How do you develop a business that is always growing and thriving?
By constantly evolving.
Many entrepreneurs think that evolving means staying up-to-date on the latest news and innovations in their industry. For example, a social media marketer would want to know any updates to Facebook’s algorithms, while an SEO specialist should pay close attention to Google. While this information is of course absolutely necessary if you want to become the go-to authority in your industry, the most successful trailblazers don’t only follow along with leading-edge information in their niche.
What the most profitable businesses actually do is listen deeply to their ideal customer’s needs, wants and struggles—and then create products that cater specifically to those changing pain-points.
What I’m talking about is idea extraction.
Idea extraction is fundamental to a thriving, evergreen business. It’s why I dedicate an entire month to it for those in my Mastermind Tribe—and it’s why we’re going to get our hand’s wet with it today!
At its core, idea extraction means NOT creating products and services out of thin air.
Entrepreneurs who use idea extraction get the exact needs, wants and struggles directly from the mouths of their ideal customers. You are literally extracting the next big idea for a product, service or launch straight from your marketplace.
You are one of a kind and no one else has the same unique brilliance that you do. When you can combine your brilliance and solutions to the pain points that your ideal clients are already telling you about, then that’s when you can dominate your industry and master your marketplace.
I’ve been practicing the concept of idea extraction for some time now, but I first heard it called this particular name by The Foundation. If you’ve never heard of The Foundation, I highly recommend checking them out! They are a community of entrepreneurs who believe in building businesses that impact the world while creating lifestyles they love—and they’ve got some fab additional resources on idea extraction.
Idea extraction involves interviewing AS MANY people as possible in your marketplace or industry of expertise.
What’s working in their industry? What do they wish existed?
If you honestly, genuinely care and LISTEN to how their day-to-day works, then you’ll gain powerful insight into what gaps and problems you can begin to fill. You’ll start to see patterns, with multiple interviewees saying they need the same thing.
Some of these interviews can be cold calls, just let the person you’re interviewing know you are doing research for a new development in their field. You’ll often find that not only are people willing to help but that by piquing their interest you also begin to build a relationship—without trying to sell them anything first.
You want to go as deep as you can with your questions. Ideally standardize the questions, and then ask clarifying questions to extract the clearest core answers possible.
Idea extraction interviews are meant to touch on the problems, obstacles and blocks of your ideal clients; those things that they would pay anything to clear up. You also want to touch on struggles that will get them the most bang for their buck if they invest their time, money and energy with you.
While you’re going about the interview process, be aware that different people will have different ways of expressing the same problems. A CEO and a Marketing Director will likely use different verbage, but when you analyze their responses, you might find that their problems are the same.
Finally, it’s likely that you will begin to see how multiple struggles could be solved by one excellent and innovative solution. You can ‘kill a few birds with your one awesome stone’ for a client who will pay anything to stop feeling a certain way—as long as you can accurately tune-in to their specific pain points.
The reason idea extraction works is that it allows you to get amazing, noticeable results that are specific to your ideal client’s EXACT situations.
Interviewing is incredibly important because we often lose touch with our target audience’s sensitive, tender spots. We can also get so attached to our ideas and what we think the world needs that we forget about what is right in front of us: a SIMPLER, EASIER way to serve our marketplace. Several of my mentors call this ‘leaving money on the table.’ But when you regularly idea extract, especially before launching something new, you keep your finger on the pulse of your marketplace, which then allows you to create and market from that connected space.
When we utilize the findings from idea extraction, we save our clients time and money. This can come in many different shapes and sizes, including packages, products or services. And that means more profitable business ideas.
Another benefit to idea extraction is that its allows you to cater the names of what you sell to what the market is already REQUESTING (or ideally even begging for.) In other words, it enables you to extract the best way to communicate with your audience and understand how they dream of receiving your new, brilliant offering.
Make it clear in your copy and promotions that your product or service understands their exact situation, their needs, and the solutions that they are seeking. Sometimes you can even use the exact words your interviewees used to do this!
And while the idea of interviewing your ideal clients might sound daunting (especially if it involves cold calling), remember that it’s actually allowing you to SERVE and PROVIDE more for your target audience! And that’s a win-win for everyone.
Have you utilized the power of idea extraction to come up with new and innovative products? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!
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