In recent years, many financial advisors have turned to social media as a marketing tool to connect with prospective clients. Its ease of use and potential to reach large audiences have made it a very attractive channel to generate potential leads. But as a highly competitive venue with an excess of information, personal finance personalities, trends, and products, social media is rife with individuals all vying for everyone’s attention. Faced with what can feel like overwhelming competition and messaging, many advisors are left trying to figure out not only how to get noticed by potential clients, but also how to stay connected enough to gain their trust and business.
In our 90th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss the importance of being increasingly relevant to find the minimum viable audience as an effective way to capture attention, drive interest, and grow a following on social media.
As a starting point, it’s important to recognize that social media engagement is usually better when the content is relevant to a specific audience. Though social media has the potential to reach mass audiences, delivering generalized content to reach everyone doesn’t work nearly as well as narrowly targeting a very specific audience. Even if a user is reticent to agree with a particular message, if the message is clear and specifically relevant to them, they will be more likely to pay attention to and engage with the message because of its relevance.
Importantly, the best way for advisors to develop narrowly targeted messaging is to determine their 'minimal viable audience'. Just like figuring out which niche to serve, finding the minimum viable audience means finding the specific demographic subset of people that would not only be remunerative for the advisor, but that the advisor wants to serve over time. Understanding who the messaging is for will allow the advisor to connect with their audience more specifically and meaningfully, creating more of the right connections.
Ultimately, the key point is that finding the minimum viable audience will allow the advisor to develop messaging that is highly relevant to a specific target audience. And while choosing a smaller demographic target might feel counterintuitive and scary (as it means fewer people will be targeted), creating connections with a smaller group of the ‘right’ people can actually be more lucrative, resulting in warmer leads and more new business. And connecting with more of the right types of clients upfront (versus making more connections with anyone) can help advisors develop longer-lasting relationships with the clients who they will be happiest working with over the long run!
***Editor's Note: Can't get enough of Kitces & Carl? Neither can we, which is why we've released it as a podcast as well! Check it out on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher.
- Kitces & Carl Ep 85: Building Your (Local) Brand With PR That Actually Works
- “The Practice: Shipping Creative Work” by Seth Godin
- Colton Etheron
- Adam Cmjela
- Doug Boneparth
- Cody Garrett
- Josh Brown
- 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly
Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: Good afternoon, Carl.
Carl: Greetings Michael. Good to see that you put on your best outfit for today. I'm glad to see that.
Michael: I've come in my Wednesday blue which looks very similar to my Monday blue, my Tuesday blue, my Thursday blue, and my Friday blue, but…
Carl: Yeah, yeah. I've noticed.
Michael: I brought the blue. I really like just, there really are just a pile of these in the closet. It makes life so much easier to just grab a blue off the shelf and get started with the day.
Carl: For sure, for sure.
Finding The ‘Minimal Viable Audience’ To Enhance Social Media Relevance [00:47]
Michael: So, I wanted to chat today in the spirit of making distinctive statements like let's just get 12 copies of a bold blue shirt and wear it over and over again. So, we had done an episode a couple of weeks ago, a couple of months ago actually about building PR, building relationships with media. And we got this interesting follow-up question from an advisor who just said, "So how do you go about this in a cold prospecting context when you're talking about social media?" So not necessarily working with call it, traditional media, right? How to build relationships with the reporters and get quoted in stories.
This advisor was saying, "I'm trying to do this in social media, and how do I stand out from," as this advisor put it, "the money and crypto and foreign exchange, Forex personalities? How do I stand up from all of them and build my own interest in following and drive attention in my direction?"
Because it seems like it's really crowded with, we'll just say those types, those types. I'm not trying to get into a debate about those types. But I think a lot of us have seen it, and from the advisor, because we tend to be sensitive to that stuff, the high-profile person on Twitter because of the Forex stuff they're talking about, or their crypto investing they're talking about. Or the TikTok personality who's got crazy zany one-off money, things that may or may not be the most financially sound.
We've seen it, it's out there. We want to figure out how to make our mark but not with such questionable advice. So how do we make our mark? Social media is a big place, you're trying to prospect cold and get known, how do you start driving interest and attention and following? How do you think about that problem?
Carl: Yeah, this is one of my favorite topics because it is super simple and really hard, super simple and not to be confused with easy. I believe you can either be increasingly outrageous, right? Make outrageous loud, noisy, bold, stupid, obnoxious go after people's claims, you can pick any of those right? You can be outrageous without going after people. You can go after people, you can pick fights, you can stand out that way or you can be relevant, and to me, increasingly relevant. And I love, Seth Godin often says and actually accused me of actually, personally accused me of getting close to this. He says, "Don't be a wandering generality, be a meaningful specific."
So, to me, the only way to stand out, and let's not mince any words about this, it's insanely noisy, it's all noise. The only way for you to be signal amid the noise is to get really clear about who is it for and what does it do? And the narrower that...and this is the scary part, this is the reason it's hard. Because, I mean, we recently made some changes, or at least we're experimenting with some changes after thinking about it for five years, because it's scary. The narrower the better.
Go read Seth's latest book "The Practice." And he talks about a minimal viable audience, what's the smallest group? And we all think, "Oh, yeah, that's cute advice. That's cute." No, I mean it, see how quickly...and here's an interesting example. See how quickly Colton, the tattoo artist, has gained sort of a voice on Twitter. Why? Because he's the tattoo artist.
Look at Adam Cmejla's work and how everybody seems to talk about Adam Cmejla, why? Adam's great, he's good-looking. He knows how to fly a plane, whatever. That's not the reason we talk about him. The reason we talk about him, is because, you know in three seconds when you land on his website, whether it's for you or not, and it's only for optometrists. So I think that to me is the answer, get really clear, really specific about the smallest possible group and do that for a long enough time, and you will get noticed.
Michael: So, it just brings so many questions to mind. So first, I don't know, I'm feeling a little bit of the upfront, but feel like I've got to say, either be increasingly outrageous, or increasingly relevant. Essentially says to me is like the advisor is listening. I'm not outrageous, okay, I will own that, and I'm not relevant, which hurts a little. So, are we really that irrelevant?
Why Developing Specific Messaging Increases Social Media Relevance [06:09]
Carl: If you're speaking to everyone, you are irrelevant because everyone doesn't exist. So, if you're taught...nobody wakes up with a comprehensive financial planning problem. Nobody wakes up with I need to secure my retirement problem, right? Everyone wakes up with those problems. So we're still using marketing techniques based on the idea that there's three channels on the TV. In the old days, you used to be able to communicate with everyone, if they existed, you use it...there's no... How many channels are there?
So, if you're speaking to everyone, you are irrelevant. But if you're speaking to me, if you're Colton, and the tattoo artist or you're Anna, and you're talking to first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs, you're speaking my language. I know it the moment I read it, I know it by the graphics you use. You go to Adam Cmejla's website, you know, there's a set of eyeglasses on the landing page. So yes, you are irrelevant if you're speaking to everyone because everyone doesn't exist.
Michael: Yeah, so I will admit, I'm creating, at least in my head, this visualization that's essentially a Frankenstein of a...well, yeah. If you literally tried to make a human being that has the average of all characteristics of every human being, you would have one gnarly-looking person without getting too visually graphic. It doesn't work that way, right? We can calculate what the average human being looks like, or how we're built. But no one actually has the average number of all the different body parts. We have things that we don't, we have certain looks, or we don't we have certain needs, or we don't, we're built in certain ways or we're not.
And if you try to speak to the average person, you are literally speaking to no one because the average of all people is actually no one. No one has the average mix of everything. There are things that we have or don't, there are views we have or don't, there are things we do or don't, there are goals we have or don't. But if you talk to the average of people who want to retire early, and people who want to retire late, you're talking to no one because there's no one who retires early and late at the same time. I'm going to do a thing and if I'm going to do the thing, I want people who give the advice on that thing.
So, there is to be an interesting framing, maybe it's just my weird visualization. But if you really try to envision sort of, I want to speak to the average person with a mixture of all the characteristics that the average person has. You can capture every average characteristic, and literally be speaking to no one.
Carl: Every example we have, I was just thinking about the other examples that we have on Twitter, which is the only social platform that I hang out on. We have a presence on Instagram, but I've been locked out of it by the team. So on Twitter we...
Michael: That's a whole conversation for another day.
Carl: Yeah. That is a...and it's true, it's a great conversation. But the people we see that have the biggest impact the fastest are the people being the most specific. They're the most relevant, you know immediately. And look, I follow people on Twitter that I do not agree with at all simply because they have strong opinions and I'm like, "That's so great." It's not for me, but it's really great to watch them do that.
So I think, and look, we can play this out in social media, that was what the question was about, but you can certainly play this out in...it's better for traditional PR, which I know doesn't equal press release, but most PR people act as if it equals press release. The good ones know it equals much more than that. But it works in traditional PR, it works in big publishing. You want to write a column for...you want to write a guest column for "The Washington Post," try sending an email saying, "Hey, I got this great column about the average 55-year-old preparing for retirement." You will never get a response.
But you say, "Hey, I work with First-Generation Immigrant Entrepreneurs and I've seen this, this." And maybe even more specifically, "First-Generation Haitian Immigrant Entrepreneurs, and I've seen this, this, and this. Or I work with LGBT+ mission-driven businesses. And we have an example of that, in fact, my podcast is about mission-driven businesses, for that community." Well, suddenly you get a reply, or I'm sorry, you're much more likely to get a reply, that's for sure.
Michael: Well, it does just strike me at the end of the day, I mean, there's a reason that we notice the money tips, crypto, Forex, personality types in the first place. It's because they say something. I mean, they say something, they take a position, they take a view, they put it out there. Now, some people agree with it and end up following them, other people disagree with it and then you know, we gripe about it in our financial planning circles. But it gets people talking, and not just talking for the sake of talking, just what happens when you say things in the world in the marketplace that disagree with the crowd. People agree and they follow you and people don't, and they don't.
And I think the mentality that a lot of us have, and I guess it's just part of I know, hardwiring of human beings. There was a natural selection thing for however many zillions of years that we've been on earth that, standing out from the herd is how you get picked off by the predators. So human beings, we are kind of...our brains are wired to be herd animals and be very, very cautious and scared to ever do anything that stands out from the herd. But when you're trying to get heard on social media.
Carl: Whoa, do you see what you did there?
Michael: Ooh. When you're trying to get heard on social media, you have to stand out because otherwise you blend in and no one notices. I almost think it's if you want to drive interest, you have to say something interesting.
Carl: Yeah, that's why this is so simple, and that's why this is so hard, is because it goes against everything we've sort of been told, "Stay in line. Keep your head down. Don't stand out. Don't cause trouble." We're actually I think the only way, and I mean this in a good sense, the way to stand out in social media is to cause trouble. And by cause trouble, I simply mean, make a noise that's relevant for the people who… Produce a signal that's relevant. So I couldn't agree more. That's why it's hard, and that's why it's so simple.
Want to be more trusted, try being trustworthy. You and I both receive...I receive these requests all the time, especially in the early days, "Please retweet," people would ask all the time. And I always felt like I never said it, because I'm nice, but I always felt like saying, "Say something..."
Michael: So you'll say it on a podcast now for all of our listeners.
Carl: "Say something interesting and I will." And you don't even have to ask. And how is something interesting? Well, it's actually because it's relevant. You can be funny, we've got examples of financial advisors who are funny, and they've got 100,000 followers on Twitter. Doug is funny.
Michael: Doug is really funny. Shout out to Doug Boneparth. Doug is really funny.
Carl: Yeah, Doug is really funny. That is...you know well, Doug doesn't have to ask anybody to retweet him. And so, all the way down...not down, all the way over to the tattoo artist, the tattoo advisor. If I'm a tattoo artist who owns a tattoo parlor or studio, I hit retweet you didn't have to ask me, this is my guy, he does my thing, right.
Michael: Just for people who are listening, Carl's not kidding. Colton Etherton, is literally the tattoo advisor, @thetattooadvisor on Twitter. That is his handle, and I think his business is Tattoo Wealth. So it's for tattoo artists.
Carl: That scares the crap out of me to think about being that, Seth calls it putting yourself on the hook. Colton has really put himself on the hook.
Getting Comfortable With Standing Out On Social Media [15:12]
Michael: So how do we get comfortable with that? How did you get comfortable with that? Because even as you're describing this, I kind of feel like there are sort of two versions of interest and attention that you've talked about. One is, call it the dog version, drawing interest by being entertaining. And we are human beings, we love to be entertained. We love to see that stuff. It's a great way to build connections with people, and then you can tell them about all the other great things that you do once you've got that connection.
But, I struggled with this in a long time for social media, bless the folks like Doug and Josh Brown, who just are that witty. I'm not that witty, I don't know how to come up with things that are that witty. And if I try, I'm just going to angst over whether I have the right words in the tweet and try to self-edit myself into oblivion. More power to people who can do that, I find most people who do that, do it naturally, that's not me, I think that's not a lot of us. So, I've got to go some other route, which I think is more oriented around this, say interesting things and be relevant, at least to someone. But then all the...but now I'm standing out with the herd and that's how you get picked off by predators. So, how do you get comfortable saying things on the internet, and people might not like Carl?
