How to Survey Your Audience and Figure Out Exactly What They Want

In part 1 of my series I talked about How to Use Social Media to Learn More about Your Target Audience.  If you have read that article take the time now to read that first.

In this weeks article I’m going to go a little bit deeper and talk about how to survey your target audience to figure out exactly what they want.  Knowing what your audience wants is very important.  It determines the kind of content you will create, the products you will build, or even the affiliate programs you will offer.

For a long time, I never ran surveys because I thought they were a waste of time.  In fact, I use to guess when it came to what I thought my audience wanted and for a long time I couldn’t figure out why people would never buy from me and the reason was because I was not giving my target audience what they wanted, I was just guessing.

Today I run an annual survey which allows me to stay up to date on the needs of my audience.  In fact, you can take my annual survey right now by clicking here .  It’s 8 questions in total, takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and you’ll also get a 50% discount on my first product which I plan to release sometime early next year.

Hopefully I’m giving you a convincing reason why you should be doing surveys with your target audience.  Now if you’re saying I don’t have a very big audience yet or maybe you don’t even have an audience at all don’t worry I’ll cover exactly what you need to do to find people to take your survey.

So with that let’s get started.

Tools You Need to do a Survey

To start you’ll need a tool to collect your survey results.  To do this I use Survey Monkey.  For the most part this tool is free except for a few advanced features that will cost money but in order to do what I’m going to show  you don’t need to pay for anything.


Why are You Doing This Survey

Now before you start creating your survey you need to think about the reason why you are even doing this survey in the first place.  With my latest survey, my goal is to learn what kind of product or service I should offer to my  audience.

Your reason for doing your survey may be totally different.  The reason this is so important is that it allows you to create the questions in a way that will give you the most value.

So before you just start making your survey decide on exactly what you want to learn from your audience before you just throw something together and get a bunch of mixed matched information.

What Questions Should You Ask in Your Survey

Now that you know what you want to learn about your target audience the next step is you have to start creating the questions.  To do this I’m going to share the questions I used in my recent Side Hustle Academy 2016 survey.  Also know that these questions will vary based on your topic and niche.

Also know that each question you ask should have a reason behind it as well.  Your audience only has so much time they will typically give you but if you take advantage of them and ask them for to much they may not follow through with the whole survey.

So with that let’s get into the questions.

Question 1: Do you have a side hustle?  I asked this question because I wanted to know how far along people were.  If most people didn’t have a side hustle then I would talk to my audience about more beginner topics, however if most people already have a side hustle then I would teach more advanced topics.

Asking this question also allows me to filter all the results to all the other questions and see what the answers are like for people who don’t have a side hustle versus the ones that do.

So if you were to ask this question you might word it like Do you have product x? or Do you have blank?    

Finally,  I like to ask this question as a multiple choice question to make it simple an easy.

Side Note: I also find asking a simple question right up front helps people get started and when you ask bigger questions that require you to leave a written response people will take the time to do it because they are already invested in taking the survey.


Question 2: If you could have the ideal result when it comes to your side hustle, what would it look like?  Feel like?  I refer to this question as the magic wand question that so many other people have.  This is an essay question that I ask respondents to be as descriptive as possible.

The reason I ask this question is because I want to know what kind of end result that they want to get out of running a side hustle.  What’s great about this question is that people will tell you this in their own words of what they want to achieve.


Question 3: What frustrations, questions, and roadblocks, are in the way of you achieving that result?  Now that the person has shared what their ideal outcome would look like the next question I like to ask is what is it that is getting in the way of them achieving their desired outcome.

Knowing what gets in the way of them achieving their goal helps me determine some of the issues people need to overcome.  These are things I can also include in the product and whats great about this that people will almost feel as if I’m reading their mind.


Question 4:  If I custom designed a training or coaching experience to your exact needs what would this look like?  This question is hugely powerful in that it gets people to tell you exactly what they would like you to create.

This again is an essay question and it really helps me get specific on the program someone would be interested in purchasing from me.


Question 5:  Please rate the information that can best help you on your side hustle journey?  This is a matrix question as you can see below.  What I like about this question is that it allows me to show someone a bunch of different things that I could teach them and see which one they prefer to learn the most.

So if you have several ideas for products you want to create you can use this method to get feedback on the product everyone would like you to make, or maybe your trying to figure out what kind of content for your blog people would like to create this question is very powerful for that.


