It’s nice to be popular, but when the barista rings up your order and you tell him “I’ve got 100.000 followers on Instagram!” he might be impressed, but his reply will still be “2.95, please”.
Likes, followers, social sharing: it’s nice, it can be useful too, but in the end, playground popularity doesn’t pay the bills.
I’ve written about it before, but David Newman in his book ‘Do it! Speaking’ put a fine point on it (I’m reading the book because this year I want to get serious about public speaking).
Says he: “An audience values an experience. A market values expertise”
And: “An audience wants your autograph. A market wants to give you their signature”.
(Interestingly, very recently I experienced the difference firsthand: I went to a lecture on a topic I’m interested in, but the speaker didn’t really do it for me, and the content of the lecture was too superficial for my taste. So, I’d never buy the speaker’s book, or hire them for a talk… in that room, I was part of the audience, not part of the market).
And sure, of course your market lives inside, is part of, your audience.
But if you focus your business and marketing activities on growing your audience instead of finding the right market and the right way to appeal to them, you’ll be spinning your wheels.
So if you look at your business operations, and the projects you’re working on, and your plans for the year:
Are you looking to build your audience, or your market…?
Also: do you want help, building your market?