Everyone’s telling you that you need an audience, but do you really? In this episode I’m going to break down who needs to build an audience online.

To do this, I want to help you figure out which overall “bucket” of online business you fall into. There are 3 overarching categories of businesses that I see online, and they each have their own unique pros and cons. They also each have a very different approach to building an audience (or not).

Note: these 3 are not the only types of online businesses, but they are the types most likely to be listening to this podcast.

After we discuss the 3 categories of businesses, we’ll talk about whether they need to build an audience or not.

3 Types of Online Businesses

Service Provider

Provides a service in exchange for money. Can include website designer, graphic designer, copywriter, social media manager, podcast editor, etc. In these examples, someone is paying you for a service and receiving a tangible “product” in exchange.

As a service provider, you can earn an income quickly. You can also gradually increase your rates based on your expertise in what you are offering.

This is one of the fastest ways to generate an income online.


This may include a life coach, business coach or consulting, fitness/wellness coach, parenting coach, etc. In these examples, someone is paying you for your time and expertise, but they are not receiving a tangible product in exchange.

Side note about coaching/consulting: it’s my take that coaches and consultants actually need to have an expertise in what they are coaching or consulting about.

I’ve seen some people say that you can be a coach just by calling yourself a coach. And while that is technically true, it’s really important that you actually are able to provide value for your clients.

Often we simply don’t realize what that value is and we DO have something we could coach someone on. But at the same time, if you are brand new to the online space and you need income immediately, I don’t generally recommend diving into coaching first thing.

Content Creator

Provides a digital product in exchange for money. This can include digital courses, ebooks, audio content, etc.

A content creator or “info product” business can take longer to build up, but can end up being more profitable in the long run, since it requires less of your 1:1 time.

You can build a content based business quickly if you have money to invest in advertising to sell your digital products. 

Which Type of Business Are You Building?

After hearing the descriptions of these 3 types of businesses, hopefully you can determine which one you fall into. You may recognize that you are trying to build more than one of them, which can be very difficult to do.

A big part of choosing which type of business you want to build right now comes down to your financial goals/needs. 

It’s much easier and faster to earn an income as a service provider vs. a content creator. 

Coaching or consulting can bring in quick income, but it’s slightly harder to sell because the buyer is not getting a tangible result like a new website.

So who needs an audience?

Service provider: You don’t really need to build an audience right now; you need to build a referral network and focus on 1:1 connections

Coach or consultant: You need a slightly larger pool of prospects to draw from than the service providers, so you should start building an audience, but continue focusing on 1:1 relationships as well.

Content Creator: Yes! You do need to build an audience. You need a larger pool of people to sell your digital products to or to sell a book, so you have to build an audience.

Grow Your Audience

Now, if you fell into the category of needing to grow your audience, then I want to let you know about my “Grow Your Audience” masterclass. If you’re listening in real time, this class is coming up on June 5th. 

In this class I’m going to teach  you the specific strategies that I used to help grow my Christian Woman Leadership Podcast to over 100K downloads in 17 months. These strategies are transferable to growing not just a podcast audience but other audiences as well.

Click here to learn more about the masterclass.

Resources or Links Mentioned:

Episode 3: The 3 Essentials to Growing Online


“Coaches and consultants actually need to have an expertise in what they are coaching or consulting about.”

Connect with Esther:

If this podcast was helpful, consider leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or your podcast app.

Head over to my website to connect and get the details about the upcoming “Grow Your Audience” Masterclass on June 5th.


You Need an Audience (or do you?)