How to Survey Your Audience (To Find Out What They Really Want AND Will Pay For)



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!
Featured On

One of the biggest fears out there I hear over and over (and over and over) again is that you will bust your buttocks to create a program and it will either be the wrong program for your audience (d’oh!) and/or they don’t buy it (double d’oh!) and/or they want the information but they aren’t willing to pay for it (triple d’oh!).

First of all, if this is a fear of yours, don’t fret. EVERYONE goes through this (myself included) – no matter their experience, list size, etc.

The good news is there is a way to combat this (whether you have a small or big list of subscribers) and I’ve got someone to help you today. Kathy Caprino is a butt-kicking mediapreneur. She is a career/success coach, speaker, writer for Forbes, etc – all focused on helping women create careers they love (cool niche, BTW).

Today, Kathy joins me to teach all of us how to survey our audience to find out what they really want AND will pay for. Oh, and by the way, her survey questions rock. Make sure to steal ’em.

Watch/Listen below. And make sure to let me know some insights you picked up in the comments section and also results of your surveying!


I use RISE partner Wistia for video hosting because they rock. .

Audio Only Player:


Kathy CaprinoShare This Episode:

Make Sure to Check Out…

Kathy’s upcoming FREE teleclass

This Episode Of The Rise To The Top Is Exclusively Sponsored By GoToMeeting:

GoToMeetingSummer is in the air and you know what that means…going to a bunch of meetings all over the place sucks. A far better use of your time (and this is what I do), is to do your meetings on GoToMeeting with HD Faces (so you can see who you are talking to). Record ’em, save ’em, do whatever you want with ’em! I’ve got a special 45-day free trial just for RISE Nation right here.

Want to put your own online program together? Check out the . Over 200+ comments, thousands of views, and more importantly – all kinds of folks taking action from my free training series to help you turn what you already know into an online course that sells 24/7. .

  • Ed Ferrigan

    Great interview David. What was missing for me was the techniques used to drive traffic to the survey. Lots of good reinforcement otherwise!

    • Thanks Ed!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Ed! About techniques to drive traffic to the survey, here are some thoughts. Go to your loyal community first – they’re the best source of feedback because they’re already in your circle. Example: I shared my latest survey via an email to my full list that included a link for folks to complete it via Survey Monkey (I got a 10% response to the survey of those who opened the email). Secondly, pop it up on all your social media outlets asking folks for their candid input (make sure you create a separate link so you can track these folks separately from your list). You can also offer a gift or freebie as an incentive to complete the survey (10% off a next purchase of your product, etc.). You can embed the survey on your site or display a popup window as people visit your site/blog. Finally, through Survey Monkey, for instance, you can buy a targeted list of potential customers who meet your demographic criteria. Hope those tips help! All best.

  • Mimika Cooney

    Thanks so much for this! I loved how Kathy talked about doing the survey, she’s right it’s not about me so I need to find out what my market needs. I’m off to create my survey now… Thanks guys!

    • Awesome let us know how it goes!

      • Mimika Cooney

        will do enjoy the 4th with the fam!

    • Cool! Can’t wait to hear what you learn!

      • Mimika Cooney

        Thanks Kathy! I’m thinking differently now about surveying first before doing my whole course outline. They are small steps but significant ones. Thanks for sharing!

        • That’s a great idea, Mimika – do the research FIRST before developing the curriculum. I think you’ll be blown away by what you didn’t know and didn’t expect. Enjoy the 4th!

  • Camila

    Wonderful show. Can I ask you to please give us an example of STORY ARC in your communications? I understand it’s a strategy, to build upon each communication until the climax point, which is probably a big launch. Can you give of as example of a story that you have presented with an “arc”? What are the elements to the “arc”? Thank you.

    • Thanks, Camila, and sure. Great question. I learned a great deal about this from Tara Gentile ( – check out her great marketing and customer perspective programs! The key is to stop thinking like an “expert” and think like your potential customer — what does he or she really need and want, and what will entice them to buy NOW (rather than just stay a loyal fan that doesn’t purchase)? As an example, in my blog posts and newsletters leading up to launching my teleclass, there was a sequence involving telling stories and sharing specific information that: 1) challenges a key limiting mindset or belief that gets in the way of so many from the progress they want, 2) expands their vision of what’s possible — demonstrating what they can achieve that they may not have believed was possible, 3) analyzes what’s happening that’s keeping them stuck (i.e. building their trust), and finally, 4) demonstrates success with a powerful case study. Check out my Forbes post yesterday – Amazing Career Success, Happiness, and Reward In Action as an example of a case study. Hope that helps!

      • Camila

        Thank you Kathy! Great answer. I love Tara Gentile, she actually bought a mug from me (I’m a ceramic designer ), but I haven’t seen her teachings on Story Arc yet. I will look this up. From your answer here, I am getting ideas on what my Arc should be about. Thank you again!

  • Galina

    I just started listening and oh my Gosh!! Kathy, you are amazing! I love how Kathy interprets being an expert. It’s such a wise and holistic approach.

    David, thank you so much!

  • Galina

    Kathy and David! I’m putting together a new about page for my website and I totally understand when you say that it’s not all about me. So could you just give an idea about how much/ what I should write about myself? I’m afraid if I don’t tell my story a bit, the website will be somewhat faceless…Thank you!

    • Thanks, Galina! Appreciate your comments. So, my take on your question is this – you must certainly should share your personal story on your website and on your launch page(s) because sharing transparently and authentically about who you are and how you got there, as well as why you care about what you do, is engaging, compelling stuff that your audience wants to know, and it builds trust and rapport. So share away in your “About” page. My point about not making it all about you refers to the need to: 1) make sure that how you communicate about your programs or products isn’t centered only around what YOU want out of it, 2) incorporate your customers’ results, success stories and accomplishments from the work they do with you (not just how great you are), and 3) interview and learn from others continually in developing the “chops” of your work. I think David’s “About” page is awesome – check that out Hope that helps. Thanks!

      • Galina

        Thank you, Kathy! That’s a great advice and I will keep it in mind while putting together the about page! I need to explore the topic of narcissism further 🙂 But also, don’t want to over think my writing, otherwise I will never finish it.

    • I would HIGHLY recommend having your story on your site, you face all over the place exactly and adhere to what Kathy said below….make sure the products and programs focus on results you are going to get for them and not how much cool stuff you know.

      • Galina

        I agree, David! I think your face should be all over the place. It adds authenticity and honestly, I like working/ learning from people who have personal brands rather than a big company and a big team. I have no idea why. Maybe because when it’s a personal brand it shows that he/she is very passionate about it.

  • Hey David – this was great. Thank you. Quick question – When you send out a survey, do you offer some kind of incentive to participants?

    • Hi Faheem – I look forward to David’s response on this, but my take is that if you have a significantly sizable target audience that you have a direct relationship with, I’d opt not to offer an incentive because sometimes that does skew the results (the folks who do it for the gift can have different responses than those who don’t). Here’s Survey Monkey’s advice on to incentivize or not:


    • It isn’t necessary, there is really no need to bribe your peeps

  • Janiele Lewis

    I’ve hesitated to create a survey for some time, due to fear of not knowing exactly what to ask or even what to investigate. While listening, and pausing, then listening (you get the point), to this AWESOME interview, I was able to finally create my 10 question survey, and now await the responses..thanks a 10^6 David and Kathy!



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!