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How to Get a New Product to Market Without Hiring Market Researchers Thoroughly exploring the market you think exists for your product is crucial, even if you can't afford it.

By Lesya Liu Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You've got this amazing new idea; you can barely hold your excitement! You know millions of people will be all over your new product… but will they? You need to prove your idea works and the market for it exists. Most entrepreneurs, being the optimists we are, often overlook and ignore this step hoping for the best.

However, market research is an important step that insures that your amazing idea is, in fact, desired by the consumers. Yet, market research companies charge thousands of dollars you might not have. What do you do? You proof your market yourself, and pretty easily, actually.

The first thing you need to identify is the places where your ideal target market hangs out online. It may be forums and/or social media groups. Dig deep into Reddit and Quora, or Facebook Groups and Twitter Chats. You can also perform a Google search to find relevant forum platforms and discussion boards.

Related: Why Market Research Matters

When you ethically spy on your target audience, take notice of how large these forums and groups are. Do they have a couple of hundred or a few hundred thousand people? That can be a direct indication of how big your potential sales will be.

This is not to say that smaller audiences don't matter. It might be better to dominate a very niche market, become their go-to resource, and enjoy high rates of repeat sales, than to have a miniscule share of a huge, noisy market.

Now that you've found these people, see what they are saying. Try to uncover what they struggle with and what their issues are. Think about how your idea can help them alleviate pain points.

If you want to take your future marketing efforts to a ninja level, save what your ideal customer says. What, in their words, agitates or upsets them? What will make their life easier? You can use that verbiage in your promotion to truly strike the chord with them.

Finally, if you want to see how pressing their issues truly are, set up a website or a landing page on your site, if it's relevant, to collect emails. It might be one thing to talk about looking for solutions, but that's another thing to share an email address to receive future updates. This signals a much stronger consideration and intention to buy.

Related: The Best Ways to Do Market Research for Your Business Plan

When you find a relevant group with extensive conversations on the topic, join the discussion by offering value first, like sharing a nugget of wisdom, and mention that a solution might be launching soon. Now, drop the link.

Please, don't just go in and spam people. Not only is it not nice, it also lowers your chances of people actually clicking on your link. No one clicks on spammy-looking links. On the other hand, if you give them something first, like an advice, they are much more likely to click on a link to find out more, because now they're curious and see the benefit for them. Hopefully, higher volumes of traffic translate into more emails collected for you.

Related: Stuck at the Idea Phase? These 6 Collaboration Avenues Can Help.

In fact, next time you're in Google Analytics (or other analytical tool) divide the number of visitors to the page by the number of emails collected. If your conversion rates are high, or at least, decent, you know you've got an idea that your market actually wants. Plus, your new list might serve as a great focus group for future research and development, or as a group of people waiting for your product to become available for purchase.

That, my friends, how you proof the market efficiently, effectively, and without spending a fortune on a third-party market research.

Lesya Liu

Social Media Strategist at The Social Media Current

Lesya Liu helps entrepreneurs create a meaningful and profitable Instagram presence that feels right for their creative businesses. Born and raised in Ukraine, she is a social media strategist and a photographer. Her passion lies in combining art and marketing to create compelling storytelling, both visually and textually. Most days she roams the Interwebs, looking for fresh, inspirational ideas or testing things out on her own social channels.

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