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Doing market research for my business has turned into one of my favorite activities. There’s nothing better than going straight to the source to determine how to best position your products. Writing sales copy, blog posts, and other content using words and phrases directly from your audience is an effective way to attract the right people to your business.

I report on financial topics and provide beginner friendly personal finance coaching. As you can a imagine, my ideal client is going to respond to very different content than someone who has millions of dollars in assets. This is where getting familiar with your audience’s lingo, needs, wants, and desires can help you position in a way that sells.

Here are ways that I’ve gotten into my tribe’s head:

Stalk the Forums

Forums are by far my favorite place to learn more about people. Reddit is one of the more popular forums you can dig through. Head to the site and search words or phrases that you think may appeal to your audience. From there, start digging around for more keywords and you can get lost down the rabbit hole. 

One thing I love about forums compared to other ways of gathering customer intel is that the responses may be anonymous. People tend to share more freely about their pain points, fears, and struggles when they can’t be identified.

Quora.com isn’t exactly a forum, but it’s another place to find what questions potential customers have about your niche. You can even start a Quora account and answer questions to show your expertise while gathering intel about your audience.

Sleuth Social Media Threads

Industry specific Facebook groups and other social media threads are another place to find information. Study commentary from other influencers and their followers closely.

Sometimes you can luck out and have a topic about your industry start trending. The responses are a gold mine of information. A few months ago, someone wrote a rant thread on Twitter about Millennials and finances. The thread and responses provided a huge amount of insight into the struggles of my target audience. 

If you have a very small social media following, look at threads posted by your competitors to see what their customers want. After you’ve got the information, tailor your copy to their struggles and explain the outcomes you’ll help them achieve.

As business owners, we can make things complicated by tweaking our copy endlessly and trying to be clever. Simply repeating back to customers what they desire and connecting it to your service may be all you need to do. Customers can actually provide the copy for you if you ask questions and pay close attention.

Read Through Amazon Reviews

One last useful tip I got from Regina of ByRegina.com is looking at the review section of books in your niche on Amazon. Again, customers are writing what they expected, gained, or didn’t gain from the content. You may find useful feedback that can help you while creating and positioning your own products and services. 

Final Word

Writing copy and marketing online is like taking a shot in the dark when you don’t do market research. You need to understand what your audience wants to hear in order to sell in a way that appeals to them. Thankfully, this task can be fun and doesn’t cost a lot of money if you peruse the internet. Engage with people and take notes. 

Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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