7 Steps to Better Market Research for Your Online Executive Coaching Business

Market research is the most important step on your journey towards building an automated marketing funnel for your online executive coaching business.

Here are seven steps to help you gain a good understanding of your market, its needs, wants, and desires, so you can build compelling offers and craft messaging that will get your prospects to take action.

1. Identify your ideal client.

Who would pay for your coaching?

The more we understand about our ideal client, the better we can trigger their pain points and get them to take action. A good understanding of our clients gives us the ability to preempt their needs and build funnels that can answer their fundamental questions.

Use market research to define your ideal client. Here are some questions you should consider when defining your ideal client:

  • What do they really want to achieve?
  • What is their number 1 problem? A problem that they can’t live without solving?
  • What goals are they trying to achieve in their professional life? Their personal life?
  • What problems do they have that they may not even be aware of?
  • What emotional needs are they trying to satisfy?
  • If your client is lying awake at night, what is he/she thinking about? What are they worried about?
  • What risks do they fear?
  • What mistakes do they make?
  • What would make their life easier?
  • What positive social consequences do they desire?
  • How do they measure success and failure?

Note: The more closely we define our ideal client, the better we can target our marketing and our message. If the definition of our ideal client is too broad, then it’s likely your messaging won’t resonate. Having an ideal client profile doesn’t mean you can’t sell outside this audience. It’s purely a tool for helping us stay consistent and on point with our marketing and message.

2. Conduct secondary research.

If you’re an established marketer and have a solid buyers' email list, you may already have the information necessary to build your ideal client profile. Just create a survey using the questions above and send it to your list.

3. Conduct primary research.

If you are building your very first funnel and don’t have a client base, you can simply start by conducting primary research:

One of the best forms of primary market research is actually speaking to prospects and target clients.

You can also show a survey to a selection of visitors on your website.

Note: A common tactic used by marketers is offering rewards and incentives to encourage survey participants.

4. Map features to benefits.

A good way to test your product knowledge and find the gaps is to map product features to benefits. This works for any product or service.

As marketers, we need to be able to map the features of a product to the benefits our ideal clients are looking for. If there is a mismatch, then either the product needs to change, or our ideal client isn’t who we think it is.

5. Map benefits to feelings and outcomes.

Regardless of the features or benefits of a product, our prospects are buying the end result.

What is the end result for the prospect when they buy your coaching program?

Consumers don’t buy iPhones because it makes phone calls and has apps. They buy iPhones because of the way it makes them feel.

All consumer decisions are based on emotion. Find the emotions and feelings your ideal prospect desire.

6. Map your power words.

Power words help you formulate your messaging. These are the terms that will cause a reaction in your prospect.

The reaction can be good or bad. The point is to get a reaction.

For an IT software solution, negative words and phrases could be “software bug” or “piracy.” Positive words and phrases could be “user growth” and “client retention.”

It’s a good idea to start mapping power words in the research phase. This is where you’re learning about your market and clients.

7. Determine common objections raised by prospects.

Your ideal client will almost always have an objection, regardless of the product you are selling. Your job is to find out what those objections are so that when the time comes, you will be able to overcome them in your funnel copy.

Would you like to learn even more about creating and marketing your own coaching program?

Register for my free training here.


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