Sometimes I wish I were more of a perfectionist. Then when I got a new idea, I’d hesitate. I’d wait to be sure it was *exactly* right. I’d tweak the copy till it was perfect…which means forever.
Instead, I tend to take action early. More than once I’ve rushed to market with an idea that sounded SO good, I couldn’t wait to write the sales letter.
I have to be careful or I’ll waste a lot of time. I have many excellent products that nobody wants.
Most of us have had the experience of waking up at 3 AM with an idea that seems absolutely brilliant… till the flaws appear when the idea gets exposed to the light of day, sometime around 10 AM.
And we’ve also had pretty good ideas that got shot down too fast because some well-meaning coach or mastermind member threw cold water on them.
After working through these challenges with clients in many fields, and after watching some of my own bubbles burst after much-wasted effort, I created this 5-point checklist for my clients – and try to remember to use it myself before diving in to create my Next Big Thing.
1- Do you have the knowledge to add something of your own to the topic?
When I first learned copywriting, I was so excited about the topic, I found myself re-packaging the core ideas into articles and even courses. They were adequate (and the world was less critical back then).
Today I won’t release a product unless I can promise to offer something my audience can’t get anywhere else. My courses about storytelling are completely different than what others share.
It’s not enough to be different. You have to show how this difference becomes a benefit. Otherwise it’s about a blue one versus a red one.
2 – Can you write up the before-and-after scenes?
Once I got a fantastic idea for a telesummit. I presented the idea to half a dozen people who were equally enthused and who agreed to participate immediately.
When I started to write the sales letter, the whole thing came apart. I couldn’t assemble a list of features and benefits, let alone an opening. I couldn’t explain how attendees would be transformed.
Write out the backstory of the people who will eventually buy your course. What are their deepest fears? What’s holding them back? What have they tried?
Write a paragraph about the outcome: “Imagine yourself spending an hour to create a blog post and then earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars from a program you didn’t even create.”
“Imagine that…” might be a tired, trite copywriting phrase but it’s a good first start.
3 – Would people promote this product for you?
It would be hard to get anyone to promote a product on storytelling or limiting beliefs or basic copywriting. Anyone marketing to those audiences will have their own.
Create a product that’s different from what’s out there.
Dennis Becker has a really cool product on learning to write stories by digging into the family history.
Cindy Bidar has a truly unique product on planning.
Connie Ragen Green has a product on affiliate marketing.
I promote them (yes, those are my affiliate links!) and so do a lot of people. They’re unique.
4 – Can you create promotional material for this product?
Ideally your product relates to other products and services you offer, so you can create tie-ins and specials. You can test yourself with writing 5 to 10 titles of articles, blog posts and webinars that relate to the product.
r instance, I have a low-end product on Personal Branding With Stories. I can promote this product when I write about anything requiring people to promote themselves, such as About Pages and bios.
Conversely I also have a product on Udemy on a highly specialized topic, Websites for EFT Practitioners. I created it on the suggestion of a business coach who works with EFT practitioners, and I sell it on Udemy because they reach a really wide market.
5 – Does the idea hold up when you give it some time?
I tend to be one of those people who hit the “send” button to announce an idea as soon as it crosses my mind. Then a few hours later, I sheepishly remove the social media posts I created and hope nobody noticed the emails I sent.
The truth is, ideas need time to gel. Give them a few days and see how you feel.
Don’t rush to market, even if your idea passes all the tests. In particular, when you’re working on a concept for your company or a significant product funnel, you may need to wait a long time to get everything together.
Kelly created a unique personal transformation program to help people get through life transitions. The program involved a unique blend of graphics, audio, pdf files, and videos, with optional classes. It was structured to proceed in a certain sequence.
I assumed Kelly had conceived the program as soon as she opened her virtual doors for business. But one day she told her own origin story:
“I kept trying to come with a model and a core program for my business. It was frustrating and a little embarrassing. I was seeing clients and making some money, but I just didn’t have a brand or sequence of steps. We just worked together.
“Then one sunny day I was sitting in a coffee shop, in a playful mood, jotting down ideas…and then it came to me! My program emerged full blown, with modules practically writing themselves on the page.
“But I knew I just had the germ of an idea. I worked on it for just a few weeks. I did some testing. Finally, when I introduced the concept to my audience, they were more than ready.”
If you’d like to talk through your own ideas, click here to set up a consultation.
And you’ll find built-in tests and filters in my Create Your Course program: create your own profitable online course.