There are TOO Many people who think if they just create a great product, or offer a great service, then it will just sell itself.
Here’s the reality:
Just because you’re excited about your product or service, that excitement doesn’t mean it’ll sell like hotcakes.
Look, you might be uber-passionate about your area of business. Guess what? That doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a market to speak to, you don’t have any potential customers.
Because of that, it’s critical that you sell what the market wants — not what you want to sell them, not what you think they should want!
You should never pour your heart, your soul and countless hours into creating something until you know what your market will buy. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a great deal of time on a product that won’t sell.
In other words, you have to know beforehand whether or not there is potential demand for what you have to offer.
This all starts with discovering your customer’s pain points, in order to center the creation of your product or services around an answer to that pain.
Who is your audience?
That knowledge allows them to craft messages, products, services and offers that speak to your problems and desires, in your own language.
While that may sound like a tall order, the good news is that it’s easier than ever to get insights into your customers — provided you know where to look.
Lucky for you, human beings just love to complain about their pain points … and what’s even better for you is the fact that the Internet records it all for our later discovery.
The key task, then, is to discover where your audience hangs out online, where they are most likely to talk about the stuff that really bothers them.
Where to do your research
Here’s are my favorite places — which I use religiously — to do this research.
I put this first on the list because it’s been the most effective for me. These days, nearly everyone is a member of at least 3 or 4 Facebook groups.
If you don’t currently belong to any Facebook groups, then try to find at least 3 or 4 that are relevant to your niche and join them.
When you’re looking for groups to join, make sure they are fairly active, with people posting questions regularly. You also want to avoid groups where people just post spam links. Keep in mind that sometimes, with “closed” or “secret” groups, you won’t be able to see posts until your request to join is approved.
Once you’re inside the group, look for the common, recurring questions that are being asked. You’re looking for evidence of shared struggles, roadblocks and concerns that keep coming up in post after post.
Make a list of those that show up most often.
Similar to Facebook Groups, forums and competitors’ blogs are also places where your ideal customers are hanging out and engaging.
Forums can be a goldmine, because the only reason people go to forums is to have their problems solved!
If you don’t know of any forums in your niche, you can search for them by typing “[your topic] + forum” in your browser’s search bar or in Google. You’ll see a list of websites come up that have forums on that topic.
As with Facebook, look through comment threads (often conveniently categorized by topic) and see what common problems, pain points and concerns keep coming up. Make a list of them.
The majority of blog articles have been written to address a specific problem, or to provide a solution to that problem. So blogs are the perfect place to do some research.
You want high-traffic, well respected “authority” blogs in your niche. Once you find them, what you’re specifically looking for are the most shared blog posts.
You can use a tool like Buzzsumo’s Top Content Tool to find what posts people are sharing most frequently among their friends and colleagues.
In addition to the posts themselves, look closely at the comments made on the post. In these comments, in their own words, your customers will tell you everything you’re dying to find out: what struggles they’re facing, what questions they have about a particular problem, what worries them, what angers them, and so much more.
In many cases, Google is the first place people go to find an answer to a particular problem. All day long, people are using Google to ask a question they can’t answer or research a problem they don’t know how to solve.
These queries represent the knowledge you need — and you can easily tap into it. All you have to do is use this free tool: Keyword Tool Dominator. You simply enter your question into the keyword tool dominator and use wildcards within your search question.
A wildcard is an asterisk (*) that prompts Google to fill in the “blank” represented by the asterisk with words and phrases other people have used in their searches and on their websites.
For example, if you are a yoga instructor looking to find out what people want to know when it comes to yoga, you’d use a wildcard by entering this:
How does yoga *
Google will return a list of questions that fill in the asterisk, such as:
- How do yoga teachers get paid?
- How does face yoga work?
- How does fertility yoga work?
The key to getting good results is asking the right kind of question. I suggest starting your questions with these six words — because they’re at the heart of every conceivable question you can ask:
Quora & Reddit
Both of these sites are question and answer sites. They rank both based on social voting, which allows the best questions and answers rise to the top. Both sites allow you to search popular questions within certain topic or niche, and both contain an absolute wealth of information.
Quora and Reddit both have extremely broad user bases — so when you see the same questions coming up over and over, that’s clear evidence that these issues are big pain points, shared by a great many people.
What to do next?
Here’s where the fun begins! At this point, you now have information about the questions your audience has, along with the problems they are facing.
Now all you have to do is brainstorm the “missing pieces” that they’re asking for which could potentially become your product. Approaching your product creation this way is much more powerful than creating products in a vacuum.
Keep this in mind: humans rarely decide to make deep, meaningful change when their life is smooth (or at least status quo). Change is more likely to occur when the situation around them becomes uncomfortable or painful. This is true in both your prospect’s personal and business life.
The issues your audience face serve as the foundation of the product and/or service you create that helps them solve that issue. And in doing so, you enable them to move down the path of positive change.
These fears and pain points you’ve uncovered will help you — not only with your product creation, but also with creating messages that keep your prospects’ emotions in the forefront.
This knowledge informs your work in several other ways as well. It can help you:
- write articles that are more relevant to the people you’re targeting
- create freebie (lead magnet) offers that are more valuable to your prospects
- develop email lead nurturing campaigns that address the things that your prospects are thinking and wondering about
- offer help in ways that your competitors cannot
This approach helps you engage with your potential customers in a much more effective way. Every time they engage with your content — whether it’s your blog post, or your sales page, or an email blast — they feel heard and understood. And as a result, it’s going to be so much easier for you to show them the value of your offering and ultimately convert them from browsers to loyal fans and customers.