**Guest post written by Scott Aumann, originally featured on Do You Know What Your Fans Realy Want?
"Find out what your fans want by asking them. I learned this little tip by following online guru Michael Hyatt. He does a reader survey every year, and he learns how to run his business from the results. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans what they want. Most of the time, they will be excited to share this info with you. It will make them feel more connected to you as well.
The easiest way to do this online is by using a survey site like Survey Monkey. You can also send out a broadcast to your email list and have them reply to your email to collect data that way. Using an online survey works better because the results are collected in one place automatically. Then you can view your results for all the people who answered your questions as they come in. No need to collect answers separately and put the results together yourself.
Social media has also added surveys or polls. Don’t forget to ask your followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook questions from time to time. This is limited at this time to only one question per post. If you want to learn a lot then you’ll need to run several polls one at a time. This is still a great way to get feedback quickly from your fans.
I recently did this for my band, Mojo Radio. I wanted to see if our fans would be interested if we came up with some new merch ideas. We have only had a few limited things for sale. Most of the time that was due to us not having a lot of extra money to invest in merchandise. I wanted to see what our fans would want if we decided to invest in something new.
I asked 10 questions total. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I also asked enough questions to cover a few topics about our merch. I didn’t want this survey to take up too much of our fans’ time, but I also wanted to get as much information as I could if they were cool enough to answer the survey in the first place. If you write a survey then try to reach a nice balance between the time needed for the survey and information gathered.
I ended up learning a lot from just those ten questions. I also was surprised by some of the answers I got back. One question I asked was how our fans bought music these days. Almost 100% of them answered with CDs, and a close second was MP3s. Nobody answered the question with “I don’t buy music.” I found that very interesting, and also very encouraging. Today we hear so much about how people aren’t buying music anymore, and this survey had 100% of the people answer that they still do buy music in one form or another. That means it is worth the investment to come up with a new album because that is something our fans want. I also learned that our fans are not willing to buy singles. They prefer to buy EPs or full-length albums. This was great info because we had thought about releasing some singles at one point. Good thing we didn’t!
+Merch Makes The Difference
“Give the People What They Want” – The Kinks
Don’t be afraid to ask your fans what they want. If you can understand what they want, then you can be better at delivering it. This in turns makes your fans happy. Happy fans are loyal fans. Loyal fans tend to buy more.