In the last 8 years, I've not only built my own online business to $40k+ per month, but also helped thousands of customers and hundreds of coaching clients to achieve their goals too.
Although there are a LOT of important lessons I've learned, there's one that really stands out.
Here it is...
When people first get started, they often have a few ideas for how they'd like their online business to be.
Whether it's ideas for marketing angles, ideas for products, ideas for website designs, ideas for content - or pretty much anything - everything is based around their own ideas.
But there's one big problem with doing this...
You're not the one buying your products.
Or in other words...
What you think people want probably isn't what people actually want.
Yep - there's a difference between the two.
For example, in the weight loss niche, the average prospect knows they need to stop looking for the magic diet which is going to fix everything quickly (because it doesn't exist), and to change their eating and exercise habits in the long-term.
However as soon as they find a product which promises quick results with a "new" kind of method, the prospect will always choose that over what they should be following.
So as a business owner, you'll always make more money by finding out what people actually want, then give it to them - without letting your own biases and opinions influence your business.
I know this is pretty difficult to take on board as a new business owner, as it's your baby and you want to build a legacy you can be proud of.
However you can still do that - just by changing the positioning and marketing of your offers to match what people are looking for.
This doesn't mean you need to sell crap.
In fact, I encourage you NOT to - as you should always be trying to help people.
But to sell something that people really need, you have to position it as something they want.
You'll make a lot more sales, while people get the "aha!" moment they've been looking for.
But how do you find out what people actually want instead of what you think they want?
There are three main ways, depending on how much success you're having so far:
1) If you're a complete beginner with no email subscribers, you can simply visit a forum or message board where your ideal prospects hang out and straight-up ask them what they're looking for when it comes to your niche.
The answers won't be as reliable here, because what your prospects say they want and what they actually want are two different things. But it's better than nothing and will be good enough to get your online business off the ground.
2) If you're having some success and have at least 100 subscribers on your email list, you can create a one-question survey using something like Wufoo.com or SurveyMonkey.com, simply asking them what they'd like you to help them with.
Again, the answers won't be 100% true here, because you're relying on people telling the truth about what they actually want, along with the fact that some people really don't know what they want until they see it.
3) If you're having a lot of success and are steadily building your email list and making sales, you can find out exactly what people want by putting offers in front of them and see how they react by analyzing the statistics.
For example, if you promote a product about stopping dogs from pooping in the house, but the open rate and click-through rate of your email broadcast is lower than your other emails, then that's potentially a sign that people aren't interested in what you have to offer.
Of course, the email could be written in a way that isn't very compelling to people. So it's worth checking to see how the people who DID click on the email reacted to the offer, simply by checking the sales conversion rates.
When you use any of these three methods to find out what people want, you're then able to connect with the conversation people are already having in their minds, which makes it super easy to make sales.
Or, if you continue giving people what you want instead of what they want, you'll hear "this isn't for me" a whole lot more, and your results will continue to be driven into the ground.
(I know because I've done it myself twice over the last 3 years!)
Remember, an online business is all about connecting a valuable solution to people's problems.
Finding out what those problems are in the first place makes the whole process a lot easier.
Have a great day!
- James Francis.
P.S. Are you guilty of this mistake? Leave a comment below!