by “Uncle” Alan R. Bechtold
What your target market wants most and will buy most often depends on the particular niche you’ve chosen to serve.
I wish I had a more definitive answer for you, but that’s it. It’s not “it in a nutshell” — it’s the whole nut.
Some people foolishly create a product, build a sales system, then they start hammering away with the marketing, only to learn what their target market doesn’t want. While this can certainly be useful information, wouldn’t it be better to find out what your audience most wants and is willing to pay to get before you risk the time, energy and resources creating or finding something to sell them?
This is why you must know your market. It will save you time, energy and money hit-or-miss gambling in any business. Personally, if I’m going to gamble (especially on a long-shot), I far prefer doing it somewhere exotic with lots of lights and bells and free drinks as part of the deal.
You’ll easily find out what your target market wants if you follow your passion. Focus on niches you already enjoy and participate in. If you’re passionate about something and enough other people are actively spending money to passionately pursue it, by all means offer something of value to that niche. You can quickly establish a rapport with your target market if you share their intense interest in what you’re selling.
I’ve talked before about www.smokingpipes.com. I smoke pipe. There is nowhere where I live around where you can buy good pipes and pipe tobaccos…so I looked online.
As soon as I found Smoking Pipes, I was hooked. They don’t have a blog or videos that I know of. I haven’t seen any e-books. But they do have an email newsletter they now mail out to subscribers twice a week. In this newsletter, they talk about goings-on around the shop, they personalize the people customers deal with on a regular basis, either in their physical store or online, and they enthuse about all the new pipes, tobaccos and accessories they’ve discovered…complete with links to photos and deeper descriptions of everything on the company Website.
Of course, there is always a link to buy the things they point out in their newsletter.
I don’t care if you’ve ever thought about smoking or not. I don’t advocate it. I’m passionate about pipes — and because I’m involved I also know it isn’t a growing market, even though it is one people will spend good money on.
I do advocate that you go to www.smokingpipes.com and get on their email list. Read just a few of their newsletters and you’ll see what I mean.
Be careful! They might convince you to start smoking a pipe. They will definitely convince you that really is a reason why people can and do sometimes pay upwards of $3,000 for a hand-made high-quality perfectly beautiful pipe.
Do what they do in their email newsletter – but for your niche. Share your discoveries and disappointments. Point out new things you have to offer and why you decided to make them available. Bring your prospects and customers into your life. They’re longing for connections to other people who share their passion, so connect!
Explain how the items you offer will make your audience’s lives better. It doesn’t matter if you apply what these brilliant guys are doing with emails, in your blog posts, or in the ebooks, videos or audios you create for your audience. Share your passion for the niche you’ve chosen, detail your own personal experiences related to the niche, show a bit of your behind-the-scenes life and likes and dislikes, and you’ll build an audience that buys from you.
At this point, to that audience, you are now a brand.
Most important: when you follow your passion, you are your market. You already know your market, inside and out. You can do most of your market research by looking in a mirror! And you’ll enjoy the required interaction with people who share your interest a lot more than you would if you’re working in some niche you selected just because it looks profitable and you need more niches to pursue.
You should also survey your market. You can’t just rely on your own feelings about your passion, although it’s certainly a strong compass. Ask what your market wants with a quick fun survey – possibly tied to a drawing or to a contest where people who fill out the survey questions can win. Or, get active in forums and blogs related to niches you want to pursue. Follow them a while. You’ll definitely pick up on what people most want right now with just a little of this kind of research – especially when you’re already familiar with and involved in the niche you’re investigating.
Better still, get involved in any niche-related online conversations — and in any related conversations you can find in the real world, such as Meet-Up groups or other local gatherings of like-minded people.
This is yet another advantage you’ll discover when you follow a profitable passion of your own – the research needed to hone in on your target market’s desires will actually be more enjoyable because you’ll also be learning about something you already enjoy doing and sharing what you know with the precise targeted people you need to reach.
Compile what you learn into a list of wants and desires within your niche. Look for problems you’ve already solved, or ones you know you can solve. Watch for problems that you know have already been solved by other people who you could interview.
These solutions can easily become your products. They can also provide you with free content for building your opt-in list and with newsletter items to send out in your emails or to post on your blog. Many of them can come from your own mind, from your own experiences…and they will resonate better with your audience if they do. But they can also come from simply interviewing the right person who has the answers – especially when you know what questions need answered most, because you’re passionate about the subject, too.
It’s more work. It’s not automatic, although much of the work can be automated over time. And the more work you do, the luckier you’ll find you get. It happens that way every time.
NEXT: How Do I Put It Together?