Digital Marketing: Define Your Business Purpose & Target Audience | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare

Digital Marketing: Define Your Business Purpose & Target Audience

Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

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9 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Define Your Purpose

      4:03
    • 2. Case Study: 3 Brand's Purposes

      5:25
    • 3. Position Your Brand

      4:06
    • 4. Case Study: Amazon and Harley Davidson Positioning Statements

      3:05
    • 5. Unique Selling Proposition

      6:01
    • 6. Personality: What's Yours?

      1:49
    • 7. Case Study: 3+ Brands Show Their Personality

      6:54
    • 8. Find Your Target Audience

      4:57
    • 9. Validate Your Business Idea

      8:30

About This Class

When starting a business, one of the most important things to do is to honestly figure out what your purpose is, and who you are serving - your target audience.

In this mini-course, you'll do more than just that:

  • Define your purpose
  • Position your brand
  • Figure out your unique selling proposition
  • Come up with a brand personality
  • Find your target audience
  • Validate your business idea

We'll walk you through practical projects that help you achieve all of the above for your business. Plus, we have case studies to show you other successful companies' examples.

Let us help you launch your own successful business!

Enroll now and we'll see you in class!

Phil

Transcripts

1. Define Your Purpose: welcome to this first section in the digital marketing masterclass all about defining your purpose and finding out your true target audience. Now, this is a very important part of the whole digital marketing process, if not the most important part. Because what we do now in this section will affect what we're going to be doing in the rest of these sections and all of the sections about content, marketing, about social media, about advertising. What we find out right now in this section is going to affect that. So I know some of you are going to be like Phil. I want to get to the good stuff. I want to be making viral videos. I want to be blowing up on instagram. I want to be putting out ads that direct people to my products and services and actually make sales, and I know we're going to get there. I want you to know that we will get there. But first, this is so important. I ran my own business for many years before I actually sat down and did these exercises, and I'm gonna break them down over the next few videos. Simple exercises that will help you understand? No, only who you are as a business better, but also your audience and how you can serve them better. That's what it's all about. So enough intro. Let's get straight to it first, we're talking about defining your business, and really, the core question is, what are you doing to make the world a better place? And in addition, what problem are you solving? Let's look at video school online, my media business as an example problem. One is going to film, photography or design. School is expensive and doesn't work for most people's schedules or budgets. I know I went to a private film school, Loyola Marymount, one of the top 10 in the country. I was over $107,000 in debt after graduation. Luckily, because I grew my own business, I was able to pay that off within the 1st 2 or three years of graduating. But not many people can do that, and not people many people should do. That should go to an expensive film school to learn these skills that you can learn other ways. That's the problem in the solution to this problem is that you can learn with affordable, get high quality online courses at your own pace. You don't have to goto interest additional school to learn. So after you come up with your problem and your solution, come over with sort of a statement. This isn't technically your mission statement, but it's a statement of your purpose. For videos Go online, the world would be a better place if people could learn creative skills without paying for expensive schools. So that sums everything up right there. The next problem that I'm trying to solve is that there is a steep learning curve to knowing how to use the tools that help people create high quality visuals. So this is kind of a step back. We're not just talking about film, school or photos. School. It's all visuals. We're talking about the tools being difficult. So my solution is we break down complicated subject so people with no experience can not only learn the tool but learn how to use it right, because that's what I have experienced in film school, but also with online tutorials, online courses, A lot of people teach you how to use the tool, what buttons to click, what options you have, but they don't teach you how to use it in a proper way. So our purpose statement is for video school online. The world would be a better place if creative skills were easy to learn and that, at its core, is what we aim to do. Now let's look at a few case studies, but after watching this lesson, I want you to do this. I want you to write down the problem that you're solving the solution you have. And then that problem solution statement for your business, the world would be a better place if what you fill in the rest. 2. Case Study: 3 Brand's Purposes: Let's look at case studies to show some real world examples of companies that are making the world a better place or are actually solving a problem in the world because not all companies technically have to make the world a better place to be successful. We know that. But these air three examples where we're gonna go from one that's more of a nonprofit to a for profit company and show how they are defining themselves with all of these case studies . What we're trying to do is show you real world examples of what we're teaching in this class to tell you and to show that we're not just telling you nonsense. This is what people are actually doing to be a successful company, part of their digital marketing strategy. First, we have the Real Medicine Foundation. This is a non profit that works around the world, solving