Welcome to our series on how to get unstuck in your business so you can get more sales and customers for your business – authentically. I know what it’s like to feel stuck and spinning your wheels in business. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of money already and still, you’re not making the sales you want to make. Perhaps you feel like you’re making some progress but still feel like you’re walking knee-deep in mud. Oh … and those dreams you had about making a difference and helping a lot of people … do they feel like they’re a very long way away right now?
Don’t worry help is at hand!!! This post is your first step toward to help you get unstuck and show you how to grow a business that will help make you some money and help you to reach the people you really want to reach. It’s about being authentic in your marketing and your business so you can make the difference you really want to make.
So today is all about getting to know your audience as well as you know your best friend – and the tips I’m sharing work – even if you don’t have a list.
Why is knowing my audience so important?
Well if we don’t know enough about our audience how can we know what they will want to buy and how will we know what to say to them?
It’s a fact – the market is flooded with thousands upon thousands of companies competing for consumer attention and loyalty. While that isn’t a comforting thought, there’s no need to panic. You’re in exactly the right place and there are steps you can take to understand your audience in a way that will help you to get more customers.
So if you want to get unstuck in your business – this is the first and most critical step.
How to discover more about your audience so you can get more sales
You need to really understand your audience to have a chance at creating an offer they will buy. Don’t just assume you know who your audience is – you could be missing something vital.
Maybe you’re thinking right now “…audience research sounds too technical and near impossible when I don’t have a big list.” Trust me when I say it can be simple and there are lots of ways to find out more about your audience even if you don’t have a list! Here are 5 ways you can discover more about your audience today.
1. Run a survey
Surveys are the best way to discover more about your audience by far. To run your survey you can use Google Forms which is a simple tool to create a free survey. SurveyMonkey is also free if you ask less than 10 questions.
if you’re just starting out and don’t have a list, or a very big list, don’t worry – you probably have more options than you might think. I’m pretty sure you’ll have some former clients, potential clients, and friends who might be in your target market. If so – all you need to do is put it out there to at least 10 people.
If you don’t have a list of 10 people go to a networking event where your audience hangs out. Make contact with people (see the networking section below) and make it a point to catch up afterward with your new contacts on the phone, or at a coffee, and ask them the questions over the phone. Make it a discussion, record it and then fill in the answers yourself.
If you’re not sure what questions to ask download our freebie: “Running A Survey – how to do it & what questions to ask” here. This downloadable guide will give you the lowdown on exactly how to run your next successful audience survey.
2. Online Group and Forum Research
Online forums aren’t dead – they are great sources of information on what’s bothering your audience. To find out what forums are available for your niche, go to your search engine and type in your niche e.g. ‘weight loss’ + online forums. This search will bring up all of the relevant forums for your niche.
Sometimes you might be lucky enough to find a blog post that summarises the top 10 forums in your niche.
Take some time to do a good review of the forums in your niche. Once you understand which forums are best for you, dig into at least three in-depth.
Once you have reviewed your relevant forums review any relevant social media groups in your niche. Make sure you check out:
• Facebook Groups
• Twitter chats
• LinkedIn Groups.
In these groups proactively ask questions and make sure you get involved! Do this by starting your own discussion or ask your own question to drill further into what people are thinking, feeling and saying about your topic.
3. Amazon Reviews & Sales
Using Amazon is a great way to check interest in your niche. It is also a great place to see what people are looking for inside a particular niche. The best way to do this is to visit Amazon and:
1. go to the books section
2. do a search on your niche e.g. fly fishing
3. look at what people are searching AND buying
• If the book ranks at #150,000 or less it is a topic/niche with interest where people are buying. If it ranks higher than #150,000 it is not a topic/niche that is selling, e.g. there is no audience for it.
Once you have re-confirmed interest in your niche – read the reviews people are leaving on books in your niche. If you would like to understand what people are looking for, and what makes them satisfied by the content of a particular book, read the five-star reviews. Finally, read the three and two-star reviews to discover what people are disappointed in and what more they desire.
4. Competitor Social Media Pages & Testimonials
If you’re looking for a really rich seam of information about your audience and their views visit the social media pages and testimonials pages of your competitors.
While these testimonials are, of course, carefully curated – they’re a valuable source of information as they summarise the pain the audience was in and the way your competitor was able to solve it.
Once you have looked at your competitors’ testimonial pages take a look at their social media presence. What are they sharing online? What are their audience members commenting on and sharing? What are they saying that is relevant to your audience?
Be sure to take note of keywords and phrases and the pain points and benefits the audience members are experiencing.
5. Networking Events
Remember – people LOVE to talk about themselves. So there is no better way to learn more about your audience than by going to a networking event and engaging with people there.
I get it – you may be cringing just at the thought of networking. If this sounds like you then don’t worry, your apprehension certainly isn’t uncommon.
To help you push past your nerves on this you can access two blog posts on why most networking and sales calls fail and how to push past your nerves. Follow this link to discover how to reduce your stress when networking and read this post to discover how to gather more information from your audience.
You need to be asking the right questions
So whether you’re running a survey, or using any of the other techniques listed here, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions and taking note of the answers. You also need to be managing the information you receive so you can start to create an offer your audience will want to buy.
To help you, I’ve created a freebie for you to download: “Running A Survey – how to do it & what questions to ask” here. This downloadable checklist will give you the lowdown on exactly how to run your next successful audience survey. Once you’ve run the survey it will also show you what to do next. Download the freebie here.
Remember – the more you know about your audience the better you can serve them so enjoy this process as it will take you a lot closer to making the difference you want to make in the world and in growing a business you love.
Until next time, take care and lots of inspired action