Step 2: All about the customers

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Now, when we do customer interviews we don’t just pick anyone who will listen, instead we’re going to focus on individuals who might actually be in your target audience. If you’re unclear about who your ideal customer is, you might want to head back to the Defining Your Audience course to really nail this down.

Returning to our fly fishing example, in this case we would want to have conversations with “Fly fisherman who are interested in the craft of do-it-yourself fly tying.”

How to find your audience

Now one of the questions we hear from other Fizzlers is, “I know who my audience is, but I don’t know how to find them. How can I find people to talk to?”

This is where it really pays to be a member of your own target market as you will have a good idea of where they congregate online, what blogs they are reading and which communities you can tap into.

If you belong to your target audience:

So if you fit into your own target audience, take a few minutes to jot down some ideas of blogs, podcasts, groups or communities you participate in. These will be easy starting points for you.

If you do not belong to your target audience:

If you are not part of your audience, perhaps you can think of one person in your life who fits the mold of your ideal customer. Reach out to that person and find out what he’s reading, listening to and participating in online so you can start to track people down.

Bonus tip: Individuals, not social media blasts

Targeting individual customers by reaching out directly will likely yield quicker results than a general call for interviews on your Facebook page.

Use online channels to find people actively discussing your topic. Then reach out, share that you are conducting some customer research, and ask them if they’d be willing to Skype with you for 10-15 minutes. Some people offer a little freebie, like a free Starbucks card, in exchange for their time, but that’s purely optional.

so, how many interviews?

About 8-10 quality conversations should give you what you need in order to move forward. Decide right now how many customers you plan to have real conversations with. This should be a number that will give you enough data to draw some conclusions about your problem, but not so many that you get stuck doing nothing but interviews for the next month.

Okay, now you know a little about what it’s going to be like to find customers to interview.

  1. You’ll find the places your target audience spends time online.
  2. You’ll reach out directly, not just broadly on social media.

Now what about the rest of this conversation? We get into that and more in the next lesson.