Uncover new insights about your audience and become a brand authority  

Learn how to conduct survey-based research even if you don't have a big budget or a background in statistics

You likely know the benefits of survey-based research for content marketing. This type of content can work extremely well. 

It makes sense: When you uncover net new (and useful) insights for your audience, they know, like and trust you brand.

And, when you plan your survey well from the beginning, you have a pillar/cornerstone piece of content that you can repurpose into an endless stream of content. 

This new coaching and training program will teach you how to create a survey that can make an impact -- for both you and your audience.

Sign up below to be notified once the course is ready.

Save time and improve results by focusing on the parts of the process that matter most

"Original research may take 10x the effort to create, but you'll likely see 100x the results of a typical article."

- Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina sums up the joy and pain of survey-based research well: it works incredibly well, but it also takes a significant amount of time -- and there can be a lot of unknowns. 

When I ask readers which parts of the research process is most difficult or what they want to learn about, they tell me: 

  • Getting people to respond to my survey 
  • Writing survey questions that give me interesting results
  • Ensuring the data I get is quality
  • Analyzing the data
  • Using my research report in more ways

To add to the struggle: if this is your first time working on a project like this, you don't even know what you don't know. 

You may be tempted to figure it out on your own or simply "write a few survey questions and see what happens," but, unfortunately, this often does not work. 

I can't tell you how many marketers I have talked with who have a similar dilemma: "We spent all of this time developing a survey and getting responses, but we didn't learn anything interesting." 

Or others ask me how to fix a research project after they realized they didn't ask the right questions. (Spoiler alert: you can't.) 

If your survey isn't set up well from the beginning, you won't have anything meaningful to share. You won't be seen as an authority for your brand. And you won't positively impact your marketing and business goals. 

Instead, you need to step back and set yourself up for success from the beginning. 

Introducing Build a Better Survey

what you get

This new program from Mantis Research provides a step-by-step look at the process I take with all of my clients. It's a process I have developed over the last five years and continue to refine. 

In short, you will learn how to create a survey that is rooted in credible data, will offer loads of stories to tell and make a big impact for you and your audience.

Step-by-step roadmap 

Creating a survey can feel overwhelming, but we'll keep things simple. 

Watch the short, targeted video lessons and complete the specific exercises. By the end,  you'll have a survey that you can confidently use to get story-worthy insights. 


In addition to the step-by-step instructions, you'll also have templates and swipe files that you use and customize to save you time. 

One-on-one coaching 

The magic happens with personal coaching so we can create something great . . . together. No one situation or survey is the same, which is why this program comes with opportunities to gets specific feedback on your specific survey and answers to your thorniest questions.

Here are just some of the things you'll learn: 

  • How many people need to answer your survey if you want to be seen as credible
  • How to get people to answer your survey -- and how much it will cost
  • How to find the right research topic 
  • The 5 types of questions you can ask that will result in interesting stories (not just stats)
  • The types of questions you should avoid asking 
  • The 8-step process to writing, programming and testing your survey 
  • How long your survey should be – and a simple idea to shorten your survey if needed
  • The one thing you need to keep your survey on track 
  • The questions you should ask at the beginning of your survey 
  • 6 types of survey questions to ask (to give you better data and more interesting stories
  • (Very) common survey mistakes – with solutions for each 
  • How to find the stories in your research findings

Here’s what people are saying about working with Mantis: 

Kim Gusta

Copywriter and Owner

Incredibly Knowledgeable

Michele’s original research training program was a godsend to me when I was working with a client on my first original research project. The training is thorough and a great resource with many helpful templates and documents that saved me time over creating them myself. Michele is extremely generous with her time and incredibly knowledgeable about how to structure survey questions, best practices, and more. I highly recommend the program – you’ll be glad  you  made the investment!

David Spinks

Author and VP

True Partner

Mantis has been an absolute pleasure to work with every step of the way. Michele has been a true partner and always makes it feel like we're on a team together. The quality of research that Mantis helps us put together has helped us have a huge impact on our industry and consistently levels up our brand equity. These research projects have also been one of our most successful lead generators.

Ronnie Higgins

VP of Content 

Valuable Insight

Eventbrite has partnered with Mantis on our annual trends report for the last 3 years and couldn't be more satisfied. Mantis doesn't just help you conduct original research, they apply their extensive marketing and branding know-how to ensure you're capturing valuable, actionable insight.

An inside look into what we're building

The course is based on the IDEA model, which is the 4-step process Mantis created and uses with all of our clients to help them publish credible, compelling research that gets results.


Module 1: Course Overview 

  • Welcome
  • What to expect from this course

Module 2: Getting survey responses 

  • How to determine how many survey responses you need
  • Your 3 options for getting survey responses
  • How to estimate how it will cost to get survey responses

Module 3: Brainstorming your research topic and stories 

  • How to find or validate the topic for your research
  • 4 ways to brainstorm your story
  • 6 ways to tell a story with survey questions

Module 4: Creating the first draft of your survey (with a focus on story) 

  • Basic process for reviewing/getting feedback on your survey
  • Draft your screening questions
  • Draft your demographic and firmographic questions
  • Draft your "story questions"
  • 5 types of survey questions to ask

Module 5: Refining your survey (with a focus on quality)

  • 8 ways you may be frustrating your survey taker
  • 5 wording mistakes that can impact the validity of your data
  • How to incorporate "quality check" questions
  • How to shorten your survey (even when everyone on your team does not agree)
  • Final survey checks

Module 6: Turing your survey data into stories 

  • 5 ways to find stories in your data

About The Course Teacher, Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the founder of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping marketers publish and amplify original research.

Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, helped build their email list to 200,000 subscribers and wrote hundreds of articles.  One of her favorite projects (and the inspiration for Mantis) was working with the research team on their annual, leading content marketing research.

She is regularly cited as a content marketing influencer and was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary).

Michele enjoys connecting with others and sharing ideas. Because of this, she started a new free monthly meetup for marketers who are conducting survey-based research called Research Power (Half) Hour.



Want to get inspired by seeing what others do? You'll get access to loads of examples.

Additional lessons

While the course focuses on how to create a survey, get additional resources to help you use your findings

Free consulting 

Those who join the beat course launch will get one additional hour of consulting time to get answers to all of your questions

Join the waiting list to be notified when this course opens!