You’ve done your homework and chosen a killer niche market. Great! The next step is to figure out how best you can serve that market through content, products, and services. At this point, you shouldn’t focus on price points, upsell strategies, advertising, etc. All of these things are important, but bringing them into the brainstorming process is likely to hinder your creativity. The purpose of this exercise is to answer a simple question: How can I add value to my audience?

“As an online business owner, your income isn’t linked to your effort. Rather, it’s linked to the amount of value that you add to the market.” I mentioned this in a previous post, but it bears repeating. If you want to make more money, you need to add more value to the lives of more people. It is as simple as that. This concept is the foundation to any highly profitable online business, including the 101 Adventure-Funding Online Business Ideas presented in this series.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to take the first step towards creating a high-selling product: identify your customer’s deepest fears and desires.

Feed the Need

“Value. Noun. Relative worth, merit, or importance.” The operative word in this definition is relative. At the end of the day, nothing has any value but the value that people assign to it. Don’t believe me? Just try to sell a professional triathlon training programme to an astronomy enthusiast. The programme may be worth $10 000, but you won’t get $10 for it if you’re selling to the wrong person. Before you can effectively serve your niche market, you need to know what your audience perceives as valuable.

Humans are emotional beings. I would estimate that 90% of our actions are driven by feelings. The strongest of these emotions are fear and desire. Offers with the greatest perceived value, therefore, are those that help us to achieve our desires or avoid our fears. If you can accurately define your audience’s fears and desires, you’ve won half of the product-creation battle.

Accuracy is the name of the game. Spend as much time on this step as is necessary to gain a clear and accurate picture of your audience’s fears and desires. Don’t progress to the next step until you feel comfortable with your findings.

Step #1. Research Your Niche Market

Ask Google

When conducting research, Google is always a good place to start. Searching phrases such as “cycling fears” or “chess-player goals” may give you some good preliminary insight.

Join the Conversation

The Internet is littered with conversations between real people who make up your audience. Visit online forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities and find out what’s being discussed. Even better, join the conversation by asking good questions.

Interview Your Persona

If you followed the advice presented in “How To Choose a Profitable Niche Market”, your niche will be based on a real person. At this point, you may want to meet up with that person and ask them a couple of open-ended questions.

Study Related Blogs

Find the two most recognised blogs in your niche, and spend a couple of hours reading through their most popular articles. Popular content often reveals prevalent fears and desires within the audience.

Study Competitors

Who else is selling products in your niche? Which products are they pushing hardest? Are related products selling well on Amazon, eBay, or Udemy? Again, popular products often reveal prevalent fears and desires within the audience.

Step #2. Document your Findings

Treat the research phase as you would a brainstorming session. It is crucial that you leave your opinion at the door and indiscriminately list all of your findings. As you dig, you will undoubtedly discover that some problems are more common than others. Use this insight, the opinion of your audience, to sort your findings in order of importance.

Step #3. Dig a Little Deeper

Now, turn your attention to the top fears and desires on your list. Most of the time, they are straightforward and easy to understand. For example, when researching road cyclists, we found that their most common fear was being hit by a car while cycling. This led to our best selling Laser Beam Tail Light. Every now and then, however, the fear or desire is slightly more complicated.

Is it possible that the budding musician is less concerned about paying the bills than he is about admitting to his parents that they were right?

Is it possible that the chess player is less concerned about losing than he is about appearing intellectually inferior to his opponent?

This insight is the key difference between good and great, when it comes to designing a killer offer.

Take Action

Before you progress to the next step, it’s important that you set aside some time and implement the steps described above. By the end of this process, you should have a strong understanding of your niche market, their fears, and desires.

Up Next…

Next in this series, I’ll reveal the three best product types for income automation, as well as the most common monetisation mistake that online business owners make. To access this training, and a whole lot more, be sure to subscribe to our 101 Adventure-Funding Online Business Ideas series.

About The Author

My name is Ryan and I love adventure. I love it so much, in fact, that I spend around nine months out of every year traveling the world and working on my bucket list. The rest of my time is spent teaching others to do the same.

Click here to find out how.

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2 Responses

  1. Trae

    Hi Ryan

    Loving what you are doing, I’m so excited to be reading this.

    One question? Ok maybe 2, when you launched your laser light beam, was that the only product you launched straight away?? What if there are a few really great tripwire products to sell? How do you know what is best to go with when they in affect appease the customers fears, so really what happens when you have multiple options that are just as good as each other?? Hope that makes sense.

    Thank you so much, this is exactly what I’m needing in my life

  2. Jan-Hendrik

    Hi Ryan.

    I like what I have read, especially since I have been working towards creating an extra/”passive” stream of income on a part-time basis for the past 3 years. In this time I have realised that making money is never easy – it is hard work and I do not expect an online business to be any different. I have however seen the power of having an automated process, where you do not have to handle any product – basically you just link the buyer with the supplier – and I love the concept. I think the key to having a successful automated online business, the way you describe it in you posts, will be your ability to understand your market and their behaviour. What prior skill would you say is required to start an online business?

    Also, it feels like one would need to have quite a bit of technical/business skills to bring all the different business components (market analysis tools, marketing, sales, shipping partners, outsourcing, etc.) together into one harmonious automated online business process. You mentioned that you purchased products, analysed marketing strategies, and reverse engineered” similar businesses models (these all require specialised skills to do) – would you say that designing your own automated online business is the simplest way to go about this, or is there an automated system out there that you can recommend?

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and insights on the idea of arbitrage. Looking forward to your future posts.


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