Imagine choosing a gift for someone you love.
It’s fairly easy to find something they’ll appreciate because you know intimate details about them.
You know their likes and dislikes, what brings them joy and what stresses them out, items they’ve been wishing for and products they complain about.
On the other hand, it’s much harder to choose the right gift for someone you don’t know well.
Think of your business, brand, and products as gifts for your target market. To create the perfect gift, you must get to know your target market’s likes and dislikes.
What increases pleasure and decreases stress?
Pleasures may be:
- What your customers desire to be/do/have
- Dream solutions that would fix or alleviate your customers’ problems
- People, places, and things that make your customers happy
Stressors may be:
- What your customers worry about
- Problems your customers want to solve
- People, places, and things that make your customers unhappy
When you know these details about your target market, it’s easier to:
>> Create products they’ll be excited to buy
>> Write marketing messages that connect
>> Sell your products in an effective way
We’re going to uncover your target market’s pleasures and stressors, and determine how you can use that information to make your business, brand, and products the gifts they’ve always wanted.
The content of this article is taken from HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS. For more details on how to complete each step, and the important steps that come before and after determining your target market’s pleasures and stressors, check it out here.
STEP 1 – KNOW WHO YOU’RE TARGETING
To uncover the proper information, and information that will be useful to your business, you must first choose a profitable target market for your business.
There’s one key I share in HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS that will help you discover a long list of existing profitable target markets you can tap into.
It’s not enough to simply choose a target market based on demographics (e.g. women, in their 30’s, married, children, etc.).
That’s not really a target market.
My idea of a target market is a group of people who come together based on one commonality, and spend money on products and services that relate to the commonality.
Defining a target market should help you find your customers, in large groups, so you can marketing to hundreds or thousands of potential customers with one message and have a higher conversion rate among them (more of the people you reach buy).
How to easily uncover those commonalities is only shared in HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS.
STEP 2 – SEARCH ONLINE FORUMS
Online forums are platforms people use to discuss problems and offer solutions. They’re based on a specific topic and will have subcategories where questions can be posted to start a discussion thread.
For example, there are forums focused on the topic of “parenting”, which may have subcategories such as:
Within each subcategory are discussion threads.
Under the subcategory “Infant/toddler”, a user may post a question such as: “How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?”, which starts a new discussion thread. Forum users would then reply to the question and offer suggestions.
Forums were created for consumers, not businesses, so you’ll find unbiased opinions, questions, and suggestions. They’re great places to get to know your target market and be a fly on the wall as they openly discuss dreams/fears, problems/solutions, or likes/dislikes.
Topics discussed on forums may directly relate to the products you sell, but those that don’t can still be a wealth of information for your business.
For example, if I make diaper bags, I may find threads discussing diaper bag recommendations and learn about product features my target market likes, dislikes, wishes for, etc., which will help me develop a better diaper bag.
Even though a discussion on the topic of “my baby isn’t sleeping through the night” doesn’t directly apply to diaper bags, it may help me uncover keywords my target market commonly uses, products they love (and may need a diaper bag compartment for), how lack of sleep affects them when they’re in public (and using a diaper bag), etc.
This information could be useful when I’m creating, marketing, and selling.
Search keywords related to your target market and/or your products, along with “forums”.
For example, if I sell diaper bags for new moms, I may Google “new mom forums”, “pregnancy forums”, “baby forums”, or even “diaper bags forums”.
Although it’s unlikely I’ll find an entire forum dedicated to the topic of diaper bags, Google may bring up links to discussion threads focused on the topic of diaper bags, which will lead me to related forums.
Once you find a forum, use its search bar to find questions and answers that include a keyword.
For example, within a forum, I may search “diaper bags” to read discussions that involve diaper bags. I could also search “flying” to see what moms discuss and suggest packing in a carryon when traveling with a baby. Or “activities” to see what type of outings moms may take diaper bags on and the type of items they need to pack in them.
You may even join a forum and start your own discussion.
Don’t use the forum to advertise your business (that’s typically against forum rules), but if you pose as “one of them” and ask questions, you should get helpful replies from people within your target market.
For example, I may join a forum and start a new thread asking: “What’s the best diaper bag for a new mom and why?”. Other forum users may point me in the direction of popular products to research and desired product features that I should include in my bags.
Browse discussion threads to look for popular topics and pleasures or stressors among your target market.
