First, I have to say thanks for all of the kind words I have received regarding my grandfather’s hospitalization. The emails and comments meant more than you all know, and it really hit home that I have been successful in reaching out and building relationships with those that come to this blog. Building this online business WITH you guys makes it so much more rewarding than just aiming for high numbers of ‘uniques’ on Google Analytics or subscribers on AWeber. So thank you very much
So after assessing the Solo Ad effort and the JV Giveaway, I sat back and thought about my angle. My first free product is a 30 page report on how to set up a WordPress site. It is based on a checklist that I made for myself when I was building AdSense sites. I wanted to streamline the technical part so I could spend more of my precious time generating traffic and content.
That checklist worked for me. It had me buzzing through the tedious parts of getting my sites up and running, secure, optimized, back-up measures in place and standard launch pages done. I felt that I could expand on this checklist and it would benefit others because they could save that time and be more productive. I still believe that report is beneficial, but here is the problem with it:
I created that report thinking like a customer.
Think about that for a second. You may think, like I did in the beginning, that it is brilliant to think like a customer. I mean, you are getting in the customers head, right? You are solving a problem of your target market, right? People will gobble up this great free info, right?
Marketing 101. Think like a marketer, not a customer. Seriously. Did I resolve a problem? Yes. Will it help people? Sure, but how many? I failed to do my research. I skipped a very valuable step here. I got so excited about getting this business up and running, and felt like I had so much to give, that I jumped right into creating this free product before I ever LISTENED to my target audience. Did I ever see someone asking for a solution to this problem in a forum? Did I see any other marketers writing about it or creating similar products? Was I getting emails from marketers on this subject at all. No, no and no.
So What Am I Going To Do Now?
I’m going to do a really deep dive into my competition and target market. I am going to dig into the details of my demographic, my competitors keywords, squeeze titles and bullet points, their email subjects and content. I am going to then look at my competitors blogs, and also forums in my niche to gather questions asked and categorize them so that I can group topics and figure out where I can provide the most valuable solutions.
I will be doing an article on my research methods and how I keep everything organized. This is going to be a super important step that I take very seriously to make sure that I am hearing the voice of my customer and keeping my eye on the ball rather than just swinging the bat with all my might hoping to connect.
- Do your research, but do it methodically and not half-assed.
- Think like a marketer, not like a customer – Use data not emotion.
- LISTEN to your customer, don’t just assume you know what they want because that is what you would want, and don’t assume that they would not want something just because you wouldn’t.
I don’t consider this first free product and list building endeavor as a failure, far from it. It has been successful, I just know I can do better by my customers as far as giving them what they need.