In the first instalment of this series about how I launch a new information product every week, I introduced you to the S.M.A.L.L. report system. It is the cornerstone of my business and drives my product creation process every week.
To recap the system, here is what it looks like:
S – SELECT a viable market.
M – MEASURE interest.
A – AUTHOR a report.
L – LOOK to repeat.
L – LEVERAGE your assets.
Last time we talked about how to SELECT a market and how to identify a target audience that will potentially make repeat purchases from you over time.
For part two I’m going to discuss the second step in the S.M.A.L.L. system and that is MEASURE interest.
Step 2 – MEASURE Interest
Now that we have determined our target “market”, it’s time to find a product to offer them.
This phase is all about idea generation.
We need to generate some ideas for what to write your small report about.
I always ask three questions when measuring interest in a market:
1. What do they want?
Using my research method (more on that in a minute), we need to determine the critical needs of our group of people as a whole. What do THEY want?
2. What is currently available?
Next we need to do an assessment of what other products are currently being offered to our market. What does the competition look like? Which are the good offers and which are the poor ones?
3. What can I offer that’s different?
This is where after I’ve assessed the current “lay of the land”, I try to identify where I can do things better. Is there a hole in the market? Can I package and present content in a more unique and compelling way?
Once I’ve focused on answering these three questions, I’m able to measure interest in my target market and pick a “hot” topic to focus my small report or book on.
One of my favorite websites has always been Amazon. I’ve been a book fiend my whole life and having the world’s largest bookstore at my fingertips 24/7 is truly awe-inspiring.
It also happens to be where I get the bulk of my product ideas.
What makes Amazon so powerful as a research center for information product ideas is their extensive database of books. There are quite literally thousands of ideas in there to get the creative juices flowing if you know how to use it.
Let me show you how I do it.
You know I love breaking things down into steps so let’s talk about the 3 steps I use for Amazon product research.
Step 1. Identify a broad category
The first step in the brainstorming process is to pick a broad category. I’ve talked before about the concept of casting your net wide to start and narrowing down.
Let’s use “golf players” as our target market and golf as our broad category for this example.
Step 2. Search the Amazon database
It’s now time to head over to Amazon and do some research.
First select “Books” from the drop-down menu at the top and then enter “golf” in the search field.
At the time of this writing, a search for “golf” returns 22,974 results.
That’s a LOT of books about golf.
Step 3. Collect topic ideas
Now it’s time for the fun part. It’s time to brainstorm ideas from the list of search results and find different themes, styles and sub-categories related to the subject.
For our “golf” example, here are a few quick ideas:
1. Improving your golf game – This is perhaps the largest sub-niche within the golf market. There was everything from “Zen Golf – Mastering the Mental Game” to “The Golf Swing’s Simple Secret”.
2. The business of golf – Golf is BIG business and there were plenty of books on starting a golf repair business and how to buy and sell used golf clubs.
3. Golf products – As a golfer myself, I’m well aware of the constant lure of new products to take out onto the course. Everything from reviews of the latest golf clubs to ratings of specific golf courses – this niche is huge.
Can you see how we’ve taken a broad category such as golf and identified many different topic ideas using Amazon for a small report?
A lot of people make the mistake of not spending enough time on the MEASURE interest phase of information product development.
It’s essential that you pick a market that has potential before you move onto the next phase in the S.M.A.L.L. system which is all about the writing of your ebook.
See you next time…
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