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How Do You Find Out Where Your Prospects Usually Hang Out At?
Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:53 AM
is there any methods you guys use when finding out where to find your prospects?
For example, how do you know whether the prospects in your niche prefer to hang out in forums or they read articles from article directories?
If there is a method to find out, it will be much easier and more effective to direct my marketing efforts towards those areas instead of blind advertising.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:54 AM
I've always found it very helpful to figure out Who they are first, then spend a bit of time writing out a sort of Day-in-the-Life schedule of their average day. This helps me not only figure out what benefits of my product/service I need to stress, but also how detailed my copy needs to be (the old long or short copy question) as well as figure out where they're already hanging out so I know what other sites to target for a link campaign. Sure it takes a bit of work, but spending a day getting a good handle on who your target audience really is makes a huge difference across the whole spectrum of things you need to do to maximize your efforts.
Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:25 AM
Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:40 AM
I am hoping to...you know find out whether if there are any proven methods or articles to read on finding out more about your prospects.
Where to find them...what kind of advertisements they respond to...the best places to find target audiences...how to nurture these prospects to be your customers....
I have read the importance of these issues, why I must research on these areas and how they can really benefit my efforts later.
But the frustrating thing is that I do not know how to do it.
I have tried selling some affiliate products and none really worked out. Or I'm not sure if I have put in enough effort.
Just read another report from Ewen Chia saying I should to find the right niche before selecting the right product at Clickbank. Checking out the competition and finding out the potential advertising costs and such.
Again, how do I judge if the competition is too hot for me to go in? How do I find out the potential advertising costs if I do not even know where my prospective customers frequent?
Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:23 PM
Do what Randy suggested (and if you don't know enough yet to do that, then you need to find out more about the product -- features, benefits to the customer, etc. -- those will give you clues as to what kinds of people will want/need it), then figure a way to survey those kinds of people. It may be online through surveymonkey or other research site; or (as torka) suggested, it may be by asking people you know that fit the profile. Poll them individually or form a focus group. Ask them about their online habits: where they go online, what they do, and what they spend $ on online. In your survey, go from general to specific (for example, first ask how much time they are online weekly; then what do they do online; then, what Websites they visit, etc.). You will see patterns emerge from that research. At that point, you may opt to have a market research company do more formal research (trained researchers can usually get more valid results) or go ahead using what you've learned to target your audience.
You can also identify other products with the same (or very similar) target audience, then study their marketing techniques to see how they are reaching their customers. You don't want to copy them, but use insights you gain from their activities to plan your own marketing activities. Publicly held companies are a goldmine because their marketing strategies are usually spelled out in the annual reports...a lot of cluse there about where you may reach customers.
If you need some more ideas/research resources there is a list of research and data analysis sites on my site here:
(there are survey and research sites, market researcher and analyst sites, and focus group sites)
Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:25 PM
I usually do a lot of this sort of research before I ever decide to jump into a market. I look at the product/service and decide who is the most obvious group that would get the most benefit from purchasing it. I usually try to jot down at least 2 or 3 sets of people who might be interested, even if nobody else is specifically targeting a certain group with similar products/services. Or I should say especially if there are no other potential competitors who are targeting a given market segment.
Truthfully, trying to come up with income expectations or advertising costs in the early stages is almost impossible to hit before you're in the game. I usually take my hopeful income expectations and cut it down to about 25%. That'll keep you fairly safe and may allow you to stay in business until everything starts really working the best since it typically takes 18-24 months for a business to start to hit its stride in my experience. If it's better out of the gate, Great! But I don't want to be counting on much in the beginning.
It's the same in reverse for development and advertising costs. They're going to be higher in the beginning than once a site is established. You do need to have some type of plan, even if you end up straying from it a bit once things get rolling and you have real numbers to use in your decisions.
I would have to disagree with the concept you mentioned reading in the article. It's difficult, bordering on impossible, to identify your market first then trying to find a product/service for it. The only time that works well IMHO is if you're a part of that market yourself or you have some people close to you to run ideas past. You can do a bit of this if you already have a working relationship with people who fit a particular target market because of another site you have up and going. I have, and every time it's been based upon feedback or requests I've gotten from already existing sites. But to try to do that with the very first site would be a very, very difficult approach. My guess is you'd end up with more fits and starts than you would working the other way around.
As far as sorting out the competition level, there's a long, pinned thread in the Keywords section of the forum that addresses this question. Sure it's talking about keyword competition, but it's basically the same as business competition, unless you can find one of those where everybody is missing out on a large segment of potential customers that gives you an easy place to start.
Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:52 PM
See, there's no database of "target audiences" out there that you can just look up an audience and get all the info on how to market to them. The best thing to do, particularly if you're fairly new at this, is to look to yourself first. Think of things you like to do, problems you run into, issues that concern you. If they're on your mind, likely they're on the minds of others, too.
Then go out and find those others. At the very least, you will make some new friends who share some of your interests. If you pay attention to their conversations and apply a bit of thought and imagination, though, you'll also find a weath of business ideas.
But the frustrating thing is that I do not know how to do it.
If this sounds like a lot of hard work, it is. The only people who are going to tell you it's "effortless" to earn money online are the people trying to sell you a copy of their overpriced "foolproof money making system."
But keep in mind, "hard work" does not equal impossible.
Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:11 PM
It's just kind of frustrating to get stuck in the research phrase and not getting anywhere, not knowing what to do or how to do it. Sometimes just got to let off some steam.
LOL maybe it's better if I just throw all those preliminary research steps out of the window, go to Clickbank, just grab a hot product and start selling it.
Torka, Randy and Kyle, thanks again for the great advice!
Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:28 AM
It's called "Analysis Paralysis" and it can affect any of us from time to time if we aren't careful.
Remember, your first effort doesn't have to be perfect. Say you don't have copy that precisely targets your exact intended audience with all the most effective sales triggers possible. What would be the dire civilization-ending consequences of that?
Well, maybe you wouldn't make as many sales as you would if your copy were the very essence of perfection. Okay, if the copy is really bad you might not make any sales at all. But at least if your pages are out there, you have the opportunity to make a sale... which is 100% more chance than you have if your ideas are still in your head or sitting, unpublished, on your hard drive.
You've got to start somewhere, or you'll never get anywhere.
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