A Complete Guide To the Concept of a Minimum Viable Audience

Successfully launching a startup requires a strategic approach, particularly when it comes to building a minimum viable audience (MVA). This process is crucial for early-stage companies as it lays the foundation for generating scalable revenue and achieving product-market fit – where your offering effectively meets the needs of a specific customer base.

What is a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)?

In the pursuit of growing your business, identifying a minimum viable audience becomes just as vital as constructing your minimum viable product. This audience refers to the smallest group of customers that holds sufficient revenue potential to support business expansion. While it is admirable to aspire to have a widespread customer base, attempting to cater to everyone during the early stages is impractical. Instead, it is crucial to define your target audience and focus on developing your MVP with their specific needs in mind. This subset of customers forms your MVA, and their input is invaluable throughout the product development process.

Why Find Your Minimum Viable Audience?

While it is natural to have grand aspirations, it is essential to acknowledge the limitations of building and marketing a product for a vast audience from the outset. Instead, it is more effective to concentrate on a specific audience and its use cases. By doing so, you can prioritise features ruthlessly, ensuring that your product aligns closely with the needs of your chosen customer segment. This approach allows you to gather prompt and relevant feedback from your MVA, enabling you to iterate and refine your offering swiftly.

Minimum Viable Audience Case Study

A case study on finding a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) for a book

Let’s explore the application of the minimum viable audience concept within the entrepreneurial landscape. To illustrate this, let’s consider the scenario of starting an online bookstore. It is evident that launching a generic bookstore would not be appealing or commercially viable in today’s market, especially considering that Amazon has already established its dominance in this space since the late 1990s.

To find your niche and carve out a viable market, you must narrow your focus within the publishing industry. One effective strategy is to leverage the assistance of major gatekeepers, such as Amazon, which can provide valuable insights. Utilizing Amazon’s search engine can help you identify specific categories that align with your business idea. However, it is important to note that this is just the initial step in the process.

To ensure the viability of your chosen micro-category, you need to dig deeper by drilling down at least three levels. This entails analysing and refining your audience segmentation to pinpoint a specific and well-defined target group. By progressively narrowing your focus, you can identify a subset of customers who exhibit genuine interest and potential demand for your offerings.

In essence, finding your minimum viable audience requires thorough research and analysis. By delving into specific segments within the publishing industry and identifying a micro-category that shows promise, you can establish a strong foundation for your business. This approach enables you to tailor your offerings, marketing strategies, and customer engagement to cater to the unique needs and preferences of your niche audience, setting yourself apart from generic competitors.

In summary, the process of finding your minimum viable audience in the entrepreneurial world involves zooming in on a specific industry niche, leveraging the insights provided by key industry players, and progressively narrowing your focus to identify a viable micro-category. This diligent approach helps you align your business with the needs and preferences of a distinct target audience, paving the way for sustainable growth and differentiation in a competitive marketplace.

Drilling down at least three times

To illustrate the process, let’s consider starting with fiction as your chosen category. Within the broad realm of fiction, you must identify a specific sub-category that aligns with your interests and offers potential opportunities. For instance, you could explore historic fiction as a potential sub-category.

Once you’ve chosen historic fiction as your focus, it’s time to narrow it down even further. Within historic fiction, you can delve into another specific sub-category, such as Renaissance-themed historic fiction. By zooming in on this niche, you have now found your microniche, a highly specialised and distinct segment.

Now that you have identified your microniche, you can consider building the best website or blog dedicated to Renaissance Historic Fiction. However, before diving into the development process, it’s essential to ensure that there is a viable audience for your chosen microniche.

One way to gauge the potential audience is by examining the search volume in that category, particularly for well-known authors. You may be surprised to discover that even within such a specific microniche, there are micro-stars and a dedicated following. Take, for example, the author Johanna Lindsey, who has cultivated an incredibly engaged audience within the Renaissance Historic Fiction microniche.

By leveraging insights like search volume and the presence of micro-stars within your microniche, you can gain confidence in the existence of a viable audience. This initial validation helps you kickstart your journey and embark on further efforts to cater to your Minimum Viable Audience.

Finding Your Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)

When it comes to identifying your minimum viable audience, it’s essential to follow a practical approach. Initially, you may believe that your platform could cater to any medium-sized business. However, attempting to tailor your messaging to each of these potential customers can be a significant challenge. Instead, by narrowing your target audience to a specific segment, you can cut through the noise and effectively reach a more specific and receptive audience.

Gather Feedback

One of the most critical steps in the process is leveraging customer insights and translating them into actionable measures. Engaging in conversations with your minimum viable audience (MVA) not only aids in refining your product but also ensures that your messaging and sales tactics effectively resonate with them.

By actively listening to your MVA, you can gather valuable feedback and understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This customer-centric approach enables you to make necessary adjustments to your product, ensuring that it aligns closely with their requirements. This iterative process of incorporating customer insights allows you to continuously improve and enhance your offering, increasing its value and relevance.

Furthermore, conversations with your MVA go beyond product refinement. They serve as an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of your messaging and sales tactics. By engaging in meaningful discussions, you can gauge how well your marketing materials, brand positioning, and sales strategies resonate with your target audience. This direct interaction enables you to fine-tune your messaging, optimise your sales approach, and enhance customer engagement.

Ultimately, the insights gained from conversations with your MVA empower you to take informed actions that drive your business forward. By actively seeking feedback, adapting your product, and refining your messaging and sales tactics based on customer insights, you can strengthen customer relationships, improve market fit, and increase the chances of success.


What is the Minimum Viable Audience Idea?

When considering the smallest group that can sustain and support your work, it is crucial to carefully choose the members of this audience. You have the opportunity to shape their dreams, worldviews, and energy. So, who would you select?

Imagine curating an audience that aligns perfectly with your vision and values. You have the freedom to handpick individuals who resonate deeply with your offerings and possess the potential to become passionate advocates for your work. You can envision their dreams, aspirations, and the unique perspectives they bring to the table.

By deliberately selecting your ideal audience, you can create a community that shares your enthusiasm, embraces your message, and actively engages with your work. Their energy and commitment can serve as a catalyst for your success, fueling inspiration and driving positive momentum.

Consider the impact of connecting with individuals who not only appreciate your offerings but also embody the values and goals that underpin your work. By nurturing this ideal audience, you can cultivate a thriving community of like-minded individuals who amplify your message, contribute to your growth, and help propel your work forward.

Who Came Up With The Minimum Viable Audience?

The concept of the Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) was introduced by Seth Godin. He explained the concept as the following:

  • Assess needs and willingness to pay: Look beyond your initial assumptions and seek out personas that not only have a genuine need for your offering but also possess the willingness to pay for it. Conduct market research to understand different customer segments and their pain points. By identifying those who would benefit from your product or service and are willing to invest in it, you can uncover potential target audiences that align with your business goals.
  • Explore market dynamics: Keep a close eye on the market landscape to identify emerging opportunities. Consider factors such as venture capital funding trends, which may indicate specific markets with increased financial resources and higher purchasing power. Additionally, be aware of recent laws or regulations that could create demand in particular industries or verticals. By staying informed about these market dynamics, you can tap into potential target audiences that are more receptive and primed for your offering.

By being open to different potential target audiences and actively exploring their needs, willingness to pay, and market dynamics, you can broaden your horizons and uncover untapped opportunities. This flexible approach allows you to adapt and align your business with the most promising MVAs, increasing your chances of success in the market.


Now that you understand what a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) is, let’s have a look at how this knowledge can be applied to creating an optimum marketing plan. Alternatively, check out how to decide on the product pricing for your newly found target audience.

You can also learn how to create a great product that your new found audience will love here.

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