Thank you so much for being here with me today. Every week that you swing by our blog to read these articles, listen to our SoundCloud or just catch up with what we’re doing, I am honored through and through. YOU are the reason I am in business, and I am just delighted to see you here again.

Today’s blog is about research as a secret ingredient for finding clarity. More specifically, I’m talking about using the web as a tool to discover new things about your business—what you’re drawn to, what you’re inspired by, and what turns you off. Use the free gift of internet research to help you when you feel confused, overwhelmed by the possibilities or when you are just starting out and need a bit of guidance.

Begin by visiting the websites of your favorite businesses, professionals and brands. Look at their homepage. Their about page. Their work with me page. Their sales pages.Scroll down and take in each section piece by piece. Pay close attention to all of the details you would otherwise miss if you were browsing. Then lean in and ask yourself questions about what you’re viewing:

· What do you notice?

· What surprises you about their websites?

· What do you like about their format?

· What do you think about the way they package their products?

· How are you finding their design or their words?

· What colors are you drawn to? What fonts? What photos?

· What do you dislike about their site? What isn’t working for you?

· How do you feel when you visit this site? What’s evoking those emotions within you?

Your research doesn’t have to take too long. You’re not writing an academic case study— this is about exploration and intuition. Make this research as fun for yourself as you can. Put on sway-worthy music. Brew a mug of peppermint tea or whatever drink makes you feel your most open and creative.

Take all of this website research and compile it in your favorite way. For me, that would be organizing it with the ToDoist app. (I’ve written about it before here and here . And no, I am not sponsored by them; it’s just the best project management app I’ve found!) For you it might be a fresh sheet of notebook paper on your desk or an audio memo on your phone. Whatever you are going to come back to, however you like to store your information, use that to jot down your research.

To be clear, this isn’t about stealing, plagiarizing or otherwise breaking the rules.

You may notice that several people have a certain WordPress theme or homepage layout. That doesn’t mean that you are obligated to get out your credit card and buy the same premium theme. You may pick up on the fact that all of your favorite entrepreneurs offer daily coaching packages, but that might not be in-line with how you want to structure your day. You could see that blog posts about a certain topic are really popular, but you’re just not that excited by it. That’s all okay. This is your business. You are in charge. You get to make the choices.

I know in my business there have been plenty of times when I’ve seen x, y or z working powerfully for other entrepreneurs, but I always stay true to my own intuition and what brings me joy. When you come to me as a coach, what you see is what you get. I want you to feel like you know me already through these blogs, newsletters and videos. If I used someone else’s approach because they nailed it and I wanted to repeat their success, you would be able to feel that when we got on the phone. Your clients can tell when you’re not being authentic, and it scares them away.

If you’re stuck, this market research is a good place to start, but don’t let it change who you are.

Do you have any questions or comments? Write below this blog. I read every single post.

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