This article was originally published by MNIB Consulting.

In a recent episode of 10xTalk, Erik Kerr defined marketing as two things

  • What you say, and
  • Who you say it to

Pretty simple, right? When you break it right down, that’s what marketing is.

That also means that if you want your business to be better at marketing (and who doesn’t), then there are just two things you need to do:

  • Get better at saying the right things, and
  • Get better at saying it to the right people

There’s nothing more to it than that.

That doesn’t, however, mean that it’s easy. Think about it:

Your business is growing. Your market is evolving. Your customers are buying.

Each one of those things involves a process of change. Change is the constant companion of the business owner, and so our approach to marketing must also continue to evolve.

But where do you begin?

As always, it begins with your customer: knowing who they are right now. Where they’re hanging out. What they’re reading. What questions they’re asking. And what they desperately desire from you.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get insights into your customers, if you know where to look.

And that’s why today, we’re sharing three places you’re probably not looking (but should be) for insights about your customers.

Figure Out Who’s Influencing Them, Using Amazon

Who’s influencing your customers today?

Who are they reading, listening to, or learning from?

Amazon knows, and if you know where to look, you can find out, too.

All you need is to have an idea of one person that your customers follow or one book that they’ve read related to your niche.

Maybe it’s even a book you recommended — or one you wrote.

Now, head to Amazon and look up that title.

For example, let’s say I want to know which thought leaders and influencers my ideal clients are paying attention to. I know that Tara Gentile is one, but who might the others be?

So I look for Tara’s book “Quiet Power Strategy” on Amazon …

… and then, on the product page, I look for the heading: “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”

The first three books are also by Tara, but after that we have:

  • Pat Flynn
  • Ryan Levesque
  • Sally Hogshead
  • Michael Masterson
  • Tara Mohr
  • Bernadette Jiwa
  • Rebecca Campbell

Fascinating; now I have 7 more names to look up.

Maybe I check out Pat Flynn next. Click on his book, and scroll down to the same section. More names:

  • Marc Sniukas
  • Jon Nastor
  • Allan Dib
  • Ryan Levesque (hm… interesting, that’s twice!)
  • Michael Hyatt …

And that’s just from the first page of results; for Pat’s book, there are 20 pages of related books. 20 pages of people your audience is paying attention to.

It’s a veritable gold mine.


As you go through and look at books, be on the look-out for ones that purport to solve the same problem as you do in your business (or a similar one).

For these books, look at the customer reviews; in particular, the 2, 3 and 4 star reviews.

These reviews will show you very clearly, in your customers’ own words what they liked and didn’t like about those other products … what their expectations were … what they were trying to accomplish … and what makes them happy buyers (or not).

Figure Out What Their Life Looks Like, Using Facebook

Quick: what TV shows are your customers watching right now? Other than Game of Thrones, I mean.

What’s their favorite magazine?

Where do they shop?

These questions used to be incredibly frustrating for me. The only way to know for sure, it seemed, was to ask … and how awkward is that?

And yet, it’s vitally important because it’s only by truly knowing your customers as people that you’ll be able to tap into what makes them tick — and how your products or services will fit into your day to day life.

Fortunately, Facebook has done the hard work (and heavy lifting) of staying up to speed with your customers’ everyday lives… and if you know where to look, you can harness the power of their algorithms (and thousands of data points) to inform your understanding of your customers, too.

Here’s how:

Head to Facebook, and type into the search bar –

“Pages liked by people who like __”

(filling in the blank with the influencer(s) you identified in Step 1)


They watch TED, read Upworthy, ❤ Humans of New York, are heavy Facebook business users, resonate with the Dalai Lama and more.


We don’t always “like” the pages of the things we appreciate in our lives, but that doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t know about it.

The Facebook Pixel — best friend of paid traffic mavens everywhere — tracks pretty much your every move on the internet…

… so even if you haven’t liked their page, Facebook still knows whether you prefer Coke or Pepsi.

To access this data for yourself, head into the audience insights tool in Facebook’s ad platform:

If you have a large enough mailing list (or big enough pixel’d audience), you can create a custom audience and get all kinds of insights into them through this tool.

But even if you don’t, you can still get an amazing amount of information.

Start by asking for audience insights for everyone on Facebook; then narrow down to a specific interest or influencer.

You may have to try a few until you find one that Facebook will give you insights for, but once you hit upon one … watch out.

Check out what Facebook knows about people who are interested in Gary Vaynerchuck, for example — and this doesn’t even include the demographics:

  • Their favorite authors are Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin.
  • They’re members of the Female Entrepreneur Association.
  • They read Social Media Examiner.
  • Their favorite video games are Need for Speed, Call of Duty, Battlefield and EA’s Madden.
  • They like Reese’s peanut butter cups, Foot Locker and Old Spice.

Oh, and they’re Coke fans (sorry Pepsi).

Figure Out Their Deepest Desires, In an Interview

Raise your hand if you’re tired of doing ideal client profiles.

I mean, sure, they have their uses.

But let’s be real: when’s the last time you came up with a profile that didn’t magically need exactly what you were selling?


See, ideal client profiles are great at synthesizing data (such as what you’d get from using the techniques shown for Amazon and Facebook, above) … but terrible at actually helping you use that information to make product decisions.

That’s why there’s no substitute for talking to real people.

And as much as I love surveys, the simple truth is you can learn as much from one conversation as you can from 100 survey responses.

The key is to ask the right questions …

… ESPECIALLY so that you don’t just end up hearing what you want to hear.

In fact, the goal of interviewing your customers should be to disprove your assumptions, and unvalidate your ideas. That is, after all, the scientific method: coming up with falsifiable hypotheses, and then testing them.

When you do it right, though, interviews get people to open up like nothing else. When you go deep, focusing on what is, not what speculatively could be — you get insights and ideas that would have never occurred to you before.

POWER STRATEGY: For Interviews

When it comes down to it, the key to interviewing is to ask the right questions.

Simply put, asking the wrong questions will lead to bad data, which leads to bad decisions and costly mistakes.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you.

We’ve discovered that there are 5 questions you should be asking, if you REALLY want to tap into your customers deepest desires, create the products they want to buy, and help ensure their success.

And we’ve put them together in a convenient swipe file for you, right here: Download the Swipe File

This article was originally published by MNIB Consulting, a boutique consultancy helping owners scale their online training businesses. Learn more.