Carl: Yeah, I love that. Look, and I promise you, I've seen...Doug, has made me, probably, I don't know, 10 times I've thought I need to be funnier. And then I practice and I'm like, "I'm not funny."
Michael: But Doug is, shout out for Doug. It's so good.
Carl: Doug is, so that's...but I think we're talking about, okay, great if you are funny... So here's the way to do it. This sounds goofy, and it sounds a little California woo woo, but it's actually just you can be the best of yourself, right? You already are that and so you have to somehow give yourself permission, and I think then particularly who is it for, though, right? I want to be relevant for... The easiest way to do this, the shortcut to doing this is an occupational niche. And again, I hate to hammer on this, because it seems like it comes up every single time because I literally don't know how to talk about most of this stuff without that...
Michael: But I think it's great that you brought it up and I didn't have to bring it up, so I appreciate that.
Carl: Yeah, it's an occupational niche, or niche as the educated would say.
Michael: Don't start. Don't start.
Carl: The sophisticated would say. And the reason that's a shortcut is all it takes is 10 interviews. Go interview 10 people, go interview 10 architects that own their own firms, you will have things to say after the first three interviews that will be interesting and relevant to that audience. So you just...that's how you do it. And now, how do you deal with it? Because I think we should spend some time on this. It's really quite scary, even after you do, so like Colton's example, Anna's example, Brian's example, the architect example. The reason it feels scary is because it feels like you're saying no, to 99.7% of the population, and in fact, you are. But you don't have an option to say yes to them, that's not an option.
Michael: Because the average...well, because speaking to the average of 7 billion people on the planet gets you just as not noticed as the advisor who reached out because he's trying to do this and not getting noticed, because he's trying to say things that are interesting to everyone at the same time.
Carl: Because they don't exist. Yeah, that's exactly right. If you're trying to solve everybody's problems, you're solving no one's problems. We all know this, we know this. So, I think that's the reason it feels scary is because it feels like the path to growth. "Well, Carl, I'm starving I got to take on any client I can." I get it, and maybe you do any client... Look...
Michael: Well, except the irony is the people that I hear to say that, the people who say that, it's not like, "Well, I'm starving so I've got to take every one I can." And let me tell you people are just knocking down my door left and right, I got to beat them off with a stick, so I'm just going to take them all. That's not what it's like, it's, "I have to take everyone because I'm getting no one" is usually what actually follows that and it's like, maybe you're getting no one because...
Carl: You're talking to no one.
Michael: ...you're trying to be, we do this trap, "I got to try to get more because I'm not getting enough," except maybe you're not getting enough because you're trying to get more.
Carl: I think that's exactly right. You're not getting anyone because you're talking to everyone. And the fastest way I know to growth that we see it over and over and over, who's...? Cody. Cody serves a very specific…
Michael: Cody Garrett.
Carl: Oh, geez! I can't believe that story, refers out, I don't know what the number is. I think it's 20 people a week or 20 people a month or whatever that he can't serve because he is so specific about who he serves and he shares everything.
We've given all these examples. I know a person who's serves only, we've gone through this before, but only serves...his firm is focused on serving senior-level executives at one company I won't mention, but one company. So already that's like, what? What are you talking about, one company? A step further, of Indian descent. So they have to work at the company, and they have to be Indian. When he says something, it's dripping with relevance for that audience. I think that's how you do it. I don't know any other way. I literally don't know any other way.
How To Find A ‘Minimal Viable Audience’ [21:22]
Michael: So take me back then to the comment you made earlier of, I guess, the concept that Seth Godin has put forth in his new book, which I haven't read. So I guess Seth Godin's "The Practice," well, I'm sure it's available on Amazon, but this idea of a minimum viable audience.
And I'm struck by the concept, because I think the fear so many of us have is like, "Well, if I pick a thing, if I picked the wrong thing, there aren't enough of them, and then it doesn't work out." Which to me dovetails so nicely in this concept, well, as long as you pick a thing that has a minimum viable audience, then there will be enough because that's kind of the definition of minimum viable audience.
So I'm just saying that because I'm hearing the term, literally, but I guess, can you explain more like, what is a minimum viable audience? How do I think about minimum viable audience? How do I figure out if the thing I'm thinking about is actually a minimum viable audience? Or how do I build...how do I figure out what my minimum viable audience is?