some of the world's harshest problems. I actually did a proper project with them in college. I went over to India, went to a small village in the middle of India. Billy does, and we actually built a health center there, and we raised money in college really amazing project And that's how I knew about them. Right on their homepage page. They have their vision. So this is that riel Medicine foundation dot org's, and they talk about working with local prop populations to discover visionaries and leaders who are best able to solve the challenges faced in extreme poverty and disasters. Together, we create innovative solutions and strong communities that sustained the human capacity to thrive, turning aid into empowerment and victims into leaders. So this is kind of their vision. They don't specifically talk about the problems they're solving, but if you scroll down, you can see all kinds of things they have links to. If you're interested in checking out, they do disaster leave. They work with different diseases education, refugee support, mount nourishment. That's what we were working on. So they have lots of different problems they're solving, so this is kind of a big overview of what they do. But I just thought this is a quick and easy example of pretty much any non profit. You go Teoh or go to their website. You'll see what problem are they solving? Let's move a little forward to a for profit company that still has a similar sort of mission. Tom's Maybe you've heard of them. They're the company that makes the shoe where their whole thing, their whole shtick, is that they give away a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes that are purchased. And they also have expanded to the same thing with glasses and other products. So right here on their home page with every product you purchased, Tom's will help a person in need. So with their shoes, you're actually paying for them to send shoes to someone in need. So that's the problem they're solving. They they start out with that very specific problem of people in poorer countries. Don't have shoes. So what do we do? We sell shoes, and we we charge a little bit of a higher price, but it's for a good cause because we're actually giving shoes to someone in need. So that's their problem that they're solving, and they show it on their brand, their website. Throughout this whole section of this course. I think it would be good to check out some of these companies that I'm showing you just to see sort of their whole brand identity to We're gonna talk more about that in an upcoming lesson. Lastly, we're moving from a nonprofit to a for profit that has a really good like mission about helping the world to a company called Chubbies, which is on a mission to make the world a better place, but not by helping the poor. Necessarily. Chubbies makes short shorts for men and women now, but they start out as a coming up, made shorter shorts for men, specifically swim trunks, and then they expanded to just regular shorts. Now they're doing tops and everything like that on their home page. If you goto chubbies shorts dot com, you see their mission statement, and it starts with, we believe in the weekend. We believe that short shorts is a redundancy. We believe in swim trunks, blah, blah, blah so you can read this yourself. But some of the stuff that they believe in, we believe in in comfort. We believe I we do not believe in the top button. Some of the seven is kind of funny, but at the end of the day, what they're mission is, and what problem they're solving is that people are too serious and short shorts kind of breaks, the hat pulled, and I actually don't own a pair of chubbies myself. I totally believe in their mission. Maybe all go ahead and buy some right now, but I think it's a pretty cool sort of company mission statement. And it's a It's a problem that not everyone sees as a problem, but it they've stuck with it, and people have really latched onto this idea, and it kind of helps come across in all of their digital marketing strategies. Their social media pages there graphics, the style, their voice stuff we're going to get into in the next few lessons in sections. So these were just a few case studies. If you have any examples of your own with a problem and a solution, we would love to check him out. So send them to us. And I hope you enjoyed this case study, and we'll see in the next lesson 3. Position Your Brand: Now you know what problem you're trying to solve. Next is positioning your brand, and really, this is starting to understand what makes you different than the competition, and that position will help you sell your products better. So there's a few questions that we're going to run through, and we'll do that again with video school online as an example. Question number one is what makes you different, and please follow along with this as we're doing them, or pause the video are after this video plays. Do it for your own business. The answer that we have is that our courses are available to the world, so it's not just localized. Our courses are available for a low cost. Our courses are higher quality than the competition, and you'll learn as if you were being taught by a friend. So this differentiates us from different types of school. So in traditional college, you know we're not being taught by the old professor who has been in the film industry for 50 years and maybe may actually be a little outdated. Or maybe isn't just as friendly or approach as approachable as someone like how we teach our courses there definitely available to the worldwide audience. Anyone who has access to the Internet, we try to make them higher quality than other online courses, but also just online tutorials like YouTube videos. And so those are some things that set us apart. The next question is, why do you do what you do? Why are you even doing this business? Maybe is just to pass the time. Maybe it's just to make some money, but those aren't really good reasons. You should have a better core reason why you are running your business, and this can maybe tie into what we learned in the last lesson about why we're making the world a better place for