LESSON #21: Surveying the Market & Focusing Your Topic

In the previous two lessons we talked about how to select a niche market, and how to determine whether there’s money to be made in it.

Today we’re going to refine your topic to make sure you’re zooming in on the desires of your niche audience. If you fail to do this, your product runs the risk of missing the target…

(Watch this video…)

Join my coaching club

Main points:

  • You need to figure out what information people would be willing to pay for.

    In general, people may be willing to pay for information that will…
    – ease their pain
    – fuel their pleasure

  • Most successful infoproducts are focused on a problem/solution.

  • There are some niches in which people are not going to pay for information. If you find yourself in one of these niches, then I suggest you do one of two things…

    1) find a different niche
    2) figure out different way to monetize it (ie. give the info away for free to build a list, and monetize the back end through physical product/affiliate sales)

  • The best way to find out exactly what your niche wants is to conduct a survey.

  • If you have as list of subscribers in your niche, survey them. Here are three ways you can conduct your survey.

    1) email replies

    2) self hosted survey – You can put a survey on your own website using a script such as this one (available with Master Resale Rights)

    3) 3rd party survey – I recommend doing an ASK Campaign

    UPDATE: I now use Instant Form Pro for most of my surveys. That’s what I used for my twitter survey, and other surveys. I like how easy it is to set up, and how it enables me to export the data to Excel to sort it as I wish.

  • If you don’t have a list, there are several other ways to conduct a survey…

    1) Hire a market research firm (generally not recommended, due to the high cost)

    2) Make a deal with a list owner in your niche. Create a win-win situation where the list owner benefits from the data being collected (or some other mutually beneficial arrangement).

    3) Use PPC. You can send targeted traffic to a survey on your own site, or to an ASK Campaign. This will cost you some money, but very cheap compared to some alternatives (as few as 100 respondents may be enough).

    4) Find free traffic. Get involved in forums in your niche, and then poll other members. Use social networks, etc.

    5) Do it offline. Call people you know who are in your niche, text them, email them… do whatever it takes. Poll your neighbors, your church members, whatever you need to do to make sure your product hits the bulls eye.

  • Incentivizing your survey will result in a higher response rate (just make sure the incentive is targeted to your desired audience).

  • Examples of questions you can ask…

    What is your biggest problem regarding _________ ?

    How difficult is it to find the answer to that problem?

    What would you most like to learn about ________ ?

    How much would you be willing to pay for a solution to ____________ ?

  • Be sure to include at least one or two open ended questions. Multiple choice are easier to analyze, but open ended will give you more valuable feedback.

  • Dig as deep as you can. (8 questions is a good target, but you may want to do just a few questions if you’re polling your own list)

  • If you choose to not do a survey, it is imperative that you do some additional research, which could include the following resources.

  • Go to Yahoo Answers: http://answers.yahoo.com

    You want to know what PROBLEMS they are having. So pay special attention to questions like…

    “Can someone tell me how to fix/improve/avoid… ______?”
    “Is there a better/cheaper/faster way to… ______?”
    “I need help with… _______”

  • Check out Board Tracker: http://www.boardtracker.com (search engine of forums)

    Look for problems related to your niche that people are discussing on the forums.

  • Look at Ezine Articles: http://www.EzineArticles.com

    This is the biggest article submission site, and will show you what is being done by other internet marketers to provide information in your niche. Are all of your audience’s most burning questions already being answered for free in these articles? Look at the author bio boxes to see how they are attempting to monetize the articles (ie. do they have a competing infoproduct?)

  • The more competitive the niche, the more important for you to have a strong USP. (There are ways to break into a market without a USP, but I generally don’t recommend it)

  • USP = Unique Selling Point, or Unique Selling Proposition

    Action steps:

    1) Survey your market and/or

    2) Research the market in detail to find out exactly what they want

    3) Decide what the focus of your topic will be

    4) Come up with a USP for your product

    I want to give you fair warning that this is where a lot of new marketers miss the boat. If you end up with a product that nobody wants to buy, more than likely you can trace it back to this lesson and see that you didn’t dig deep enough into your market to find out what they really want to pay for.

    Once you’ve narrowed down your topic, it’s time to envision your product and come up with a great brand name. I’ll be talking all about that in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 290 comments on “LESSON #21: Surveying the Market & Focusing Your Topic

    1. jim

      Eric-
      You do a great job of methodically explaining what needs to be done to set the foundation for an online business. My question, after listening to lesson 21 is: Once I’ve done my research and identified a niche, how do I break into that market and do well, and realizing that I’m not an expert in that niche…where do I get my relevant information to compete and become a viable resource??

      Reply
    2. Jorge

      Eric thanks for the links to search words and the time you spend with us kepp working hard regards for all

      Reply
    3. John2

      Hi Eric,
      About those PLR sales.
      PLR’s are info products,So if some one buys and ask for REFUND how does that work,maybe they make copies before asking for refund SO do You give refunds on PLR’s. Just would like to know if I chose to do that. Thanks for a reply.. John

      Reply
    4. Eric Post author

      That’s a downside of digital products. It’s very difficult to take it back. In the case of software, many companies are able to do this by implementing a licensing system, which can disable the license in the event of a refund. So… generally I would recommend not worrying about refunds too much, and just anticipate a percentage of refunds (maybe 10%) as a part of doing business.

