Suppose your product is a good, learn-to-work-from-home training course. A legitimate one, not one of the many scams out there.
Imagine the ideal customer in your market. Make a list of characteristics of this person. Yes, person. Think of your market in terms of one person. Imagine his or her face, give them a name.
Let’s take a minute to get to know your market . . .
Your target audience is a soccer mom. Let’s name her Sally. Sally is 36 years old and commutes from a rural community to the city. Her husband travels on business a lot. She drives 24 miles to work each way, rushing home to pick up her 11-year-old son before soccer practice ends before swinging by to pick up her 3-year-old daughter from the day-care.
Can you picture her? She’s in the red SUV that almost hit the little blue car.
If Sally makes it to the soccer field in one piece, her next challenge will strike: What, oh, what should she fix for dinner? Oh, yeah. She just remembered her husband’s plane lands in 12 minutes, so he’ll be home in just over an hour and the house is a wreck. She would love to welcome him home to a clean house, fresh meal, and relaxed atmosphere — instead, she’s rushed and stressed and irritable.
If it weren’t for all those darned bills, she could stay home. Too bad she’d have to take a 60 percent pay cut to work locally.
Now let’s talk about YOUR real market.
So, maybe the work-from-home e-course isn’t your product. That’s fine. But what I want you to do now is this. Think of your real target audience. Maybe it’s still someone like Sally. Or perhaps it’s Bob — the 48-year-old tubby insurance salesman who’s stressed over funding retirement and haunted by those pesky numbers on his blood pressure monitor.
Write down three of your market’s biggest concerns. What are they most afraid of? Dig deep — most people’s fears aren’t superficial. Now think for a minute and ask yourself, “What can I do to help?”
(Hint: Is Sally most afraid of poor gas mileage and a messy house? Or is her real fear the fact that she’s missing out on the most important years of her children’s lives and that she sometimes takes her stress out on her husband, which can threaten her marriage?)
Now here’s my question to you — what is your market’s biggest fear — their greatest point of pain — (and here’s the important part) that YOU can help with? Put a star by that one.
In Sally’s case, I figure a cook, a housekeeper, and a chauffeur would handle things nicely for her. But unless you move in with her and her family and can do all three of those jobs at once, well, you can’t help her there.
Your audience may not even realize their deepest need, but you’ll need to know it.
Next step, imagine where your target audience would LIKE to be. For Sally, we know — she’d like to be home with the kids but she feels a responsibility to provide some income, too.
Okay. Now, write down three things you can do (services) and/or sell (products) to alleviate that pain point by getting your audience from where they are now, to where they’d like to be.
(If you don’t have a product just yet, you can still do this exercise — just focus on the market’s concerns and biggest pain point, but come back when you choose or create a product and fill out this part.)
We’ll talk more about products later, but while you’re researching the needs of your market, here are a few more questions to answer (write down your answers):
- What are solution choices are available to your market?
- What format are those solutions being delivered in? (Live seminars, books, ebooks, e-courses, instant download or hard copy via mail, etc.)
- How are they being sold? Online or offline?
- What benefits are they being told they’ll receive from other product peddlers? (Do a Google search, as if you’re part of the market, looking for answers.)
- What experts are being referenced?
- What bonuses are being offered, if any?
- What are the price points of the products?
- What payment terms are being offered?
So, how exactly do you learn the needs of your market? The two best ways are either:
(a) be part of your target market yourself, or
(b) spy on them.
We’ll talk about how to do that in the next post.
Until next time,