This is Part 1 of a 3-part series: "How to Validate Your Ideas".

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

I don't know about you but I have many great ideas. They are constantly pouring into my head. They appear from nowhere when I'm driving, when I'm showering, when I'm doing the laundry... and sometimes even when I'm picking up dog poop! They wake me up in the middle of the night. "Hey Mui! What do you think of this?"

Are you the same?

And if you're anything like me, when you get an idea, you feel so excited that you want to make it happen immediately. But wait! Whether the idea is for an online course, a lead magnet, a coaching programme, a live event, a webinar or a brand new business venture, the last thing you want to do is to get into full implementation mode before finding out if anyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer, let alone pay for it and make you some money.

Many business owners (and I've been guilty of this) go all-in with an idea just because they think it will work, only to end up feeling totally defeated when the expected sales don't come rolling in. And believe me, feeling defeated can paralyse you and make you lose confidence in yourself, making it more difficult for you to take action in the future. That's why validating your ideas before implementation is a smart thing to do. And you will save yourself a lot of time, money and energy.

So, how do you validate your ideas?

Searching

Searching is the first thing you can try. After all, search engines record and analyse what real people actually search for and what they click on the most.

Start by making a list of the words and phrases that people would search for relating to your idea. Then head over to these places:

1. Google Search

When it comes to searching, Google is your friend. Run a search on the words and phrases in your list and see what comes up.

  • Are the page-one results relevant to your idea?
  • Are there relevant ads on the results page?
  • Are there videos related to your idea?

Don't worry about finding competitive or similar offerings to your idea. It's a good thing because it's proof that there are people who are willing to pay for it.

Be sure to pay attention to the related search terms Google shows you at the bottom of your search results page. Those related search terms are what people often type in after their initial search. Do items related to your idea show up there?

Here's a very cool thing you can do with Google search data. Header over to https://keywordtool.io and type in your search term. After you hit enter you'll see a list of keyword suggestions. Now click the "Questions" tab next to Keywords Suggestions, and you'll see a list of questions that people are asking on Google. These questions will help you decide whether your idea has a market or not. (By the way, a question that came up for the test search I did for ukulele was "Did Elvis play ukulele?" I'm sure he didn't but I could be wrong.)

2. Amazon

I buy lots of things from Amazon. But did you know that Amazon is a great tool for idea validation?

Two categories that are going to be useful to you are Books and Kindle Store. Kindle Store, in particular, contains electronic versions of many commercially published books, as well as a huge collection of niche topics that are only available as ebooks.

So, go ahead and type your search terms into the Amazon search box. Then select "Kindle Store" from the dropdown. If you see results that are closely related to your idea/topic and they're selling well, then you'll know your idea is not going to be a total flop.

The great thing about Amazon is that you can look through the reviews for each book and see what people are saying about it. What are their likes and dislikes? Is there anything the reviewer wished the book covered but didn't? This is golden information you can use to refine your idea.

3. Udemy

Udemy is like Amazon for online courses and it's a great place for market research.

Head over to udemy.com and type in your search term. How many courses are available? What are people saying about them? Look through the course contents and see what topics are being covered. Again, you can gather valuable information from reading the reviews.

Coming up next...

That concludes Part 1. In Part 2 we'll talking about listening.

Learn how to validate your ideas before spending time and energy on creating products and services that may not sell.
Learning how to validate your item by searching Google, Amazon and Udemy.
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