Have you ever sent out an email to your small list asking for feedback?
How about asking someone to fill out a “short” survey?
What was the response? Has it been less than responsive?
Unless you've already have an extremely active and engaged group of people following you, you have likely experienced the SAME DARN THING.
I know I have…and that's why I believe the survey is dead.
But before you get yourself all worked up and tell me how YOUR survey DID work, let me qualify that statement a bit.
Here's where the survey doesn't work pretty consistently:
- If you have a list that you haven't really established a connection with
- If you have a list that never communicates with you anywhere
- If you have a list that doesn't seem to care enough to give you their feedback
If any of the above conditions exist for you – then the survey is not going to work for you.
Even if you have friends or family on your list – who care about you – they aren't going to care enough or even get why it's important for them to answer you.
But we know that surveying our audience is crucial to finding out what they want, what they need, and what they are struggling with.
So how can we revive the survey? How can we make a tool that no one is paying attention to WORK?
A story of Fearless Launching
Get this – one of the first things I have people do in Fearless Launching is “survey” their audience. I provide a few ways to do surveys and then send people on their merry way.
Uh-oh… within days usually a high percentage of people come back with the story that they aren't getting any responses.
Immediate frustration – roadblock – great, now what do I do?
What naturally started happening in our secret clubhouse was a brainstorm of different ways of getting people to share with you …
A few people sent personalized videos to each and every new subscriber… very cool but not scalable… but if you've got a few people joining every week, you can do this to build that personal connection so necessary for people to care.
A few people added the “what are you struggling with?” to their email autoresponders. This brought either still no response or a landslide of lengthy stories of struggle into people's inboxes… a great way to encourage people to share, but still not the strongest or most proactive way to get info.
And then – out of all the discussions, I discovered the most revolutionary, hands down BEST way to find out what people want and need…and what they struggle with.
This is gonna crush you because it is so easy to do.
And yet – we forget how easy it is to do this one thing.
The Alexander Graham Bell Method
Also known as the “Call people and ask them” Directive…
1. Pick a few people from your list – and try to be picky. Find people who do email you once in awhile, who HAVE left comments or share your social media messages.
2. Email them inviting them to get on the phone or Skype with you. Say that you need their help and you'd be willing to give them a little help in exchange for answering a few questions on the phone with you. Get a little research done, give a little strategy in exchange.
3. Get on the phone, Skype, hangout. It does not matter.
Pick the people who are showing up now. If it's 5 people – great. If no one is responding, pick 5 people at random who LOOK like they get what you're upto.
Record the calls – have them transcribed – take notes.
This is where you'll find everything you need to create, launch, market to the people who already follow you and want to learn from you.
It's in having REAL CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE.
This technique trumps all surveys in my opinion. Sure you can't scale it and do as many, but you sure can get detailed feedback, information, and most importantly, make the connection.
The Method In Action
I'll come clean and say that before the first launch of Fearless Launching, I didn't have a fully fleshed out customer avatar.
I just decided to approach the launch as honestly as I could, show my personality, share my knowledge and hope that the right people showed up.
And MANY OF THEM DID. (thank goodness for that!)
But I still didn't know them!
So – I took about 5 of that initial group of 20 and had hour long Skype sessions with each of them to ask them about themselves, their businesses, and their lives.
I even turned one of them into my main customer avatar for the program. Of course, I embellished a bit, pulled in some of the information from the other case studies, but by the end of the exercise, I KNEW who my customer was…
And each round since then has gotten more focused… each time there were fewer of those near misses that generally show up no matter how clear your marketing and positioning is.
Make The Call
Even if you have no one on your list, you can pick people you think are likely to like what you offer and ask them if you can Skype with them, ask them some questions…and make sure to give them something in return…some of your time just for them.
If you've got a program already running – grab 5-6 every few months or a few times per year to check in on “who” is hanging around and what they need from you.
This is an ongoing exercise that will fill your research bin faster and more completely than just a survey.
Try it out right now. Find 3 people who you can talk to and schedule time to chat with them NEXT WEEK.
Go in with a list of questions that you can ask each one – but let the conversation be open to go in different directions.
Conversations lead to relationships… when then down the line will lead to sales and you serving a group of people with EXACTLY what they told you they needed.
Want to know other ways to make sure you're launching the right thing at the right time (and to the right people)? Check out Fearless Launching.
Now…Leave a comment below to letting me know when you've chosen your first 3 people and set up times to talk to them!