In a hurry?

Woah there Worditude - spying on clients? Getting a little creepy aren’t we?

Fret not lovelies. I’m not talking about illicit spy cameras or rummaging through your clients’ rubbish.

We’ll be keeping our hands clean and our conscience cleaner by carrying out all the necessarily snooping online.

But first….

Why Bother?

An essential question before you embark on any mission, so let’s answer it now.

Your clients are leaving valuable information all over the Internet.

Imagine you are designing a family car, and to help you with your creation you were able to simultaneously listen in to hundreds of conversations between couples about what they want from their next family car. That would be kind of handy, would it not?
car line
Whatever you are selling, your clients are talking about it online. You can listen to them to discover the products they need, and why they need them, what features are important, how they will benefit, what they are willing to pay, and so much more.

You can tap into this useful treasure trove of information, you just need to figure out where to find it.

Efficient Information Gathering

To gather as much information from your clients as quickly as possible, you need to find out where they hang out.

So back to the family car example.

A really good place to start would be with online parenting forums like Mumsnet and Netmums. By simply scrolling through car-related threads from the previous 12 months you could discover hundreds of opinions, thoughts and requests, direct from the keyboards of your target market.

To find post-purchase feedback, look for similar products on sides like Reevoo. There are hundreds, even thousands of testimonials bursting with clues as to what your customers like and don’t like.

But I’m Not Designing A Car

Nope, I get that. And many of you, like me, aren’t creating physical products. You are selling yourself as a service. But trust me, the spy thing still works.

To hunt down, then listen in on your ideal clients, you need to think like them. Imagine yourself in their position, then look for:
* Forums they will likely hang out in and read as many recent, relevant threads as you can.
* Blogs / websites whose content they will enjoy reading and scroll to the comments to see what questions and feedback has been left.
* Facebook groups they’re in and scroll through the post topics.

Capture And Keep Your Discoveries

Don’t just read and leave. You need to gather up your online findings and keep them somewhere safe.

In your espionage file you should keep:
* Notes of any patterns that emerge.
* Copy & pasted sections of text that are insightful.
* The places you found most useful for listening in.

And Then What?

This folder is now a powerful source of inspiration.

Stuck for blog post ideas? Check out your spy folder.

Want words that really resonate with your target audience? Look up the words they use….in your spy folder.

Not sure which of your product’s features are the big hitters? Take a look in your spy folder?

Wondering what your audience expects from your social media accounts? In. Your. Spy. Folder.

OK, you get the picture.

So grab your dark sunglasses, tuxedo and MI6 issued Aston Martin and head out on your latest spy mission.

Then I want you to come back, and in the comments below, tell me what was your most useful spy-finding and where did you discover it?

Laters.

Laura

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