Big companies invest millions of dollars and many years on research and development. As a small business owner, you probably don't have the same amount of money or time. Thanks to Google though, you can do plenty of keyword research using their Google Keyword Planner Tool.
When you create new programs, products, marketing content, etc for your business, it is important to know what your prospects are already looking for. Over the years I have found many easy ways for you to know what they are looking for.
Of course, keyword research is a great start, but beyond that, what can you do to get a sense of what your customers are struggling with so you can solve their problems?
Here are three ways to find out what your customers are thinking:
1. Ask them The old school way to do this is to periodically survey them. Sometimes we use the form tool in Infusionsoft or we create a short questionnaire on Jotform or Gravity Form. Remember that these surveys should be no more than 3 questions long and never multiple choice. You want to hear their words so let them tell you. You can also do this bit by bit – ask questions on your Facebook page, in tweets, etc. Offer free strategy sessions, pay very close attention to what people are asking and what words they use to ask the question.
2. Industry Magazines Like we mentioned earlier, big companies spend a lot of money on research and development. An industry magazine has invested a lot of money to know what their audience is thinking, take advantage of their knowledge. What words are your industry magazines and other magazines that your prospects read using on the cover? Trust me, they have done the research to know what your prospect wants to hear about.
3. Browse sites where people ask questions. Quora.com is one of my favorite sites to find out what people are asking. Clarity.fm is another great place to check out. The idea here isn't necessarily to answer questions on the forums (although that is a way to build your expert status). You want to see what people are asking.
Once you've done your research, base your products, content and new services on the questions that get asked over and over again. These are problems your customers want to solve. Of course, you can add in a bit of what they need too 🙂
I’m a huge fan of target market research! In fact, I used to work in market research (and communications) in the corporate world. Here’s a blog post I just did with tips on putting together your own survey. http://www.attractyourniche.com/business-planning/target-market-research-3
Congrats on your social media tour – very exciting!
Thanks Cindy and that is a great blog post. Thanks for suggesting it. :))