It’s not enough to know who your target market is, you have to really understand them. You need to know what their biggest pain points are, and then create solutions they want.
Many coaches and other solo professionals make a big mistake here. They assume they know what their target market wants. If you try to take the shortcut and guess what they want, you could end up creating and marketing something that doesn’t sell. Sound familiar?
So what’s the solution? You need to research your target market. Yes, it takes time. But it’s worth it.
There are several ways to research your target market. One of the best ways to research your target market is to…talk to them! Obvious but many people don’t do it. So how do you do it?
Step 1. Set up some informational interviews with at least five people who represent your target market. They can be clients, people you know, or people you’ve been referred to. For each person you interview, ask them to give you the names of two or three other people who meet your criteria and see if they will introduce you for an interview. Step 2. Create a list of questions you want to ask them. What should you ask? There are a few key things you want to learn:
- What are their biggest challenges and frustrations?
- What have they done to try to overcome these challenges?
- What has worked and what hasn’t?
- What training or support have they invested in already to overcome these challenges?
- What was missing from the help they got?
- How serious are they about getting help to overcome these challenges?
- What form would like that help to be in?
- Where do they hang out offline and online?
3. Conduct the interviews Now that you have your interview questions, set up some interviews. Start with someone you know personally so you can ask for their feedback. At the end of the interview, ask them what they thought of your questions. Are there any that were confusing? Any that should be changed, removed or added? And remember to ask them to introduce you to some other people in your target market that you can interview. Perfect your interview guide as you go along. Once you’ve done a few interviews, you can now incorporate these questions into a survey for people to complete online (use Survey Monkey to make it really easy). Your survey should be quick to complete (around 5 minutes), and be sure to provide an incentive for people who take the time to complete your survey. You can give them a valuable training or report you’ve created. If you don’t have anything like that, you can select one person who completed the survey and offer them some free coaching time. 4. Analyze your findings. Review what you learned from your interview results. How will you apply this information to your business? Researching your target market can help you:
- Create a Magical Marketing Message
- Write copy for your website
- Create a powerful giveaway so you can build a targeted list
- Create programs to address your target market’s greatest challenges
Market research needs to be an integral, ongoing part of your business. Stay on the pulse of what your target market wants. You’ll find that your best marketing and program ideas come from just talking to your target market!