One of the real 'make or break' pieces of the internet business puzzle is doing research... And most people are either ignoring the research side all together, or they are doing it all wrong. This post will help you understand the right approach to get the most out of your research!
Plus, you’ll learn a super easy process to researching that will help you sift through the noise and find the most important information fast… And then be able to ‘work with’ that data to create and implement new products or strategies based on what you found!
And this will work whether you are going full on introspective trying to figure out and harness your strengths...
Like I shared in a recent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hza-SENFNJU Or if you are doing market research trying to identify your niche, or digging up interests to target on Facebook through the Audience Insights tool!
How to Do Market Research
The first and most important distinction is that what you are actually looking for are clues... Not answers! Research is very nuanced and requires you to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and to dig for the 'meaning' behind the clues.
Like a crime scene investigator, you look at all the clues you can find about your market and then you have to make connections and piece together the 'story' from all the data-points. Market research is truly the make or break between successful entrepreneurs and those who never figure it out.
Boiled down to it's simplest idea…
Market research is about learning what your audience already wants so you can give it to them. One approach to the research game is to get some 3" x 5" index cards and a sharpie... Then dig in to the Amazon Kindle best sellers list, like I show how, here: https://youtu.be/y6Z51K8byNE
The Best Free Market Research Tool
The best place to begin to find a hot niche and find out how to market to that target audience is…*drum roll* Kindle Best Sellers! Get there quick by clicking here -OR- head over to Amazon.com, go to the Kindle Books section, and click Kindle Best Sellers in the left sidebar: Once there, you’ll notice the main Kindle categories now appear in the left sidebar, and you can choose any of them to view the Best Sellers for that niche and you can drill down into sub-niches, to get more specific, too.
Although you may not realize it yet, this information is priceless! Let’s choose an example niche and break down how you can perform your research; no special tools required. Just you, an Internet connection, and a little time.
Finding Your Niche
Using the left navigation, we’ve chosen a niche as follows: Computers & Internet>Web Marketing. Amazon presents us with the 100 top sellers for that niche.
- TIP: You might have a bit of trouble finding certain niches by their common names.
For example, using our example, you might search for “web marketing” with the prhase “internet marketing” so pay attention to the categories Amazon lists and try several searches if you don't find what you are looking for, right away. Now you are ready to explore your niche.
Compare and Contrast
Decide a number of items to analyze. It’s up to you how deep you want to go. Here’s an idea:
- Up to 5 - Good introduction to the niche. This will get you started with a brief understanding on what is working in the niche if you are considering entering that niche.
- 10 - A nice in-depth amount of research that will help you understand more about the wants, needs and desires of the target market for this niche.
- 20 - A complete portrait of the current concerns in the niche, you can find ideas for USP's (Unique Selling Propositions) and you can often find out what is 'missing' from your competitors' content that the audience is wanting to learn about. This is the gold mine!
- More than 20 - Often too laborious. The goal isn't to 'make it through' a certain amount of listings, but to learn enough about the target market and their needs/wants/desires so that you can position yourself, your content and your products as the solution that your competitors are missing.
A Quick Overview
Take your chosen number of items and perform a quick overview of them all. Outside of your market research, pay attention to titles, taglines, and book covers. Titles are like headlines and play into why a certain book is selling better than one with an ineffective title.
What kinds of taglines are authors using to describe their work? This also comes into play in the art of the sale.
While every cover in the best sellers list may not be particularly attractive, they are most-likely professional and created by a professional designer. The other things you want to pay attention to are:
- Number of Reviews
- Star Rating from Reviews
You might be surprised to find that not all best sellers have high-end price-points. The number of reviews is a weak indicator of sales numbers, but the more reviews a book has, the more sales. The ratio of buyers to reviewers is actually quite a great divide.
Very few readers take the time to leave a review. More stars equals more positive reviews, but you don’t necessarily want to concentrate on the best reviews. We want to know the good and the bad. This information will help you to uncover unique ways to enter new niches and how to tailor your products better.
Is This the Best Niche?
The niche we’ve chosen for our example is a pretty broad one. You can also use this method to find out which niches are the hottest. Even more valuable, you can find lesser-known niches where there is plenty of room to make money! It will take a time investment, but knowing those little tight niches is GOLD.
Getting Information From the Best Sellers List
- Titles & Subtitles - The title of the book is the hook and titles combined with subtitles are often what sell books. They grab the attention of a user browsing for information in the related niche and books that sell well often have the best titles/headlines. Take notes on what titles sell best.
- 5 Star Reviews - These are the people who are passionate about the content of the book and how effective it is. Knowing what people love will help you model what is working for others giving you an advantage understanding what works in your marketplace.
- 1 Star Reviews - These are the people who are passionate about what they didn’t like, what’s missing, and how it could have been better. You can quickly tune into under-served segments of their audience and create what they felt was missing.
