October 22, 2007
Today, I’d like to teach you an easy method of researching a product or project idea BEFORE you invest a lot of time and other resources in it.
Over the past 11 years I’ve been shown over 100 products that “seemed like a great idea,” but when they were offered to the market, the customers weren’t interested. In a few cases the “marketing” was just bad, but in more cases, the product was simply something that the market didn’t want.
There are, of course, more research tools available than you could ever learn to use. So, today, I’m actually going to focus your attention on just two… and they’ll both be free.
First, I’d like to introduce you to Google Alerts! You’ll find this handy, free service offered by Google.com at: http://www.google.com/alerts
Note that Google does own the trademarks to all of the terms mentioned in this article that uses their name 🙂
Google Alerts allow you to subscribe to free notifications of when Google discovers new occurrences of a target phrase anywhere on the Internet. You can specify what types of databases Google provides you with updates from. As you’ll see when visiting the site, it’s fairly self-explanatory.
I have dozens of these set up. I have it set up so that… once a day, I get an email summary of new alerts for:
- Target keyword phrases
- Target URLs
- Target product titles
- Discussion forums on a topic
- My name and my company name
- My key competitors
- Unique phrases that I created for various purpose
You get the idea.
The second free tool that I use is online forums specific to my topic of interest. These are forums where people discuss your topic or niche. There are hundreds of thousands of them scattered across the Internet, and you CAN find one on almost any topic.
When that brilliant product idea comes to you, the first thing that you want to ask is, “Is this something that the market really wants?”
You also want to know, “Is this something that already exists, and if it does, can I still market something similar?”
The final question you want to answer if you’re contemplating getting rich with your idea is, “Is this something that the market is willing to pay for?”
The first objection many people will offer when reading this article is that they don’t know where to find discussion forums in their niche. To them, I say… “Google Alerts!”
Simply set up some alerts for phrases that include the terms:
- “online forums” + your keywords
- “discussion boards” + your keywords
- “forum” + your keywords
- “online community” + your keywords
In a day or two, Google will be so kind as to start EMAILING YOU links to some of these forums. What could be easier. Just go over, register for the forums if required, and then listen to the discussion.
You’re listening to see if your product idea will solve a problem that this group of people PAINFULLY want to solve.
You’re listening to see if there is a glaringly obvious problem, other than the one your were already thinking about, that you can offer the perfect solution to.
If you don’t see discussion that answers your question, then consider posting the question. Explain that you are doing research for a possible product. Perhaps even ask them to visit your site and take a survey.
A living example of how I recently did this AND the resulting product follows. Study my example, and you’ll see that you really can confirm that your product is badly wanted by the marketplace before you write the first word of an ebook, or the first line of code for a program.
I’ll give you an example from Internet marketing since that is the niche that many readers of this article will be from.
I began by visiting the very popular Internet Marketing Warriors discussion forum. I had an idea that the market was growing tired of products that promised a fortune overnight but that offered techniques many people found daunting.
I suspected that many people in the “Internet marketing niche” were having very little success, and would be completely ecstatic if they could earn even $100 per day.
So I posted the rhetorical question, “Would You Be ‘Happy’ With $100 Per Day?” That thread generate over 4700 views, and over 170 responses. The responses overwhelmingly confirmed my suspicions. It confirmed that most people would not only be thrilled with $100 per day ($3000 per month) but that they were anxious for instructions on HOW to accomplish this seemingly-daunting task.
You can read that thread, and feel the strong emotion here: http://warriorforum.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=184530
I mention the strong emotion because if you understand sales, you know that people buy on emotion, and then justify with logic. So, you do need to provide a solution to a problem that people really REALIZE that they have on a deep emotional level… if you want a best-seller.
After verifying that people wanted this product, and even letting them tell me what the product should feel like, I then felt confident in creating and marketing such a product. I knew beyond any doubt that if I offered this product in the right way, that it WOULD sell.
I have used the technique above in numerous niches. I’m currently working on a similar “exercise” in the very competitive cooking niche. I’m doing it by addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers in that niche. More on that in another article though 🙂
After I had verified the demand for the product in my example above… the product on “How To Make $100 Per Day Online”… I then had to determine the best method for creating this product.
Realizing that there are literally dozens of easy, viable methods of earning that amount, working just one or two hour per day, I also realized that writing something based upon just my own experiences would be too limiting. I AM involved in a lot of online niches, and do far more things than I probably should be doing.
However, to get a wider variety of experiences, I turned to the best “brain-pool” that I could think of. I went to the members of my inner circle private memberships site at: http://TheInternetMarketingInnerCircle.com
I posted the suggestion on our private forum that this was an idea with proven demand, and suggested that we write this ebook as a group.
Instantly, I had lots of people who were actually earning that much, or more, coming forward and offering to do a chapter. Others, who didn’t feel qualified to write a chapter, offered to do things such as proofreading, or helping with graphics or programming.
The community at The Internet Marketing Inner Circle WROTE the ebook, producing what many are already calling “The Internet Marketing Product Of The Year!” One even called it, “The Internet Marketing Product Of The Decade.” That may be a stretch, but it clearly filled a very real need. It solved a glaring problem.
You can see the result of my research and our teamwork at: http://TheInternetCouncil.org
I’ll close by revealing one other BIG secret. One of several reasons why I was willing to suggest my idea as a group project was that I knew that having more people involved would create a sense of ownership. I knew that getting more people involved in creating the product all but eliminated any risk in creating the product.
We could even say that the thread on the Warrior Forum reduced the risk by 95%. By saying on the forum that they would be happy with $100 per day, and that they were looking for a plan to accomplish this, created a deep psychological connection between those posters, and the success of the project. Since the product filled a need that they publicly stated that they wanted SOLVED, they would be inconsistent if they didn’t accept the solution when offered.
I don’t need to pack too many lessons into this article. I think that I have demonstrated, with a living example, that you can guarantee the success of your product before you even start! Now you just need to do it!
Author: Willie Crawford has been teaching others uncomplicated methods of building successful online businesses since 1996. Today, he does most of his teaching inside an exclusive membership site filled with other experts dedicated to uncovering the truth about how to succeed online. Join Willie and dozens of other “old-timers” at: http://TheInternetMarketingInnerCircle.com