It all starts with an idea …
One day you wake up and realize you have a skill or an ideal market or a process that you could offer as a professional service and make money from that idea.
You reflect on all the necessary components to launch the idea and finally start having your own company. Not bad, huh?
You feel safe, you are convinced that many people will be interested and will want to work with you.
So you start spreading the idea and you know what happens? Well, you find out that people aren’t that interested, they’re not killing themselves for your services.
Then you begin to think that perhaps that idea of yours was not as interesting as you thought and it seems that the thing is going to take more time and effort than you calculated. ring a bell?
And now you embark on the “Marketing Journey”
It has happened to me, it has happened to all of us. At this point we look for ways to disseminate our product so that more people know about it, more people request information, more people want to explore how our product or service can help them, and finally, more people end up hiring our services and we earn our well-deserved money.
So you try every single marketing activity known to mankind and finally attract some takers because you are persistent and have great confidence in your service. If you are committed to producing good results for your clients, word of mouth begins to work and eventually the business begins to grow.
But you still feel like something is missing…
You now have a business that is viable and has some success, but perhaps you have given up on dreams of great success.
So what are you missing? You’ve done all the right things, haven’t you? You have worked hard and managed to make a difference for your clients. What else can you do?
What I feel is missing from most Freelancers is the following:
The Big Idea
A great idea is one:
“AN IDEA THAT CAPTURES YOUR MIND, THAT IS ATTRACTIVE, INTERESTING AND CONVINCING.”
On the other hand, a great idea is always the perfect answer to what your clients lack, it is what fits them like a glove. It’s an unmet need, it’s a novel solution, it’s a powerful guarantee, or perhaps a unique process.
When Joe Meisner started his outplacement business in San Francisco in the late 1980s, he didn’t present himself in his marketing materials as an outplacement consultant like everyone else. Instead, he broke the mold.
The old outplacement model was psychological, based on the premise that if you got fired, something must be wrong with you. You had been fired because of YOU.
Meisner told me: “ That model doesn’t work anymore. People get laid off through no fault of their own, due to a merger or acquisition or downsizing. People who have lost their job do not need psychological help, they need help to find their next job”.
He named his company “Power Marketing – The Outplacement Alternative” and when he introduced this more effective approach, potential clients loved it and hired him.
Joe’s great idea led to great success and financial independence for him.
A great idea goes by many names in the world of marketing.
Companies use the word Branding. Often I speak of a Core Marketing Message (central Marketing message), and of course, others speak of a slogan and, sometimes, of a model or methodology that sets you apart. However, I think “Big Idea” sums it up best.
So how do you come up with a great idea?
How To Find A Great Idea
It starts with your potential customers, not with you or your services. The more you understand their issues, challenges, and problems, the easier it will be to come up with a great idea.
Some clues: What is everyone offering your customers? What is missing or deficient in what they offer? What processes or methodologies do they use that are ineffective and tedious?
Keep thinking in this direction because that is where you will always find your great idea.
And go out and talk to potential customers, not to sell, the goal is to investigate. Ask them for an interview for a report you are doing. Find out what is frustrating, takes too long, or costs too much.
Eventually, you will come to find out. You’ll find, for example, that no one is interested in management consulting, but they want their new hires up and running much faster with more productivity and fewer errors.
And then you create a program that deals with that problem.
Do you want to offer life coaching, but find that people are trying to find ways to move forward with those big projects that they have given up on? And then you focus on those types of customers.
But if you want to see a change in your marketing results, you can’t keep offering those generic services behind which there is no idea behind them.
Find that great idea and your marketing, your business, and your life will change dramatically.