Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Forget building your product. Build your audience.


[We are building a new product. Rakshith has a new responsibility and interest. He has started talking about it daily. I will share it with you once in a while, in hopes that what is benefiting our company benefits you too. This is a big article, but worth every second you invest reading it]

I’ve decided I want to learn content marketing. Partly fuelled by desire, partly by necessity, I’ve started consuming content about content marketing. To make it actionable, I’m writing a series starting today, trying to make sense of what I am learning. While it is being written for us to learn how we can position our business better, you might find some insights that you can use too. If you are interested in learning more, reply to this mail and we’ll find a way to share our findings with you.

I’ve been skimming through the book Content Inc. and one of the ideas in the book is counter-intuitive. Here’s the idea, "By focusing on building an audience first and defining products and services second, a person can change the rules of the game and significantly increase the odds of financial and personal success."

I’ve always believed that any business begins with an idea. The idea leads to a product or service which in turn leads to a business plan. In other words, to build a strong business find a problem and then solve the problem with your product or service. But it is also true that most businesses shut shop within three years of launch.

So what is the problem?

The problem, if I am running a Business to Business (B2B) company is finding clients and if I am running a Business to Customer (B2C) company is finding my customer. In other words, I need an audience that faces the problem I am solving, pays attention to how I am solving it, and therefore wants my advice, product, or service to solve it for themselves. The key is – I need an audience.

So how do I find an audience?

I am going to try and analyze this with a case study. I am a huge fan of Tanmay Bhat – comedian, vlogger, and all-around entertainer. When Tanmay started posting content online, he already had an audience that enjoyed his content. They’d seen him perform at open mics and comedy shows. They knew him as the writer of some culturally definitive sketches. So, when he started posting content online, whether it was movie reviews or managing personal finance, his audience was willing to watch because they knew he would be entertaining.

Tanmay is knowledgeable about a number of things: Comedy, Media, Advertising, Brand Building, to name a few. Over the last two decades, he has developed his skill every day at being entertaining. His persona is that of an entertainer. His audience wants to be entertained. And anyone else who wants to be entertained can now find him and become his audience.

So there are 3 questions.

Where is my audience?

What do they know about me?

What do they want?

Let me answer these questions for myself.

In the training programs, I conduct for corporate professionals and other trainers.

In these programs, I can come across as knowledgeable in Gamification, Pop-Culture, Management, Books, Business, Chess, and How people learn. Over the last decade, I have been working every day to improve my skills at teaching.

As for what my audience wants, that is another email.

So that’s my first lesson to answer the first 2 questions. Write down where your current audience is. Make a list of what you are knowledgeable about, what you can easily and authentically talk to your audience about. Then find something you are an expert in to build your persona around.

Singing Kahaan Ho Tum,


PS: Let me know, if you want to hear more of this kind of content from Rakshith. I know a guy who knows a guy who can arrange it. – Abhilash