Can I trust you with something? The secret to making money is simple: help people live better lives.
People want better lives, and they’ll pay you for products or services that deliver on that promise. To help you begin developing products like this, let’s explore five core ways to help people.
At the end of the day, bad businesses help themselves, but good businesses help others. Good businesses make piles of cash over the long term. Trust me; you want to be a good business.
Help People Accomplish their Goals
Businesses make money when they help people reach their goals. Everyone has goals, and they are often desperate for success.
If you decide to attack this need, make sure you talk to your potential customers extensively. You need to figure out:
- What their goals are
- What barriers are preventing them from accomplishing those goals
- How badly they care about each goal
This information is a good start, but to really build a compelling product you’ll need some firsthand experience. So here’s step one: try to accomplish the customer’s goal yourself! Write down the struggles you encounter and the emotions you feel. These observations can be used to develop your product’s features and marketing message.
Remember, nothing beats actual experience!
Make their Lives Easier
Start by simply observing your customer’s daily lives. Where do they spend the most time or mental energy? What activities require the most work but fail to produce meaningful results?
Take all of the “Easiness Opportunities” you just discovered and start brainstorming solutions. How can you make a task simpler, faster or more enjoyable?
Once you have some ideas, develop a simple prototype and ask the customer to use it. If they love your product and notice that their lives are suddenly easier, keep working, you may have a huge market opportunity! If the reaction is negative, or worse, ambivalent (because you get very little useful feedback), head back to the drawing board and try again.
Entertain or Enrich their Lives
People go on the internet for three reasons:
- To use a specific service
- To gather information
- To be entertained
The ‘gathering information’ and ‘seeking entertainment’ goals fall into our “Entertain and Enrich” category.
Your first job is to understand what is working in these two spheres. Find popular resources or pieces of media and record the number of social shares and engagement each received. People’s willingness to Like, Tweet or comment on something is a pretty good indication that they enjoyed it.
Next, identify elements that lead to more social sharing or comments. Create pieces of informative or entertaining content that emphasize individual elements (like humor, visuals, quotes and so forth) and test which ones are most effective.
Great content is just like a product: you need to continually test, measure and improve it. For more information on this mentality, check out Brian Clark’s Entrepreducer website.
Make them Feel Better about Themselves
Perception is reality.
The market for products that make people stronger, smarter or more confident is enormous. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning and feel a little bit better about themselves?
There are plenty of standard approaches to helping people in this way, but I would encourage you to think creatively and originally. Products like Slim ‘n Lift are merely cosmetic and don’t address any underlying problems. You can do better than that.
Here’s an example. What if you created an information product that was specifically designed to boost confidence? What if you made an eBook that was literally confidence in a bottle? You could lead people through mental and interpersonal exercises that would help them become more self-assured and ultimately more successful in their endeavors.
I know a lot of people who would pay for that product, if it actually worked. This is the power of a business that helps people.
Make other People Think more Highly of Them
Here’s another huge market opportunity, but you’re going to have to be creative in your approach.
What if you could identify the signals that dictate how people view each other in certain situations? Through careful observation of everything from cocktail parties to interviews to business negotiations, I bet a savvy marketer could identify the cues that make us take people seriously (or not).
What if you could teach people those cues and help them present themselves better? Or, to make your product less superficial, what if you could help them develop personality traits and accomplishments that command respect?
The possibilities are endless once you put ‘helping the customer’ at the center of your business efforts.
The Big Message – It’s About Helping People
People approach business with the wrong attitude. They want to make money.
Businesses are far more successful when they are created to help people instead of themselves. Their products are better, their brand messages are more authentic and I’ll bet their employees are a heck of a lot happier too. A genuine purpose is one of the most powerful drivers of creativity, work-ethic and great customer relationships that you can leverage.
Why are you in business? Who is your customer, and how well do you know their needs? Have you walked in their shoes, experienced their struggles first hand? If not, this is your wakeup call.
Note: There’s another side to this puzzle – creating sustainable competitive advantage. I’m giving away 1,000 free copies of my eBook, One Question that will Revolutionize your Blog, which has everything you need to know. Get yours while they last!