Are you an idea kind of girl? The kind where an idea strikes for this big amazing dream that lights a fire in your heart. But then the overwhelm of not knowing what next steps to take crushes your dream and makes you retreat backwards?
Doubt quickly creeps in and makes you wonder, is this even a good idea? What if others in the industry are already doing something similar? Who am I to bring this dream to life?
Well friend, through so many conversations with mentoring clients and industry besties, I have found the biggest way we kill our dreams is simply by believing they aren’t worthy enough to see the light of day.
So many incredible ideas, gifts and offerings never even impact the world because we allow doubt to make us question: should I really pursue this?
THE EASIEST WAY TO VALIDATE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA
Today, I want to talk through the easiest, most practical way to bring life into your new business idea.
I’m tired of seeing creatives just like you not chase after their dreams. Or, maybe you are chasing after your dreams but are only seeing lackluster results simply because you didn’t take the initial steps to validate the quality of your idea to see if it really has the legs to stand on its own.
Now what I’m about to share probably seems really simple. But you would be surprised by how many people I speak to who don’t really know where to start when it comes to validating a new business idea.
And here’s the thing.
I firmly believe validating a new idea—whether it’s a brand new business or a new service you are thinking of offering—it doesn’t have to be a process of trial and error. You shouldn’t have to sit down a crunch a bunch of numbers or analyze the data. And it absolutely does not have to be super expensive.
I think the biggest thing you can do to easily validate your ideas and give them the space to grow is to really be in touch with what your ideal clients actually want.
RESONATE WITH YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
The biggest struggle I see so many creatives wrestle with when creating ideas or chasing after their dreams is that they don’t resonate with their ideal clients and what they actually need.
Sometimes I see people launching a new product or service and the result is that it never resonates with their ideal clients in the way they thought it would. Or the flipside of that, they launch their big idea and it never resonates with their ideal client at all.
Here is the way to bypass that sticky situation altogether.
First and foremost, in order to validate a big idea you have to ask your people if it’s what they want.
The easiest way to make that happen is to survey your ideal clients. Then from there, test your idea on a small group of people through a beta testing program.
When I was creating the Brand Strategy School, I wanted to make sure that I created a signature course that would truly serve fellow brand designers and strategists well. I didn’t want to create another design 101 course that taught how to navigate Illustrator or Indesign. Instead, I focused on creating a signature program that walked designers and strategists through my exact strategy to creating a brand development process that delivers intentional results for my 1:1 clients.
But in order to do that, I really had to make sure I was offering what other designers and strategists wanted.
ASK YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS WHAT THEY NEED
I reached out to the types of designers I thought would be an ideal client for my signature course and I simply asked them questions about their pain points when it came to brand strategy. I asked what kinds of formats they would find most useful to learn through and the ways they could potentially benefit from content like this.
After validating that yes, indeed there is a need for a course like this, I began to roll out the course content itself to a small group as beta testers. I wanted to get their honest feedback not only about the course content, but also how navigating through the course felt like for them.
The great thing about this approach is that it doesn’t just apply to courses. You can do this with any new business idea that you offer.
I did a similar approach back in 2014 when I introduced 1:1 mentoring into my services. I made sure it was an offering that served my ideal clients well and also that it was a sustainable approach and worthwhile program that really added value to my clients lives.
Because of that, I not only knew there was a need, but I validated the results as well.
SO WHAT COULD THIS LOOK LIKE IN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Reach out to people who you think will be a great fit for your new product or service. When I say survey your ideal clients, I don’t necessarily mean post a poll on Instagram stories and see what results come in. Because here’s the thing–not every person who follows you on Instagram is your ideal client for this particular idea or project.
Instead, individually reach out to people you know are ideal clients for this service and ask them their biggest pain points. Open up the conversation to see if this idea is an actual need.
You even could create a quick and easy online survey through Google Forms or Survey Monkey and send it out to multiple people at once.
As part of that survey, include an email address field and ask if they are interested in becoming a member of the beta test group. From there you have the option to invite testers into your group or you could offer it at a discounted rate. Make it an irresistible offer that makes them think, why would I NOT sign up to test-out your group coaching program or new signature course?
Now you are able to guide real people and real ideal clients through your new product or service and get their feedback along the way.
And the best part? At the end of the beta test group you will have some of the most incredible testimonials, as well as constructive feedback, that will allow you to improve your offering so that when you go to officially launch you have amazing social proof under your belt. And amazing real world experience that will help you serve more clients better in the future.
So, if you have a big beautiful idea and you aren’t sure where to start. Start small. Reach out to a few people and see if they are interested. From there, focus on creating the content and service itself. And then test it out to see what people are saying and how you can make it better.
(PS. I would highly encourage you to not undervalue the quality of work you are offering for people. Sometimes it can be really tempting to offer your beta testing program completely free, but I would encourage you to add a value to it in some way. Whether it’s simply $20, $50 or more. I promise that those who put down an investment of even $20 will value their time and effort more than someone who put $0 down for the same program.)
JOIN THE HEARTFELT BRAND SOCIETY SISTERHOOD
If you have a new business idea or are thinking of introducing a new offering to your established brand, but you aren’t sure where to even start, I would love to help you navigate through this exciting journey.
I’m currently creating a six-month group coaching program designed for established entrepreneurs who are in seasons of growth in their business. And are actively seeking to grow their brands intentionally as they introduce new educational offerings and experiences for their ideal clients.
With less than 5 seats available, I’d love to invite you to apply to join the HBS sisterhood, friend! After I receive your application, we’ll schedule a totally free Interest Call where we can chat more about your business, your goals, and whether this group program is the best way to propel your business forward in 2019.
Have questions about this intentional group coaching experience? Be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to chat with you!