Getting to know your dreamy clients is one of the most powerful tasks that you’ll ever complete in your business. It brings so much clarity and confidence to your online communications and allows you to have a real impact with your social media posts. But market research isn’t easy and I have clients who have been trying to nail down their target audience for years.
While it might be tempting (and often advised) to use a survey as a way of getting to know and meet your dreamy clients, I am a little tired of seeing poorly executed surveys being posted into Facebook Groups (so passionate that I even wrote a rant about it for Daily Guru).
So if you’ve been thinking of creating a survey, or are struggling to connect and understand your dreamy clients, here are some suggestions for market research that doesn’t involve the use of Survey Monkey (and how you can implement your newly-found insight).
Screen potential clients
This is the perfect approach for a coach or creative who is already working with clients and wants to know more about their needs, frustrations and goals. It is best used when you are already working with your dreamy clients but want to know more about them (and how you can communicate with others like them). Each of my potential clients are prompted to fill out a few questions before I book in a Crystal Clear Clarity Session with them (this is the session where we get to know each other and discuss working together). These questions allow me to provide recommendations during our chat and act as market research. Every time I’m working on a new project, writing new copy or creating new packages, I go back to the questions and answers to help tap into my clients needs, wants, fears and frustrations. It’s also great to tap into the language that potential clients are using to describe their problems and use this in your copy and communications.
This type of market research is more effective than a survey as it allows you to tap into your audience at a time when their problem is top-of-mind. If they’ve just enquired about a session with you then it must have been prompted by some sort of need, desire or frustration. By surveying them at this point of time, they are more likely to be able to articulate their situation and communicate their needs.
Chat to your current clients
I use two notebooks during coaching sessions with clients - one for client notes and one filled with notes for me. You see, I always get the BEST ideas from my clients and use their ideas to help create new offerings. This is powerful for one main reason: I am not my dream client. This means, I don’t have the knowledge, expertise or language to describe their needs. Only they know what they need and by tapping into that during their sessions, I get to know them better. It’s not unusual for me to take comments from coaching sessions and use it in my copy. For example, a gorgeous client once told me that our work together allowed her to “focus on the inner instead of the outer”. I got goosebumps when I heard that and now use her phrase to describe my signature goal-setting process.
This is better than a survey because it removes the editing process that happens in an online questionnaire. My client sessions are real and raw and allow me to get to the depth of problem (not just the surface stuff). If you’re not working with coaching clients at the moment, you can achieve similar results with in-person market research sessions. If possible, try and get your target audience to actually speak with you as this generally uncovers a lot more than a written survey can.
Do some undercover research
I spend heaps of time actively engaging and providing content in Facebook Groups. While it’s not uncommon to see people posting their surveys in there, I believe there is a more valuable way to do your market research in Facebook Groups. It’s as simple as setting up an Evernote notebook dedicated to ‘Client Language’ and using the file to capture any comments, questions and enquiries that relate back to your zone of genius. The Evernote Web Clipper allows you to capture it quickly and easily and allows you to come back to it when you’re ready. For example, I’m currently creating a flagship e-Course and I have an Evernote file for any enquires that relate back to the topic of my e-Course (which is social media, of course). So when I see an enquiry about social media, I use the Web Clipper to capture it and file it so that I remember to include that topic in the content for my e-Course.
This is better than posting a survey in the group as it provides unprompted (and bias-free) feedback. Lots of market research surveys include leading questions which prompt the participant to answer the question in a certain way. This means that results can often be skewed and participants might say something that they don’t really mean. So if you can tap into information that hasn’t been prompted (like a Facebook post) and relates to your zone of genius then you’re likely to come back with lots of gold!
I hope this has inspired you to tap into a few other ways that you might be able to do your market research!