5 Reasons Market Research Should be on your Priority To-Do List

 
 

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Tweet: Market research is just a fancy term for learning about who you want to serve so that you can do a better job of it. @iamstacykessler https://ctt.ac/0EraH+

Market research is just a fancy term for learning about who you want to serve so that you can do a better job of it.


Tweet: Market research is often overlooked or deprioritized, yet delivers some of the best returns for your business. @iamstacykessler https://ctt.ac/9Wv39+

Market research is often overlooked or deprioritized, yet delivers some of the best returns for your business.


 
Market Research Importance - Stacy Kessler Wide.jpeg
 
 

What is Market Research

Market research is a term you may have heard in your college business class, or ran across when looking at what's needed for a business plan, or heard large corporations do before launching a new product. But if you're a small business owner, solopreneur, or freelancer - you've likely long brushed it off as something that isn't relevant to you and your small operation.

However, I'm here to change your mind, but first, I want to set the record straight on the definition of market research. It's not just endless focus groups and never-ending annoying surveys (though that is how some people approach market research).

This can be as simple as talking with your clients, learning about people you'd like to work with, observing and listening, or asking for feedback. It can even be a one question poll on social media. It does not need to be complex, super time consuming, or even cost a dime when you're running a small operation. If fact, I would suggest that it isn't any of those things.
 

Go Straight to the Source

If you want to build and improve your business, there's usually no better place to start than doing market research.

Think about it this way - successful businesses solve a need for a specific type of client or customer (and do it well) and to learn the best way to do that you need to learn from (and about) that client or customer. 

Voila! Market research!
 

A Case For Market Research

There are loads of reasons that market research should be a priority on your to-do list, but I'm going to lay out five of the big ones that can have a huge impact on small businesses and independent endeavors.
 

Reason #1: Improve your business and create an amazing client experience.

When you ask for honest (and constructive) feedback from your clients, it helps you understand what you do really well (and need to continue doing) and what you could improve upon. We all want clients who rave about our services and refer us to new clients, but in order to get that, we need to first wow them when they hire us. Learning what wows them and exactly how to build that wow experience into your business is a learning process and doing market research by continually asking for feedback is the best way to get there.
 

Reason #2: Better package and price your services.

Market research can bring you a better understanding of what your ideal clients' needs and challenges are and what they are willing to pay to solve them. By learning about their life and what frustrations they have or compensating behaviors they have developed, you can find opportunities to make their life better (HINT: insert your services).

Once you've developed some ideas for solutions (which can be as simple as how you package and price your services), you can ask your ideal clients for feedback. You can also put your offerings out into the market and see what gets bites. After all, if your business is providing a service based around your expertise, it doesn't take much to launch a new offering. When you get a new client, ask them how they arrived at their decision and use that information to continue to optimize how you productize your services. 
 

Reason #3: Better relate to your ideal client in your messaging & marketing.

Doing market research is a great way to capture the language that your ideal client uses. Using their language, not yours (and not your industry's jargon) in your messaging and marketing is the best way to find and connect with more of them. When you talk with your ideal client, capture how they say things and what words they use. You can also pull language directly from your client intake questionnaire, feedback surveys, and emails.

If you want to be extra sleuthy, find out where your ideal client hangs out online and then pull language from those places. This could be social media (especially industry-related Facebook groups), Quora questions, the comments from related blog posts, or reviews on Amazon for industry-related books. I suggest keeping Google doc or notes sheet that you can paste these ideal client words and quotes into when you come across them. Then you can reference them when you're writing copy.
 

Reason #4: Overcome hiring barriers to close the sale faster and more often.

When someone schedules an exploratory call with me, I always ask what questions or hesitations they have about working with me. Why? Because then I not only know where to focus the call, but can also preemptively address these concerns for other people. Also when you get a client, listen for what questions they ask you early on in your work partnership. You don't have to wait until someone inquires about your services or hires you though. Go talk with your ideal client and ask them what solutions they have and haven't already tried to solve their needs and why. 

You can use all this info to update the copy on your website, create a FAQ section, or put together an info document to send to leads. For my coworking space, Platform 53, I've compiled a Meeting Room Rental Guide that has a ton of extra info and answers to FAQ in it for those who inquire about reserving a creative meeting space. I've also updated my website copy to address anything that might prevent someone from even inquiring.
 

Reason #5: Find more ideal clients.

You know that feeling you get when you really click with someone and you just work together so well? Do you want to find more of these ideal clients? Here's are three quick ways to do that.

  1. Ask where your clients heard about you? Then repeat whatever marketing and sales efforts led to getting that client. This will help you decide if you should you invest your time and money in online marketing, local media, relationship marketing, or something else.

  2. Ask your ideal clients what else they've purchased, used, or attended? Then be present there. This will help you decide who you can partner with, where you can get exposure, and what events or groups you should be at.

  3. When you finish working with a client (or have been for a little while), ask if they know others like them who could benefit from your services? If they do, ask them if they are willing to connect you.

If you don't know who your ideal clients are, download my free guide, Identify Your Ideal Client.


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Here they are in a nutshell

5 Reasons Market Research Should Be On Your Priority To-Do List

Reason #1: Improve your business and create an amazing client experience.

Reason #2: Better package and price your services.

Reason #3: Better relate to your ideal client in your messaging & marketing.

Reason #4: Overcome hiring barriers to close the sale faster and more often.

Reason #5: Find more ideal clients.

 

Ready to do some market research?

A great place to start is by asking your past clients for feedback. I've created a free copy and paste list of Client Feedback Questions that you can send out immediately. In the future, you can send this to all of your clients immediately after finishing working with them to get the most top-of-mind feedback.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Client Feedback Questions

 

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stacy kessler - pathfinding strategist

Hey There!

I’m Stacy, an entrepreneur, strategist, and adventurer dedicated to helping you build a kick-ass business out of your skills & passions. Why? Because I think you should love your life and that’s kind of hard to do if you don’t love your work.

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