INTRODUCTION

As an online entrepreneur, knowing how to do market research is important for your success.

Indeed, one of the biggest problems for those who are promoting on the Internet is not having a very clear definition their ideal prospect, target audience or target market.

But when you know your ideal prospect, then your marketing message has authority, clarity and purpose.

Thus, in order to to have clarity on your ideal prospect, you’ll need to know how to do market research.

How To Do Market Research – Put Yourself in Your Prospects’ Shoes

Let’s say you were looking for the best running shoes to train for the marathon.

What kinds of things would you want to know?  How would you go about searching for a solution to your question?

Make a list of everything you can think of, but then discard whatever type of information is readily available in the marketplace.

One of the most important things you can do for your business is to stand out from the crowd.

If everyone else is providing price comparison charts, what can you provide your prospects that they cannot find anywhere else?  This will make your offer and website unique.  (Sure, you can offer the other stuff too, but only after they’ve determined that you really have some great insights into their problem.)

At the end of the day, you are trying to determine what it is that your prospect really cares about.

This requires that you enter your prospects mind, think after his / her thoughts, worries, problems hopes and dreams.  When you can repeat these things back to your prospect, using the language that he / she would use, you’ll have the winning formula.

How To Do Market Research – Check Out Blogs and Forums

People share the darndest things.  And people are equally vocal about it.

It’s your job to follow these conversations.  Which blogs are active?  Which are attracting your type of audience?  What are the topics, issues, problems that people are raising, based on the things they are reading, based on their comments or based the conversations they are having in a forum.

Where else could you get to hear your prospects’ unfiltered and intimates thoughts on the things that matter most to them?  Where else will a prospect tell you exactly the type of problem he / she is having to which you might be able to provide a solution.

How To Do Market Research – Check Out Social Media

Much like forums and blogs, Facebook or LinkedIn groups are a tremendous source of market research.

I belong to a 16,000 member Webinarjam and a 12,000 member affiliate marketing Facebook groups. I can tell you from experience, these groups are active in their respective niches.

The questions that newbies pose are especially informative because they are calling out for consulting, coaching, training and product solutions that the marketplace is currently not providing.

Spend an hour or two looking at the different posts and you’ll soon have a treasure trove of market driven research.  Again, these groups are vocal and brutally honest when it comes to the things they are having trouble with.

Don’t forget YouTube as well.

What videos are getting the most plays in your niche?  Why are people flocking to those videos and just as importantly, what comments are people making.  These provide valuable nuggets of audience research as well.

How To Do Market Research – Check Out Amazon Reviews

A lot of entrepreneurs don’t even think about Amazon reviews as a source of market research.

Again, people are quite honest in what they like about certain books or products.  The good reviews will often run down a list of good and bad features.  Keep an eye out for those negative reviews because these are telling you where the gaps in the market are.

And don’t forget the comments that people make, which again is a treasure trove of honest feedback, criticisms, likes and dislikes when it comes to different products.

How To Do Market Research – Survey Your Users

It’s amazing how little this tool of market research is used.

Every day, if you have people coming to your website, you can simply take a poll or have a small survey that asks people two important questions:

  1. What is your biggest struggle when it comes to this particular niche?  When it comes to webinar creation, for example, the biggest struggles might be the technology, fear of presenting or creating the slide deck.  When your prospect tells you straight out, then you know you have the potential for a product or service (even though these may already exist in the market)
  2. What type of information is missing from this niche?  What would you like to know more about that you haven’t been able to find anywhere?

These questions are like gold for you.

The Forgotten Thank You Page

If you are capturing leads through an opt-in form of some kind, the thank you page is an excellent place to place a survey of some kind.  You can find many plugins (for WordPress) or many landing page or autoresponders that have these built in.

A simple two question survey from someone who has already given you their address will go a long way to giving you the type of valuable market research you desire.

Good luck in your online journey!