video school online. We teach so that others can enjoy a new hobby, and also so that others can pursue a new career or advance in their own career that they already have. Once you've answered, those two questions, there will help you with your actual positioning statement, and that goes as follows for the target customer who needs what your product is. A blank. It's a type of thing that does something. The statement of benefit. Unlike another company or another type of business, and then you sort of wrap it up with your product is different because of what? Now that's really confusing. So let's just go through an example. So for video squall line, it's for businesses and entrepreneurs. That's the target audience who use visuals to sell their products. So that's a very specific audience right there. It's not just people who like creating visuals. Not necessarily, even though we do accept those types of people in our courses. Video school online is an online school, so that's the product type. You can be a landscape business. You could be a window cleaning business. You could be a social media marketing company. You could be a podcast host. You could be any type of business. That's what this is about. So video school online is an online school that helps people learn and improve visual skills. That's coming from the questions we answered, unlike traditional schools, blog's or YouTube tutorials. So that's our main competition in the big scheme of learning. Now, of course, we compete with other people who teach online courses, but really, what we're trying to do is compete with the traditional schools. The blogger articles and people who just read blog's and watch YouTube videos. So our differentiation statement goes. Video school Online teaches hundreds of online courses to take you from absolute beginner to advanced mastery. So let's look at a few case studies, and then you do this yourself. Take that structure for the positioning statement, answer the two questions before and come up with that target audience and your differentiation put it all together. 4. Case Study: Amazon and Harley Davidson Positioning Statements: One of the best articles that I read about positioning is this one that is on the first round review, and this is actually the one where I work through my own positioning statement, and they have some examples. So I want to walk through a couple of examples of different companies. Positioning statements, help. You better understand what we're talking about. I know I already didn't mind, but it's good to look at sort of riel companies that you might know. So for Amazon's positioning statement, they say, for World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon provides a come combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices and comprehensive selection. So there you have it. Their audience is huge worldwide Web users for people who enjoy books, that's a giant audience, too. They talk about how they position themselves as a retail bookseller. This is when they were starting out. This is the early positioning statement, and they have lots more than 1.1 million books now. But that's like wow, that's a ton of books compared toa traditional book retailers. And then they talk about the convenience. The low price is in the comprehensive selection being the things that separate them. Let's look at Harley Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, so they say they changed it up a little bit. But the the only motorcycle manufacturer that makes big, loud motorcycles for macho guys and macho wannabes, mostly in the United States, who want to join a gang of cowboys in an era era of decreasing personal freedom a lot going on there. So their audience, at least when starting, was mostly the United States and still probably is mostly the United States. They're targeting specific guys, people who are macho guys but also people who want to be macho because we know there's a difference there. They talk about what they make big, loud motorcycles, and it's for people who want to gain, want to join a gang of cowboys in an era of decreasing personal freedom. So this is kind of going to help them determine how their person, their voice, the types of advertising they do, the way they're advertising looks. The rest is kind of directing where they're putting that advertising, who they are targeting with it. But this is really going to determine their voice and how they separate themselves from other companies, including the big loud motorcycles, because that is really what steps sets them apart. All right, so I hope these two examples help you come up with your own positioning statement, and I can't wait to see it myself. So please complete the assignment, send it to us, and we'll give you any feedback advice critique that we have banks and see in the next lesson. 5. Unique Selling Proposition: Let's take what we learned in the last video a step further with our unique selling proposition. This again is similar, but a little different. It's what separates us from the competition in knowing this will help us sell our products and services in the way that we used copy and language to determine why we're different in our personality in her style. So the first question is what other companies are similar to you by knowing this will be able to understand how weakened, if a wrench eight ourselves from them. So for video school online, there's two companies that come to mind. One is whist AEA dot com, and the other is craftsy dot com. What you should do is actually write down what these companies do really well, so for whiskey at what they do really well is they put out really high quality video content, so their content marketing strategy includes a lot of videos. They're highly professional. Also, they have a great personality in a great tone that runs through not only their videos but also their blogged articles. Now what doesn't West you do that? Well, well, in truth, there actually not an online Learning Company. They're not just a media company. They build tools that help video creators, but that's really they're not going after that target audience. So while they put