useful) or a community (great, but lots of work).

What are you building an audience for?

You need to be clear about your goal for building an audience.

Building an audience for your business

Building an audience for your business means building an audience around the problem you’re solving with your SaaS.

Building an audience for yourself

This is about building an audience for your personal brand. People who follow you want to learn from you, be entertained by you, or be inspired by what you have to say.

Building for business, yourself, or both?

Both is better.

Build it in the right place

Go to where your audience is — they won’t come to you. So once you know who you want to serve, your next task is to go find out where the community meets online to discuss related topics with each other.

Engage appropriately

Your audience isn’t there to be sold to. They are there for you to serve and learn from.

Build in public

“Building in public” is trendy amongst makers now, and there is a lot of advice around why and how to do it.

You don’t need an audience

If your goal is to gain customers for your SaaS business, audience building is just one way to do it. You don’t NEED an audience.

Don’t blame the audience if you can’t sell

If you are not making sales, despite an audience, then don’t blame the audience.

  • Is it an audience that tends to buy on value?
  • Is it an audience that tends to buy software to solve their problems?
  • Were you effective in communicating the problem that your software helps them solve?
  • Was the problem painful enough that they’d be willing to pay for it to be streamlined or automated?

My next steps

So my mistake was to confuse audience building for me and for my business as the same things. And I got to the wrong conclusion that audience building isn’t useful for SaaS founders.

Thanks and credits

Thank you so much to the following people who have contributed to the discussion: Rosie Sherry, Arvid Kahl, Alex Hillman, Scrivs and Kevon Cheung.



The only goal is freedom.

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