If you’re a creative, I’m pretty sure you’re like many of my clients or the members of my Facebook Community in that you have a TON of ideas happening all the time. So I know that you have lots of projects you want to put out into the world. Whether it’s a product or service, big or small, it requires work and dedication for it to “take off.”
Here we’re breaking down the top 5 reasons I see creative entrepreneurs fail with their products and how you can ensure that that’s not your story.
1. You never create it
This sounds so obvious. If you don’t turn your idea into something more than an idea, you will never be able to sell it, help others, or make money. If you have an idea, and you want to have it be successful, make it a reality. Figure out what the “idea” really looks like in terms of a business idea and go out and create it. If you talk about a new concept or an innovative technique but you don’t work on it and you notice somebody else doing it, how will you feel about your inaction? There are people who need what you have. Go out and create it! If this is you and you’re struggling with deciding what you want to create, check out this post where I discuss which one of your ideas you need to turn into a reality!
2. You create in a vacuum
Hooray! So you have a good idea and you think it’s awesome. You put it out into the world and you hear crickets. What went wrong? One of the first things you didn’t do – listening to your people. People call it different things. Tara Gentile calls it the Living Room Strategy, Adrienne Dorison calls it prevalidation. It’s the concept that you need to hear what people actually need and want and you being an active participant in those conversations. If you create something because you think it’s cool, it might ultimately be a creative piece but it might not sell (especially if it’s an e-product or service). You want to see if the idea is something people are going to want to spend money on!
This idea of prevalidating doesn’t have to be as complex as it sounds. The basic gist is that you want to make sure to ask your ideal client what he/she thinks of your idea (in a very specific way). Typically people have opinions about anything but once they have to put their money where their mouth is, it changes things. There are many ways of asking your audience what they think but my favorites are: surveys, periscope live feedback, and facebook focus groups. If you create an opt-in around it and see that there’s a high conversion (people who sign up to receive it), you know this might be a good idea!
3. Your attitude is that people should care because you put energy into it
Ok so, you’ve created the product/service and it’s all packaged up in a pretty bow. You’ve spent a ton of time and stayed up at night to get it done. You hit publish and you hear crickets. Womp Womp. What happened here? You might have thought that because you put effort/time/energy into it, people would automatically care about something, because you care about it. You know people need it, so of course they’ll come. Right? Unfortunately, wrong! I’m not trying to be smart with you – it sounds silly when I put it this way, right? But so often, I see that people’s output isn’t rewarded because the audience just doesn’t know about the awesome thing you created.
Which brings me to my next point…
4. You don’t have a product launch strategy
Creating the product or service isn’t the end. You actually have to devote about the same amount of effort marketing and talking about the product/service as you do creating it. You can’t expect for people to understand why they need it or how it would benefit them. That’s our job as entrepreneurs – to show people, educate people, to entice people that your product or service is going to be the thing that helps them.
Spend time creating a plan for how you want to roll it out. I call it a “launch strategy,” which can sound a little intimidating; in reality, it’s just a plan. You could call it a “how do I want to tell people about this cool thing I made” and serve the same purpose. Write out your goals for the launch – is it 25 sales, 100 people to sign up for the list, or getting 100 people to listen to your podcast? At the end of the day, the plan is what gets people hyped about whatever it is that you’re creating!
5. It doesn’t solve a problem
As we alluded in #4, your product/service needs to solve a problem and help your ideal client. When you think about creating something, think to yourself, “so what? Why should my client care?” It’s not in an aloof way or a “I’m not good enough” way, but it’s a simple marketing question – if people care about it, they’re going to be compelled to purchase.
If your item makes people feel something, shortens the amount of time it takes for them to do something, or gives them a solution, you’re on the right track. And by having done the prevalidation step, you really know exactly what problems you’re solving! You want people to say, “are you reading my mind?” or “how did you know that’s exactly what I’ve been grappling with?”
If you’re looking for a way to create something that’s inside your head, take action, and go out with a BANG so you don’t have a flop, implement these steps to get you closer to an unveiling that’s successful and is really rewarding – emotionally and financially for you!
Here’s a quick peptalk. All those ideas that you have in your head, the ones that plague you as you try to fall asleep, make sure that you’re not just thinking them. Decide on what you want to do, think through your plan and execute it with momentum. You’re meant to make a dent with your work. It’s time to go and do it.
If you’ve been sitting on some ideas but you haven’t really done much about it and want to start taking action, join us in the challenge!