I like to think of myself as an effective employee, but I don’t know how I would be as an entrepreneur or salesman. Books like Quiet have confirmed that introverts can be successful in business, but certainly it can be more difficult for someone like me than Wolf of Wall Street’s Jordan Belfort.
Still, I have some books and services that I would like to get into the world and I know I won’t get anywhere if I don’t try.
Danny Iny’s The Audience Revolution fits into the business genre that provides a mix of positive thinking, interesting advice, and upselling of other products and, to some extent, a lifestyle. Part of me thinks there is a secret speaker/writer/blogger/consultant/podcaster network that gets together, pumps one another up, and then takes the money of those looking for a boost or an edge. In other words, I am skeptical of books like this. On the other hand, as the book says, strong work ethic plus trial and error greatly increases your odds of success. So, I gave the book a try.
The thesis of the book is simple:
At the core of the Audience Revolution is a single, simple idea, that to be successful, and make an income by making an impact, you must do one thing: you must put the Audience First...Audience First as a philosophy is about putting the needs of your audience above all else, and seeking to be of service to them as much as is possible.
Instead of developing a product and then finding your market, as we traditionally think to do, Iny suggests developing your market (audience) and then collaborating with your market to develop products they actually (1) want (2) from you.
Iny goes on to give some practical advice about how to find and develop the right audience, how to know what to sell versus give away (very relevant in the internet age), and even how to find out what you’re passionate about that can have a market.
The book contains an exercise relevant to that last point that is especially helpful for anyone who is trying to find out what they’re good at or what they may want to pursue.
Overall, I appreciate Mr. Iny making is book available for a free or low cost and think it has some good ideas to think about. Artists may have a harder time with the idea of developing a product or service with an audience, but I can see how the model would be helpful, in at least some respects, for most.
Still, a part of me is uneasy with pitches for other products within the book and the feeling that I’m getting sold the proverbial pen. As Iny points out, though, I know he’s a salesman and he’s not trying to give me something I didn’t ask for.