Ever wonder what it actually looks like to create and launch a course from step 1 to step done?
If so, then stick around, cause that’s why I’m writing The Fire Path Project series: to give you an inside look at how I went from answering an email to creating an online course – step by step.
In my intro post to The Fire Path Project, I outlined the 9 steps that I took in order to go from no idea to launching a course, and Step 1 is: listen to your audience.
So what does that mean exactly, how can you do it in your business, and why is it important? Let’s take a look…
How to listen to your audience
Listening to your audience is actually a lot simpler than you might think. All that’s required is you have a business idea so you have some idea who your audience is and what they might be looking for.
You can start the listening process by creating some type of content: a blog, podcast, videos. And keep in mind: what it is you create at the very beginning is your jumping off point. Just because you start writing about one thing doesn’t mean you can never change that.
You’ll pivot and readjust your topics and content several times throughout your journey as you listen to feedback from your audience, so don’t get stuck or held up thinking that you’re not sure what to create.
Just create something you think your avatar might want.
Once you’ve shared your content – whether that be via a blog, podcast, video, or otherwise – it’s time to start asking for feedback.
Then, you listen
What are your potential audience members saying in response to your content?
What questions are they asking you on social media?
What struggles are they sharing with you in the comments section?
When I very first came on board at EntrepreneurOnFire, the first thing I did was ask Fire Nation for feedback.
Because John had been creating content on the podcast and had an opt in set up on our website, we had a small email list.
As I described in an earlier post, every time someone would sign up for our email list, I would send them a personal email asking them what they were struggling with.
The replies I got were golden because our audience was actually leading me in the right direction and helping me get set up to launch the EntrepreneurOnFire blog with the responses they were sharing.
But I don’t have an audience to listen to yet
If you haven’t started growing an audience yet, then this is where those online communities really come in handy.
Join a few free, online communities where your avatar is hanging out. Search on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and start engaging in those communities. Once you’ve started some conversations in the group, you can start to get a feel for what the most commonly asked questions are, or what some of the themes are in the group.
Why it’s important to listen to your audience
Listening to your audience gives you key insights into what their biggest struggles are, and it can help guide you down the right path to creating the most valuable content possible for those who are coming to your site to consume it.
Stop carrying around those 10 pound weights on your shoulders – you don’t have to be the one with all the ideas. Listen to your audience for queues.
Once I started collecting several responses to my email (that I sent asking our email subscribers what they were struggling with), I noticed some recurring themes and questions that were being asked over and over again.
Avatar, niche, passion, building relationships, growing an audience – these were all common themes that were coming up time and time again. These themes stood out to me because they seemed to be a lot of the foundational steps to growing a business. I figured if people were struggling with the very foundation, that they were soon going to be struggling with everything that came after that.
What better way to provide valuable info to an audience who is just starting out with building a foundation for their business than to walk them through it step by step?
Because I was really listening to my audience, and putting in the time to engage with them one-on-one, their struggles were revealed.
So that’s when I came up with the idea to launch The Fire Path Campaign: a 16 part email series that – once you were opted in to – would take you down a path of how to create, grow and monetize your business.
As you can see, the steps I’ve walked through here aren’t rocket science. All I was doing was reaching out to members of our audience and asking them what they were struggling with. Then, I would just listen.
After reading through a couple of options, how will you listen to your audience?
In the next post, we’ll move on to Step 2: Create the content.