Business Growth & DevelopmentEvent MarketingMarketing

Creating Your First Product – Lessons I Learned

creating your first product

We are excited to announce a new product/service for those readers in the Greater Memphis Area. Nevertheless, this article is for anyone trying to create a product.  It has been an interesting journey. Looking back I see several lessons I learned in creating my 1st product, which should help you in creating your first product.

 

find vendor booths

 

Update on The One Stop Business Event List 6/22/17:

We have a dedicated website for the Event List. Head over to Find Vendor Booths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Your Product – Lesson 1:

I don’t know about you, but I have tons of great ideas. The tricky part is that the space between a great idea and a marketable service or product is wide if the idea is marketable at all. Grand Canyon wide. Earth to the Moon wide.

The end goal is to narrow that gap. Does your great idea actually help your clients with one of their irritations?

Before creating your first product, determine if your great idea actually helps your clients with one of their irritations.

 

 

The Product Idea – providing a solution to an irritation 

Would having access to over 100 events in the Greater Memphis area be beneficial to your business, for your customer acquisition?

We know acquiring customers can be a challenge and we know that your time is precious. Do you feel that at times you are spending your time on things that don’t directly increase your bottom line?

We felt searching for your vendor spaces for booths at festivals, fairs, expos was one of those things. We took the chance that you felt the same way. (if you want to see the Event List Sign Up page – head over here.

 

Creating Your First Product – Lesson 2:

Keep your ears and eyes open. My business has evolved because of what my clients and business colleagues are asking for, whether that was advice or help with some aspect of customer acquisition, retention or any other area of marketing. And yes, sometimes the world drops it into your lap.

As the old cliche goes, we have 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 mouth. Because I spent more of my time observing and listening, I heard what my clients and universe were saying.

 

Finding the irritation

In 2015, I was online looking for an event I heard about. In my search, I realized I had to visit multiple websites to locate events for myself. Shortly after that, one of my fellow BNI Members asked for help with locating events for his mobile showroom. During the next year, I shared events with other clients, friends and business associates.

At the end of the year, I looked down and realized I had over 100 events in the Memphis and surrounding areas. Kinda blew me away. I started wondering if I had something of value to others. Now I knew I just couldn’t assume that I did. I knew my idea needed to be validated

 

Creating Your First Product – Lesson 3:

Whew! I was getting excited about my idea. I had been searching for a while for a way to bring in income that didn’t require me exchanging my time for money.  Creating your first product can be your initial journey in doing just that, creating valid secondary income.

I was ready to jump in and get started. If you know me, you know I did my due diligence. I began reading everything I could on getting a product launch.. 🙁 all I can say is that the stats are not very encouraging.

I kept reading, trying to find every detail that would give me the most chance of success. That lead me to realize I needed to spend time validating my idea. Before I invested a lot of money or a lot of time, it was critical to find out if this was a marketable idea.

 

Validating the idea:

To begin with, I kept it simple, just a couple of simple questions.  I started by asking a few close colleagues that I felt would give me good feedback.

‘I have this list of over 100 events in the Greater Memphis area. Fairs, festivals, expos, etc – anywhere that someone might want to set up a vendor booth to acquire customers. Does this sound like it has any value?’

Next, I started asking strangers I met at places I would go networking.

Then, I attended a couple of health fairs where there were businesses set up in vendor booths. I also asked them if I could call them later and talk with them about it.

Lastly, I started taking names of people that wanted me to contact them when the list was live.

Without fail everyone gave me a resounding ‘Yes!’

Therefore, the next phase was to get a working model to show people.

 

Creating Your First Product – Lesson 4:

Things never happen the way you expect- or in the time-frame you expect.

How often have you thought,  “I’m gonna whip this out in no time!”?  And yet, you find yourself way past your deadline. Stuck or still struggling with some aspect of it, or even possibly starting over at the beginning.

 

Creating a solution

I will have to admit my first idea was a bit grandiose.

With stars in my eyes, I was imagining ONE calendar with a ‘Pinterest-style’ interface that everyone had access to, for their desired time frame.  There would be Category-only pages and everything was searchable. My list went on and on.

Yea! Not so much.  😕  :confused:

After a year of trying a variety of plugins and software and talking with people that that create software; it was apparent I was thinking too BIG.

 

Creating Your Product – Lesson 5:

Realizing that SIMPLY is often the best, most inexpensive and quickest way to begin.

I really had to release my pre-conceived ideas of what the first version would look like. I also had to realize I was still delivering something of HUGE value.

 

My Epiphany:

I took a HUGE STEP back and re-evaluated what ‘I desired’ with ‘what was needed’ to JUST get the Event List up and running. This was another HUGE moment, that point of revelation for me. My epiphany happened when I realized nothing is going to be perfect, especially initially. Projects take an unknown amount of time to get it done the right way.

I went back to the drawing board and redesigned the idea with this in mind – K.I.S.S. — Keep it simply simple.

 

The End Results:

It was simple: I needed to give people a calendar with only the months of their subscription. I needed to set up simple membership access to their calendar and update it a couple times a month.

 

 

Moving Forward:

One of my must do’s is spin-offs when I write blogs;  I am going to bring this over into creating products. In the 80s & 90s, when I was working in my father’s business, the rule of a good salesperson was up selling. Yes, it brings more profit into your company, but just as often the consumer didn’t realize that they needed that part, or that we offered it.

Several spin-offs came from the creation of my first product.

  • I’m co-running a ‘Create Your Own Product’ Workshop with a fellow Business Coach.
  • My next project is an e-book on  Events
  • Creation of a new area of expertise – new for my audience
  • Blogs, white papers
  • much more.

Keep your eye out for these in the next year.

 

Conclusion:

If you made it this far, Thank You!

Tell me about your experience creating your first product?

If you haven’t created one, what is holding you back?

 

 

Mentions:

The One Stop Business Event List – People in the Greater details here.

‘Create Your Own Product’ Workshop – details here. (update – 6/22/17: This is currently on hiatus. Once the newly updated version is ready to roll out we can notify you. Get on the notification list.)

 

 

Author Profile

Gina DavisThe Money is in the Follow-Up!
Everything I do is with the belief that you must show your clients you care. This continues to resonate with me. I believe that it is the cornerstone of business growth today. My mission is to work with busy people in business on their growth strategy, by helping them build customer recognition, foster loyalty and increase customer retention and referrals.