TIP: Pay special attention to any reviews with labels as show below: These are guaranteed to be serious and honest reviews from top reviewers on Amazon. They are not paid or friends of the author, they are honest people trying to make Amazon a better community. Your research lets you go straight to the people you are trying to reach for their opinions. Those reviews are written by your target audience and the 5 star and 1 star ratings are filled with PASSION! It’s like surveying your potential audience and asking them what they love and what they hate. They have written these reviews to tell the author and other potential buyers what they liked or disliked about the product. This allows you the very valuable knowledge of what they need to know more about.
How To Use The Information
No matter what your business model is..whether your create products yourself, hire others, or promote products as an affiliate, this information is useful. If you work in the service realm, as an SEO or consultant this information is also invaluable to you because it gives you insight to the psychographics of your target market. When you now know what your audience wants and does not want, specifically, you can adjust your products, services and marketing messages accordingly. Other ways to use your research:
- Headline ideas
- Blog post ideas
- Meme ideas
- Ad copy ideas
- Ideas for free reports
- Book ideas
- Establish a unique selling proposition
Starting to see how much valuable information is inside of Amazon Kindle's Best Sellers List?
And begin looking for clues in the 1 star and 5 star reviews left on the top 20 - 50 books in your niche.... The 1 star and 5 star reviews hold a key ingredient that 2 star to 4 star reviews don't... PASSION!
They either loved it or hated it and you want to know WHY they loved or hated it... Because you want to do more of what they loved and you want to avoid or fix or add on what they hated... So you start to pull out the little 'clues' from these reviews... Each clue goes on an index card. Now, this gets messy and that is a GOOD THING! 🙂
But you want to pull out all the 1 star and 5 star clues on individual cards... Then group them. You will see patterns emerge as your cards get grouped by topics... You may throw away some... You may not write down all the comments...
But what you are left with is a bunch of clues that can lead you to a massive understanding about your niche, your competitors and the gaps in the market. Then, you build a product that not only delivers on what people loved... But you also create the components that the 1 star folks complained were missing... And when you are done, you have the structure, the components and the framework to be able to create the most comprehensive and helpful resource for your niche... A
ll scribbled across a bunch of index cards... From the index cards, you can lay them out into an outline... Or group them into a framework I've used many times to create an online course, book or presentation... Click here to learn about the framework you can use to create awesome online courses:
When you follow this process of searching for clues, writing them down on cards, grouping them together... Rearranging them and shuffling as needed. You will notice that patterns appear...
One stack of '5 star' ideas becomes HUGE and that is a 'must cover' topic for you... You may notice that one stack of 1 star reviews is the biggest... and that could clue you in to the one thing your audience has a BURNING DESIRE for that no one in your space has covered yet... Bingo!
This could be your lead magnet that converts 50% of cold Facebook traffic to leads. This could lead you to the framework for a coaching program...
This could spark the 'ah ha' moment that leads you to your unique sub-niche that you DOMINATE, moving forward. But, the real key, is to take the time to do the research 'work' and let the clues guide you towards the answers you are ultimately searching for!
Going Beyond the Market Research
Most people don't do the research and end up wasting months or even years creating things no one wants.
Not only is this disheartening...
The opportunity costs of wasting months of your life on something that has no chance of success is brutal.
I know because I've done that. In addition to completing this type of research, there is also one other type of research I conduct, to be sure my audience WANTS what I'm creating.
Because, when I start to kick the marketing or product creation machine on full speed...
I must be 100% sure that my new niche site/product/content will be found!
So, this begs the question: "How to do practically guarantee your content will be found?"
Do the research!
Are you noticing a pattern here...
There is a TON of research involved in growing a successful business online.
Most either completely skip or totally skimp on the research...
Maybe that's why most people don't succeed online?
That's beyond my realm... But let's get back to the research!
This second type of research is keyword research.
Now I don't always try to name my products or domains based on keywords...
But I still do a deep dive into keyword phrases my audience are searching for to make sure I have a clear understanding of what they are looking for.
And this video here shows the process to completing your keyword research, LIKE A BOSS!
Super simple to follow... Laid out for you, step-by-step on how to do keyword research.
Now, I'm usually digging in looking for what people think they want...
That is revealed by what they are searching for.
But often times the solution they seek is a little different...
Combined, this allows me to 'meet them where they are' with my content and lead them to the solution they desire, but don't know about.
Many people start their journey to digital entrepreneurship by searching for "How To Earn Income Online?"
Or one of the hundreds of variations of that phrase...
But what they really need to learn is how to grow an audience by being of service to a group of people with a common need.
So I create content that meets them at the phrases they are searching...
And leads them to the SOLUTION that will act as a vehicle for them, to get them where they actually want to be...
Again... Simple stuff... But most people are NOT doing it.
This means most of your competition is NOT doing the research.
So if you do step up and put in the work...
This is how you get an edge in your market, even if you are brand new!
Miles "Research Is Key" Beckler