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How to Handpick Your Audience

After you launch, this is how everyone will  look at you. Juuust like this.

After you launch, this is how everyone will  look at you. Juuust like this.

When you're ready to launch your Thing, you need to take into account the sheer number of people that you need to reach before you get even a single buyer.

Here’s what’s not going to happen: You’re not going to build your Thing and rely on social media posts to get raving fans on your doorstep. If you’ve already got an email list of 1,000 super-engaged readers, that’s awesome, why haven't you launched a Thing like this already?

Let’s assume, for the moment that you DON'T have an email list in the triple or quadruple digits of ravenous, loving fans that make doe eyes every time they see your name pop up in their inbox. 

Here's where you'll mine for new eyeballs:

  1. Your existing connections
  2. Podcasts, Video Casts and live stream share-a-thons
  3. Other people’s blog audience
  4. Real live people in your geographical location

Look at your total social media following.

How to many of them are already engaged clients of yours?

How many are just perfect and you WISH they were your clients?

How many retweet, share and like pretty much everything you post, even that time you accidentally shared a Justin Beiber article?

1. List out all of the people who fit into those three categories.

I list mine the old fashioned way - in paper and pen. Once I’ve written someone’s name down in my own handwriting, I feel more connected to the person, more interested in their problems and more committed to solving them. They become REAL.

This is why you’re handpicking an audience. You’re not just selling seats in a program or tickets to a concert; you’re personally committing to do everything you can to help your audience solve a problem that’s impacting their lives. You care. Which means that they’ll care.

2. Make a list of possible venues where you want to present, pitch, post, perform or be interviewed in a few weeks to create a rolling buzz.

3. Start gathering contact information and looking for submission guidelines and deadlines to mid-sized websites or venues.

There’s no point in pitching a podcast that records 8 months in advance of publishing if you need the buzz in 8 weeks.

There’s also no point in cold-pitching Tiny Buddha or Life Hack NOW and adding stress to your life if you’ve never posted for a large site before.

Every guest appearance is a dating relationship. You’ll need to hear/watch/read their content and CARE about their platform and their audience for your pitches to land well. But more on that later.

4. Make SURE their audience is the audience you want. Think in circles of influence:

  • Are these the people that will want my Thing?
  • Are these the loved ones, coworkers, classmates or peers of the people that will want my Thing?
  • Are these people at least similar enough to the people that want my Thing that I can get some valuable feedback from them?
  • What are the real chances, that if I share with the parents or bosses of my ideal audience, that the information will eventually trickle down?
  • What are the chances that I can make my message about the Thing so sharable that people in this audience will be scrambling for the “Share” button and posting it to their favorite friend’s Facebook walls with a string of emojis that depict rapturous approval?


Don’t waste valuable time on low-payoff audiences. Now that you've got an idea of the Who for your Thing, let's get started on the What - your Minimum Viable Product.

ike what you’re seeing? Comment and Share. Don’t miss a single post in the “Launch That Thing on a Shoestring” series.  Follow along to learn the ins and outs of the 10-Step Launch Plan so you can get sparks flying sooner rather than later. 

Why my website is ugly. (And I’m ok with it).

How to Sketch out a Launch Idea