One of my goals is to write more about what I think of as inside baseball. Sharing the behind the scenes thought processes I go through when working on The Sovereign Individual Weekly. One of the things I’ve been struggling with is defining my target audience. I want to more effectively position my content, marketing, and info product creation to the people best suited for this material.
As I’ve gone through this journey of exploring the topic of the Sovereign Individual, I’ve made some interesting observations about “audience”.
Most importantly, the Sovereign Individual is really an idea that exists on a spectrum. It’s not one type of person. It’s a group of people that have a desire to pursue varying degrees of freedom in their lives. This observation is important because it means that many different types of people are interested in personal sovereignty for a variety of reasons and end goals.
So I could broadly try to appeal to all of them, or narrow my focus.
Through this process, I’ve learned that one of my primary goals is to act as a bridge across the chasm of adoption. I want to help take the Sovereign Individual from a frontier concept to a familiar one. I want to help bring the “early majority” of people to this way of thinking. Ie: I want to help people seeking to incorporate more freedom and personal sovereignty into their lives use the digital transformation to achieve these goals.
What Does That Mean in Practice?
It means that I need to more explicitly define who and what an early adopter is. And who and what the early majority is.
Because these people have very different motivations and goals. What appeals to one may not to another. And functionally speaking, for mass adoption these two communities need to merge into a broader community focused on self sovereignty. The ultimate question becomes, what does self sovereignty mean in the digital age? And who are the people that find personal sovereignty appealing? What are the elements they gravitate towards and what makes these people similar and different?
So my focus is evolving.
Minding The Gap
On the one hand, I need to embrace more of a pioneer lifestyle and mindset. Become more of an early adopter. Chasing the trends and choices that a freedom maximalist would be interested in. But on the other hand, I need to also understand the archetypes of the early majority. Their interests in personal sovereignty and the underlying motivations that would cause them to mind the gap vs cross the chasm. Ie: what are the elements of personal sovereignty that the early majority would shy away from? And what would they gravitate towards? How are these traits different from the early adopter?
The longer term vision is to transition from pioneer to something in between early adopter and early majority. Creating content that appeals to an archetype person somewhere in the middle of those two groups.
Bridging The Gap
For example, the bitcoin maximalist is typically also a freedom maximalist. They want financial and personal sovereignty within their lives as a means to achieve the Sovereign Individual lifestyle.
But an early majority adopter of a Sovereign Individual lifestyle is more closely aligned with a remote worker looking to express freedom of movement and more financial sovereignty. They aren’t freedom maximalists in the sense of rejecting all government and community intervention. And while they may see bitcoin as one of several means to achieve their goals. It’s not necasarilly a primary factor.
Where might overlap begin to occur?
The pursuit of lifestyle design and personal expression on a globalized basis. These are groups of digital natives that seek to explore the world and live the best lives they can live. Using bitcoin as a tool to achieve those goals. Where one side may view it stateless money, the other might view it as a digital first, global, and practical means of financial inclusion in a global and digital world. ie: to many people, bitcoin is becoming the new American Express travelers check. Accepted in most countries and trending towards mass adoption. It’s an easy, convenient, and secure way of moving money where you want and when you want.
Defining The Archetypes of Personal Sovereignty
Breaking down the archetypes of personal sovereignty adoption is all about understanding how people approach risk, reward, and motivations from the perspective of the interested groups of people. It’s about understanding that the lines of the “adoption curve” are not hard lines. They are grey areas with interesting overlaps. Only by exploring both sides of the chasm and their overlaps can I effectively begin to build the bridge. The grey areas are chaotic, unclear, and filled with ambiguity. But chaos is a ladder. Or in this case, it’s an opportunity to build a bridge.
Aside from clarifying my positioning from a marketing and product perspective this allows for something deeper and longer term.
I believe that by studying the pioneers, the early adopters, and the early majority there will be an interesting opportunity that emerges. A clear understanding of business processes, products, and services that would not only support more self sovereign lifestyles but would function as planks on the bridge of adoption. Ie; business opportunities that can be created to help grow the market opportunity that is the Sovereign Individual lifestyle. An answer to the question of what’s holding people back from pursuing more self sovereignty combined with a targeted response to those concerns.
What Bridge Building Opportunities Look Like?
A lot of early majority users are afraid to adopt crypto because the user experience is a radically different experience from traditional finance. An investment opportunity exists in building a digital wallet with UX designed for later adopters, not early adopters. Users that care less about self custody and more about the investment and international use cases. The point is that not all features that appeal to early adopters will be appealing to the early majority. New opportunities will form by adapting early tech to help onboard new users with altered needs.
Or perhaps the opportunity is to create a travel agency oriented to remote work extended travel. ie: for the workation.
The early majority is much less likely to jump directly into flag theory and establish residency in other countries without first de-risking the opportunity. But they are willing to experiment with extended travel given the appropriate resources so that they can have a continuity of lifestyle.
Bringing This All Together
The deeper I explore the concept of the Sovereign Individual the more I understand that there is a need to support the crossing of the chasm of adoption. A need for information and a translation service between early pioneers and the early majority of people that are likely to follow. The opportunities that exist in this gap are bountiful. And as a result, I am working to craft and position content to bridge this gap. The future that I want to see is not only probable but likely. I see my role as becoming a wayfinder for the early majority to find the frontier faster than they otherwise would.
This transition in mindset is important. It will provide more structure to my work and through this structure, I’ll be able to provide more actionable and practical utility to readers.
A Final Thought
Early pioneers of any industry can be thought of as maximalists. They are the most ardent supporters of a cause. Almost religious in nature in their support of their respective ideologies. But as the industry achieves more mainstream adoption, the community ideologies transition from maximalism to a balanced belief system comprised of many different types of people. And the most common motivator and glue that keeps a community together is utility. Ie: does this community and belief system make our lives better?
As I work toward bridging the gap I’ll be focused on how to shift maximalist ideals into a more utilitarian framework to speed up adoption of the pursuit of self sovereignty.