“You know it’s time to sell when shoeshine boys give you stock tips”
This is a famous quote in the stock market. It means when everyone’s talking about a subject; then it becomes too popular for its own good.
I knew I should’ve sold Crypto when my uber drivers and barber started talking about their portfolio. Everything crashed a week later!
This can happen in internet marketing.
You’re looking for an e-commerce product to promote.
Your favorite eCom YouTuber is recommending a hot product for you to promote. Guess what? It’s too late and saturated.
People identified it was hot months before, and already milked the profit. And now you’re getting the scraps.
You can still make money, of course, but why would you want to face an uphill battle?
If you’re short on time and cash, why would you jump into a red ocean of sharks?
Why not look for blue oceans instead?
(If you don’t understand the ocean analogies, you should read Blue Ocean Strategy).
Does this make sense?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could figure out what’s going to be hot before it explodes?
Here’s one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned in business:
Don’t try to create demand. Identify a trending audience and develop solutions to their problems.
I believe in luck.
Most people think about luck in terms of blind chance. You win a scratch-off ticket, or a distant aunt you’ve never met leaves you an inheritance.
There’s a concept called discovered luck. It’s where you develop a skillset, and you’re able to spot opportunities that others can’t.
The real estate agent has concluded that Amazon will build another headquarters in a specific part of town.
They double down on building commercial real estate near where the HQ should be. Amazon does indeed create the HQ there, and the property values increase by 10x within five years.
Read: The 4 Lucks of Luck (read this is you want to learn more my viewpoints on luck)
The ability to identify trends is a valuable business skill to develop. It’ll let you identify opportunities and threats early.
I’m going to share with you tools that I use to identify trends and opportunities in the marketplace.
They will tell you what’s trending, but it’s up to you to figure out how to monetize the trends.
5 Tools to Discover Trends
1. Exploding Topics
Exploding Topics is a free, weekly newsletter.
Their software analyzes search traffic and social media conversations across the web. Their algorithms and people identify what topics are set to explode.
I love how you can sort the categories according to what you’re interested in.
Let’s say you’re new to entrepreneurship. You have a passion for health.
What are some opportunities?
You could create an e-commerce store for blue light blocking glasses, or you could create a supplement line for vegan collagen.
The posture corrector is the most interesting one to me.
- People are already searching for posture correctors
- There’s a tsunami of people who are shifting towards working from home. This trend reinforces the need for posture correctors.
- There are no dominant players or household names in the market for posture correctors. The existing solutions suck.
Posture Correction is a niche with potential, and I wouldn’t have thought about it if it wasn’t for this newsletter.
2. The Trends Community
Imagine if there was a group of people who researched business trends and gave you the 80/20 of it every week. Or if there was a Facebook group where smart people talk about business ideas all day.
It exists, and it’s called Trends by TheHustle.co
It’s a paid subscription newsletter where researchers/analysts sent out an email containing interviews and trends research.
Trends research is time-consuming. Their weekly newsletter lets me stay on top of things.
Sign up for Trends
3. The Pinterest 100
I’ve always preferred marketing towards women rather than to men. Pinterest is a powerhouse to discover what women are searching for.
The Pinterest 100 is a list of different topics that have shown upward growth year over year.
They curated the topics into categories.
Read the Pinterest 100 Report
It’s worth your time to analyze this list.
ProductHunt is a website you can use to discover new ideas. Entrepreneurs create products and post on ProductHunt to get attention.
The users then “upvote” their favorite ideas…kinda like Reddit.
I browse the site daily and think, “damn, that’s a great idea!”
The goal isn’t to rip off someone else’s idea. You should use it as inspiration and think, “what is the underlying trend here?”
I love the WFH Care Package. They are packages to boost morale and alleviate stress. The trend is stress relief.
There’s also AidTable, which is a list of discounts to help people during COVID-19. There are opportunities in “niche’ ing” it. Example, discounts on software for freelancers.
5. Google Trends
I saved the classic one for last.
You’ve probably heard of Google trends and have probably used it. I don’t need to spend too much time talking about it.
A few ways to use Google Trends:
- Look at the pattern of search data. Hint: Could you take advantage of seasonal campaigns?
- Compare niches
- Find related topics
- Find search volume in different countries. Don’t get tunnel-visioned into thinking the USA is the only market worth pursuing.
Analyzing a Business Idea
You’re seeing all these different trends and waves. How do you know if it’s a viable business idea? You don’t want to enter an oversaturated niche, right?
Is there any way to research the potential?
My first piece of advice is, “Don’t be afraid of competition.”
Competition means there is an established product and market fit. However, I do understand that if you’re limited on your budget, then you probably don’t want to fight with the lions.
My favorite tool for analyzing an idea is called JungleScout.
Amazon is the most significant player in the e-commerce space.
There are tons of big players that use the FulfilledbyAmazon business model.
A big part of their strategy is identifying trends. Once they identify a pattern, they can find or develop a product to sell on Amazon.
They use a tool called JungleScout.
You can use JungleScout to see what’s trending in the Amazon ecosystem. You’re also able to see
- Search volume. How big is the opportunity?
- Similar niches. If posture correction is too competitive, there’s an opportunity in neck braces.
- Competition. The PPC and HSA bids can give you an idea of how competitive the category is.
JungleScout is one of the best tools out there for opportunity analysis, even if you’re not in the Amazon ecosystem.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
I shared some tools to figure out what’s trending. Don’t fool yourself into thinking trends research is only good for creating a new business.
If you already have an existing business, it can help you spot new opportunities. Maybe you can expand into a new product line.
What happens if a company spots a trend, but chooses to ignore it? Think about what happened with Blockbuster and Netflix. Kodak and the Digital Camera. GameStop and digital games.
Trends research should be a part of your weekly routine.