At first, market research can seem scary. After all, sometimes it’s all that is standing in the way of you moving onto the next step of your product or service idea.
I’d like to share a tip or two, particularly useful when seeking out the “watering holes” that your potential prospects go.
The first tip is an epitome I recently had that combines the be-do-have concept in the personal development niche with market validation.
But before we get started, let’s define what a market is.
A market is not just a group of people which is what I originally thought, but can also be a type of niche such as coaches who work on female empowerment.
And that’s where the be do have comes in.
Let’s use inspirational speakers as the example. Maybe this is on my mind because I just joined a group on inspirational speakers because it is something I admire. But back to our example…
A novice might join a group for, let’s say, speakers in general. In this case, that is fine because speaking is what they do. However, there are other professionals – let’s say lawyers – who are not so obvious for validating.
If I chose to join a group for lawyers, I would a) likely have to be a lawyer myself and b) may have difficulty finding such a group.
Instead consider what lawyers do. They prosecute and defend. They study law. Therefore you could target groups on causes or businesses that they work with. Maybe there’s a group on facebook called legal advice for small businesses. Giving legal advice would be a great place for lawyers to go and meet the intersection of business owner and solicitor.
Also consider what they have. Lawyers have a law degree. Maybe you can seek at the alumni section of a law school if it is visible.
Another example would be coaches. Coaches are interesting because they have a variety of niches in what they do. It could be life coaching, or it could be executive coaching. Maybe they coach on a subject related to a skill. Point is, you can find what they do or have and join groups accordingly, as opposed to what they are.
But using this theory not only works for finding their gathering spots. I want to create a product for coaches. I chose coaches because I believe it is a fast growing industry. In fact, I know it is growing very fast these days especially online. One of the things coaches with a skill-focus do is offer training. They also do speaking engagements.
Therefore, when creating a product, or writing a blog post, I may choose to do something like tips for speakers, or WordPress plugins to offer training on. This is the opposite of finding the watering hole, in that it draws the coaches towards me.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for what they do.
- Causes such as the environment
- Businesses they work with
- Types of people they work with
- Public figures or celebrities who endorse them
This list is intended to help you fine tune your search.
And here’s another tip. Don’t spend too much time on the validation process that it overwhelms you. Start doing. You can only truly know by putting your self out there and testing the theory. As I said earlier, I know coaches are a fast growing industry, and I’m fairly certain of what they want, but it’s only when I put something that doesn’t take me a lot of time to create, out there, that I will know for sure whether to pursue it.
I”ll leave you on this final note: I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory”. So get out there and start experimenting with your ideas!