Where REALLY BIG ideas come from…
This blog post title might be a little deceiving but I think after you read it, it will make sense. As always feel free to add comments.
Over the past 25 years of working in marketing with small businesses, home based business and medium size businesses, I have experienced alot of successes and the odd disappointment. I have tried new ideas, experimented with different branding methods and generally tried some pretty cool stuff. Whether it be a marketing plan or new promotion, my head is overflowing with ideas and I am never short creativity. And herin lies the problem…how the hell do I remember it all?
So early on (taking you back to the late eighties), I started filling notes and handwriting ideas and marketing techniques on a daily basis. I also kept notes on different client projects (what techniques excelled and what sucked!). I figured I needed to track what I did right as well as wrong.
I loved to write marketing plans and so I would assemble a plan for almost every client project or any of my own personal projects. In lot of cases, the clients didn’t ask or pay for a plan, I simple built one as I liked the idea of digging deep into their business and building a roadmap. Call me anal, but I loved it and still spend alot of time brainstorming for new and existing clients.
At the same time as I was working with client projects, I was reading dozens of books each year and in the past 2 years listened to dozens of books (using Audible.com). As I read through these books, I would jot down notes and things I learned or topics I thought might apply to specific clients. Needless to say, I created an amazing amount of paper notes as well as digital files with content.
A couple of years ago, I started using the program Evernote (www.evernote.com). It allowed me to store and organize notes in folders, but it also synced up all my notes on my phone, my laptop, desktop computer and iPad tablet. This gave me the ability to search for ideas and concepts in mere seconds vs hours. I love it and it continues to amaze me.
I should add on the topic of Evernote, that I can scan any text based document that I previously typed and printed, into Evernote and it indexes the words in the note so they are searchable. This feature along makes it one of the best tools around for being successful and organizing content.
So, were am I going with all of this….?
Well, I started going back and reviewing past ideas and within about 20 minutes of searching, I came up with some incredible information that would be very helpful to small business, other marketers, and any entrepreneurs. Imagine if you will, someone successfully marketing hundreds of businesses and getting access to their personal notes on how they did it. Or consider wanting to start an online business to help pay the bills and getting a simple playbook on how to do it? So my challenge became, how could I share this with people? So that became the theme for this post today.
Sharing information today has never been easier with the advent of the internet, social media, blogs, podcasts, email, newsletters etc. And so part of my giving back will be to take ideas, special marketing techniques, and share them with everyone that will listen. If someone has specific questions, I can share answers to those…and probably include a question/answer in each and every blog post.
Today I want to share an example with you. As many of you may know, I am a fan of Tim Ferris, Author of the 4 Hour Work Week. Tim writes a blog post every week or so and one of these issues written back in May 2012 really rang true for me. It was entitled “Six Figure Business Built For Less Than $100: Lessons Learned“. It was an awesome article and in it he talked about:
- Provide results (photos, examples, testimonials) of your own positive successes, and show people how it works. These folks may not know HOW TO DO IT or Don’t Want To Worry About it.So in the lesson above, I found if I could condense and document simple ideas that could be shared with small business people, with a clear instruction set, there would be a lot of interest in this.
- Latch onto a favorite Hobby or TV show and make it simple for people. A good example today might be to assemble a guide for fans of the Game Of Thrones Series. Alot of people have not seen it but have heard about in and would love to converse with friends and family about it.So my approach would be to create a short episode guide, with character backgrounds and maybe some maps and or diagrams explaining story lines and more. Call it “The Fan’s Quick Reference to Game of Thrones”. Assemble the info into a short EBook and upload to Amazon Kindle store or any other online EBook retailer and charge $5 each. Its not a complicated idea but this sort of thing can generate some extra cash and give you valuable experience selling a product online.In the case above, thats just a quick idea. Not every idea will work. But remember, there are lots of people and fans of books, TV shows, that don’t have time to watch the whole series or read all the books. So there is an established market for this sort of thing. And with millions of fans out there, you would be surprised how many you sell!
- The last lesson I will share in todays blog post, is the concept of starting a business Quick and Cheap! Many budding entrepreneurs have big plans, want to “do it right” and spend lots of time and money preparing products to sell online. The concept of quick and cheap means you are best to assemble something as quick as you can in a few days, and then don’t spend hundreds on it. Take that idea or product and upload and test to see it its popular or something someone would buy.A good example is my work on my book “Creative Innovation”. The book itself is near completion but has taken 3+ years off and on to write. When it goes to print, I think it might sell for $15 – $19. And I would only see a small portion. But I have about 20 chapters ready to go with some incredible marketing techniques. So taking the advice above, I am going to group 2 chapters together and sell then online as a Kindle book. I can charge $3 for ideas that are easily worth $100’s. Best of all, I can upload and publish this to the world in less than a day! Hey if it works, great! If not, no problem. But the major point is that I should have done this a few years ago as assembling 20-40 pages of content and launching could happen quickly and on the cheap.
So to wrap up things, I am going to continue to unleash “marketing gems” and ideas in my blog as well as Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn. Watch for more great ideas!