Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea

Understanding & Interviewing Your Audience

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea

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The "Understanding & Interviewing Your Audience" Lesson is part of the full, Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul recommends digging deeper into your audience to identify what questions they might have or what might cause them to abandon the experience. Understanding goals, tasks, and challenges provides insight, and using surveys to fill gaps helps maintain accurate audience personas.


Transcript from the "Understanding & Interviewing Your Audience" Lesson

>> So we do need to dig a little bit deeper into our audience once we've picked it even deeper than we've already gone. I know we've looked quite a lot at our audience, but there's more that we wanna know about our audience. So what is useful to know?

Well, basically we wanna know about their questions, right? What questions do they need answering? What questions would they likely have around your product or service that you're offering? What objections might they have that would prevent them from actually giving your product to try? Why might they not wanna do it?

Well, their goals? What do they ultimately wanna achieve with your product? What tasks are they trying to complete using your product or service? What's their state of mind? When they're using it, what emotional journey are they going on? That all sounds a bit tree huggy, I know, but it will affect how you communicate with people.

If somebody, for example, if you're creating a fitness app, a fitness app has good times and bad times. There are times when you achieve your goal and lose your weight or whatever it is, and you wanna celebrate with them. And there are other times when it's blooming tough and you don't wanna do it.

And your app needs to encourage them. So knowing someone's state of mind is important. What influences them? Influencing their experience and whether or not they might use your app, and what challenge and it gets cut off. What challenges are they facing? What pain points might they have using the app that would put them off?

So some things are more important than others, so there's the stuff on the left Is the kind of primary things we need to be focusing on. The stuff on the right is maybe a bit more secondary. But really, we've got to kind of also think about the touch points and interactions that we could be having with our audience through all of these different platforms and all these different opportunities.

How do they like to communicate? How do they want us to interact with them? Because that will affect what kind of marketing we do and how we approach it. So all of this we just do some online research. Again, it's back to looking at communities, it's back to reading related blogs, doing SEO research, existing reports, looking at social media.

How I even ask AI sometimes about these things. AI's are remarkably good at brainstorming ideas so it can get you going. But to be honest, by this stage, you probably got a fairly good handle on a lot of these things. I talked earlier about identifying gaps tonight in order to position our product.

Well, now that we've gone through this process and gathered this information. We can also look for gaps in what we know about users, in all of this research that we've done is that, is there missing information or the things that we don't know or we're unsure about? Some of the stuff that we've learned about users a bit old and out of date or the stuff that we don't really believe.

Because if we're feeling unsure about our audience and we don't feel like we've got a full picture of who they are and what we want, then we might wanna do some surveys, right? Doesn't need to be rocket science, but surveys are an excellent way of finding out any specific information that we wanna know about our audience.

What would they likely use a task app for? What are they using currently? There's all kinds of questions that we could ask. And there are some great services out there, right, to do that kind of thing. So one that I talk a lot about this in my course on user research and testing, but one that I particularly that is called PogFish.

Because they can even do the recruitment of the audience for me. It's also worth if you do run a survey have a final question that's says something like that. Would you be interested in doing a follow up interview and ask them for their email address if they would, because then we can maybe do an interview and get to know some of these people a bit more.

This all feels like a lot of work I know and do as much or as little as you feel inclined to do, but it really is invaluable to actually, now you've picked your audience to really get to know them. And I, in particular, for example, love to do just two or three interviews with people because it means when I sit down to write some copy that tries to persuade them to sign up to the app.

Or if I write maybe a blog post that's supposed to appeal to this audience, I can picture Janice or Nigel, or whoever in my head as I write and that just makes it a lot easier. In terms of what kind of things that's It's worth asking in these interviews and surveys if you want a bit more of insights and things that might be missing from any research that you did previously.

I often ask people about their background and their context. What are their pain points? What their goals? I ask them how they might use any service that I create, or if they use one of the competitors, what kind of challenges they might encounter or have encountered using those apps.

I talk to them about needs and opportunities, how satisfied they are with competitor services that they're using, and how they would like to see those competitors improve. And also encourage open-ended feedback, where if there's anything that they wanna talk about relating to the product or service that you're creating, get them to share their thoughts and ideas.

So I tend to pull these things together into some kind of persona or empathy map where I can then refer to it quickly as I start doing other things during the project. So I'll write that questions and tasks on the persona and their pain points that they're they might be experiencing and what goals that they've had.

Maybe a bit about the journey they go on and by journey makes it sound so pretentious, but why they're using the app, what they were doing before, what they were doing after. How it fits into their life, if that makes sense, what influences them, and then how they tend to feel.

So all of it, I mean, if you're interested in user research an understanding users better, I do have an entire course dedicated to that. But broadly speaking, it's about identifying as many possible audiences as you can initially, then shortlisting that down into a more viable and manageable list that, that actually you could work with.

And then picking initial target to begin with, right? Who is it that you wanna target at the beginning of all of this can expand out from that later, but start small and then dig into that audience. And the reason that you do all of that is so that now when you sit down and actually stop thinking about your MVP and what you're gonna build initially, you've got a framework within which to operate.

You know what you shouldn't do, because the competitors are already doing that really well. You know what the competitors are doing really badly. You know what users really need. You know how your users think, you've got all of the pieces in the puzzle, rather than you just sit down and say, right, let's start building something.

So that's what we need to look at like, yeah, and next is I'm not gonna get into how to build an MVP, you guys know all of that a lot better than I do. I'm not a full time developer like many of the people watching this would be.

But I can give you some advice about what needs to go into your MVP and how to define it. And so we'll look at that next.

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