Today’s article is by guest blogger Steve Eason of
Ingenious Internet Income
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I remember my answer was that I wanted to be an astronaut. Growing up in Florida, I had the unique opportunity to watch the Space Shuttle launch in school on television and then run outside to watch the plume as it rocketed into space. Your answer was likely a little different, but usually it was something like a fireman, a policeman, a nurse, a teacher or just like my dad.
If you were asked that today what would your answer be? According to recent surveys, close to 80% of those asked were dissatisfied with their jobs. That’s over 123 million people in the US that are dissatisfied with what they do for a living. Will you be one of them?
The greatest thing about Internet Marketing is that you can do what you love to do in a way that is helpful to others and make money doing it. What a great combination. Unfortunately so many people who hear me say that, just can’t comprehend how that it could be possible.
Today I was out getting my haircut and the stylist asked her usual conversation starting question of, “Are you on lunch from work?” My answer was, “Sorta. I work from home so my schedule is flexible.” Then I was able to talk a little about what I do for a job, which is writing and teaching others how to build a business online. You could tell that she was surprised and slightly interested in what I had to say, but she really had no idea that you could even do this. I had a chance to share with her a little about what could be accomplished no matter what you were interested in.
It occurred to me that there are so many people out there that just don’t know what you can do with an online business. As I was heading home, I was listening to a podcast on Internet Marketing, and there was a statement that resonated with me. The statement encapsulated the idea that I’ve been working on with my business that I just never could put into words. This statement summed it up quite nicely.
“I’m passionate about improving people’s lives.”
That just sums up what I’m doing and what I’m focusing on with my business. I’m working to help improve people’s lives through my work. By providing the best information I can to help as many people as possible, it begins to build a relationship that ultimately serves the greater purpose of helping others.
Creating a business that you love
How do you go about building a business around a topic or interest that you love? What I’ve often suggested is to start by looking around you, at what you already enjoy doing in your free time. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard about someone starting an online business around their hobby or interest and having people practically knock down their door to buy.
Let me share with you a secret that if you follow it through to the end, will help you build a business that will allow you to do what you love to do and make money doing it. It’s fairly simple, yet so many people fail to really go all the way with it. And I will be the first to admit, I am one of those people. Here it is and try not to be underwhelmed when you hear it. Find the pain. Yep, that’s it.
What does this really mean, to find the pain? It means to look closely at your hobby or interest and see if you can identify something that is causing the most pain and then create or research a solution for that pain. Just consider what you like to do and think through what you think is the most frustrating part of doing that hobby.
Let’s look at Remote Control (RC) Planes as an example.
If someone is interested in learning all they can about RC Planes, what are the common questions that they are going to have starting out? What are the tools that they will need to get started? Who are the best manufacturers for parts? Are there any groups or clubs that they should know about or be introduced to?
Just consider a new person to your hobby or interest, and all the questions that they are likely to have. Providing the answers to their questions is an entire course that you could create and sell. People go to bookstores all the time and purchase a book that helps them understand how to get involved in specific hobbies.
What about the people who have been involved with RC planes for a longer period of time. Could it be that they have something that has been a pain point in the hobby that they would love to have solution for? You could find a local hobby group and ask. You could also find a forum online that is actively discussing the hobby and then listen to what they are saying. Figure out what is causing them the most frustration and then find a solution for that pain point.
Maybe you have learned how to program software and you hear that they would love a tool to track all the parts for their hobby or they need an app to record scores when attending RC airplane races. What about an online resource that helps them track and organize RC airplane races for the community? Create that tool or app with input from the local group and then sell it. If that group likes it, it’s likely that other groups will as well.
When talking with people about their pain points, there is one recommendation that stands out above all others. When trying to identify what those pain points are, you have to ask questions. Lots of questions. The most important questions you can ask during this discovery process are the following two questions. What else? And tell me more. Well the last isn’t a question, but what it does is keeps them talking about what is frustrating. Keep asking those questions until they run out of things to say.
By asking these questions and others you will start to understand their market and hobby, which helps to you be able to define the problem. If you can define the problem even better than they can, then they will just naturally assume that you have the solution to the issue.
Here are a few more questions that you can ask which will help you further define the problem:
What are some of the things that make you want to throw your “X” out the window? (X being the hobby, computer, etc).
What do you consider to be the most important activity in regards to your hobby?
Are there any pains associated with that?
What are the problems that cost you the most money?
How often does that happen?
This process is about trying to find out all you can about the subject in order to gain a better understanding so that you can define the problem.
Even if you already have a product you are selling or service you are providing, if you’re not seeing results, take a look at your product and start asking yourself the questions above. Have you answered those questions? Do you understand the problem better than your customers? If people aren’t paying for your product, it’s likely because there isn’t enough pain associated with the problem that you’re trying to solve. Take a step back and start from the beginning and make sure you’ve clearly defined the problem in the first place.
I hope this helps to open your eyes and gets you thinking about how you can start solving problems around you. No matter what the niche is, there are problems that drive people crazy each and every day. Problems that are costing people loads of money and time. Never discount the value of saving people time. Sometimes saving time is more valuable than saving money. If you accurately define the problem and come up with a solution, you can build a successful business around that product.
Steve Eason is a professional blogger, internet marketer and social media enthusiast located in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area. Find out more on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or visit Ingenious Internet Income for more great information.