Chakra Balancing Bracelet from The Energy Shop
Last time I visited Handmade Success, I briefly mentioned that in testing the marketability of your product, you’ll likely stumble upon a role model for your creative business. Today I would like to expand on that because identifying a role model is actually the greatest advantage of doing industry research.
A role model business is a person or corporation that does something similar to what you want to achieve. Your role model has already conquered that which currently overwhelms you, and the answers you seek are readily available … with a little reconnaissance.
They’re also going to be shining examples of how to turn your product or service into a successful business. When you come across an obstacle while you’re building your creative business, you can almost always ask: what would/does my role model do? Applying their proven techniques to the way your business operates will spark new insights and ideas for growth.
Here’s how to locate a role model in your industry:
1. Name a few keywords that you associate with your creative business, product, and/or service. Google those keywords to see what businesses appear on the first few pages of search results. In addition, try to think of a few bigger businesses that already exist in your industry.
2. Identify at least one go-to big business in your field. You want somebody that is charging a strong price and creating a desirable experience for their customers.
3. Next, analyze what’s working about your role model by asking:
- How are they presenting their products online?
- What are they calling the product you make?
- How are they describing it?
- What do their customer service policies look like?
- What are they doing better than you?
- What are you doing better than them?
- How does their “about” page read?
Bigger business often leave their copywriting, marketing, and advertising research right on the table. All you have to do is dig a little deeper, and enjoy the learning curve!
Here’s an example of what you could do with role model market research (down the road):
When I studied the leaders in my field (I create Reiki-infused bracelets for my store, Energy Shop Jewelry), I noticed a few companies were taking out full-page advertisements in magazines catered toward people who practice yoga. Those print ads cost tens of thousands of dollars, if not more! While that level of advertising is still out of my league, I always have Facebook. How can I reach the same market on 1/1,000th of the budget? I create a Facebook ad that targets those who “like” the magazine where my role models print advertisements. I can reach the same audience at a tiny fraction of the cost!
With a little research, you too can tweak what you learn from bigger-budgeted role models to create a winning marketing strategy. Let’s see what you come up with: please share your results or questions in the comments!
Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity
Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.
Editor’s note: I added Lisa’s Chakra Bracelet image to this post. Be sure to check out her beautiful and inspiring shop!Share on Facebook