Try not to let the wide range of opinions pull your business or its products in too many directions. Use your target market’s *ambassador (*explained in HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS) to determine which forum questions and replies you should pay attention to.
*For worksheets to help you complete this step and how to apply this information to every touchpoint of your business, check out HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS.
STEP 3 – READ COMMENTS & REVIEWS
Search social media pages, articles, and product listings and look for comment or review sections.
These are areas where your target market will share their opinion, ask questions, or leave feedback about a business or product. Keep your target market’s *ambassador in mind to determine which comments and reviews are relevant to your business (*explained in HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS).
Gather any information that helps you create a better product, or market and sell to your target market more effectively.
Visit a social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) and use the search bar to find *content related to your target market (HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS explains how to find content that relates to your target market). Take the time to read comments on any relevant posts and gather more information about your target market’s pleasures and/or stressors.
The amount of engagement with a social media post (i.e. number of likes, shares, comments) can also provide useful information for your business.
For example, if I sell diaper bags, I may search “parenting”, “new mom” or even “diaper bags” on Facebook and look at the different Pages, Groups, Events, etc.
If I visit a parenting Facebook Page, the popularity of certain posts and the lack of engagement on others would tell me the type of content my target market is interested in. A post on “newborn photoshoot ideas” may have several “likes” while a post on “decluttering a nursery” may have very few.
This information would influence the content I post on my business’s social media pages. Comments on posts would provide details about my target market’s likes, dislikes, concerns, questions, etc.
Use Google to search for articles or blogs that *relate to your target market (HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS explains how to find articles and blogs that relate to your target market).
Generally, the articles that appear in the top search results of Google are the most popular.
For example, I may find a related blog by searching “parenting blogs”. Once on a blog, I could browse the articles and read the comments.
I could also Google a specific topic such as “how to choose the right diaper bag”, to find specific articles.
A blog article titled “10 best diaper bags for New Moms” will tell me which features are important to my target market. I may discover leather is the preferred material, lots of pockets are essential, or a backpack style is popular, which helps me create a better diaper bag.
My target market may also leave comments to share their opinions about the bags mentioned or to offer their top pick.
A comment such as: “I had an X diaper bag for years and the seams held up no matter how many things I stuffed in it” may encourage me to double-stitch my seams and mention their benefit in product descriptions (e.g. “Double stitching means you can pack loads of stuff without stretching the shape or ripping the seams.”).
Articles related to the topic of diaper bags, but not focused on it, could also be helpful.
For example, articles sharing ideas on activities moms can do with their newborns may help me determine where new moms are going with their diaper bags and items they need to pack.
Again, keep your product, target market’s interest, and their ambassador in mind to gather the right information.
Search for similar products to the ones you sell and read the review sections.
For example, I would Google “diaper bags” or even the type of diaper bags I make (e.g. “backpack diaper bags”, “leather diaper bags”, or “sophisticated diaper bags”). I would then look at the features of diaper bags on the market, their ratings and reviews.
Make note of any product features or business practices customers like or dislike.
If several customers rave about a certain product feature, consider adding that feature to your products.
On the other hand, if they deduct points because of how long it took for the item to ship, “quick shipping” might be a service you offer.
You may also find helpful information when looking at reviews for products related to yours.
For example, if I create eco-friendly diaper bags, I would look at other eco-friendly baby products such as change pads, nursing covers, burp cloths, etc. Although the products are different, product features may align and could help me uncover useful information.
STEP 4 – APPLY THE INFORMATION TO YOUR BUSINESS
Once you’ve gathered detailed information about your target market from forums, comments, and reviews, you can look at your list of pleasures and stressors and determine how they may impact each area of your business: create, market, and sell.
For example, if I’m targeting new moms who need to purchase a diaper bag, I may have read in forums, comments, and reviews, that my target market wants a diaper bag that looks sophisticated and classy; they don’t want to carry something that screams “diaper bag”.
They may have also mentioned how frustrating it is when items get lost in the diaper bag abyss. A pleasure and stressor of my target market may be:
- Pleasure: sophistication & class
- Stressor: disorganization
I would go through each area of my business and determine if and how I could apply or highlight “sophisticated and class” and avoid “disorganization”.
In HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS I share examples of how this type of information can drastically shape each area of a handmade business, what those areas/touchpoints are, and how to apply the information.
For more information about the steps that come before and after each of these to help you find more customers and actually sell to them, check out: HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS here.