Carl: Yeah, yeah. It's funny because I asked Seth that exact question when we had him on the "Membership," he was a guest on the "Membership" call. And he gave example, I think the example he gave was, he knew, I think he gave a financial, as I recall, it was over a year ago, but as I recall, he knew a financial planner who only worked with really successful artists. Now, they lived in New York. So this would be hard to do even in Utah, certainly in Utah, but like Boise, Idaho, bad idea, Wisconsin...
He lives in New York, the guy had gone to art school or something, it was tangential to his own, he had an actual network. All of this stuff comes out of how I describe building your own niche. But he was like, "How many does he need?" And you've talked about this all the time. Well, in this case, he needed 25, because these are real, successful, huge artists.
So he gave that example of what I really love to think about and I get this question all the time, "Hey, I heard you talk about building a niche, and I'm going to serve doctors." And to me, there's good, better, best. My reply to that email is always, "Okay, good. Way better would be, I'm going to serve lunchbox doctors," those are the people who have no plant and equipment. So anesthesia, radiology, and ER show up for your shift, no plant and equipment, you don't have partners in the building, that's interesting. That would be better. Best would be, I work only with anesthesiologists, 10 years out of school who love to rock climb.
So I think the narrower we can get, the scarier it gets and the better it gets. And how do you determine? Well, don't go that deep on it. Don't use a niche like that if there's not enough of them to build a successful business around.
Michael: But I think that becomes the question what is the minimum viable audience? How do I know if I'm picking a thing where there's enough?
Carl: Yeah, the easy thing is, what's the...now, first of all, you can't know which is sort of a scary thing. You can't know before, you can only experiment and try. You can have a guess and try but would be...
Michael: Scary but fair point. All right.
Carl: One reasonable thing would be, are there 100 of them? What's the odds of you? Are there...look, I don't know how many anesthesiologists that are 10 years out of school that rock climb. But I bet I could draw a circle around my house and find a couple of thousand, and I only need 100. Well, that sounds like interesting odds. Or, I could draw a circle around my house and I can't find them on the internet and there's only 100 of these people and I need 100. Doesn't sound like a good chance, I got to get 100% of them.
Michael: Yeah, it reminds me, there was a, I guess I just think of famous internet essays. Every now and then, there's sort of an article that goes famous on the internet for a while. There was one, I think it was probably like 10 or 15 years ago, from Kevin Kelly that was called "1,000 True Fans." And the whole idea of 1,000 True Fans, it was written for just sort of anybody in the creative space, artists, musicians, writers, and such. That most artists are starving artists, it's very hard to get going, it's very hard to get noticed by a label or a studio, or whatever it is, wherever you sell your art.
And the whole point that Kevin Kelly makes, look, you want to make a good living as an artist, you need 1000 True Fans. The true fans are the, they're so into what you make that, they'll drive to see your show, they'll drive to see your exhibit, whatever you put out, they'll buy the next thing that you put out. And if you got 1,000 raving fans, and each of them will buy 100 bucks worth of your music or your art or whatever it is, you're making $100,000. And that's a good living for people.
And granted, our numbers in economics are a little bit different from the advisor role, but frankly, our revenue per client is so much higher. It really doesn't take much, as we've talked about in the past, 50 great clients, is more than enough for a lot of advisors. For almost any advisor if you get clear about what your great client is, and make sure that you're earning that. Different advisors will define great differently, but almost any of us can do it with 50 of our top clients or fewer.
Now, as you know, that doesn't necessarily mean I'd pick a thing that literally there's only 50 people on Earth. Because that might be a little bit too narrow since I'm not going to get them all. But it does make me think about just this frame of, if getting 50 great clients really could mean I really only need a space that maybe has a couple of 100 or 1,000 people in total. So that when I get 5%, or 10%, or 20% of them because I'm pretty much the only one that's showing up for them, that's all I need.
And it's an interesting framing when as you said earlier, you get folks like Doug that's got I don't know how many, you know, 100,000 or 200,000 followers in the social media realm. And say that's great for him because he's got the wit that I'm jealous of. I'm clearly channeling myself a little here. Because I really am jealous.
But all you need is a market that's got a couple of 100 people where you can get a couple of dozen of them, and then just go all-in on them. As Colton is building with his practice, I don't know how many tattoo artists there are, but I'll bet when you actually sit down and start doing the math of how many cities and how many tattoo parlors, yeah, it's more than enough for an advisor to make a really successful business. And as we said, even folks like Adam Cmejla, white coats, no, no, doctors, no, no, just ophthalmologists. I think now he's down to just ophthalmologists within five years of selling their firm, who were looking to sell to a private equity firm. Because there's a whole bunch of PE firms doing roll-ups in ophthalmology the way they are in our advisor world.