out a lot of content and they could really do well in that industry in the online learning market, that's not where they're focused. Now let's look at craftsy. Craftsy is an amazing company with again. Lots and lots, of course, is high quality courses, high quality teachers on thousands of topics, which is a benefit, but also that something that detracts from them. Because if you're just going in to learn one topic, then perhaps you might be bombarded with all these other things that you're not interested in. So that's one area where they've taken the whole crafty idea and gone crazy with it. They have classes on everything. And while yes, some people might like crashing and baking pies. Not everyone's going toe like all of their topics. So that's one area where video school online could be better. I think with a more focused catalogue of media, Craftsy also is really good at social media, so I've got in a lot of inspiration from craftsy for my own using things like Pinterest, instagram, Facebook groups and even some of their the way they create their YouTube videos for inspiration. And this is what it's all about looking at companies not as just competitors but as inspiration. But the next question is, Why is your company different? And why would someone buy my product or service, which is course online courses compared to another company? And what I believe is that, well, video school online courses are more focused like I mentioned, that's one area we do better. It's mawr just for visually creative people, even though we are expanding. And that's one of the biggest problems we're dealing with right now is expanding to other areas, and how do we cater all of our audiences? But that's one area we're trying to be more focused, and also our courses air more affordable compared to craft sees. Let's look at a few case studies to better explain this. First we have FedEx who says when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, they're trying to set themselves apart from other companies, private or even government companies that might not be able to get the packages overnight guaranteed M and M's. The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not your hand. So they're competing and setting themselves apart from other chocolate companies that have that sell chocolate that melts in your hand on a hot day. Kiva. There are plenty of places to loan money for a profit. There are also plenty of places to donate money to help change people's lives. What about loaning money to change lives? That's where Kiva comes in. So they're kind of setting themselves apart for two different types of people. People who like loaning out money as an investment to gain more money. Also, people who just like helping other people out and donating money So they come in at this crossroads and provided product or a service for that Tom Shoes. Tom's shoes are quirky, comfy, light and inexpensive. That alone maybe isn't enough to make a company stand out in the shoe business. The most unique and compelling part of the Toms Shoes story is that they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase. That's a great unique selling proposition, and other companies have taken this and ran with it as well. Buying glasses they'll send a pair of glasses is to someone in need. But this is really something that people can get behind, and it gives you a reason to purchase this company's product or service. And that's what it's all about. It's the reason they buy Tom Shoes versus fans or Nikes. Lastly, let's look at video school online, learn creative skills wherever and whenever you want, go from absolute beginner to advanced mastery. So that first part is wherever whenever that's competing, differentiating us from traditional schools, traditional education and then going from absolute beginner to advanced mastery. That's where we're trying to separate ourselves from other online media publishers because a lot of those publishers put out beginner classes or they just put out advanced classes and they don't go through the entire process for the learner. So that's where we're trying to come in and differentiate ourselves. Why are you different? Start brainstorming your own unique selling proposition because if you know that and if you have one, you're going to do very well in your business. 6. Personality: What's Yours?: Here's a quick lesson on personality because it's important to have a personality as a business, and I don't mean Teoh be a very you have to be a certain way, but you have to understand what your personality is and use it to your advantage because your personality should match your target audience. You should have a personality that your target audience relates to and connects with. What is your business is personality. It's your voice, your style and your place. So this means not only what you sound like but also the types of words you use, how you use them. Are you casual? Are you very professional? Are you more modern? Are you a little bit old school? Your style comes across through the graphics, the types of content you put out and also with place. It's about where you are. Are you on social media and within social media? Are you on the old school traditional Facebook, or are you on the new school places like Snapchat? All this comes across as your personality, and where does this come across in terms of digital marketing? This comes across in your website throughout your entire website in the emails you're sending in the videos you create and the advertisements that you make. Now, let's go through some examples. So first video school online. Our style is down to earth. Honest, friendly, I hope, anyways, peer to peer as opposed to being a know it all and confident, but not in a bragging way. We are confident in what we know and what we say, but we're not saying it to make you feel bad about yourself. So that's our sort of personality. Let's go through some more case studies to see what other types of companies are using and what other companies personalities are. 7. Case Study: 3+ Brands Show Their Personality: one of the best ways to find a company's personality is by checking out their