You want to create or launch something – maybe you want to test your ideas before you spend time working on them.
And when you're just not sure it’s a good idea – it's smart to ask will people like it – is it launch worthy and will anyone be interested enough in your thing to buy it?
So you keep thinking and thinking and thinking.
And not doing.
First of all – you know how I feel about this daydreaming mode.
Sure feels good – but it’s getting you nowhere.
Instead of sitting in this state of inaction – let’s talk about the problem and answer your question and take a step in the right direction.
Do you always have to test your ideas before you create?
Short answer: not necessarily.
First – let’s talk about why and how you WOULD test your ideas before going into full product creation mode – especially if you’re crunched for time and resources.
Disclaimer: spending 6 months in your creative cave is fun. I won’t knock that experience.
And if you have the time, a somewhat established audience, and a consistent way you are communicating with everyone – then great. Don’t bother testing. Go into the cave – come out from time to time and tell people what you’re up to…then go back to creating.
Testing is not covering your ass. Not in my book anyways.
Testing is being willing to develop an idea to a point where you can share something about it to other people, find out how they react, if there’s excitement, and then resume or make a slight adjustment.
Testing is useful if you have no idea of the value of your idea to your audience.
Testing is a reality for many beginning entrepreneurs. You’re still:
→Defining your audience
→Figuring out what you want to offer
→Figuring out how to manage it all
→Summoning the courage to get put yourself out there
There’s nothing worse than putting something out to the world with no clue if people even want or need what you’re putting out there.
You value the information…maybe your accountability partner does too – but the question really needs to be answered by your readers, your subscribers, your tribe.
The most important thing you do before any of these tests is this: know who you are targeting with this idea.
Even if it’s a free ebook or a free webinar or a free whatever – you need to have a clear person in mind when you’re testing or marketing anything.
My little uber imperfect targeting trick
Here’s a novel idea – make a somewhat educated guess who you are offering something to. I know, guess…sounds really scientific.
When I was launching Fearless Launching – I had a vague idea of who it was for – and I took an audience from a few other online courses – and thought – ok this is their next step.
So, I found my who (well, to be fair…my starting who) in another person’s market and said – I want people to come take my course after they do x, y, or z.
That was enough for me. Most of the people the first time around fit into that category.
Try it – pick another program or maybe another business who serves your same audience, especially if your offer is something they’d buy before or after what they buy what said established business.
Time to test your offer
The easiest ways to find out if anyone will be interested in what you want to create are so simple and will require only one thing – you to get off your computer a little bit.
1. Be obvious: Ask your subscribers, fans, followers, contacts – hey do you need something like this?
I know it sounds too straightforward – maybe a little too direct, but honestly when you start selling your services, your products to people – you can’t beat around the bush.
You can’t be all vague and hope they’re like–”OMG I must buy whatever they are selling even though I’m not sure they are selling anything. Wait, maybe they are selling something.”
2. Get people involved: Ask a small group of your subscribers – people who always comment, share your work on social media, email you – ask them if they’ll be part of the development of it.
This allows you to stop working in the vacuum that may have led to this testing in the first place.
3. Take it to the street: Forget online surveys, forget monitoring social media. Call 5 people each week and talk about your idea – ask them to ask you questions – tell them to challenge your idea and give you any and all info that’s coming up. If you find your first 5 honest people to tell you what they think – find 5 more… keep talking to people.
4. Find beta testers: Create a mini version of your offer.
Take a few people you trust through the program, service, or let them review it. Get their feedback and then make the decision.
Your idea will shift and reshape a little bit as you listen to the people who will benefit from the finished “thing” you want to develop.
Note: For those who don’t want the opinion of others when they create.
I’ve always been the type of person that needs to create something on my own – and mostly keep it to myself until it’s ready for the world. Term papers, final thesis, final film… I liked to hold my cards close to my chest – I wanted the world to wait for my genius.
But I know that it isn’t always smart to do that, so I’ve learned to share my work with at least a few people before it hits the streets.
And – you’re not doomed if you choose this path – I know artists like to think they are doing the craft for themselves… but c’mon people. You want your voice heard. So speak … to someone.
If you want to stay in the cave, have your big reveal or big coming out…
Try at least listening to the rumbling of what people are resonating with – to get hints… not give you your course – but to inspire you.
So – if you choose not to survey, not to ask real live humans, not to tease what you’re working on to others – know that you should at least keep real live humans in mind while you’re working on your masterpiece.
Sometimes your best work will come from shutting out the voices around you, but you do still need to keep your voice focused on someone.
Wayne Dyer said this in a book – and I always remember it – “Your opinion of me is none of my business…” but I always add, “but I kind of want to know” to the end of that sentence.
Apply that to your work and you’ll stay true to the message you want to put out to the world AND keep the outside world in mind.
Decision time: Are you going to test or not?
Leave a comment below and tell me –
Do you like going into a cave to create your masterpieces?
Or do you like a more collaborative process where people give you feedback?
Has your method worked for you? Did you end up getting the results, attention, make the money, you wanted or not?
Can't wait to hear about your process!image credit: The Wandering Angel