As “solopreneurs“, we often start a business with an idea and no audience. For example, wouldn't it be great to build websites for people? I mean, I like doing that. I'm creative. I can build really neat websites, damn it!
But that's backwards.
What we really ought to be doing is seeking to help people. In that quest to help people, you will find an audience. Sure, go looking for people to help in the areas that interest you.
Using the example above, go to forums and Facebook groups where people may need help with building and/or maintaining websites. Lurk around a while before you try to sell anything. You'll see some interesting patterns emerge. Maybe you'll see that people don't really have a problem with websites in general but perhaps they have issues with WordPress.
Maybe they just don't know where to start. Or they get tied up in the technology. Or they try to “pretty up” their sites when they don't really even have anything to offer on their site.
Could be a million things. Or more.
But you will begin to see common issues and problems. Solve them. For free.
At first, that's the best route to take. Once you've assembled an audience, you can then tailor your offerings to them and charge a fee. Maybe set up some training, if you find that's a shortcoming in the marketplace.
That's what I did with WordPress. I knew “everybody was using it” but I also knew that nearly everybody was having issues with it in some form or fashion. I helped people on the forums I was frequenting at the time (predominantly the Warrior Forum).
There was a gaping chasm between the awesome technology and the organized training that was available.
That's when I created The Ultimate Guide to WordPress course. It was a video course that contained 43 short videos on the nuts and bolts of WordPress.
That product eventually branched off into WP Zero, which is a video course I published through Rapid Crush. Now, I update it from time to time, but it sells itself. And occasionally, Jason Fladlien or Wilson Mattos promote it to their customer base (their audience) and it sells even more.
That course opened the door for WP Secure Pro, which is a course I teach, through video, about securing your WordPress installation. I also sell it through Rapid Crush.
You could say that I “borrowed” their audience to use as mine.
But nonetheless, a large portion of their audience is interested in WordPress and I'm able to siphon off some. Plus, I'm known in a few circles as a WordPress expert (even though I hate that term).
The point is this: I found people who needed my help and I helped them. That helped me build my audience. I can help that audience even more now through training programs I develop.