Well it’s certainly tempting to start building the product or service straight away before anyone steals your idea! Right? Well, in most cases, that’s just paranoia.
1. Store Your Great Ideas in One Place
Whenever you have a great idea, put it all in the one place. Some keep a notebook. I personally use Evernote whenever I think of something. You can write into it, record video/audio, take a photo of something related to your business idea, etc. Evernote has the added advantage of actually indexing any text in your image which can be incredibly helpful and time-saving when it comes to recall.
2. Do Market Research
For any product or service to be successful, it’s much easier if there’s a demand or need for it. It’s much more difficult to create demand.
To determine if there’s demand for your idea, you should do some basic research. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the alternatives?
- What’s different about my idea?
- Who would be the ideal customer?
- What do I know about these customers?
- What channels can I use to access these customers?
- Can I access these customers profitably?
For many products and services, you can get a good feel for what people are searching for, how many people are searching for specific terms/phrases, by doing keyword research using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. This process can actually reveal a lot about what are one people’s minds. If done correctly, this process will take at least a few solid days.
Let’s say that you want to teach cat owners how to train cats to pee in the toilet.
You would start with keywords such as ‘how to train cats’, ‘cat training’, ‘train cats to use the toilet’
When you use the Keyword Tool, make sure you write it like this: [cat training] or “cat training”
This will only give you exact matches or phrase matches.[Cat Training] gives 74,000 monthly searches. That’s a bit too generic though. Cat training could also mean teaching a cat how to use their kitty litter. If we look at other relevant searches:
Here we see searches such as ‘cat potty training’ and ‘training cats to use toilet.’ Bingo!
Generally, the more specific, the better.
When you do the actual search, Google will also suggest relevant phrases. Include those in your keyword research.
3. Sleep On It
After you have done your research, you may still be very excited and try to do something immediately while you have energy and the momentum. You may just look at
You should pace yourself at this point. Sleep on it. Think about it.
Then compare your new idea vs your existing ones. How does it stack up?
If it still seems like a brilliant idea, then you should test it before committing a lot of time, effort and money.
5. Test the Idea
This step is a good way to test your idea in the real world. It doesn’t guarantee success but it increases the likelihood of the success of your idea.
The way I usually test ideas in the marketplace is to set up a landing page that has the essentials of whatever it is that I want to sell and then I advertise the page on Google Adwords to see what kind of results I get.
I usually spend anywhere from $50 to $500 on advertising depending on the market.
You will need a Google Adwords account to get started.
Your keyword research should give you an idea of what keywords to use. Choose keywords that you think are likely to convert. You may be surprised which keywords end up giving you sales. From personal experience, words such as “free” can convert very well to paid customers so keep an open mind.
You will also need a website.
The way I usually get an idea off the ground and into a landing page is:
- Register a new domain. E.g. CatTraining.com or CatTrainingSecrets.com
- For just simple landing pages, you can use a cheap web host like Dreamhost.com
- To build the one-pager, I use either OptimizePress or Unbounce.com
- Write some compelling sales material with supporting video, audio etc.
- Create a Call to Action. This can be an opt in (you can their email address), pre-order (they pay you before you create the product), etc.
After you run your experiment, take a look at your results. If you have 1,000 clicks but no action — that means something should change. Landing page design and copy is an art in itself so you may have to make some major changes.
If you got interest — then that’s a good indication of market demand.