social media pages. So we're gonna dive into instagram for three companies to see how these companies are sharing their personality. First is a company we looked at before chubbies, the maker of short shorts and their instagram pages full of user stories or user submitted photos. Most of these photos, and I actually listen to an interview with the founder of Chubbies, and most of these are just photos that people send and submit. And because they have been doing this for a while, so many people are submitting photos that, ah, lot of their instagram marketing is done for them. And you can imagine why this works well because you're seeing riel people, normal people, while quote unquote normal people. Some people might not say normal people people that maybe you want to be like. And if you see all these people posting, it's not, you know, the slick model, and they even say this, you know, they start out the the company start out there all kind of big, chubby dudes wearing short shorts, so they're not going for the sort of perfect skinny model look. They also have a lot of old dad photos, and that's kind of their there kind of thing to, you know, the reminiscent old seventies eighties photos of your dad in the short shorts. And so you can see here just lots of fun photos. Not a lot of graphics, just photos, but they also kind of make them. They magnify them, and so they do. Very simple graphics of just some text on top of the image Mom ing level expert. Let's see here doing the ostrich the best way to avoid cute couples picks So they do these , they make him funny, and that's their personality. Let's look at Tom's, which is very different. Tom's goes for the more classic beautiful look. Their photos are perfectly composed, well lit, well edited. They do tend to have very beautiful people in their in their in their instagram posts. So they're going after that model look, and that's a different way of going after people. You know, if you see all these beautiful people wearing their shoes and their products for many people, that's going to make you want, aware and purchase Tom shoes and products to because you want to be like these beautiful people. That's a marketing technique that's worked for a long time, and so you can just tell their personality and their voice and their tone from these photos . They're very high class, very beautiful, and not that you have to have beautiful people toe have this beautiful style, but they do extra work in terms of composition. And not all of these photos have people in them. Some of them are just photos of the products themselves. Some it's more of a lifestyle thing. So for this example of this photo of this girl on this, this lifeguard tower, you don't really see what shoes she's wearing. You can kind of tell she's wearing Toms, but it's more about the lifestyle of it, you know, with your pup. This is a great photo because it's advertising for the shoes or its marketing. The choose. But what do you look at? You see this cute pup, so a totally different style of voice and marketing for Tom's Compared to chubbies, let's look at one more male chimps. So this is a new company we really haven't talked about. Male chimp is an email marketing tool allows you to grow your email lists and mark email, marketing sequences and emails. And if you look at their pages just funny, silly. You know their name is male chimps, so it is almost automatically going to be silly. So you got these crazy, funky photos with monkeys mail chimp ridden with him with mustard on a hot dog. I think that was actually for a national hot dog day. That's probably why they did that. So just completely kind of absurd and a lot of them you're not. You're like, Well, what What is this about its? You know, how do you market in tech company that does email marketing? Do you just post a bunch of pictures of your tool, your application? No mail? Chimp has gone crazy the opposite way. They're showing just funny, weird people, you know, just they've got their brand identity. They got the monkey as their brand identity or the chimp. Sorry for chimp monkey fans. Chimps, I believe, are a lot different compared to monkeys, but they got their chimpanzee, um, as their mascot, and they that shows up a lot, but just bright colors. That's another thing but their voice is definitely fun, silly, and they show that personality in these photos. And that's no different than maybe another company like a Weber. I'm curious to see if a Weber, another email marketing tool, has an INSTAGRAM account. So you go here, they dio Oh, they got some silly stuff to showing looks like behind the scenes of the worker, but a lot more professional. You know that? Showing the equipment, they're showing these sort of stock images and you know it might work for them. A lot of these sort of techie in the office much different than the male trip you can kind of tell they got this mascot here is a little bit different. Let's look at one more because I think comparing these brands is important. Convert kit. This is the one that I actually used. They cater towards smaller bloggers. Let's go to convert Kit. So a lot of photos at conferences, you know, maybe this is just because this conference just happened, But yet they show a lot of these Internet gurus and thought leaders and experts. It's cool, but it is different than the normal everyday people. This is showing professionals use their tools. And as a an individual as a business, you're like, Wow, all these people use this. It's not like, Wow, I see a monkey that's funny, like their branding that's eye catching and memorable. Probably Convert Kit and A Weber's pages aren't as memorable as Male Trip, but you can definitely tell their voice. See here professional, super sort of that stock image look which I don't think personally is the best, even though I use converted. It's not the best marketing because you don't really see much personality. Anyways. I think this was a really interesting experiment to look at the instagram accounts for these different companies. