Recently in this series, I wrote about how you don’t “pick” niches. Rather, you discover potential niches, form a niche hypothesis, and then validate them.
I also recommended two pretty dependable ways to validate (and, if needed, tune) them:
- Creating valuable content around the niche hypothesis.
- Conducting market research.
Today, I’d like to focus on this second concern. Let’s do a deep dive on scheduling and conducting market research calls.
Understand the Lay of the Land
Before I go into detail, I want to establish some ground rules to help you not be awful.
When people help you with your market research, there’s extremely limited upside for them. Basically just the opportunity to have someone interview them and express interest in their opinions. But that’s really it.
So make no mistake. This is a one-sided exchange and they are doing you a favor. As such, the least you can do is walk in the safe middle between these two extreme behaviors that will make them low-key hate you:
- You claim to want to pick their brain but, bait and switch by begging them to pay you to do something.
- You truly want to pick their brain, but have no focus or agenda, so you turn the call into undirected career advice and therapy.
Veering toward either one of these danger zones is a veritable blueprint for how to suck. You need to stay in the middle by having a focused agenda, but with no expectation beyond the meeting itself.
And the easiest way to do that is to recognize that either one of the danger paths involves making the conversation about you and your needs. This conversation is, instead, about them and theirs. If you keep that top of mind, you’ll do fine.