Have you ever sat down to write content for your Instagram, Facebook, blog, etc, and had MASSIVE writer’s block? What the heck should I post about? My mind is a freakin blank! I’ve been there more times than I can count, so I 100% feel ya my boss babe. But I promise, after you implement the strategies I’m going to share in this blog post, you’re going to not only have SO much content available for social media posts, but you’ll be able to speak to your ideal client in a way that truly resonates with them, making them want to work with you more than ever before.
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What is Market Research?
In a nutshell, market research is a fancy term for finding out what your ideal client truly needs, wants, and then…will pay for. And it’s WAY simpler than we think. The key is to do it consistently and constantly. Always be curious, and never assume you know all there is to know about your ideal client. And BIG TIP: Keep all of your market research notes in a specific google doc or folder so you can always go to it whenever you need content ideas or when you’re trying to figure out what your next launch, product, or course will be.
Why is Market Research important?
Market Research is SO freakin important, and a skip a lot of entrepreneurs skip when putting out content, especially PAID content. We THINK we know what our audience needs, but do we really if we’re not actually asking them?
Reason #1 Market Research is SO Important:
To find out exactly what our ideal client needs
Reason #2 Market Research is SO Important:
To find out HOW they tell us what they need; the exact words, verbiage, and phrases that they use.
If we’ve been through a transformation, most likely our ideal client is the person we were before our transformation. And while we think we remember what it was like on the other side before we had this big transformation, because we’re SO on the other side now, it’s actually really hard to remember what it was truly like. We might have some idea, but until we get into the mind of someone in it NOW, we can’t fully communicate in a way that truly resonates with our ideal client. We can’t speak their language so to speak.
The BEST feeling in the world is when someone messages me and says “OMG! It was like you were speaking to me.” Not only does it make me feel like a good human, and like I really impacted them, but it shows me time and time again, that doing the research is what will help me connect more deeply with my ideal client.
One of my business clients the other day told me her market research interviews (which I’ll get into in the next step) were SO eye-opening. She thought she remembered exactly what it was like to be in her ideal clients shoes, since she had been there years ago, but forgot the LITTLE things that she used to go through. And in fact, she realized that she always thought “only she” went through those little things. She didn’t realize that most people who were struggling with this specific issue went through these little things. It’s sometimes the most basic, small things we go through that we take for granted!
Example with this blog post! I assume most entrepreneurs knew what market research was, why it’s super important, and how to do it. Then when I did market research on market research (is your head spinning yet? 😉 I realized a lot of female boss babes don’t know how to do it (Just like I didn’t know how to do it just a year ago!).
Real Life Example
I like to think of market research as content strategy to be honest. If I didn’t do market research, I never would’ve known what type of course to create for my ideal health client. I would’ve just thrown out ideas I THOUGHT they needed (because we always think we know best), and created a health and fitness program, which cookie cutter clean eating meal plans and workouts.
When I did my market research in January of this year (2018), I realized my ideal client didn’t need another workout program or meal plan. What they truly needed and kept telling me in my interviews/polls/questions was that they needed help with “emotional eating.” They needed to feel good about themselves and learn how to be consistent and motivated even when they weren’t. They needed to “stop falling off the wagon” and stop “yo-yo dieting.” All of the words/phrases in quotes are literal phrases I got from my market research. The women I knew I was meant to help were telling me EXACTLY what they needed and what words they would resonate with. And I KNEW I had the tools and strategies to help them through it.
Side Note: While it may seem obvious, if you’re doing your market research and realize it’s not in your expertise to help these people with what they truly need, you might need to shift, and change your ideal client. Leading with integrity, you must put out a program/course/product that not only speaks to your ideal client, but that you can TRULY help them with–that you have the expertise and background and authority in.
Case in Point: I have never once written a workout plan and never will in my life. It’s not my expertise, not my passion, and I’d be a downright fraud if I tried to do that, even if that’s what my ideal client said they needed.
This can be a really eye opening experience and even a very emotional experience, but sometimes this is what you need to go through. One of my business clients realized (and it took her almost 3 months) that she was marketing to the wrong person. She thought she wanted to help women with one thing and realized she was meant to help women with something totally different. She just went to what was comfortable, and what “everyone else was doing.” Because she felt this disconnect, she didn’t deliver her coaching with confidence, and deep down didn’t want any 1:1 clients because she didn’t want to coach them on what she was offering. Now, she has clarity, she knows who she wants to help, and can deliver her message with confidence. Because she’s going into it with that renewed energy, she’s truly going to speak her ideal clients words, and be proud and confident when pitching her coaching, knowing her program is exactly what they need.
Market Research Strategy #1: Conduct Live Interviews With Your Ideal Client
This is in my opinion, THE BEST way to do market research. My business coach taught me how to do this effectively, and it changed EVERYTHING.
First Step: Make a List!
Make a list of 10 people who are your ideal client. They could be people you’ve worked with, you’ve interviewed for coaching but who didn’t sign, someone you’ve been talking to, stalking on IG, etc. Write down 10 names.
Second Step: Message Your List!
Private message them (I recommend video or voice message for this) asking them if you could interview them for 10 min. Explain that you’re creating a course/program/project and you’d really love to pick their brain so you can make sure what you’re creating is something people really need and resonate with. Tell them it’ll be 10 minutes max, and you’ll send them a zoom link to hop on for the call.
Set up a time/day that works best for both of you. I recommend using acuity scheduler to set it up, so you don’t have to go back and forth and can just send them the times you have available.
