This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: Find A Small Problem, Provide A Simple Solution.
Many have made money and built reputations by solving problems. Doctors cure the suffering of illness, psychiatrists help heal the troubled mind, lawyers protect names from being tarnished, consultants offer marketing advice and a dazzling array of products help to remove any inconvenience you might possibly encounter in your daily life.
Many people are solving problems. They’re all offering solutions to people who need them. Some are giving them away for free. Others are selling them for a price. When problem and solution is a perfect fit, a relationship of trust is built between two parties. If this helps me now, it might help me again. If this solves my problem, it might solve my friend’s problem too.
There’s a connection. The problem solver becomes more popular as more problems are solved for more people. Every time you solve a problem in a way that’s better than others, you add undeniable value to the person in need. After performing a search engine query on a topic, what pages do you bookmark? The ones that offer you the best possible solution.
As a business or website owner, you have to face the challenge of getting people to consume what you’re offering, be it free content on your blog, a piece of merchandise or premium service. You’ll have compete with other problem solvers in the market. Other blogs, other companies in the same field, other service providers. All offering different solutions.
For instance, there are many different products to solve the problem of dirty dishes. A plethora of different washing fluids, sponges, machines and racks. In most scenarios, there are more solutions than there are problems. Solutions themselves become problems to be solved.
Most of the time problem-solvers are already engaging your target audience but that doesn’t mean you should stay away. There’s always room for another solution, especially when its one that addresses the problem with more elegance, more force, more precision or more style.
First, identify the problems facing your target audience. Go deep into the user-generated recesses of the web: monitor forums, social networking websites, blogs and places where people interact and talk online. Understand the problem more deeply than your competitor. Go after nuance. Absorb feedback on current solutions. Know what they want but isn’t available.
Then, create a solution that builds on the flaws of other solutions. Or one that completely circumvents the existing paradigm by addressing the problem from a different angle, using different methodology or a combination of existing solutions. Be daring and creative.
Try going wider for broader appeal or swim in narrower channels to reach hardcore fans in order to gain a support base. The same applies to online publications like blogs on specific topics. What problems do your readers have? How are you solving them with your content? If solutions already exist elsewhere, how can you do better so you’ll be the go-to site?
Nobody is able to constantly solve problems in the best possible way to please every single person. All solutions have flaws because consumers evolve. People are also going to look elsewhere because of boredom. But understanding exactly what problems and solutions are out there, allows you to better score points or gain favor with any audience.