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any other companies that you'd like us to check out, or if you have any advice or tips for us, please let us know and we can't wait to see what you do with your own instagram marketing and just digital marketing voice 8. Find Your Target Audience: Now you know your personality. You know why you're different from your competition. Let's geared towards your audience a little bit more. How do you find your audience in the first place? First, let's start with the broadest circle of people who might be interested in your product or service, and then we're going to narrow it down a little bit. So for me, the broadest circle that I came up with was anyone with a camera and a computer, because anyone with a camera could shoot videos or photos and might be interested in learning how to create visuals with them. But that's a pretty broad circle that is, billions of people around the world, and that's great to have that big of an audience. But sometimes it's harder to sell your product. If your audience is so big, you might want to start with a more niche down audience and then maybe expand. So then I was trying to think to myself what's let's make it a little bit smaller. So my next circle was anyone that wants to make videos. And that's how video school online started teaching just video production. And that was great because we were sort of niche down to anyone that wants to make videos, not just entrepreneurs, not just creative filmmakers. But this sort of put us in a bubble where if we wanted to put out photo editing classes or other types of design classes, we were going outside of our target audience. So our third idea for our circle of audience was anyone that wants to create visuals to improve their business. And the reason why we chose that was because, yes, while we will help people who just want to do it for fun, the people who were buying courses from us were mostly people who wanted Teoh learn a skill to improve their career or to use it for their own business, to learn how to make videos for their own business. Or maybe the start a YouTube channel as a side hustle, or start a photography business as a side hustle or a full time business, but not just people who were doing it as a hobby. And we have found that gearing are content marketing and our advertising to that type of person has really succeeded. A really important thing to look at is what are the pain points that this customer is feeling, because if you understand their pain than you can solve their problems and if you can do that, you could sell your solution to them. The first pain point that I found our target audience had was that the pro tools that were teaching like Adobe Photo Shop, Adobe Premiere, Pro Adobe after effects. They're confusing, especially for beginners. They're intimidating to even start. And I know that because I was that type of customer. I remember opening up adobe after effects multiple times enclosing it because I was like, No way, I'm not gonna do that right now. I don't have time to learn how to do this. And so that's one of the pain points. The second pain point is that knowing how to use the tool is not the only problem. Knowing how to use it properly is a big major problem still, and that's something we're continuing to try to solve that problem because we can teach how to use Photoshopped. But how do we teach someone how to create a beautiful graphic or to create a graphic that sells a product and then 1/3 problem, which is kind of separate, but more geared towards the entrepreneur. The business that we're targeting is that they don't have money to outsource this. A lot of companies will just outsource and hire someone to create graphics for them or to create videos for them. But there is a huge market of people who are either solo preneurs people working on their businesses on their own side hustlers or small companies that might need to do it themselves, at least for the time being. And they don't have money to hire out. So we want to teach them the easiest on the quickest way so that they can do it but get back to their own business as quickly as possible. Next, understand? Where does your audience live? We live in the modern Internet age, so in terms of places, we're talking about places on the Internet. Most times we're talking about on Facebook on Twitter are they on Snapchat? Are they on Pinterest on Pinterest? You're gonna have lots of lots more D i Y type people compared to maybe on Instagram, we're gonna have a lot more high end fashion people, so understanding how these different social media works is good so that you can figure out if your audience is on there or not. So by answering these questions, you can understand who your target is and by knowing that we can move forward with the constant marketing in the advertising and social media strategies with this course. But first we gotta make sure that our business is valid, and that's coming up next business validation. 9. Validate Your Business Idea: you have what you think is a great business idea, but you're not sure if there are people that will actually want your products and services . The next step is to actually validate your business. And there's two different ways that I suggest doing this. First, you have soft validation, which is what you can do right now without an audience, literally as I teach you how to do it. The second is hard validation, and I'll talk about that coming right up. But first, let's talk about soft validation, which basically means doing just a little bit of market research yourself. I like using tools like Google, Facebook and YouTube to see if a topic is popular. Now I'm a digital media company, so this might look a little different than what you might do If, for example, you're creating a brick and mortar business, you still have to do digital marketing as a brick and mortar business. But whereas I for this example is I'm going to be looking to see if personal finance for millennials is a great topic for a business or a great business idea you might be looking at. Oh, is there another bird beer brewery in my city, Or how have breweries done in the local cities around me? That might be the kind of market research you due to see what type of competition is out there. If