BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

Hi everybody,
I have a question for this fabulous group. What is the best way to go about getting people to respond to surveys? Even something as simple as answering one question? Where is the best place to ask questions to get answers from the general public? For example, I create workshops for women and I am trying to find out what titles and topics women are interested in attending, but aside from asking my friends (a good start, but not enough) I don't know who else to ask or where? What are your suggestions? How do you find out what women want so you can give it to them? I'm looking forward to your responses!

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Great Question:

Survey Tool: http://www.surveymonkey.com

Getting answers:

1) Attach Contest or Giveaway to Survey
I am giving 'x' away, when you respond to the survey you enter to win. It has to be good 'not over the top expensive'... could be $20 bucks BUT something the people answering that kind of survey would want. If its a fashion survey, you would giveaway clothing, cute tee, jewelry.

2) Yahoo Answers and similar websites where people are just answering questions

3) Just Ask on this forum or others. Hey guys what do you think about xyz...

4) Market Research... what are you seeing other people focus on and why

5) Thing about what clients have asked you for in the past, thats is also a good place to start.

-BBWO Founder, LaShanda
I'm glad to know that it's ok to ask here. Thanks for your speedy response!
~Nicolette
Hi Nicolette! Depending on how much your products and services cost, you may want to offer discounts. Perhaps, on your upcoming workshops. It's important to assess whether the outcome or return from the survey is more than the cost of the offer (ROI). I've made some bad choices in the past where I offered certain products/services and didn't even come close to recovering my expenses and/or costs.

Good luck!
Thank you for responding Lavada. I think I have a unique situation (well, maybe not unique, but new to me because I've never done this before). I am just starting my coaching business and trying to narrow down my niche, so I don't have "anything" to offer yet. I can offer a complimentary coaching session, but that would be a lot to offer everyone who may complete the survey. I'd like to do the survey to find out what kinds of issues and problems women are facing so I can create the materials/products/etc. that will address those concerns. I would like to find out what the market needs so I can then provide it.
Any thoughts on going about this?
Sounds like you're in the market research stage. I think it's awesome that you're actually doing research ahead of time. Some of us start our businesses first, then research later after we've wasted a lot of time and money.

LaShanda mentioned just asking on different forums, which has really helped me to find my niche. Also, me and a couple of friends formed a focus group in which we meet regularly to help each other with our businesses. We bounce ideas off one another and hold each other accountable. Our focus group just so happened to be comprised of members of my target market, which also helped me tremendously.

In the beginning, you may have to offer more freebies than you'd like until people get to know and trust you. I just don't recommend making it a regular business practice unless you are sure the return will outweigh the costs.

Why don't you give it a shot with us, Nicolette? Create a discussion with your survey or post it here. I'll be sure to provide feedback, no charge ;-).
Again, thank you. I will do that right now!

What is your business Lavada?

These boards can be overwhelming.
Do you have any advice for how to make the
best use of all of the information that can be found here?

How do you use this site?

Since I'm just starting out in the whole small business "thing"
what you suggest I do first, well, I'm surveying first...so, what
should I do next?

I thank you so much for answering my questions. I already
feel as if I've recouped my membership fee just from meeting you:)
I hope everybody else here is as friendly!

~Nicolette
Thanks for your kind words, Nicolette! My background and experience is in software development. After working as an independent contractor for a year, I decided to start my own technology consulting firm, Gems Shine Consulting, geared toward helping women solopreneurs and micro business owners. I partner with them to find affordable and/or no cost tools to operate and grow their online businesses.

The best advice I can give you about maximizing the return you get from participating in social networking sites such as BBWO is to:

1. First, actually invest some time. Many feel all they have to do is set up a profile and post a couple of ads from time to time. That is not networking and/or building relationships.

2. Take the initiative. Introduce yourself to people, be active in the forums and make friends. Don't expect that people are going to flock to your profile to find out about you and your business. Give them a reason to want to learn more about you.

3. Be consistent. At times, it may seem as though no one is listening to anything you have to say. As long as you understand your target market and your message and value proposition is clear, keep delivering your message.

Have a blessed one!
Couldn't have said it better! I was going to chime in but I think you really covered all the basis! Good Luck Nicolette! Lavada is an awesome source of information and strategy!
Thanks, Katrina! Katrina is a wealth of knowledge and information herself, Nicolette. As you're just getting started, you have an opportunity to put your best foot forward in the area of your business finances. Not like some of us who have to now go back and do some clean up. Katrina is an awesome Accountant, whose services are extremely affordable. And, she does a weekly live chat where she answers all of our accounting and small business questions! YourSimple Bookkeeper Wednesday Live Chat
Bless you! Bless You! :-)
I did what you suggested and posted it to a few boards. I hope I get
some responses.

Here's the link to my survey:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22B4UH4B3CL

Thanks,
Niki
I just responded, Nicolette. As a business owner, I don't care for anonymous surveys. Every contact is an opportunity. If someone fills out your survey and you collect their information, they are a prospect that could turn into lead that could turn into a customer. If you feel that they will be relunctant to provide their email address and you need lots of feedback, then I would consider offering something, even if it's just a $20 gift card like LaShanda suggested. My goal is always to collect name and email address if nothing else. And, don't forget to promote and encourage people to respond. One blast won't do it. You have to remind us a few times and perhaps re-package it a little differently to get the response you want.

Have a great weekend!

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