How do you figure out what people want to buy from you? And how to do you figure out specifically what your audience wants from you? How do you know what to launch? How do you discover the audience that needs what you want to launch?
These are questions we all face at various points in our business – before we start, as we grow, and even once we've reached some level of success.
We're always in search of the problems our audience needs to solve…and it's hard work!
Wanted a few different ways to figure out what people want?
So, on a pretty regular basis and right before I start planning out content for upcoming launches, one of the very first things I do is take a look at how all the content I've been creating has been performing.
I'm gathering data…though really it's not too scientific or precise, but what I do is go on an information gathering mission.
After we go through my process, you can download this PDF to help you explore what your audience wants and come up with a Customer Wish List! A week's worth of tasks to get you playing detective.
Okay let's jump in.
Where Do I Start Gathering Information?
I do things like peek at my google analytics account to see what’s been getting the most play and interest from readers of my site. I also look at other metrics like my podcasts and which ones are getting the most downloads. I check my various social media analytics I use to see what's getting shared and clicked on the most.
In the past, I've walked away with post type categories, headlines that may have been stronger and the reason for popularity, topics that you loved, topics that didn't even register a bleep on the interest scale.
But – while all of that gives me a first taste of what you like…it only scratches the surface of what the info I need to make launch decisions.
So, I proceed to my email and start digging in there too! Let's go into both of these areas a little more, so I can show you what I do with that information.
In fact, I'm going to share with you the “what I thought” vs. what you’ve been telling me, especially since the re-release of my Launch Toolkit.
The number of you coming forward and sharing what you’re struggling with has been amazing and at the same time eye opening!
What Content Is Working?
So – let’s talk about the content that’s working — some from the Fall 2014 launch of Fearless Launching and that’s still getting consistent traffic or consistently in the top 15 pieces of content on my site–and this is for the recent past two months. This list consists partially of blog content and partially podcast content, since both live on the blog.
- The Big Teams Post – this bad boy has NEVER EVER left the top 10 in the 2 years it has been on my site. Thank you Derek Halpern. Love that this post happened as a result of your Blog That Converts course.
- How To Launch Alone – Not surprised here. People want to know especially when they are starting out that it is possible to launch without having a massive team or spend money hiring a full crew of people. I was the same way. And bottom line on this one, while it is possible, it’s really not the best way to pull off a launch unless you like to feel stressed out.
- Is It Possible To Launch Without Email – Again, this was not surprising how well this podcast episode did – and blew away all other podcasts in the entire history of the podcast (and it hasn’t even been up a month). With so many people struggling to build their lists, this clearly shows you how people are looking for non-list dependent ways to promote their businesses and launch their products.
- Set Up A Business Hub – This was a giant surprise honestly, because I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in this type of content. But alas, this showed me that you are interested in organizing your business, especially since we’re just finishing the first quarter of a new year.
- How To Pick The Right Business Tools – People always love tools and when it comes to know what to use, we’re all looking for advice from people who are doing well in their business or doing something we like.
What Your Interest In These Posts means to me is simple. These are things you think you need to run a successful business or do a specific thing…and also these tap into some of the biggest hurdles people face when they are starting out – no list, no team, not sure of the tools or what to do first.
What I realized though is they don’t tell me what you’re actually struggling with on a deeper level, so even though I can see what you want to learn, what you want to know.
I still needed to know why.
What Communication Is Working?
Recently when I released my updated Launch Essentials Toolkit, I expected many long time subscribers to grab it again. I get regular emails from many of you because of it, so I was hopeful that you'd be interested in getting a refreshed toolkit.
But this week – I think you set a record for responding to the very first email I send out when you sign up for the toolkit. And I’m so glad you did, because I was able to see the deeper side to what you’re really struggling with and why you like the content you do.
*Note: please keep those emails coming – so amazing hearing your exact challenge and reasons you want to launch!
Here are just a handful of responses I pulled from my inbox – I literally wanted to put everyone up here:
Getting the people who need my program to actually see it. from Tarah
figuring out how to get “good targeted” traffic to my site. – Jessica
I have never launched a product and am in the process of creating my BIG product. Launching seems very overwhelming having never launched before. – Shawn
What am I NOT struggling with right now? Time management, promptly following up with leads, establishing business procedures – Melissa
I believe that I stress out over beginning and keeping on track. – Betty
How to approach my lists after many months of no communication. – Marilyn
Actually i am a beginner in this big internet marketing world, and i have some problems for identify and separate all the elements that there are in it. – Jose
What to do first…how to not let my ugly/plain (but free) wordpress site hold me back from launching…how to launch when I have zero followers/readership at moment. – Heather
Now, I tried to keep some of these as different and varied as possible, but I couldn't deny some themes that continue to keep coming back – what to do first, overwhelm, getting more eyes/traffic to my “stuff”.
Where Else Can I Look?
You might think I'd be satisfied by looking at my content and your responses to my emails, but nope…that's just the beginning.
Check out this video I posted a few weeks ago about yet another way you can find out what people are struggling with or simply want. I basically put my own process of using social media and broke it down into daily tasks that anyone can do to figure out the “what do people want” question.
The great thing about this exercise is you get to take all that you've already figured out from the first two steps of looking at your data and then “test” it some more.
Also, it's important to remember that while we're looking at words essentially in the form of posts, emails, and other messages…it's important to not stop here with simply reading what people want.
[Tweet ““To understand how consumers really think and feel, it is vital to go beyond words.” -Katja Bressette”]
What To Do With This Information
Once you have a little of the what people want to consume and then a little of the why, what’s next?
What’s great about combining information and data sets is that you get to do a variety of activities that all benefit your audience and solve whatever problem. You get to:
- create new programs or services
- write new blog posts solving the problem
- create lead magnet
- create free webinars
- share focused resources and content on social media
The bottom line is – once you know what people are struggling with and then have some proof as to how they’re trying to solve those problems (by reading blog posts perhaps or reaching out to you for help), then you’ll understand how to serve them better.
Here's What To Do Today
If you're not asking, “what should I do with all this information, Anne?” Well, now I'm giving you a next step. These are super simple and give you the most basic first steps to take.
That's why I created this downloadable worksheet to give you some step by step actions you can take every day this week to get that much closer to who your customers are and what's on their wish list:
First – know that you aren't going to become a data mining expert today. In fact, I do bits and pieces of these as I need information and that's what works best for me. I usually have a question in my mind and then head to analytics or social media or my email to figure out the answer.
Do even one or two things I mention in this article and you'll be ahead of many others who don't pay attention or play detective like this.
So – here are a few actions you can take today:
**Get in the habit of looking at what's happening in your business and deciding on actions you can take and conclusions you can make based on what you “see”.
**Go to google analytics and look at your most popular content – look at a few different time periods to find out some of your top performing pieces of content.
**Check your email for signs of feedback. Emails are going to give you more personal view of what people need, what problems they really want to solve.
**If you don’t receive emails, maybe you get into conversations on Facebook or in the comments of your blog…or some other place. Wherever that other, more personal interaction happens, go there and observe.
**Talk to people. Make Skype dates with people who are responding and find out who they are as people. It's never enough to listen to words only.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What will you start doing today to find out and answer the questions you might (and should) be asking about your audience?
Also – discovering what people want and need from you is only the first step in deciding what you'll actually launch.