Identifying a need

November 28th, 2007

Every product I’ve ever released has been based upon satisfying some need that I observed. This became pretty easy after I published my first book. People flat out told me what they wanted. In unsolicited letters and email my customers told me what they liked and didn’t like. When I received several inquires about magic tricks about making yourself float, I released a booklet based on just that. It was my best selling magic booklet ever.

If you have an interest in a special niche, the best place to start with market research is yourself. Look at your shelves. What are you buying?

When I first got interested in filmmaking I started reading a few beginner books, but mostly biographies of filmmakers I found interesting. I also started buying DVDs of independent films that were like the ones I expected to make.

After I made my first film I decided to write a book about the experience. I realized that there really wasn’t anything out there about making independent films with digital video that didn’t read like a cookbook or boring how-to manual. I wrote the book that I wanted to read when I first got started. I had learned plenty of information that wasn’t in anything I read. Most books assumed that you were going to be shooting on film and had $100,000 to spend. My audience was people like myself who wanted to get into film but didn’t want to get a second mortgage to do so.

I followed the same formula I had followed in the magic business. I created something for myself. I solved one of my needs. It’s hard to go wrong with that. You’ll be your most critical customer.

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