And that's his whole thing. And there's enough PE money rolling around enough individual ophthalmologists that there's several hundred of them in the country. And he's now got an audience with them because he spoke directly to them, so they looked for answers on the internet and found them pretty quickly. And that's all it takes. And you just think about a world of, how do you cold prospect? Find the group of a couple hundred that you want to find and show up for them. And if you don't set your goal to make it hundreds of thousands or millions and you just set your goal of a couple of hundred people who are really truly the group that you want to reach. That's all it takes sometimes. The minimum viable audience is actually a pretty small number.
The Importance Of Being Authentic In Social Media Messaging [30:01]
Carl: Yeah, that Kevin Kelly article changed my life for sure. I don't know when it came...I can't remember when it came out, but it feels like 20 years ago. And instead of spending all the time begging a publisher or an art gallerist, or whatever to do my thing, what if we just build the audience directly?
And I think one thing that's really interesting, I know where this ends, it feels to me like you've got two paths, maybe we can wrap up with this, like we framed it at the beginning. If you...and I've had conversations with people who have multiple million-dollar budgets for Facebook ads, and have stopped advertising on Facebook because they said we couldn't keep up with the outrageous statements we needed to make. So you either go down this path, but you've got to make increasingly outrageous statements to get attention.
Michael: Because you're trying to get bigger and bigger and bigger, because you're trying to get a bajillion people. Because I find the outrageous path tends to be high...it's a volume path.
Carl: Just to get people to... Yeah, if I want to speak to everyone, I got to make outrageous claims to get volume. I got to make, because I got to stand out because everybody else is making outrageous claims. So you go down the outrageous claim path, or you go down the path of deep relevance. Because on Facebook, still, I haven't been on there forever, but I know because I've been talking to people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, any of these channels, if you're relevant to the smallest number of people that you can think of, you don't have to say outrageous things, because you're saying relevant things. So I love that.
Michael: I reflect even for the journey of building, just building our platform, building for what we did with Kitces on the site and in social media. There wasn't a grand tactic, I just want to talk to my fellow financial planners, I don't feel like anybody else is really talking to us. So, I'm going to start those conversations and talk about things that are only relevant to advisors, and that's where I live. And there wasn't any grand social media advertising thing, people that were looking for that found their way to what we do.
Carl: Yeah, totally, and I completely relate to the fear of that journey. In fact, when I saw Colton's work, I was like, "Oh, man, that's too much." And then I could recognize that as my own fear of putting...I was scared.
Michael: You were scared on his behalf.
Carl: But I was also so...I don't have any right to be proud, I mean this in a really good word, I was so proud and excited of the bravery of, as Seth says, Colton put himself on the hook. If he fails, it's going to be because he put himself on the hook. And guess what? Colton will dust himself off and get after it again, and I don't think he's going to. I put the...look, but he's put himself on the hook. I admire that so deeply, that it was really, really cool to see. Because what most of us do is we put a lighthouse and a compass and a 50-year-old couple walking on the beach on our thing, because we don't actually want to be creative. We don't want to put ourselves on the hook. And I think that's the only way to stand out. So that's why it's hard and simple.
Michael: So get comfortable that the minimum viable audience isn't actually that big. Shout out to Doug and Josh Brown, you don't need an audience that big to be successful, you just got to speak to your people. I'm looking up now Colton has 508 followers on Twitter, maybe a little bit more after they hear this but.
Carl: Can I say one last thing? What's interesting is putting yourself on the hook and being very specific for a minimal viable audience doesn't actually preclude you from ending up with a huge audience, which is really weird. People end up following you anyway but that's not your goal, you don't even care. That's the cool thing about it is that's not the goal. So, yeah, Seth Godin is a good example, Seth speaks to marketers. What? I bet half the people who follow him didn't even know that, right? But his minimum viable audience at first was the people who did impactful marketing in an honest way.
So anyway, I just don't...I think the other way is this, the other way is snake oil. It is this never-ending... It doesn't exist. It's the thing we keep thinking exists, but... So to me, this is the only shortcut. The only shortcut is knowing that there actually isn't a shortcut, and you got to put yourself on the hook, say something that matters and be relevant.
Michael: Awesome. Well, thank you, Carl.
Carl: Cheers, Michael, super fun.
Michael: Absolutely. Thank you.