You’ve always been this way. Your passion becomes all consuming and then the slow burn of commitment sets in with the unsubstantiated knowledge that your way will win; your way will beat the odds. That you don’t have to listen to anyone who doubts you or your idea. Entrepreneurship is a mindset. But it’s also a skill perfected over the course of several attempts.
Like any good mentor, my job is to help you skip the more painful mistakes and learn from mine instead.
Do you have an idea, a vision, a product improvement that is burning a hole in your mental pocket? Good. Then lets get started.
A Simple Formula
I have a very simple formula for creating a business concept from a new idea. It’s so simple you might not think it’s valuable. But if you do this, you can generally work out many of the pathways to a successful product idea and introduction. Here’s how it works:
- Write down your idea in a few sentences.
- Once you think you have it, try to sell it to a stranger or casual acquaintance. Sell it like it already existed. Pitch it with some passion and watch for reaction.
- Take mental notes of what happened when you pitched it, then make a few in-flight course corrections and pitch it again. Do this until you feel as it someone gets the idea quickly and wants to hear more.
- Did they want to buy it? If not, change something and pitch it again. Change the price. Try narrowing its focus then pitch it again.
- If you do this just seven times, you will have worked out in your mind what is good and what is not good about this idea.
- Now pitch it seven more times or as many times as you need to perfect the pitch. Most people should want it.
Now that you’ve “perfected” your pitch, you are going to pitch it again but this time to millions of people.
Marketing to the masses
I realize you haven’t even started to even create your new product but assuming you’ve pitched it seven times and perfected your approach, it’s now time to work out all the remaining ways you can monetize your idea. I want you to write at least a thousand words as if you were writing a sales letter to your best possible prospect. Study various sales letters available online if you have never written one before.
Plan your letter carefully first;
- Problem (put them in pain)
- Solution (show them the way out)
- Proof of concept (logical)
- Social proof: Testimonials
- Unbeatable, time limited offer
- Always with a risk-free guarantee
Write with passion and be expressive. Make truthful, bold claims and promises you can deliver on. Then, go for the close. Remember, no one likes to be sold but people love to buy so make your offer irresistible, make it time sensitive and make it risk free. Now take another look at the headline. Does it inspire you to continue reading? Does it sound like hype? Start over on the headline and make it a little shorter. When you are done, put it aside, let it sit overnight and check it again tomorrow. Show it to friends, get some reactions.
Send it to a small section of your list and watch what happens. Did you get interest? Did you get anyone to buy? Did you get questions? You’re on the right path if you did. Rewrite or change the offer and try again. Always test with small lists and keep testing. You are on the right path if you see increased activity with each change. Finally you are ready to start.
You haven’t even built it yet.
Funny how that works. You went through the whole testing process and you never actually had produced a product. Isn’t that interesting? That’s how it’s done these days. Test and sell first, build later but only if it sells. Earlier in 2013, I had an idea for a Master Training Class I wanted to run. It was on a very specific business business process, something I knew how to do that would make people money. I was sure the class would sell and I thought I could fill at least 20 seats in my training program.
So I followed the formula described above and I found out that it wasn’t something people were interested in. I saved myself several hundred hours and thousands of dollars in expenses. But it wasn’t a failure. On the contrary, it was still worth the time and effort I invested in testing. Next year, I will relaunch applying the lessons I learned this time around, and – it shouldn’t surprise you – I will test again.
You MUST take action.
Just remember, all the planning in the world won’t get the job done. The old phrase “all talk no action” applies here. For the big talkers in your life there’s a phrase I learned from my years in Dallas, “All hat, no cattle” which is brilliantly self explanatory. As you begin your testing, get some help. Ask others to read your sales letter and provide feedback, it can only help and you might save some time and money in the process.
I like to keep open office hours for anyone with a question, anyone who needs a quick answer or a few. Just click on the ringing phone above.