I’ve been getting TONS of questions about why I decided to incorporate a custom market research course in my process for my my clients, and I’m so excited to finally share that with you!
I sat down with Lindsay Sacco, of Forza Collective, and chatted all things market research. You can watch our discussion, or feel free to scroll down and read the transcript version below the video!
Jordan: Hey guys, I’m Jordan Chan, owner of J Ashley Innovations, and I’ve got with me Lindsay at Forza Collective. We are going to talk a bit about market research today and begin a series covering market research and brand design, and why it’s been implemented in my process. You’ll just get to learn a ton of really good, valuable information from our expert Lindsay here.
Lindsay: Hello, I’m so excited. I love talking about market research, any chance I get.
Jordan: My first question, or comment, I guess, Lindsay and I both have business degrees, so we both have backgrounds in marketing and operations. So we’re going to start with the basics. We’re going to talk about what market research is. Lindsey, I’m going to turn that over to you.
Lindsay: Yeah. So market research, I think there’s a lot of common misconceptions and we can go over those in a little bit. But market research at its core is just understanding your clients. Your market is just a fancy word for the people that you serve, the kind of marketplace that you’re in.
It has nothing to do actually with your competitors. It has nothing to do with what everyone else is doing. It’s truly about what your dream clients need and want. So when you tack the word research onto it, it’s essentially just gathering information about the people that you serve, the people that you want to work with.
Your future clients, basically. So in the most simplest terms possible, it’s doing the research, collecting the data on the people that you want to purchase your products or your services. And we can get into the nitty-gritty on kind of like what those activities are, but that’s kind of at its at its core, what, what market research is.
Jordan: That was perfect. Why is market research import?
Lindsay: I think that a lot of people skip over this or don’t even know about this because a lot of times when we’re running to do to start our own business, we’re thinking more about. How do I get the right camera? How do I make sure that I, you know, have all the materials that I need to bake the cake?
Like, especially if you’re in the wedding industry, right? You have a craft, you have a talent. And what you’re thinking about is how do I make money off of this? But there’s so much other, so many other aspects that go into marketing and selling and actually getting in front of the right people so that you can make money off of your amazing talent and all of that marketing needs to be driven by some sort of data or strategy. Otherwise you’re kind of just throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping that the Instagram posts that you make or that ad that you, that you create, or the conference that you go to, or the expo that you go to is actually going to serve you and your business.
So market research helps you understand. What are your dream clients want? What are they afraid of? What are what’s, what are they struggling with most? What are they looking for in their experience? Um, how would they describe themselves? What’s their budget, all of the things that you really want to understand about your audience, which is different than anyone else’s audience out there.
So that when you’re writing blog posts, when you’re creating your brand, when you’re building your website, when you’re posting things on Instagram, You’re really intentional and thoughtful about what you’re saying. And more importantly, how you’re saying so that it’s reaching the right people, it’s resonating with them and it’s getting them super excited and ready to purchase with you.
They’re going to likely be spending a lot of money when they work with you. They need to know that you are the right person to hop on a call with. And the only way that they can know that is by you sharing the right information that they care about. Not by my, by posting fluff that that’s not really useful for them.
Unfortunately though, we can’t read minds. So without doing the market research, it’s really difficult to know how to do all of that. So this is really the market research is the core of building your strategy. It gives you information and data so that you’re not guessing throughout the entire.
Jordan: And that is precisely why it is now included in my signature packages instead of building a brand based around guess work. My goal has always been to build my brands around strategy, but unless you talk directly to your dream clients, how do we know that we’re strategizing correctly and showcasing the right messaging? You can think that. Your dream clients want to see X, Y, and Z all you want, but unless you do the market research or hire somebody to do the market research, you will never truly know. And it’s just a guessing game. And we don’t do guessing games around here,
Lindsay: not when you’re spending the money and investing in high level kind of luxury level. Uh, work. You want to make sure that as you are investing, you’re not wasting that money with guesswork. So I love that you do that. It’s to me, the pinnacle of next level business decisions. This is like CEO level stuff that you’re no longer just walking around like a freelancer you’re building a brand. That means something and says something intentional.
Jordan: Absolutely. We’re building brands for the long haul. Um, that’s going to help propel you forward, move the needle in your business in a way that hiring a designer just for aesthetics will not.
Lindsay: Yes. I love that.
Jordan: Outside of the beginning of my process, Lindsay, when do you think market research is necessary?
Lindsay: Yeah. I’ll even include at the beginning of your process, because I think that a lot of people, I don’t want people to think that it’s like a nice to have, right?
Like at this stage in your business, when you’re scaling up to kind of serving your dream clients, really being picky about who you want to work with working less, but making more. You need to be doing market research. You can kind of stumble your way through the beginning stages. And in fact, I get it like it’s okay for us to do some guesswork at the beginning of our business to kind of get our feet wet and figure out what we do. Like what we don’t like.
Jordan: Right we’ve all been there.