      Reply
    5. Hannah

      Hello Eric,

      This is the best lesson so far! A BIG Thank YOU! I have done a lot of research prior to Lesson #21 and more
      yesterday and today. I need to find a niche that is not too saturated…diet and fitness is a great topic, but it would
      be very difficult for me to offer something that has not already been offered. With that said, I will enter that niche
      after I have a better understand of niche marketing. I am looking at two more niches, but I really have to have
      something good enough to offer for people to pay for it. I may consider offering several free reports, like you suggested in the lesson. This is tough stuff, but I am up for the challenge! Thanks so much again for this wonderful lesson, YOU’RE the BEST!

      BLESSINGS< BLESSINGS and MORE BLESSINGS!

      Hannah

      Reply
    6. Bill

      I think that what Jeff Walker has to offer is good but at the moment I can’t afford the price,and I need to stay focused on the lessons that I am being taught by you at the moment.If I could afford it I still probably would not do it until I was ferther along with Eric’s Tips,right nopw I am just finishing up on lesson #21. Thank You From Texas

      Reply
    7. mike

      Hi Eric
      I just emailed your support team. I did something you recommended to NOT to do: buy anything more. But since i t came from you and seemed like what this drawn out tips thing is building up to, I bought, “Lay off your boss” and the coaching and something else. I have the list of downloads but don’t know how to “download”. Can you help me?

      Reply
      1. Eric Post author

        Sure thing. If you haven’t already done so, please open a ticket at my helpdesk http://www.ericsupport.com along with your purchase information, and we’ll make sure you are able to get the downloads. Thanks

        Reply
    8. Paul Warner

      This was and is a terrific video lesson and I learned a lot. One thing is that it is amazing not seeing your face but hearing your voice to teach people this stuff. I agree with everything pertaining to research and the path you followed was terrific too. From what I saw there is a strong possibility that the “invention” niche is still open for a unique pursuit of making money, but I would be really nervous about this because I am just not sure of the traffic especially when they are looking for a cheap or inexpensive way of getting a patent for the invention, or an inexpensive way of doing the invention itself. I would probably like to know how many inventions are submitted for patents annually and of those how many inventions are actually viable. I’d like to know how many websites are there that pertain to inventions and if any are making money. Still people invent things all of the time and they are quite creative so there is a possibility here. That being said it was a wonderful lesson…..Paul

      Reply
    9. Wendy Knight

      As always you give excellent advice in this lesson Eric. I’ve been trying for some time to gain success in my online marketing efforts – your advice is definitely extremely helpful. Thankyou.

      Reply
    10. maurice

      Wow thanks Eric , its really nice of you to be real and take the time and effort to go deep and explain in detail about how to get this internet marketing right. At this point I have a question. How do I use the ” lay off your boss ” downloads to make money right away, I also tried to sign up for the coaching for $4.95 a month but I never received a receipt for it so it probably did not go through.

      Reply
    11. Norman

      Hello, Eric.
      I had made an inquiry, regarding recording your videos so I can watch them on the road. Unfortunately, I forgot which day I did that. You have so many comments, published, I have not been able to find mine and therefore perhaps your response to my comment. Is it possible for you to email me the lesson number in which I made my inquiry?

      Thanks

      Norman

      Reply
      1. Norman

        Hello, Eric.

        Is this one of those comments that won’t receive a response? (please see the two previous comments from me.).

        Reply
        1. Micah

          Hello Norman,

          Unfortunately, the lessons are only available for viewing at http://www.ericstips.com/.

          Eric plans on making a DVD course available when the 100 lesson series has been completed.

          For now, if data usage is a problem, we recommend that you view the lessons from a coffee shop with free WiFi, or a friend’s home where data isn’t an issue.

          Reply
      2. Micah

        Hello Norman,

        Unfortunately, the lessons are only available for viewing at http://www.ericstips.com/.

        Eric plans on making a DVD course available when the 100 lesson series has been completed.

        For now, if data usage is a problem, we recommend that you view the lessons from a coffee shop with free WiFi, or a friend’s home where data isn’t an issue.

        Reply
    12. mehrdad kashani

      Hi Eric & Micah, thank you for lessons.
      I’m new at network marketing and need some help to make money.
      This is my website: http://www.yourdreamyhouse.com
      Let me know what you think. Coaching, autopilot . . . ? I prefer autopilot, something that really work and valuable to investing.

      Reply
        1. mehrdad kashani

          Thank you Micah for taking time to answering me.
          Perhaps I did not clear what I need, in last comment.
          I have not question about which method. I have chosen click ads. But I have not enough time to be a professional at internet marketing now, getting traffic and setting up SEO issues . . .
          So, I want to get help by hiring a pro, like getting a coach, or software, or other thing that you know much better than me.
          I prefer autopilot.
          I want you to tell me what to do, I appreciate that.

