I'm going to do something dangerous in this post.
I'm going to tell you NOT to do market research. No customer avatar, no perfectly optimized niche, no "I help" statement.
That's right. In this post we're coming after the big blue dudes with all the fire power we can muster, just like the humans do in (you guessed it) Avatar.
And I'm going to leave it up to you as a discerning adult, capable of thinking critically and independently, to glean the lessons you can implement from this in your specific situation, instead of blindly swiping and deploying.
Consider yourself warned. This is not swipe and deploy material.
First let's take a step back and look at the typical approach to market research:
Finding the perfect niche is quite the adventure. Some gurus proclaim that the niche means everything for your business and can predict if you will be successful or not just by whether or not your niche keywords are popular in Google Trends.
Others simple repeat the mantra: "the riches are in the niches."
We've written about blue oceans here before, and there is no certainly short supply of "blue oceans" promising riches and fame for the early adopters.
All of this means that aspiring entrepreneurs spend boat loads of money on getting their niche perfect.
But have you ever noticed that, despite having the most unique blue ocean niche, despite all the training and purchases you make, the quality of the customer you attract is still abysmally low?
It's kind of like going to the gym and working really hard to get cut so you can impress girls but then you realize that you only impress guys who also want to get cut to impress girls.
No matter how many times you fill out a customer avatar sheet and attach a stock photo of "Steve," you never attract the person that you really want to work with.
This is because all of this training and coaching is missing a very important step.
A prerequisite for selecting a niche that has more bearing on your success.
All of this training puts the cart before the horse. Because the point of these tools is to bog you down in tactics and gimmicks instead of showing you a simple way to do things. But that's a story for another time.
This cart and horse cliché is the perfect analogy. Think about it like this. You are the horse. And your job is to pull this carriage with Cinderella in the back seat off to the big dance.
Without you, her life will be lacking, she will be a chamber maid for the rest of her life.
But when you show up and carry her forth to the ball, she is finally able to become the princess that she knows deep down inside that she is destined to be... and all her dreams are fulfilled.
My guess is, she would give you a pretty good testimonial for helping her achieve this dream.
And that's your job. To fulfill your prospect's dreams.
But by focusing first on some statistical conception of your ideal customer, you put the cart before the horse.
You forget the all important truth, that:
People Buy You.
Before they buy your ideal client avatar, your programs, your testimonials, whatever else. They buy you first. They buy your lifestyle, your confidence, your personal results.
To use another Disney analogy, consider the mirror on the wall.
Many of our favorite gurus like to spend their spare time looking into the mirror and asking it who is the prettiest, most loved, influencer of them all.
But most people are confronted with their biggest insecurities and flaws when they look in the mirror.
That little voice that tells them to give up, that they are unworthy, speaks out to them. They realize that they lack self-confidence. They are addicted to Instagram and getting likes. They need approval from others to feel purpose in life.
And so the only clients they attract (regardless of how perfectly primed their "I help" statement is) are the dopamine-addict swipe and deploy types.
So they get ghosted on sales calls. They get nagged over and over in the DMs for free stuff. And their business becomes a chore.
They begin to despise answering their DMs. Posting begins to feel pointless. Nobody is reading them anyways.. Every sales call booked is conflicting. Is this going to be another disappointment when they don't show up can't afford my offer? Again!
And they end up in the graveyard of aspiring entrepreneurs who used to be passionate about what they teach.
You attract clients that are like you, not like your customer avatar.
So. with a flick of my wand and a bibbidi bobbidi boo, let's turn that tired workhorse into the proud driver behind the reigns of your business.
Remember: Before anything else, people buy you.
So instead of spending all your time and money trying to attract the perfect customer, you should spend all of that time trying to be the perfect customer.
High integrity. Focused. Disciplined. Honorable.
Whatever type of person you want to work with.
Would you be your own ideal client? Would you get results from your program if you were in their shoes?
Don't blindly answer yes to these questions. Think about them. Consider what you would change if you are wrong.
I've talked before about the Russian Nesting Doll that is the online business industry. Coaches teaching coaches how to teach coaches how to coach. And they all teach the same spammy tactics that are designed to counter the short-term thinking, speed addiction, and desperate desire to "make money online."
They sell taking action and accountability groups and whatnot.
If you're selling something else, something that requires commitment, focus, and discipline, these gimmicks won't work well for you.
That's why you see so many people change their niche from health or fitness to business coaching. The tactics don't work as well in fitness as they do selling "money at a discount" to swipe and deploy dopamine addicts.
Here's the bottom line:
Just like its easier to build a real relationship than to use tactics to fake one, it's easier to become a strong, disciplined person than it is to implement all the tactics to trick yourself (or others) into thinking you're disciplined.
It's like that inevitable realization that comes in your dating life after several bad relationships that no matter how cool you think you are, you need to "work on yourself" before you get in another train wreck.
Most entrepreneurs have everything they need on the tactical front. In fact, with the time and effort you've spent learning, you have so much more than is necessary to succeed. You understand the marketing, the funnels, the automations, the sales scripts.
You're good here. Although, no guru will admit it because this will hurt their bottom line.
What's lacking from most aspiring entrepreneurs is vision. Leadership. self-confidence.
When you lead by example and become the person that your audience desires to be, you will effortlessly attract likeminded people who are excited to do the work and will get great results.
This is the foundation for your business for which market research, testimonials, and referrals can be pulled from your existing base of high quality customers instead of a random assortment of data on social media.
Lead yourself first and others will follow.