This is Part 2 of a 3-part series: "How to Validate Your Ideas".

Part 1: Searching
Part 2: Listening
Part 3: Asking

In the previous blog post I talked about validating your idea with searching. In this post, we'll be looking at the power of listening.

Listening

Searching is something you can do quickly in 30 minutes to an hour or so. It's a quick way to validate your idea to make sure that it's something that has a potential market.

Listening, however, is a slower process. I suggest you do this over a course of a few days to a week. Make plenty of notes as you're listening and pay attention to the language people are using. What words and phrases are people using to describe their problems? This will be very useful when you come to promote your service/product because you'll be able to speak directly to your audience using words and phrases they have used themselves. This is what makes people feel: "Oh my god! It's like you're talking to me!"

So, where do you go to listen? You go where people gather to talk about your topic.

1. Reddit

Reddit is a treasure trove for idea hunters. There are subforums (called subreddits) that are dedicated to all topics under the sun. So head over to reddit.com, and type in your search terms.

Using my test search terms "beginner ukulele", you can see that there are two subreddits - "Easy ukulele" and "Ukulele help" - that may be of interest to me. Below the subreddits, you will see individual posts that are relevant to your search terms.

You can click through to the subreddits and browse through the posts, and/or check out the individual posts that are returned for your search. You want to look at posts that have quite a few comments so that you can gain useful information from them.

"Listen" to what questions people are asking. What pain points do they have? What problems need solving?

For example, there's a post for my search where someone asked "Baritone or Tenor Ukulele for a beginner?" Looking through the comments, I've just come up with a few blog post / freebie ideas in 5 minutes:

  • "What's the difference between a baritone and a tenor ukulele?"
  • "How much should I spend on a ukulele for a beginner?"
  • "Is a baritone ukulele suitable for a beginner?"
  • "Beginner's guide to owning a ukulele"
  • "5 super fun songs for ukulele beginners"
  • "5 fun finger exercises for ukulele beginners (that won't send your family running for cover)"

2. Quora

Quora is a questions and answers site. You'll find that the answers tend to come from people who have expertise in the field. To get started, head over to Quora and type in your search.

Look through the questions and answers, and make notes of the language and phrases people are using. You may even want to post an answer yourself but be careful not to pitch your service/product blatantly.

Again, the questions and answers should give you an indication as to whether your idea has a potential market, as well as spark some new ideas for your content marketing, courses, opt-ins etc.

3. Facebook Groups

You'll find questions, answers, insights and rants in many Facebook groups related to your idea. Simply type in your search terms and look for groups that are relevant to you. Join the group and browse through the posts to see what people are posting and asking. Look through the comments and make notes. Look for groups that have at least a few hundred members and plenty of engagement.

I find rants particular valuable. What are people's frustrations? What's missing in the market? What can you provide that will make a difference?

4. Other places

Hopefully you now know how to listen to what people are saying about your topic. There are many more places where people gather to discuss things. Just open up Google, type in your keywords followed by:

  • forum
  • discussion group
  • community
  • chat
  • resources
  • list
  • user group
  • blog
  • questions
  • FAQs
  • advice
  • problems
  • help
  • reviews

So, for example, "ukulele forum", "ukelele discussion group", "ukulele community", etc.

You can get more specific by refining your keywords. For example, "children ukulele forum", "children ukelele discussion group", "children ukulele community", etc.


Coming up next...

In the next post I'll talk about validating your ideas with "Asking".

Learn how to validate your ideas before spending time and energy on creating products and services that may not sell.
Learn how to validate your ideas by listening to what people are saying about your topic.
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