Be Visible, Be Focused
Mike and Larry (not their real names) had an idea. It was simple. When they came to me they had already figured out to enlist other folks by inviting them to be partners, experts, and heroes and their idea became a fabulous reality — a great first success. After their event, we talked about how to leverage their success into something longer and more lasting.
They had so many ideas! Their ideas were all over the place.
We stopped to take a strategic look at what was already at their door and where natural managed growth might go. We started with this model to guide the plan.
- [top left box] What is your core product / service? Who is in your core customer base? What was the form of your first success? Who are the customer you reached with your first success?
Mike and Larry had developed an online webinar that had gained a huge following of fans — a core group of online small business folks, particularly pr and marketing people. We named them “old product” and “old customers” to remind us that we were focused on expanding both the product line and the customer base. Doing the same thing for the same people only leads to slow death
- [top right box] How can you offer that same product to new customers? To extend the circle of people that attended the original webinar, Mike and Larry are offering it as an mp3 and a transcript. They may also use some as newsletter content and possibly later put it in a paid content subscription site.
- [bottom left box] How can you keep serving the customers you reached with your first success? Mike and Larry have already started a second webinar series on a new question. They’re looking at new forms of the webinar, text versions of the same idea, a book, and offline events.
- [bottom right box] How can you keep to solid path? Once we discussed how much bandwidth and risk it takes to veer away from a core audience and product niche, Mike and Larry agreed that the lower right box isn’t for them.
Ideas are good, but it’s hard to choose which will take you to the place you want to be, if you don’t know where you want to go. On the other hand, knowing where you’re going is irresistibly attractive.
All you need to get started is two questions: Who’s in your core audience and what is the first thing you will offer them?
I can’t wait to hear.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
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