One of the critical parts of starting a new business is getting really clear on what your Ideal Clients need so you know what products/services to create for them.
However, this often involves actually asking them – and many mums are worried about ‘getting themselves out there’ before they’re really ready to launch their first business and I understand why.
- You worry that people might assume you’re already an ‘expert’ in your chosen field (or might want to ‘test’ you) and ask you questions you can’t answer.You worry your colleagues/employer/family might spot what you’re doing before you’re ready to tell them.You worry that someone else might pinch your idea for the business you want to start.
That’s an awful lot of worrying before you even get going!
Here are 5 Top Tips for market research in ‘stealth mode’!
See what books you can find on Amazon relating to your chosen area of expertise. Reading the book reviews will tell you what people found really useful and what help/information they’re still looking for.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool is great for helping you find out what people are searching the internet for. You can enter the questions you think people might need the answers to “How to… “Where to.. ” “When to… ” to see how many searches there are each month. (Great for getting clear on your ‘Promise’ and your hooky ‘Programme’ title!)
Join the forums you think your Ideal Clients will be using. Find out what their issues are and connect with potential partners/clients. You can post questions to fellow members and some (like Netmums) welcome market research but make sure you check out their terms and conditions.
Also be careful not to advertise your new business on these forums as this is generally frowned upon and you could get into trouble.
If you’re not on Twitter yet, get yourself on it! Set up a free profile and start tweeting tips and advice on your chosen subject. Look for other people in similar areas of expertise to follow and re-tweet any tips they post that might be relevant to the people you want to help.
Your focus to start with should be on passing on tips and building relationships with other Twitter users. You don’t even have to mention your new business yet if you don’t want to!
The aim is to try to get potential clients to start to follow you for your free advice so try to keep to a theme – don’t worry about the quantity, it’s the QUALITY of your followers that’s important!
Set yourself up a free blog at wordpress.com and aim to post an article once a week relating to your area of interest. You can post pieces of advice or simply your take on a news article (relating to your area of expertise).
Again, focus on just providing useful information to start with.
Aiming to post an article once a week will force you to find content relating to your business idea – increasing your knowledge and expertise in the mean time!
You can then link to your blog articles from Facebook and Twitter and ask for comments from your fans/followers.
The main thing to remember is this: Many people think as soon as they start posting ‘stuff’ on the internet, everyone will know what they’re up to and will start scrutinising what they do.
Not so! It’s just not that easy to get noticed online!
So take a deep breath and give some of these a go if you’re in need of baby steps to get started!