The information your consume influences your mindset and the ideas you create. Your ability to efficiently consume and analyze information is one of your keys to success. In the digital world there is a surplus of information so it’s even more important you know what information to consume, and what to avoid. It’s incredibly important to consume the right information and to view the information you consume through the right lens (as a producer).
Make sure the information you consume helps you achieve your business goals.
Understand Your Customer
When you are looking at new information and creating ideas you need to always have your audience in mind. You need to have a rudimentary target audience. This is general market research for your business that should greatly improve your marketing efforts. You need to be able to empathize and understand your target audience so you know what drives them to buy your product or service.
I recommend you write this down on paper and create a general customer profile. It should include any characteristics you can think of including the big 6 characteristics listed below.
- Family size
- Job title
A Deep Look At Your Customer
Now that you have a basic profile of your customer you can dive deeper into their psychology as a consumer. You should start looking at where your target audience hangs out, for example if you are selling walkers for seniors with mobility issues you should understand first hand the struggles that seniors face. For example, you could start volunteering at a nursing home for seniors once per week for a couple of months. This firsthand experience could help you craft your unique selling proposition that targets a specific pain point.
Continuing with the senior’s example you could translate your experience into creating a new advertisement. Through your experience working with seniors you discovered that most walkers on the market are too heavy and cumbersome to be used efficiently. That’s why the walker you created is made with an ultra-lightweight aluminum frame which allows senior’s to rediscover their youth through rejuvenated movement and quickness. You get the idea.
Always Look For Product Weaknesses
To think like an entrepreneur you need to constantly be critical of the products and services around you. Doing this will train your mind to look for weakness in particular markets where you never saw them before. There are a ton of crappy products that are either functionally designed poorly or are made to break within a certain time frame. There are a million ways to create more value in the marketplace today because of the historic shift from better quality to lower prices.
People hate the low quality junk they buy, but not as much as they hate spending money. If you can create a better product you need to be able to explain why people should pay more for it. Always remember your consumers pain points and the unique selling proposition of your product.
How Do You View Advertising?
How do you react to the advertising you view? This determines your outlook on the world, and it falls into one of three camps. This is not something you consciously control, think of your instinctive reaction to seeing advertising on TV, Youtube, or on billboards.
- As a consumer. You see advertising and think about how much you need the product, how good the discount is, or how much pain the product will relieve in your life. You are exactly who big advertisers are marketing to and you love the exchange of value as much as they do.
- Woke to the system. You hate advertising and understand that the capitalist system causes all the pain and misfortune in the world. Consumerism leaves an empty hole in the individual that can only be filled with love and friendship.
- As a producer. You see advertising and instinctively know the reaction the advertisement is targeting. You think of the strengths and weaknesses of this advertising campaign and how this applies to your own business.
A lot of you are either in the first or the second group. You need to change your mindset and start thinking like a producer when you encounter advertisements. You should see ads and start think of the marketing techniques that advertisers are using. Think about the reaction they are producing in the targeted consumer and how you can apply this to your own business.
Keep Your Eye On Cultural Changes
You need to keep your eye on the pulse of society to discover more product and marketing ideas. If you notice an emergent zeitgeist in the culture and can capitalize on it as an entrepreneur you can have a big payday. Cultural changes are faster and precede political changes and are therefore more important to watch as an entrepreneur.
There have been brilliant advertising campaigns in the past that have capitalized on cultural changes. An example of this is the use of cigarettes as a symbol of female empowerment. Advertisers used the phrase “Torches of Freedom” to exploit women’s aspirations of gender equality during the women’s liberation movement. Cigarettes were used as a symbol of emancipation and smoking them showed equality with men.
Having an understanding of history allows you to relate the past to the present. History repeats itself and if you have a solid understanding of history it will allow you to better understand the changes in the world. Understanding history is an incredibly widely translatable skill and is simply one of the best ways to learn to think about the world.
I recommend you learn more about history as part of an overall reading habit. Many successful entrepreneurs have a daily reading habit for one reason, it works. I recommend you make a habit of reading history and biographies, and you should check out the reading list for book recommendations.
Online Business Recommendations
With any online business, my recommended domain registrar is Namecheap and our recommended hosting is Siteground. These are both the premier resources in their respective areas. I have done the research on many websites and forums and these are the best, and I use them both for this website. As always, if you need guidance starting a website, there is a full step by step guide to start a website, this will help you with the technical side and give you the best resources.