The hardest aspect of being an inventor is coming up with an idea. At least, that’s what we all thought. After you have an idea, you then have to figure out how to tell people about it. How many of us have born witness to the recent boom of fidget spinners? We may make fun but we’ll inevitably get one at some point just to see what it’s all about, and most likely end up spinning it ourselves. Surely this great idea just sprang to life recently. There’s no way something this novel could have been out there for years…right? The original idea behind the fidget spinner was actually hatched in the 80’s. It’s designer, though, didn’t know how to get it to the masses, the people who would actually want it. So it sat on her shelf for years until her patent expired and someone else picked it up and marketed it. These days there’s no reason for a good idea to go unnoticed. Technology has given us ways to get our ideas in front of the people that matter: the consumers.
Crowd Funding – Cut out the middle-man
So you’ve got an idea, maybe even a prototype, but you’re going to need capital to go any further. You could go to the bank and apply for a loan, leaving your fate in the hands of one loan officer who may just not understand what it is you’ve got. Or you can cut out the middleman. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have given creators the ability to go straight to consumers. You create a pitch, show off a prototype and ask for money to make it a reality. You’re not just asking people to give you money. You’re selling advance orders. And, unless your goal is met, no money exchanges hands. If the people don’t get behind you, you’re not out anything. Projects from the now popular Oculus Rift and even movies have been successfully funded using crowdfunding.
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Try a Social Media Campaign
With social media, we all have a soapbox we can stand on and shout our opinions and thoughts. If you’re just using it to post ‘pics’ of your dinner, though, you’re underutilizing this amazing tool. The entire concept of viral marketing is creating some form of media that will speak to someone enough that they will share it. Then his or her friends share it and eventually the viral campaign will reach everyone. You can use this to your advantage. Make a creative video or a clever meme that will inspire curiosity. Make it short, visual, and emotional and your product will be on the tips of everyone’s tongues in no time.
Make sure you have a website
It would help if your viral message has somewhere to send people. If you’re going to get anywhere, you need a website. Somewhere people can go when they’re intrigued about your message but want more. There are many options for web design services and hosting your site, but you should make sure your product is front and center. If you’re trying to take advantage of a viral marketing campaign, you’ll have very little time to engage a visitor before they will navigate away. Make sure the site flows simply and has a lot of the information on the home page. Don’t make people search for what they want to know.
Stop—Collaborate and Listen!
Staying connected with your colleagues is easier than ever now and it’s beyond just video chatting using Skype. You can collaborate on the cloud using apps like Evernote, OneNote, and Google Drive. You can maintain business specific chat on apps like Flowdock or Slack. New apps are developed everyday to keep people who work together connected and on the same page. Take advantage of these new apps. By keeping connected to your employees, you can take advantage of quick shifts in the market and stay ahead of the competition.
The current climate strongly supports startups. Even established businesses acknowledge the risk that start-ups pose to them, a testament to how well start-ups are doing. If you have an idea, now is the time to take steps to make it a reality. Get your idea in front of people. Let the consumers fund your idea themselves, rather than taking out costly bank loans. Use social media to spread the word and make sure you have a well made website so people can find you. The tools are all there. If you take advantage, your idea could soon fund your dreams.