Tell them you’ll just be asking them a few questions about their struggles in a specific topic (whatever the topic is for you-health and fitness/business/beauty/mindset/relationships), and would love to give them a gift for participating–maybe it’s a copy of a small price point ebook you have, a freebie you have but don’t promote a lot, or simply a handwritten note mailed to them. It doesn’t have to be anything you buy, but some gesture can be a really nice way to encourage them to help you. I recommend talking them up! Tell them you truly value their opinion, and give them a compliment!
Third Step: The Interview
Make sure you record! But ask them beforehand, explaining no one else will see this, but you want to be able to be truly present, and not have to scramble to take notes! Then be fully present as you ask questions and listen. You can go back after the interview, watch the recording and take notes!
Here are the questions I personally asked when doing my market research for my Ditch the Diet program. Obviously, edit these to fit your niche, industry, idea.
- What are your 3 biggest goals fitness and health wise for 2018?
- Why do you want this goal? What would it do for you and your family?
- Is there anything holding you back from achieving this/biggest struggles?
- What would you rate yourself with health and fitness now from A-F scale? A+ being perfect and where you want to be
- What would it need to look like in 2018 to look like an A+?
- Do you know what macros are?
- Do you know how to track them?
- Have you heard of IF?
- Do you practice IF?
- Out of these 5 words what are the ones that pop out at you that you’d want to work on? Habits, Mindset, Nutrition, Fitness, Emotional Eating
- Can you rate them from 1-5? 1 being most important to you, 5 being least?
- Is there a reason you got into health?
- What kind of course would be helpful for you when it comes to health/fitness/nutrition/mindset/habits? What would you want to learn about?
- How old are you?
- Do you have any children?
- Are you married?
After the Interview:
When you’re going through the recorded interview, write down a few columns to put in key words/phrases, and struggles they’re listing.
BOOM BABY! Massive content, keywords and phrases to deliver that content effectively, and reassurance that you’re on the right track!
Market Research Strategy #2: Poll Your Audience & Ask Questions
Another great way to find out what your ideal client needs and wants is to ASK THEM DIRECTLY!!!
A few great ways to do this are through:
- Instagram Polls on IG Story
- Facebook Polls
- Question Feature in Instagram
- IG Story asking a question and saying DM me your answer
When you’re doing this type of questioning, take some of the struggles that you got from your interviews and ask them to pick which of the two they struggle with most. You can do this in SO many different ways!
Tip with Polls:
DM the people who vote on the polls! Message them privately saying “Hey! Saw you voted (whatever the vote was) on my poll about (whatever it was about). I’m trying to really hone in on this so I can provide content that really helps people, mind if I ask what made you vote that way?” Just be a human and be curious about their answer. Get to know why they voted that way.
BIG NOTE: Make sure you SAVE the answers to the polls as well as the conversations you’re having and the people who voted so you can go back and dive deeper into their thoughts and opinions.
Questions when entering a FB Group
A great feature that Facebook groups have is the “Ask Questions” feature pictured below
You just go to your Facebook Community, go to “More”–”Edit Settings”-”Membership Requests” then click the Ask Questions button
This a GOLDEN opportunity for you to ask questions! One of your questions MUST be “What do you struggle with when to comes to (insert your niche), ex health/fitness, mindset/business/relationships/etc.” Again, it’s getting THEIR struggles in THEIR words-GOLD!
Other questions you can ask:
*Where did you find this group-great research to see where people are coming from and what social media outlets are really working for you so you can be there MORE! This is one way I found out that Pinterest was golden for me (bringing me 75% of my free community members) and having a keyword in the title of my Facebook group (intermittent fasting) helped people find my group simply by searching in the facebook search bar!
Get my Free 5 Steps to Creating Pins That Convert PDF here to start diving into Pinterest–aka the free gold mine to gain leads!
*What’s your email-if you do this be sure to say “Provide your email so I can share updates/blog posts/inspiration with you”. Don’t just ask for their email without telling them HOW you’re going to use it.
Important Note: If you approve people before saving the answers to these questions you can’t go back to get the answers! So make sure you have a google sheet and keep track of the answers and who answered the questions so you can input them into your email list manually in an organized way. Do this BEFORE you approve them into the group!
Market Research Strategy #3: Make Market Research Part of Your Content Strategy
One of my most opened and responded to emails has been simply:
Simply having the subject line say “i need your help=) or help please” in an email to my list and then asking them what they’re struggling with most now in whatever area you specialize in. The key is to literally tell them what to do…”can you hit reply back and share with me.”
I’ve gotten more responses from this type of email than anything! It’s a great way to start conversations with your email list (who could potentially turn into 1:1 clients), and gives you TONS of great market research!
Another way to simply ask in your content, is to ask in your social media posts: your Instagram and Facebook posts as well as blog posts! Make a compelling post and ask this question at the end, prompting them to comment below with their answers! You can also make short and sweet posts that get right to the point, and directly say “Happy Saturday fam! Super short and sweet post to really hone in on what YOU need! Can you comment below for me what you’re specifically struggling with when it comes to (insert what you help people with)? =)
BOOM BABY! Market research doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be really fun and SUPER insightful. And if you do it, you’ll be guaranteed to know what your ideal client needs so that you can create a product/program or course you know they’ll benefit from and buy!
Again, the reason my Ditch the Diet course was so successful was because I did a months worth of market research, and then delivered content that spoke to their needs before I launched my course. I provided tons of FREE value, helping people really work through what they were struggling with, and then put it into a well designed course which will shortcut their struggles IMMENSELY. You can check the sales page out here to see what it’s like. All the copy you see in this sales page was from massive market research-and my ideal clients WORDS verbatim.
If you’re ready to take these tools and get help specifically with YOUR business, I am taking a few more 1:1 business clients right now (as I write this at the end of August in 2018!). Apply here and I’ll be in touch if I think we’d be a good fit to work together =)
Megan Yelaney | Life + Business Coach
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