What Do Your Customers Really Want? Use Live Streaming to Find Out Faster Than Ever Before. Here are four fast ways to truly understand your audience using this great video tool.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
How well do you really know your audience? Do you understand how your company may actually annoy them, what they love and what solutions they would pay extra for?
As an entrepreneur, understanding your customer is everything. Your business will either live or die by it. To make matters even more pressing, if you can't get the job done quickly, chances are your competitor will. And your once-happy customer just found a new home.
The great news is that it's now easier than ever before to get to know your audience quickly with live streaming. The old days of mailing out customer feedback forms, waiting weeks or even months for a response are over. The Internet helped change that. Now, with live streaming, we have taken another giant leap forward.
Related: How to Thrive in the Live Streaming Revolution
Live streaming allows you to leverage the Internet by going live on video. You're able to connect with an audience in real time almost anywhere in the world. The most powerful feature made available through live streaming today (with apps like Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live, etc.) is not that it's actually live -- it's that the conversation is no longer just a one-way street. Your audience can interact back to you. It's not just you pumping out content and waiting (or praying) for a response later. Now, you can talk, engage, interact and respond to your audience live.
Here are four ways entrepreneurs can take advantage of live streaming to get to really know their customers -- and understand their audience better and faster than ever before.
1. Do live Q&A.
I recently attended an entrepreneurship event in Las Vegas where Gary Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker. After spending an hour delivering his content, Gary spent at least another two hours giving Q&A. When I had a chance to ask him why he would spend so much time with Q&A, he had two reasons.
"To understand my audience better, and to guilt as many people as possible to attend my funeral," he said. Gary understands that when you show your audience that you care, they respond. Doing live Q&A is the way to not only listen to your audience and learn from them, but it also has the added benefit of making your audience feel listened to -- and, cared for.
2. Talk about what makes your audience unhappy.
Some entrepreneurs are intimidated to bring up problems that their audience has. Don't be. Bill Gates said, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest sources of learning." That can mean finding out what makes your audience unhappy in their life or even with your current business. Don't hold back in finding this information. Remember that you are in business to solve problems. Problems are your opportunities.
Related: How Major Brands Are Using Livestreaming to Market to Millennials
3. Ask your audience what they really want.
Henry Ford said, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." That doesn't mean Ford didn't listen to his customers. We wouldn't know his name today if that were the case. It means he understood what his audience was really asking for -- fast, affordable transportation. When talking to your customers, ask them what they really want. What's the benefit they're seeking? As the sales adage goes, people don't want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole. Focus in on what they really want.
4. Find out what your audience will pay for.
If you've listened closely to your audience, you'll have a great idea who they are, what problems they have, and what kind of solutions they're looking for. Now, why not make an offering live? Doing this in real time with your audience is invaluable information, and can save you hundreds of hours creating something just to see if someone will buy it. Instead of asking, "How much would you be willing pay for this?" ask for an actual sale.
On my blog, I shared how I made money live streaming before I even created the product. Mark Cuban said, "Sales cures all." It is the ultimate validation.
With live streaming, you no longer have to sit around and wonder what your audience is thinking. You don't have to create a piece of content or create a product and wait days or weeks to find out what they thought of it. Instead, you can leverage this technology not only to provide value to your audience, but to listen to them and get to know them better than ever, quickly.
Millions of viewers are already on live streaming platforms right now. What are you waiting for?
Related: 4 Creative Ways to Use Live Streaming to Boost Your Company's Exposure