Select Page

Max the Math Mutt Market Research Crystal Ball
Are you sick of developing products only to see dismal sales?

Do you feel like you’re playing Russian Roulette when you develop a new service?

Do you wish you could afford to do market research?

Good news – I can help.

Learn how to research your target market, and get paid to do it!

Market research isn’t out of your reach. In fact, any business, even a new business, can research their market and make money doing it!

Market Research that Pays You: The Concept

When you want to create a new product or service you start with an idea. Whether the idea is to offer an eBook on how to make the best darn paper airplane, or to be a personal hiking guide to the top of Kilimanjaro, it all began with an idea.

The trick to being a successful business is knowing which ideas are the real money makers, and then delivering like crazy to your customers. How do you know which ones will be successful?

Let your clients tell you!

Build your product or create your service after they’ve purchased it. Think about it. When someone puts their money down on the table you know they’re serious. Conversely, everyone could say what a great idea it is and then not buy it.

You may be wondering, Nicole how do I sell something that doesn’t exist yet? Easy, you offer pre-sales, early bird discounts, and founding member packages. If no one buys your offer,the market has just told you not to waste your time. If you do sell a bunch you’re getting paid to create that product!

Let’s walk through a few examples.

Market Research that Pays You: eBook Pre-Sales

You’ve decided you can write the eBook to end all eBooks on constructing the perfect paper airplane. But is there really a market for another (or even the first) eBook on paper airplanes? Before you invest time and resources to create the eBook run a pre-sale and find out.

Easy Peasy eBook Market Research Pre-Sale

  • Create an outline of the book, key selling points and a title
  • Create a simple pre-launch sales page of the book. Let your market know the book won’t be available until a certain date in the future. Offer a substantial discount or meaningful bonuses if they pre-order.
  • Promote the pre-order sales page to your list, as well as on social media. Use your network to get the word out.
  • If you begin to make sales, then it’s time to write the paper airplane eBook you’ve been dreaming of. It’s critical to deliver the eBook on time. Keeping your commitments is the foundation of any successful business.
  • Launch the eBook, put it on Kindle, and market it like crazy! You’ve already been paid to create it, and you know a market exists.

Market Research that Pays You: Founding Member

Perhaps you want to offer a mastermind group to along with a book you’ve already published. If the book has been successful you already have a warm group to which you can promote the idea. Better yet, ask them.

I know, it’s crazy. Asking the customer what they want. Or listening to them when they offer ideas. As you may know, I recently launched my book called How to be a Finance Rock Star: The Small Business Owner’s Ticket to Multi-Platinum Profits. While it is written as a stand-alone tool, some readers expressed an interest in a mastermind group to do a hands-on walk through of the book.

Great idea! Only I didn’t have a such a thing created. The traditional approach would be to spend the time to create it and then offer it. Of course that means I’m not earning money, and more importantly the people currently interested have nothing to purchase.

OR, I could tell them I’m launching a new service, and a limited group of people will get a chance to be the first ones through it. Since it will still be a work in progress I will offer it at a discounted price. In this case my regular price will be $247 for an eight week small group mastermind covering my book.

However for the initial participants, my small VIP group, they can get this same service for only $100. Yes a Finance Rock Star VIP Mastermind Pass for only $100. (Gratuitous self-promotion: As of the date I wrote this one slot is open, so feel free to sign up using this link).

If no one actually paid to join the Finance Rock Star Mastermind Group then I would know it wasn’t really a service that was of interest to my market. However since people have signed up for it, I will be getting paid to develop the course. The participants receive my same great service as a significant discount. It’s a win-win!

Market Research that Pays You: Crowdfunding Your Offering

Let’s say you want to create a new paid community. However there is significant development cost, both in software and in time. You really, really, really believe its a great idea, but are worried if no one joins you’ll be out a ton of cash.

Why not crowdfund your community? Not only will it cover your development costs, it tells you if people are really willing to pay to be a part of the community you plan to offer.

How to test and fund your kick butt community

  • Determine the costs involved. That will be your project fundraising goal.
  • List out the benefits a paid member of the community will receive
  • Go to or a similar crowdfunding site and start a project. Be sure to offer special benefits or free membership for a certain number of months to those who fund your start-up costs
  • Promote to your list, through social media and your network. Heck even tell you mom, you know she’ll spread the word.
  • The monies are only disbursed if you hit your funding goal. Otherwise they are returned to the backers.

This is another win-win. If you hit your goal you have the money to build your community, the knowledge that there is a market willing to pay for it, and a built in core of people who will participate.

Final Thoughts

Have you ever tried one of these ideas? If so, what were your results? If not, would you? Why or why not?

This post is part of the March Word Carnival — a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners. (It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!) Check out the rest of the fabulous carney work here.

© 2012 Small Business Finance Forum LLC | All rights reserved.