Here's Step 1. Let's find a problem with a hungry audience. Do you find it annoying when people complain about their problems? By the end of this lesson, you'll never feel the same way about complaints again. You'll actually like them. You see complaints are a goldmine for business opportunities. When you find people complaining, there may be a very interesting problem that you can solve and charge money for. Entrepreneurs hear complaint and spring into action. Any of these complaints are burning needs that could turn into almost instant opportunities to make money. When you hear, I can't find a reliable babysitter. Think about starting a babysitting service. When you hear my walls are drab and ugly, an entrepreneur thinks, I could start a painting service. When you hear, I can't figure out my website. An entrepreneur becomes a website developer. Have you ever noticed the t-shirt designs that spring up almost immediately after a current event? Thank an entrepreneur for springing into action. Entrepreneurs are always looking for hungry customer ready to buy. I want to warn you about one of the biggest traps that some really technical or skilled people can fall into when they start thinking about developing a freelancing service. They fall into the trap of because I can. Don't fall into the trap of designing a complicated business because you have specific skills and because it's technically possible. Just because it can be built does not mean that customers will buy it. If there's no burning need on the customer side, they won't pay attention, they won't care, and they're not opening their wallets to pay until they do need it. Let me tell you a story from my past. Many years ago, I worked for a famous payments brand. My job was to talk to all the stakeholders in the industry to see if we could get mobile payments off the ground. Cell phones were new and everybody wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. I flew around the world to interview our company's executives, our bank's executives, and the mobile phone company executives. I held focus groups with consumers. I spoke at trade shows trying to convince everyone that this technology would change everybody's lives. Everyone thought that technology was cool to be able to tap your phone and pay at checkout. But they weren't interested in paying more for this feature. It wasn't cool enough for the phone manufacturers to spend lots of money to put it into each new phone. It wasn't cool enough for consumers to pay extra for it. It wasn't cool enough for the banks to be convinced that people will spend more money because of it. It wasn't cool enough for the stores and restaurants to change all of their checkout machines. No one budged. The market just wasn't ready. There was not a burning need for this technology, even if it was technically possible 20 years ago. Until the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in and suddenly we weren't supposed to touch anything because germs were everywhere. Now, all the banks, phone companies, stores, restaurants, and consumers were afraid of spreading this virus, and they all spring into action. Commercials aired on TV about how to tap and pay. Signs went up at every checkout machine and suddenly everybody needed to use this technology. Finally, the market conditions created a burning need and a hunger for the solution and everyone figured out how to use it. If you build or offer something cool, but no one really understands it or really knows why they need it, you'll be a very lonely and starving freelancer and nobody wants that. Let's figure out how to build the right thing for the right person at the right time. Let's talk about why people buy. Generally, they want more out of life and it comes down to a few simple dimensions. People buy because they want more time, more money, better health, better happiness, or better relationships. Bottom-line, buyers want transformation. Have you ever seen a diet or a beauty product commercial? There's always a before and after picture. People buy the promise of transformation, they want the feelings that they will get when they imagine themselves in that after picture. They want to feel happier and more appealing. It has to do with how they will look, feel, and perform they're buying those transformational results. This has nothing to do with buying a product, not buying a bottle of pills, a special cream, a training session, a gym membership. Those things are just the how to get the result. To a buyer, it doesn't really matter how they get the result, as long as they believe they will be more satisfied with the results than they are today. Even if they do absolutely nothing with the product after they buy it. A few examples to make this concept crystal-clear, a buyer is not buying a cause, you're buying the feeling of extra happiness, smarts, and money. A buyer is not buying a three-ring binder, but they are buying happiness and extra time from a tidy clutter-free, and organized life.A buyer is not buying a website, they're buying the extra money from an upgraded way to attract and win customers. A buyer is not buying a tutoring session, they're buying an unlimited future with more time, money, happiness, and a satisfying career. What's another example of a buyer buying a result, not the product or service. It would be really cool to think about that in your particular industry. Who are your ideal customers, and how can you deliver a believable and attractive, irresistible transformation? Go online and find all the places they're talking. What are they complaining about? What results do they desperately want or need? What transformation are they buying from other sellers? What are they doing today to address that need? What are the gaps in the market? How can you do things differently, more efficiently, at a higher quality, or at a different price point? How do you know they have the budget to pay for solutions for this problem? How do you know that they're willing to pay? The answer to this question is to really dig in and build a target persona of your ideal customer. Remember when we were talking about Cali Creative and Functional Phil, those are examples of personas, someone we had in mind when building this class. You're going to do the same thing for your particular business idea. Building a target persona helps you focus on the one ideal person who would love the solution you're creating. This is a one-page tool that deeply describes this fictional person, this ideal buyer, and all of the relevant aspects of their lives that make them uniquely qualified to want, need, and buy the solution. Let's review what goes into a good persona. The first thing I do is include a picture. Show a picture of this person. Sometimes it's handy to use a celebrity that people are already familiar with, and that shares some or all of the traits of this person. Otherwise, it can be a photo of a friend, or someone you know, or an illustration. The second thing to include is a problem statement. Often this is written as a day in the life story, sharing how this ideal buyer experiences frustrations related to the problem in their daily life. Next, you want to describe their demographics. Talk about their age, their gender identity, their cultural background, their household composition. Are they parent? Do they have a partner? What's their income? What's their educational level? Et cetera. Think about their location and geography if that's relevant to your business. Where does this person live? Is it a rural or urban environment? Do they live in a house or apartment? Do they commute to work? What kind of transportation do they take? Then we look at their psychographics. What are their attitudes, goals, values, and interests that are relevant to your service? What's their occupation? This is particularly important if you're selling to someone at a company. Then you need to describe what job does that buyer do? Who's the person who can authorize that purchase? Sometimes it's important to put in their skill level. Let's say Canva is for beginning graphic designers, whereas Illustrator is for more advanced graphic designers. Look at what media affiliations they have? What types of media do they consume? What are their favorite social media channels, TV, radio, or news brands? Where do they like to hang out and chat with others? How will you reach them on those channels? What brands do they affiliate with? Do they love Apple, and Nike, and Boss, and all really high-end brands, or maybe they like more mundane brands. In order to build a good persona, you need to research your customer. Look for detail about this type of customer using the many research tools available to you online, we'll go through a few. Facebook IQ Audience Insights is a really great free service, that you can use to see how many Facebook users have the interests that you're looking for. What other pages do they like, and what are the demographics of people with these interests? Another great source of information is reading online reviews that are about products in this area. I like to go on to Amazon, or into the App Stores, look at surveys, interviews, blogs, and forums like Reddit and Quora, to understand how people talk about this problem, and what they currently do to solve it. This is really useful for picking up natural customer language patterns about the problem so that you can use them in your marketing down the line. Third thing I'll recommend is use the Google Keyword Tool. What phrases are people searching for when they go online to find solutions to this problem? How often are those searches being done? How competitive are those searches? Companies bid to show their ads to people searching for different terms. A high competition score means it may be too expensive to reach your potential clients using those keywords. Then you need to look for less expensive and less competitive keywords. In all of this research, you're looking for clues that people have a hungry desire to pay for transformation and that they might not be satisfied with current solutions. When people tell you what transformational results they want, you can figure out how to deliver it. The world is full of people complaining, especially online. Now that you know how to mine for this gold, it's time to grab your mining gear and start digging. Make sure you spend some time exploring these resources to flesh out your slide with a clear description of the problem you can solve, and a deep description of your ideal customer persona.