Idea - from concept to creation

November 2, 2022

One of the biggest challenges in taking ideas from concept to creation has nothing to do with the idea and everything to do with the problem the idea solves. Most people who have an idea for a product, service, or business fall in love with their idea and can’t wait to get to work on building it out. I can’t blame them, I am tempted to do the exact same thing when I have an idea even though I have been teaching this for almost a decade!

1. Identify and validate your ideal client (or reader) and the problem to be solved.

When I started my author journey, I had a target reader in mind for my book. I really believed this was the group that was going to benefit most from my book. In fact, I had a different working title at the time – “The Keys to Reinvention: How to Reinvent Yourself at Any Age”. My ideal reader was someone approaching their retirement or recently retired and feeling stuck with this new chapter of their life. My initial research focused fully on this group.  

2. Build a prototype or minimal viable product of your idea and test it.

Now that you have validated your ideal customer and problem, which may be different than what you originally thought it was going to be, it’s time to start building out a prototype of your solution. In my case, this was a 30,000 word draft manuscript of the book. However, even as I built my prototype, I continued to speak with my ideal customers, interviewed some of them, and researched others. From their stories, I was able to develop chapters that reflected the real world problems and challenges they went through on their reinvention journeys and the solutions they leveraged along the way.

While writing the draft manuscript, I noticed how my idea started to evolve and develop in response to my ongoing interviews and research. My target readers were driving the direction for my book in a way that made it meaningful to them. As the months passed, I became more of a facilitator of the book development process and less of a sole creator

This is an excellent company! I personally enjoyed the energy and the professional support the whole team gave to us into creating website.

3. Finalize your product and prepare for launch!

After you’ve conducted 20 or 30 tests (or more!) you can start to finalize the version of the product you intend to officially launch into the market. By the way, always remember that even this version won’t be your last one.  In the writing process, this is the equivalent of finishing up the revisions for the book and submitting it to copy editing, the final stage of the editing process.

As I started to approach the final weeks of revisions, I could not help but notice that the book had changed a lot from the original vision. Firstly, the title was no longer the same.  Second, the content that I included in the book was not part of my earliest writing for the book. I left so much of my earliest content out of the book. When it came time to submit my final table-of-contents (TOC) I noticed how much this book had changed. My editor asked me to take the TOC I submitted about 8 months earlier, revise it, and submit it. I pulled up that file and opened it. When I did, my first thought was that someone got into the shared drive and messed around with it. I didn’t recognize that version of the TOC. There were a few words or chapter titles that sounded a little familiar, but most of it seemed like someone else wrote it.

4. Design your business model.

As much work as it took to write the book, it was now time to start thinking about how to get it into as many hands as possible. When you are writing a book or building a business, you are so deep into that work that you sometimes lose sight of the fact that you still have to figure out how to market and sell it.  

Building the product is one challenge, selling it is another challenge entirely. Both are important.

In this final step of the process, it is important that you think about where your products/services will be sold and why that makes sense for your ideal customer. This is much easier to figure out if you already know your ideal customer really well from your initial customer interviews and validation exercises.  

For me, getting into all platforms that sell books was going to be critical, however, it doesn’t stop there. I also thought about the different ways I could introduce and deliver my book to my ideal reader. For example, since I speak at many large events, selling books on-site at events is very important to my sales strategy.  

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