Ever came up with a terrific offer, a really truly helpful service or product that you just know people need, and then when you launch it or offer it… no takers?
Been there, done that, got the crickets. ?
Now that I’m building in public – i.e. developing something live, publicly, documenting my process on Twitter, I’m beginning to see why it’s often been like that.
See, in the maker community, there’s this notion of product first vs audience first.
Where the thinking goes: if you build your audience first, they will inform you as to what kind of product they want, and need, and will be willing to buy.
Which is just another form way of saying: market research.
Which is, of course, where all marketing and business success starts.
Fun fact: my first ever office job was at a call centre, phoning people up for market research. “Are you familiar with the Douwe Egberts brand of coffee? Can I ask you a few questions about it?”
Each time I’ve built a new offer – whether training, or coaching, or a course or paid newsletter, I always skipped over that step.
I always figured that I knew my audience and market so well, simply creating a thing and putting it out there would be enough.
Oh, the folly of my ways, right?
And to a degree that was correct – but because I never properly researched, I never knew with precision who needed the thing, and for which reasons, or with what kind of messaging.
Which is why most of the things I built never really took off.
The lesson here is that whatever you can do for people, however well you can do it, how big or costly or urgent the problems that you solve, you’re doing yourself – and the people that you want to serve – a big disservice if you don’t first study people’s needs and wants and fears and frustrations.
If you do what I did – just build something and put it out there – you skip over the diagnose phase of marketing and business building.
In the medical world, that’s called malpractice, which should give you food for thought…
So if you’ve ever wondered why people didn’t buy that awesome thing that you know they need, this might be exactly the reason why.
Maybe you didn’t research, study, build an audience.
Maybe you didn’t take the time and trouble to ‘learn your people’, as I call it.
And there’s countless ways to do it.
You don’t have to hire a call centre, nor do you have to build in public.
All you need to do is have conversations: learn from the horse’s mouth who will buy, for which reasons, and with what messaging, offer, and price.
Meanwhile, if you have done your research and you’re getting prospects into your business but you’re not happy with how often they convert, this will help.