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Distill the interviews to identify unique insights

Now that you’re doing interviews, you’re simultaneously digging for insights (that is the whole point, after all!). This happens concurrently with your interviewing as well.

To move deeper into the process of honing your niche, we’ll move into a new group of exercises. The purpose of this next set of exercises is to help you hone your niche by digging for unique insights from your interviews, researching and analyzing your competition, creating a Venn diagram of your unique skill set, and visualizing your ideal client.

Honing your niche in this playbook will involve four exercises.

Dig for unique insights

Remember the hypotheses you wrote out in Step 2? Now you are looking for insights that help you learn if those are true or not. It’s completely okay if your hypotheses are wrong, and it’s important to be objective about the information. It is common for us to ignore evidence that goes against what we would like to hear. Some tips to stay objective are:

  • Highlight key themes and count how frequently they came up.

  • Pull quotes from interviews.

  • Take an idea for your business and pretend you are selling it to one of the customers you interviewed. Based on what they said in their interview, would they buy it?

There’s no one process to find insights, but here is what we suggest:

  • Re-read your notes from your interviews. Try using color-coded highlighters or sticky notes to track common themes.

  • Pull out common patterns and themes that you keep seeing. Is everyone dealing with the same problem? Are they using similar tools? What is their shared complaint? Look for big pain points where people felt very frustrated. Use the organizer in the workbook to organize the patterns, evidence from interviews to support the patterns, and your insights.

  • Identify what surprised you or felt like insider knowledge.

Tie these insights back to your hypotheses and write down what you’ve learned about them in your workbook.

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