Lindsay: Exactly. We’ve all been there. And once you put, once you start getting a sense of who you really want to work with, and you want to level up and be seen as a luxury brand, it’s a non-negotiable you have to be doing the work that understands your client better because that’s how you serve them better.
It’s not just a tool or tactic to make sure that you yourself are creating a brand and a marketing strategies that are going to actually bring your clients in, but it’s also going to help you create better client experiences to engage. You know, bonuses and extras and like fun little goodies that are going to make them feel just like you’ve gone above and beyond.
It’s really the pinnacle of making sure that you are seen as a luxury brand. And the best way to be seen as luxury is to provide value that resonates with your clients at a really high tier type level. So I find that the best time to do market research. You’re clear on who you want to work with and you’re struggling to get in front of that person as often as you’d like, or you’re looking to level up your brand, maybe pivot, or maybe even just expand, maybe serve new audiences.
And you’re ready to have much more kind of tangible foundational information in order to make those decisions. AKA, anytime you’re done with guesswork and you’re ready to start making serious business moves, you should be doing your market research. And that includes when you’re outsourcing to individuals.
Of course. It’s part of Jordan’s process as part of your process, you need to be doing it when you’re spending that much money on rebranding, because you want it to be done. Right. And you want it to be done with strategy. I also recommend that you do it when you outsource to copywriters, when you outsource to a social media managers, because at any point when you’re kind of growing your business, it needs to be done with strategy. It needs to be done with data.
Jordan: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, from our recent client that Lindsay and I both worked with, she mentioned that felt like she was inside of her dream client’s head. And now she knows what to use in her marketing to attract more of her dream client, because she knows exactly what they’re looking for.
And so that’s just a real life example of what that can do for you and why that’s so valuable. Um, and again, why it’s included in my process, um, Lastly, we’re going to wrap up this first video in the series and talk about what the common misconceptions around market research are.
Lindsay: Yeah. I think a lot of people are really turned off by the word research. Maybe even turned off by the word debt data, especially if you’re an aesthetic person, especially if you’re more of a creative, I tend to find that data and research isn’t everyone’s favorite thing. I am over here trying to make a move. Helping people realize how market research can be really sexy and exciting.
And by that, I just mean like, as soon as you get your hands on that data, all of a sudden all of these worlds of opportunities lift up, not only does Margaret research help you actually identify specific people, that could be really awesome clients because in the process of doing market research, we’re interviewing people who could be really great clients for you.
They’re starting to get really excited and build those relationships. But on the other side of things, you start getting really clear information that is so shocking. Most people have at least half of their, the data come back and then thinking, wow, I didn’t expect them to say this. Or I had no idea. They were so interested in this, that same client that you are talking about.
She was shocked to see how many people were so interested in learning about the artistry of her process. Not just about the. So she’s realizing, oh my gosh, I need to start posting more about why I do what I do, the tools that I use, um, the, the passion that I have behind it, and that makes a world of a difference.
And so I’ve found that at least, you know, one or two interviews in, when I start telling my clients the kind of information I’m getting. They’re freaking out about like, oh my gosh, I didn’t even realize how much ex exciting information there is to hear. So I think the first misconception is that it can be boring.
It can be stale, it can be stagnant and it feels like something. You just have to check the box off of. It’s not like that. It’s a process that really invigorating. And I, I feel like really deeply connects you to your business, uh, in a way that most other types of engagement don’t. So that’s one thing. And a more tactical level.
I think that there’s a misconception that market research, uh, has to do with your competitors, or has to do with like what other people are pricing. And that’s actually competitive research. Competitor research is different than market research. And the reason why I focus less on competitor research is because I believe that if, if you want to build a client centered brand, that’s all about creating an impact.
You need to kind of be in your own lane. And speak to the person that you’re trying to sell to, not the people that are out there possibly doing better than you, but also possibly not. I know Jordan, you’ve talked about this a lot that people will come to you and maybe share a competitor’s website that they like, but they have no idea the data behind it.
They have no idea how many clicks they’re getting, how effective it is. The same thing goes when you do competitor research and other people in your industry, knowing what they charge, knowing what their packages are all about. Sure. It could be interesting. It could be useful for you, but they might have a completely different client than yours.
They might have a different goal than you do. They might have a different expectation than you do. So really being able to focus more on the client, more on the person that you want to serve and less on the people that you’re competing with helps you kind of stay in your own lane, carve out a space all your own, and then build marketing that will actually make you.
Someone that they’re not going to price compare with, but just see you for you and get like super excited raving fan, want to be part of your community, want to purchase from you. So those are a couple misconceptions. Girl. I could go on like a huge list of some things, but those are two that I really want to make sure your audience knows. Cause I think that those can be can, can stop people from taking action.
Jordan: Absolutely. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit at the beginning stages here. I’m really excited for this series. We’re going to build this out so much. I’m going to continue bringing Lindsay alongside me as Lindsay is on the JAI team.
And we’re all about innovation and learning and education around here. So comment on this video. What questions do you have about market research and the next video we’ll cover this.
Lindsay: Yay. Love it. Thanks so much for having me. Can’t wait to talk more about market research.