So you want to connect with a new market — and NOT make a fool of yourself?
You know it helps in selling to understand your market.
To know their needs and wants.
To understand their fears, frustrations, and failures.
To see through their eyes the dreams, desires, and destiny they picture for themselves.
And even though you WANT to know them, you don’t.
So you sit in your own fear and frustration that you won’t be able to connect with them. And if you fail, you are scared it will be the end of the world, because you’ll lose your one shot.
First off, realize you have more than one shot…
You have a lifetime of shots to succeed. As long as you keep taking them.
Take a shot and miss, and give up there and then, you’re a failure. Take a shot and miss and keep shooting? Eventually you’ll make a few. Then keep taking shots until you make enough, and somewhere along the line people will start seeing you as a success — even if you missed your first shot, and thousands since then.
It’s Mailbox Monday, boys and girls. Which means I’m answering YOUR questions.
Today, a question about researching your target market, before you even have your first client…
Thank you for the opportunity to have my questions answered sir!
Well, my question for you is this: When you are just starting out how do you research your market? *Before having any clients*
My case – I am building up a service business for hypnotherapy offices. I am facing some resistance to uncover what needs they may have? or if my idea is validated?
Six quick solutions are coming your way!
The reality is this is both a common problem, and a pretty easy one to solve.
That is, IF you’re willing to do things that make you uncomfortable.
In that vein, I have a book recommendation I’m not totally ready to go deep on. But I got it on Saturday morning and have already made my way through the audiobook once. Then I bought the hardback so I can go back and take notes and actually WORK with the contents.
The book is The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life by Todd Herman. (Hat tip to Keith Krance for the recommendation.)
It’s about how to create a superhero version of yourself to do things that might make normal you uncomfortable. And at first pass, this feels powerful.
I recommend it here because I know the type of person that asks a question like this might need to step into an alter ego to do some of the things I recommend below (not all). Which is completely fine! (I’m constructing my superhero alter ego, too.) So if your heartbeat speeds up just reading some of what I tell you to do, buying the book above AND READING/LISTENING PLUS WORKING THROUGH IT is a good first step.
On to my recommendations…
Research how others are selling services like yours to the target market…
First things first, make sure you know how others sell similar products or services to your market.
The hypnosis market is pretty mature. Which means there are others who’ve come before you.
Some have failed. Some have succeeded. I don’t know them all, but it’s an area of intellectual interest for me so I can actually be specific here.
In this case, start with Jason Linett and his book Work Smart Business.
It’s a book written about growing your business, from the perspective of a successful hypnosis business owner.
(By the way, the Amazon links are affiliate links that earn me pennies if you buy, the other links are not affiliate links and I don’t know Jason personally nor have any business relationship. I just know that other hypnotists recommend him for learning about the business of hypnosis.)
Don’t stop with one competitor or complementary product.
Research as many as you can find.
The idea is to figure out what and how others are selling to your market. With an emphasis on things like offers and the core emotional appeals that seem to be consistent between marketers.
Research how others are selling unrelated products and services to the target market…
A huge part of generating response is knowing the people you’re talking to.
You can get a better perspective on them by looking at what other marketing seems to work to them.
So do that research.
Look at other products for hypnotists.
Browse publications for hypnotists, and try to lose yourself in the industry as if you were actually a hypnotist starting a practice.
How are people talking to your market now?
What appeals are you seeing over and over again?
What are the talks about at conferences and seminars? What are the podcasts speaking to them about? What are they talking about on forums?
All of this can be done from the comfort of your home or office, and will give you a decent perspective on what appeals to your market.
But it’s still impersonal.
You will do better if you go deeper…
Buy their time and talk to them…
Do you have a few local hypnotists in your area? Better if there’s more than one.
They probably have prices posted on their website. You know how much they charge per hour.
You want them to give you time and attention? Pay them for it.
“But I want them to pay me,” you might say.
What better way to show them you understand the value of an expert’s time then paying them first.
Then you simply show up at the appointment, and tell them that instead of being hypnotized, you’d like to ask them about their business.
Ask them what they like about it, and what they don’t. What they’d change. What their challenges are. What they’d fix first if they had a magic wand for fixing marketing problems.
Also, ask personal questions. Don’t shove marketing down their throat. Treat them like a human being and try to connect with them. Then, bridge the conversation to talking to them about marketing.
You can also reassure them that while you’re building a practice to help hypnotists with their marketing, paying them is your way of saying it’s not a sales call.
They can certainly talk about hiring you AFTERWARD, but right now you just want to get your questions answered.
If you can’t bring yourself to talk to them in person, you probably have some bigger challenges ahead of you. But if you want to ask them online first, here’s my recommendation.
Buy Ryan Levesque’s book, Ask. Follow his process.
Essentially you’ll do an online survey that will ask them, “What’s your single biggest challenge in marketing and growing your hypnosis business?” Then, following Ryan’s method, you’ll tease out the responses to pay attention to. And it should pretty much hand you a list of focus areas for copy and service development on a silver platter.
But really, you have to be willing to talk to them…
You can also feature them in interviews…
Want instant credibility in your market while ALSO doing research?
Come up with a great list of questions to ask people who are your perfect target prospect, then create an interview series. It could be a podcast. It could be downloadable content from a website. It could be a YouTube channel. It could even be for a book you get a contract to publish.
Just come up with a media outlet for the interviews. Make sure that when you do this, you do it in a way that makes the guests look like superstars. Then, start reaching out and volunteering to feature them in the interview.
Make sure they feel like their time is valued. Make sure they feel like they’re being treated even better than they get treated in their daily life.
Many will be happy to do it.
Then, you get 30 minutes or an hour, or however long you’ve scheduled, to ask them all the same questions you might pay them for.
There’s so many benefits to this that I don’t have space to list.
But rest assured, if you really put the effort into it, this can be incredibly powerful.
Just go pound on doors…
Did you watch my video on How to Get Your First Copywriting Client?
If you’re looking for the too long/didn’t watch version, here it is: go get them.
So many people will spin their wheels for weeks, months, or years dreaming about the future they want.
When it was waiting for them all along if they just went out and got it.
So go get it.
Learn as you go.
It’ll be better intelligence anyway — because it will come from real, relevant experience.
Go out and pitch a dozen hypnotists on some short-term, base-level service you think you can over-deliver on. Pay attention to their responses and the questions they ask. Tweak your pitch as you go. Keep paying attention.
At some point, you’ll start to get more interest.
You’ll start to engage them better.
You’ll probably even land a client or two.
Then, keep doing it.
Learn what they’re interested in. Ask them directly, even.
Even if you do all of the above, you’ll probably find that when you do go out and start getting clients, things you thought you knew were wrong, and you’ll learn so much more.
So consider just going for it alongside whatever else you want to do.
It will inform everything else. Plus it might get you paid, too.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,