I had a great question come in from a great person, and I had to share what came of it. The question was: How do you take an inspiration and process it into one of your many projects? For instance, how do I decide that an idea is something for [chrisbrogan.com] versus Kitchen Table Companies, or any of my other projects? And then what do I do with it? This is, of course, a wonderful question because I can walk you through from the very moment of receiving the question and then into how I did something with it.
Illustrating The Process
Once I thought about how to illustrate the process of taking an idea forward, I turned on my video camera and started recording. I felt it would be important to illustrate the process with a real life idea, so I took one of the inspirations that had been in my head for a little while, and went with it.
Very close to my office, there’s a woman who runs a little coffee and candy shop. She brews iced coffee. Her sign has a hand-written sign attached to it (over the picture of iced coffee) that says “NO SYRUPS!” What she means is that she brews the flavors instead of just adding a squirt of syrup to regular plain iced coffee. It’s supposed to be a benefit, what she’s saying.
What I told her was, “When I see that sign, I think you’re telling me: ‘there’s no syrup here, so if you like flavors, don’t bother coming in.'” Her eyes went wide. That was exactly the OPPOSITE of the message she wanted to convey. As I’m typing this, she’s taken down that sign and is working on the one I recommended instead: “Brewed Flavors!”
So, for the purpose of this video I’ve shot, I went with that as my example. Watch this quick video to see my thought process, and then we’ll talk about it more:
Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE.
Where Do I Put My Ideas?
If I want an idea to get a lot of attention, I post it on [chrisbrogan.com]. It’s the largest property I own. When I want to create a project that will have more value or premium details, I’ll do that on Kitchen Table Companies or Third Tribe Marketing or one of the places where people exchange value for their experience. If I think an idea is specific to blogging, for instance, I’ll probably share the guts of the idea inside of Blog Topics, because that community has committed to wanting to do more with their blog, and are working with me on improving their blogging experience.
I choose based on that: is it an idea that needs a lot of reach? Then it goes on [chrisbrogan.com]. Is it an idea that will help small businesses or marketers? Kitchen Table Companies or Third Tribe Marketing . Is it for bloggers? It goes on Blog Topics. Sometimes, it’s even a combination of the above.
How Do I Process My Ideas into Something More?
Because I write mostly about human business, marketing, and communication, I tend to use those lenses when thinking about my ideas. Not every little thing that catches my attention becomes a blog post or further learning, but you’re be amazed by how much does. The HOW of what I do next is something like this:
- Consider the value of the idea. Is this something I can turn into teaching or sharing?
- If yes, where do I share it?
- Is there a two-step business value to this? (Free then a membership product?)
- Then, what will I need to illustrate the point? Visuals? Video? What else?
- Is this bigger than just a blog post?
- Do I need to write anything else?
- What else would make this pop?
The process works something like that every time.
So, if I decide to make something of a business product out of an inspiration, then I will have to do some other things. I’ll have to ask whether the project is salable, and whether MY audience will buy it. If not, then I’ll either not do it, or I’ll just leave it at a blog post.
If I make a business product out of it, I have to get Josh Fisher to do some graphics, get Rob Hatch to approve it as another thing we can do, get a sense of what it’s going to do besides sell (because I like my products to drive business). If I do that, where will I sell it? Will I make a sales page (I use Premise [affiliate link] for that). I have lots of questions if it passes from blog post to full on project.
Also, I ask what the yield of such a project might be. When I wrote my business plan ebook and shot the video to go with it, that was a reasonably evergreen project. It will have resale for quite a while. When I finally release my videoblogging project, that will also have some great long-lasting value. But if I decide to turn a post about how my coffee shop lady had to change her sign, then I don’t think that will yield me much, unless I grow it out quite a bit more.
Your Thoughts or Questions?
So, I’ve explained how I do it. Do you do something similar? Any questions? Any parts I missed explaining? I’m here to help.
And, if you’re a member of Kitchen Table Companies, we’re talking about this thread more here. Remember I mentioned that in the video?