Question 6:  I prefer learning through…   This question was designed to figure out what format people like learning information through.  For example do they prefer reading material, audio, or even video.

Doing this also allows me to create the content in a way that suites most peoples desired learning format.  It’s a simple question but it’s very powerful because if I create a course that’s entirely in a written format but everyone wanted a video format chances are I may get a few refunds on the course.


Question 7:  Is their anything else you would like to share?  This seems like a simple question but I always ask this question at the end of my surveys.  The reason I do this is because you never know if people have other things they might want to share about the topic.

What’s interesting about this question is that of all the people who take my surveys nearly 80% respond to this question.


How to Create a Survey

Now that I’ve shown you the types of questions you should be asking I put together this short video to show you how to put your survey together using Survey Monkey.

How to Get People to Take Your Survey Even if You Don’t Have an Audience

Now that you’ve created your survey the next step is to get people to take it.  Now you might be saying that you don’t have an audience or even a website full of people to promote it to, no problem.  I started out in the same way.  In this section I’m going to share several different ways for people to take your survey with or without an audience.

Side Note:  When you’re telling people to take your survey one ninja trick I use is tell people how many questions and how long will it take.  For example my survey is 8 questions and it takes no more than 5 minutes of your time.  Doing this lets them know it’s fast and easy and will typically bring in more responses.

Facebook Groups.  The first place you can go to get people to take your survey is to find relevant closed Facebook Groups.  Facebook groups are a goldmine for finding people take your surveys.  I talked about finding relevant Facebook groups in my last article so I won’t cover that here.

One word of advice though, make sure you read the rules of the group and respect the way they do things.  For example in one group that I’m a part of does a post once a week where we can promote are products, services, or even a survey.

If you’re not sure just send a message to the admin to make sure it’s OK.  The last thing you want to do is overstep your bounds and upset a bunch of people.

Finally, if their isn’t a bunch of groups on the topic you can start your own group.  This is a golden opportunity start a group and attract people in your target audience to you and get them take your survey.  This may take a little more time but it’s well worth the time and effort.

Twitter Hash Tags.  Another way to do this is with Twitter Hash Tags.  I showed in the last article as well how to do this so I won’t go in depth about that here.  What’s great about this option is that it allows you to catch people at the exact moment they are having the problem that you are looking to solve.

For example, I had site that helped people get out of debt at one time and I would get survey responses by replying back to people who talking about this issue by saying something like…

I’m sorry to hear about your situation,I’m running a survey to learn how I can better

help people in your situation insert survey link here.

Some people would respond to the survey and some wouldn’t but if you do it enough times you’ll get a few people to take it and every response counts.

Forums.  Forums, while kind of outdated is still a great place to go to get people to take your survey.  You can find all kinds of forums by just doing a search in Google.  Just type in your topic and put the word forum after it and you should find a few at least.

For example if your topic is sky diving then you would type in sky diving forums.

Put a Banner on your website.  If you have a website put a banner at the top of your website to inform people have a survey going on.  Even if your site is fairly new you may be able to pick up one or two people who might take it.

Email List.  This is probably the holy grail when it comes to getting responses from your survey.  Not everyone has an email list but even if you have a small one it can all help.  Also if you have an autoresponser sequence with your mailing list this can be a way to get your survey in front of new people signing up to your list.

Do you have any other ideas for ways to get people to take you surveys?  Feel free to share them below in the comments below.

Reviewing Your Results

Now that you have your survey up and running and you’re getting response remember that if it takes time to get a bunch of responses it’s all right.  In fact most of my surveys last a minimum of a month and sometimes as long as a whole year.

Side Note: 20 responses is all you need to get some good data from your target audience.

Now that you have some results you can start to review the responses from people.  To do this you just have to click on the Analyze Results button as shown in the picture below.


Once you get the results your next step is to look for similarities.  What are the common things everyone seems to be talking about.  More importantly what are the trends people are talking about.

For example one of the most common trends I’ve found so far in my most recent survey is that people are looking for something that doesn’t require a lot of daily work and produces a passive income.

Once you have this information you can start to piece the puzzle together of exactly what your audience is looking for.

Are You Ready to Run Your First Survey

Now that I’ve gone through the details of exactly how to put your first survey together it’s your turn.

In next weeks article I’m going to wrap up this 3 part series with one more way that you can learn more about your audience doing 1 on 1 interviews.

Also once you do run your first survey take a moment and share how it went for you.  I would like to hear your thoughts on what you learned.


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