There is this concept in marketing called the ‘Avatar’.
It’s where you articulate the problems, pain points, demographics & psychographics of your ideal customer so you can better understand them…
Because the first rule of marketing is to make your prospects (and customers) feel understood.
As one of the final parts of this process before you put an offer together, you’re advised to ask your customers what they want… heck, I’ve even suggested that before and a lot of the time, that works… this is especially true if you’ve never worked with that market before. It’s a fundamental teaching within the Fitness MBA.
And then at regular intervals, you’re told you should check in with your customers and do more ‘market research’.
It’s why whole companies exist purely to collect data on customers for those they consult too.
Like McDonald’s, Apple, Toyota etc.
But as I wrote a webpage for one of our new education products — a paid newsletter called “The Alley Oop”, something dawned on me.
I didn’t approach anyone before making this.
And that isn’t a bad thing… because it made me think about the creative process, and I realised something:
Did JK Rowling do a focus group and ask kids what they wanted to read?
Did Steve Jobs send out a survey before designing the iPhone?
Did Guy Ritchie workshop Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?
Sometimes when you create, you have to open the door… even if you don’t know what’s on the other side.
Sometimes you have to accept that ‘this might not work.’
Which is the philosophy of one of the greatest marketers of all time, Seth Godin (author of a zillion marketing books and prolific blogger). Follow him here
Have you ever heard that quote from Henry Ford (the father of the automobile):
“If you asked the people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse and cart.”
Sometimes, your market doesn’t know what they want.
Sometimes you have to try something because you want to.
Because it feels good for you.
Because it excites you.
Steve Jobs designed the iPhone because he wanted to create something special.
Musk designed the Tesla because he wanted to.
Michael Jackson danced because it felt right for him.
As entrepreneurs, we are also creators… even if we don’t realise it. Even if we don’t think of ourselves as one. Even if like me, you don’t have a creative bone in your body.
And creators by definition, fail more than they succeed.
They live by the idea that “This might not work.”
And that’s OK.
Because if we are business owners, then it’s in the job description to fail.
May as well get used to it… embrace it even.