there's an audience for that competition, it's relatively easy to go online and see what companies are doing what you're doing. How are they doing it, And are they successful? If there's another company that's doing exactly what you're doing and it doesn't seem like they have a lot of followers on social media, they it doesn't look like they have a lot of business going to their website. Then it might mean that your business idea is not valid, not necessarily because some companies air really, really good without that social media presence. But it's an easy indicator for a lot of online products in online businesses. So let's dive in and actually do a bit of validation for this example. As I mentioned, I'm thinking about a business geared towards millennials about personal finance. I know personal finances a huge topic, but I feel like there's a niche or an area that's not being served as much as it could be, and that's finance for millennials. So the first thing that I would do is go to Amazon and search for your topic. So I literally type in personal finance for millennials, and I see a few books pop up so I don't have this. I'm not the first person with this idea, but right off the bat, I can tell that this idea might not be the best idea in terms of how we position it. Millennials might not be the ones searching for personal finance advice, and what happens when millennials grow up? And does this idea of personal finance for millennials just not exist anymore? Maybe a better idea is personal finance for young adults or personal finance for kids, even because on Amazon, if I just type in, let's just type in personal finance, for example, we've type and personal finance. You see a lot more books with a lot more reviews. Now the total number of books is an indicator, but better yet, if the number of reviews that can indicate whether a topic is popular or not, let's do one more search for personal finance. Four. And sometimes I like to see what the auto search results pop up. So you see personal finance for Dummies. Personal finance for teens, Personal finance for kids. Let's do for teens. There's a decent amount of books, some with more reviews than the millennial idea. So this automatically tells me that personal finance for teens might be a better idea. Young adults. Let's just see now here, personal finance for young adults. We got more books with more reviews. Now this isn't an end. All be all sort of test to see if the topic is perfect or not. But I know just from some of these and some of the authors that I see that personal finance for just young adults might be a better target audience. Let's do the same on YouTube, so I search for personal finance for millennials, and I already see that the first result is actually from a channel called Millennial Money . So this is exactly my idea and let me just go to their channel just to see what they're actually doing. But I'm guessing this is a channel that is geared towards millennials. Let's just see if it's actually a relevant channel if they're posting a lot because I see the review subscribers is very low on, and they're posting a few videos, but not that many. Now this is a good sign. It just not work with. They're not an audience for it. Or did she just not push far enough or hard enough to make it work? Who knows? Let's go back and let's search for just personal finance. Lost more views on these videos. When you get to personal finance, what also do is I'll just search for channels instead of videos to see what types of channels there are. What I've actually personally heard is that personal finance is an area on YouTube that is underserved. That's something I've heard through some other research. So that's partly why I think YouTube does need some more personal finance channels. But I don't think again that personal finance for Millennials is a great idea. Lastly, let's go over to Facebook. Search for personal finance from millennials, no groups and I'm searching for groups because that will tell me, are people interested in this topic? Let's just search for personal finance like we always do groups, lots of groups, lots of groups with lots of members, investing groups, personal budgeting, groups lots of different groups here about personal finance. So what this soft validation tells me is that personal finance might be a good idea for a company, but not necessarily geared at quote unquote millennials, because that leaves out a lot of people who might be interested in my business or services . So let's move on to hard validation, which is a little bit different. This will give you an even better idea if your business is valid with hard validation. I'm talking about cold calling people, sending out surveys, sending out emails to people and literally asking in them either one. Is this a good idea or asking them what they want from you? If you are able to build up a reputation on Facebook or on social media, if you have any sort of email list, you can ask the audience or your audience what they're looking for. You can also post surveys online, find social media groups related to that topic, for example, personal finance and put up a survey. Use surveymonkey dot com or Google forms to quickly and easily create surveys that you can just share online to get feedback. This could be just about your business itself or about a specific part of your business Pacific service that you're going to provide. And that's what I've done with my audience right now, because we put out a lot of online courses and media and so will ask our audience What courses do you want? What videos do you want? What types of social media posts do you want, What types of podcast log articles do you want? And in the next lesson, I show you an actual example of a survey that I sent out, including all the survey, copy the results we got, and it shows you exactly why sending out surveys can be so powerful. So these air to very easy ways to do market research. You could take an entire class about actually doing market research, and that would take many hours. But if you want to just get started and jump right in, these are a few ways that you can get started today