How to Find Starving Markets
with Josh Felber
with guests Trav Lubinsky, Daniel Harmon, Ian Stanley, Todd Brown, Rob Dial, George Bryant Adrian Morrison and Anthony Morrison #MakingBank S4E44
No matter how creative you are or what talents you have, the success of your business hinges on your ability to find the right customer base. Finding a ‘starving market’ that desperately needs a product or service is possibly the most important part of business. If you can achieve this you have a huge advantage. If you can’t, your potential is stunted.
A true entrepreneur is someone who falls in love with being in business, in love with the everyday process of finding markets and building a career by solving their problems, not someone who falls in love with a particular product even if the market doesn’t want it. If that is you, then you are in a great position to find customers, solve their problems, and reap the rewards.
So how can you go about finding customers who are ready to fork over their hard earned cash? Luckily, in the information age, finding hungry customers and marketing to them is easier than ever before. You can do so without even leaving the comfort of your living room, which, during quarantine, is quite ideal.
Here are 4 ways to stay productive while this lockdown continues by identifying niche markets that are not having their needs met and learning how to capture their business!
- Google Search Terms
Google offers 2 main tools that entrepreneurs can leverage to gain key insights into what people are searching: Google Trends and Google Adword Keyword Planner.
Google Trends provides information on what people are searching in general throughout the world. You can search by country, you can compare search terms, and you can find related topics that people are searching about those terms.
A simple Trends search could be ‘Joe Biden’ vs ‘Donald Trump.’ Searching these terms and comparing them will tell you which term has been searched more, and can be broken down all over the United States or even all over the world. It will also allow you to branch out and find related search terms, letting you know what is on the mind of people and what they want to know about each person.
The Google Adword Keyword Planner is a more in depth tool that lets you run tests on potential ads, find big lists of related search terms and see which are the most popular, and much, much more.
The Adword Key Planner can show you a bigger list of the most popular search terms related to cat toys, and how those search terms are expected to perform in the future. This is a more advanced tool that also takes longer to learn, but it’s worth it.
Google Trends shows you what happened. The Adword Key Planner helps you understand why as well as what will happen going forward.
2. Start as Specific as Possible Before Expanding
If you want to start marketing to dog owners, simply targeting your ads to people who have mentioned ‘dogs’ on their Facebook profile is not a good start. It’s much more effective to get specific by searching people who have expressed their love for rescuing dogs, or people who actively mention their dogs’ toys.
Once you do this and you have successfully begun building interaction on your page and making sales, then you can branch out to more vague search terms and a wider demographic of people.
3. Find Organizations or Groups of People
Finding hungry people is good, but finding a group of people with similar interests and figuring out how to solve a need for them collectively is gold. The above tools can help you find groups of people, as can searching Facebook groups. It can be anything from people who are obsessed with baking to people involved in political activism.
Find out where these groups congregate, whether it’s in person or online, and learn as much as you can. Get on forums, or even attend events. Get involved. Talk to people. Finding the group is the first step, understanding their problem areas is next, and helping solve one (or more) of those problems is last.
Pro-tip: seek out groups that you are naturally interested in. One of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur is to be as knowledgeable as possible. If you are naturally interested in the groups you are selling to, if you are a part of those groups simply because you enjoy being a part of them, you will have a huge leg up. You will be more knowledgeable, more passionate, and you will also have inherent trust and credibility.
Once you intimately understand a group you will have a much more clear idea of their problems and how to solve them.
4. Research Reviews
The internet is chock full of reviews of literally everything. Whatever you are trying to sell, researching reviews of similar products can turn up invaluable insights into where your competitors are falling short, and what customers are looking for that they’re not finding. Find what a particular market is complaining about and find a way to solve that problem.
Search on Google, search on Amazon, and search on any niche site that is involved in the same market as you. This will also help you understand how your customers are talking and give you an idea of how to market to them.
5. Bring it All Together
Individually these methods can all prove fruitful, but the real key here is to use them in conjunction. Identifying search terms can give you insights into what is trending and how to build content that will bring people to your website. After identifying popular search terms, you can use those insights to build a product concept and search for groups of people that may find it valuable. Once you find those groups, hone in on them online, learn where they congregate, what their pain points are and how they talk.
The legwork isn’t always fun, but by doing it you will remove a lot of the guesswork from building a product or service and knowing how to market it. You’re an entrepreneur. If you fall in love with this process, hone your skills, and relax: victory is assured.