          Reply
          1. Micah

            Hello Mehrdad,

            Here is the link to Eric’s lesson called, PPC Traffic:
            http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson73/

            Advanced PPC Tips:
            http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson74/

            What is included in Eric’s Coaching Club:
            – 2 Live Coaching Webinars Per Month with Jeff Wellman, Paul Counts, and Eric Holmlund
            – Access to the Archive of All Coaching Calls
            – Monthly High Quality PLR Product
            – Massive Video Training Library
            – Community Forum (JV’s, Support, and More)
            – Articles, Bonuses, and More
            http://www.realguysrealmoney.com/go17/

            Reply
        2. mehrdad kashani

          Don’t you answer any more?

          Reply
          1. Micah

            Hello Mehrdad,

            Here is the link to Eric’s lesson called, PPC Traffic:
            http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson73/

            Advanced PPC Tips:
            http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson74/

            What is included in Eric’s Coaching Club:
            – 2 Live Coaching Webinars Per Month with Jeff Wellman, Paul Counts, and Eric Holmlund
            – Access to the Archive of All Coaching Calls
            – Monthly High Quality PLR Product
            – Massive Video Training Library
            – Community Forum (JV’s, Support, and More)
            – Articles, Bonuses, and More
            http://www.realguysrealmoney.com/go17/

            Reply
    13. Terry Carroll

      I have purchased a number of “How to….”. courses, together with resale licences, (I bought these as a future investment before I found your course and I am a newbie in virtually all respects of internet marketing. Will any of your videos help me to maximise the sales potential of these courses? There is a mix of DVD and PDF elements.
      I do not at present have any blogs or websites and again, is the building of these, together with ways of driving traffic, included in future videos?
      Thank you.

      Reply
    14. juan

      Very good Eric

      Reply
    15. hans

      Hi Eric,
      Great video and to the point. You finally focused in on some missing pieces of the puzzle regarding market research.
      In the past I have used surveys in an attempt to focus in on what specific part of the music arranging I should be concentrating. But the answers were so diverse, that it was very hard to detect a certain pattern as you did with you inventions niche. By looking at yahoo answers, boardtracker and ezines articles it will make it much more easier to know what people are searching for.

      Thanks, Hans

      Reply
    16. Bob Truelove

      HEY Eric;
      this is the first time I’ve seen anyone take 45 min to explain how anything works in detail; usually you get about 2-5 minutes if they’re generous with their time …. I appreciate it very much, especially in the researching a niche … THANK YOU ….. Bob Truelove

      Reply
    17. Martin Hanks

      Hello Eric,
      I have not been able to check my email as often as I would like and as a result I missed your Landing Page Monkey bonus offer. It expired before I even saw the offer and I think I would have been very interested in purchasing that offer. Is there anyway you can extend the offer a little while longer.
      Thanks
      Martin Hanks

      Reply
    18. RANDY K

      This info is awesome. it is really helping me. I am a beginner and all your Lessons is what I need.

      Reply
    19. Larry Edwards

      I cant tell you how much i enjoy listening to your lessons. Your right on the mark.
      I can totally relate to what your saying in this lesson. Ive spent hours upon hours creating more than one product, only to sell a very few copies of it. Research is a major key to success in any business.
      Great stuff… thank you!!

      Reply
    20. RANDY K

      i WILL NOT GIVE UP. RAN INTO A PROBLEM WITH MY COMPUTER. I got it to work a little and I am behind on lessosns. but trying to catch up. everything so far is good information.

      Reply
    21. Paula

      I need help researching a niche so I can narrow it down. If I sign up for the coaching club, can I expect help down to that level or is there another program available for that type of assistance?

      Reply
      1. Micah

        Hello Paula,

        You can get that help during the coaching calls.

        What is included in the Coaching Club:
        – 2 Live Coaching Webinars Per Month with Jeff Wellman, Paul Counts, and Eric Holmlund
        – Access to the Archive of All Coaching Calls
        – Monthly High Quality PLR Product
        – Massive Video Training Library
        – Community Forum (JV’s, Support, and More)
        – Articles, Bonuses, and More
        http://www.realguysrealmoney.com/go17/

        Reply
    22. Aworinde Sam

      Thanks so much for the valuable information. This information is crucial to any aspire online marketer!

      Reply
    23. Timothy W. Bethune

      I find asking questions helps get to the root problem that my niche is having so I know how to help them the most.

      Reply
    24. Timothy W. Bethune

      Google Yahoo and You tube are the hottest places to find anything you want. wonder what ever happened to Ask.

      Reply
    25. Marc M. Demers

      Hey Eric,

      In my opinion, this is the most important lesson overall.

      If I well understand this lesson, Research is the stage that differentiates winners from losers.

      I’m now interested in understanding the pros and cons of CopyCat versus USP. It’s on my “Things to Do” List.

      You’re the best.

      Kindly,

      Marc

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *