3 Steps To Building a Minimum Viable Audience

Discover the three steps to establishing a minimum viable audience for your small business. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to draw in and engage your target audience, gather valuable feedback, and foster steady business growth.

What is a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)?

A Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) refers to the smallest group of customers that you can target to make your business profitable.

This concept, which is integral to the lean startup methodology, emphasizes focusing on a specific, targeted audience to gather feedback and test the viability of a product or service before scaling.

The MVA approach allows businesses to efficiently allocate resources, refine their offerings, and ensure resonance with their core audience.

Why Find Your Minimum Viable Audience?

In my experience as a solopreneur, finding your MVA is not just about initial validation but also about establishing a foundation for sustainable and targeted business growth.

It empowers you to make informed decisions, minimize risks, and create products or services that resonate with a specific and loyal customer base, rather than targeting an overly-large and complicated customer-base.

In general, I’ve found that having a small target market helps you to:

  1. Concentrate Your Efforts:
    • Targeting a specific audience allows you to concentrate your efforts on a group most likely to engage with your product
  2. Validate Quicker:
    • Engaging with a more targetted audience enables quicker validation of your product or idea
  3. Save Costs:
    • Focusing on your MVA prevents unnecessary spending on marketing to a broad audience, most of whom will be disinterested in your product
  4. Reduce Failure Risk:
    • By validating your concept with a minimum viable audience, you reduce the risk of investing extensive resources in a product that might not resonate with a broader market.
  5. Building a Loyal Customer Base:
    • Serving a specific audience well can lead to the development of a more loyal customer base.

While all of these statements are true, I’ve found that Seth Godin, the man who first introduced the idea of the Minimum Viable Audience, gives the best reason for choosing an MVA:

Two things happen when you delight your minimum viable audience:

  1. you discover it’s a lot larger group than you expected
  2. they tell the others

On the other hand, if you aim for mass (another word for average), you’ll probably create something average. Which gets you not very far.

Seth Godin

How Do I Find My Minimum Viable Audience?

To start building your Minimum Viable Audience (MVA), I would recommend that you follow these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Research Your Target Market

To find your Minimum Viable Audience, you first need to explore different potential target audiences to find the one that fits your product. In my experience, the best MVA isn’t always the one that I first thought of.

I’ve found that looking for groups that both need your product and are willing to pay for it are the cornerstones of finding the right customer base.

I’ve written a full-length article about finding your target market, which I’d recommend that you read here if you’d like more information.

Step 2: Identify Your Reachable Customers

Your MVA should be a group of people with a genuine need for your product and who are easily accessible through marketing and sales channels that you already know or have experience with.

For instance, instead of targeting all medium-sized businesses, focus on a specific subset such as medium-size tech firms to tailor your messaging effectively and use pre-existing contacts.

Step 3: Gather Feedback

Engage in conversations with your MVA early to gather valuable insights about your product. Use this feedback not only to refine your product but also to ensure that your messaging and sales approaches resonate effectively.

Minimum Viable Audience Example

A great example of identifying and using a Minimum Viable Audience to grow your business is Airbnb.

Airbnb’s success didn’t begin with millions of customers. Instead, they aimed for a minimum viable audience: the first 100 customers who truly loved their idea.

Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s Founder & CEO, emphasized the importance of having a small but devoted audience: “It was better to have 100 people who loved us vs. 1 million people who liked us. All movements grow this way.”

By being specific and focusing on making a significant impact on a small group of customers, Airbnb created a proposition that resonated deeply. This strategy of aiming for a devoted few rather than a general mass played a crucial role in Airbnb’s historical success.


What is the Minimum Viable Audience Idea?

Choosing the right audience is crucial for sustaining and supporting your work.

Imagine handpicking individuals who align perfectly with your vision and values. By selecting this ideal audience, you create a community that shares your enthusiasm, embraces your message, and actively engages with your work.

Their energy becomes a catalyst for your success, driving positive momentum and contributing to your growth. Connecting with like-minded individuals who appreciate your offerings and embody your values can amplify your message and propel your work forward.

Who Came Up With The Minimum Viable Audience?

The concept of Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) was introduced by Seth Godin. The overarching priority is to be flexible, adaptive, and strategic in identifying and targeting a specific audience that aligns with the business goals and increases the chances of success in the market.

Key Takeaways

  • Minimum Viable Audience model (MVA): The smallest group of customers making a business profitable.
  • Importance: Crucial for lean startup methodology, emphasizing targeted feedback and testing product viability.
  • Business Growth Foundation: Establishes a foundation for sustainable and targeted business growth.
  • Benefits of Small Target Market: Concentrates efforts, validates quicker, saves costs, reduces failure risk, builds loyal customer base.
  • Finding Your MVA: Research target market, identify reachable customers, gather feedback early.


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.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *