This is the second installment of a part of a 5-part blog series! To go back and read the first blog, Anatomy of a Course Launch, click here! The other three parts will be linked here as soon as they are released!
When I was doing keyword research for this blog post, I discovered that “market research” is a SUPER competitive term to rank for … followed by “what is market research”.
What is Market Research?
So while I know I might not rank super high in Google for this blog post, I want to make sure my people get a clear understanding of what market research is and what it isn’t, and how it applies to the pre-pre-launch phase.
The pre-pre-launch phase is part of launching before you even develop your offer entirely. It is where you get to REALLY know your audience, and make sure that you are super clear on their wants and needs.
According to Google, market research is “the act of gathering information about your customers’ wants and needs.” Sounds so simple right? I promise, it’s not and it’s the major part where people freeze up. Or, worse, they spend all the time collecting data, and then it sits collecting dust on a metaphorical shelf.
Market research is a term that is often thrown around. “Be sure you do your research!” and “did you conduct market research before launching your offer?”
How to DO market research
But how the hell do you actually DO the market research?
There are a few things to consider when you think about conducting market research to better know your audience.
- Demographics (age, location, marital status, etc.)
- Psychographics like their values and motivations
- Do they KNOW they need your course/membership? Or is there a step they have to complete before they even realize there is a need?
- Have they invested before to try and solve this problem?
Okay, great Melanie. How on Earth do I find ANY of this out?!
I’m going to say something that seems condescending, but I promise I don’t mean to be. Ask them. Ask YOUR actual audience. Not someone else’s in a random Facebook group you’re in, but your email list, your followers on Instagram. If you don’t yet have an audience, then you have permission to ask Facebook groups or search for previous answers that might give you some clues.
You can find some of these answers in your social media analytics (age, location, when they’re on social media) and some of the other information is going to be best through direct questioning.
There are a variety of ways you can ask your audience. Probably the easiest is through a survey to your email list or polls via Instagram. These have advantages and disadvantages. You will be able to hopefully get a decent amount of data this way, but you don’t always have the context from talking to a real live person. Here are some examples of questions I would include on a survey to your list:
- If you could sum up how you feel about [the problem you want to solve/your business solves] in one word, what would it be?
- What is your biggest struggle when it comes to [the problem you want to solve]?
- If only I had [blank] my problem would be solved. Fill in the blank:
- 6 months to a year from now, what do you want to be celebrating/what win do you want to have?
- How do you prefer to be supported when investing in a course or a program?
These simple questions will give you so much insight into your audience. Then I want you to take it one step further and look at commonalities between what each member of your audience is saying. Are there common themes? Are you seeing the same word or phrase over and over again? This is the part that is MOST important because you need to start to summarize the responses so you’re able to get a clear vision of what your audience needs.
Segment your list for better results
You can then begin to segment your audience into different compartments based on their struggles and ultimate goals. If you have some extra time, see if you can hop on a 1:1 call with a few people from your audience and ask similar questions that you did in the survey. They will be able to expand on their answers and you’ll be able to read their body language as they do. Of course, this method of research is time-consuming on your part and theirs, so only pick a few people who you believe to be closest to your ideal audience.
The final obstacle to overcome is to take a look at your competitors. Yep, that’s right, see what other people are doing and peek at their homework. This, of course, does not mean you should be copying someone else’s course, but if you NEVER look at your competitors’ and price your offer at 4x what theirs is … you’re going to have way more trouble selling it than if it is comparably priced.
Analyze your competitors
After examining competitors’ offers, price points, and payment plans, consider what makes you special and different from your competitors. What is YOUR story and experience that will give you the edge in creating your offer and helping your audience? No one can replicate that!
I’m hosting a group coaching program that guides entrepreneurs through creating their offer to launch a paid workshop in 6 weeks. Paid workshops are a great way to test your course material, revamp a masterclass to sell your already established course or just have a quick cash influx to your business. All you need is Zoom and an email provider! See what it’s all about here.