What is Your Minimum Viable Audience?

Rebecca Bardess Indiepreneur Academy
What is Your Minimum Viable Audience?

Before the pandemic, Seth Godin wrote a blog post about the Minimum Viable Audience. He made the point in this, and an earlier, post that if you focus on delighting a few rather than being a bit interesting to a mass of people, you might actually end up doing some good work. 

What's Your Number?

Think about it. What's your personal number? If you focused only on ideal clients, who you knew you could absolutely delight, what's your minimum number to make a viable business? 


For instance, in my country (Britain), according to worlddata.info, the average salary is currently $45,380 (in USD). I price in USD. The the top package I currently sell as part of my standard coaching (there are higher level packages for some of the services I do for celebrities, corporate, and authors) is $12,997. So, to make an average income that would allow me to leave an average job (I'm unemployable, but this is an example) I'd need 4 clients a year. That would bring in $51,988.

What does that make my minimum viable audience? Technically, 4 people. In reality, that would assume a 100% closing rate. My closing rate is close to 100% some days, 50% other days. Sometimes it drops below that. Since this is high ticket, for it to be a 50% close rate, I'd need an incredibly specific audience, but if I had a group of people of around 20 who absolutely adored my work, 4 sales a year looks plausible. So, my Minimum Viable Audience would be 20. 

What About You? 

Do you have the years of experience, and results to charge over $10,000 for what you offer? If not, you'll need to go lower on price, and speak to more people. 

What is the price point you feel comfortable to charge?

Think of a number you could charge people.

  • Could you ask for $887 for coaching? $597?
  • What about selling a course for $297?
  • Could you sell a book for $7?

If you were to sell coaching for $597, you'd need to sell about 77 of these.

What's your closing rate? If you're just starting out, you may need to get as many as 7,000+ on the phone over the year. Then it depends how many close from approach to call. Could need hundreds of thousands of followers. Or, you could improve your closing rate first. Get to a 50% close rate, and get 154 on the phone in a year. 

Do you see how it's easier to make decent money with high ticket, and a lot less work?

  1. Prioritise improving your sales and marketing skills, so you can charge high ticket. 
  2. Identify your closing rate.
  3. Calculate how big your audience needs to be for you to make your desired income.
  4. Work out how many people you need on your email list, or following you on social media. Set about finding those people.
  5. Work out exactly what the message to market match is for your ideal clients. Put out content that draws in these people. 
  6. Ignore everyone else. Your special people are your special people. Delight them. You don't need to be everyone's favourite flavour of ice-cream. Be that weird flavour that people travel for miles to find, stay loyal to, and brag to their friends about, because it's cool and rare.

Let someone else be McDonald's. You be the unique little nugget of eccentricity that only you can be.

It isn't about the follower numbers. Follower numbers don't pay your bills. It isn't about the list. It's about the relationship with the list.

A table with only 6 people sitting at it can be worth way more than a TikTok account with a million followers, if the 6 people at the table are billionaires, and the million on TikTok are still living in their parents' basements, or at school. 

I believe in you, you little weirdo. Go out there and do your thing the way that only you can.


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