The Only

Melissa Etheridge | audience, reach, differentiation

“There may be 300,000 of you … but I’m the only one.”

Melissa Etheridge | audience, reach, differentiationMelissa Etheridge said that to the Woodstock ’94 audience (I know, I was there) as she was wrapping up her song titled “I’m the only one.” Though her song was about romance, it was also about marketing.

Two directly related themes are wound-up in this quote: audience reach and differentiation. It doesn’t matter if you are a book author, software vendor or rock star. Each of us has an audience. To this audience we present something unique. Only once there is a sufficiently large audience and an undisputed differentiation will mass appeal (or even strong niche appeal) be possible.

Take the case of a fitness book that landed a $1,000,000+ advance publishing deal, which in that industry is completely unheard of. Core to the publisher’s decision was that the authors had established audiences (or as the book biz calls it, “a platform”). Between them 50,000+ newsletter subscribers, 14,000 Facebook fans, 34,000 Twitter followers. These numbers, as impressive as they are, do not compare to celebrity or politician followings (Seth Godin has nearly half a million Twitter followers), so the added ingredient was established differentiation.

The goal then for any business, be it a lone writer or an enterprise, is to create an audience and base their following on a core differentiation. If either part is missing, then all communications are futile noise.


Speak up! What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.