Taming wild ideas and developing services by creating products

Earlier today I published a guest article on superperformance.com, “Increase Income – 7 Quick Tips How to Prioritize and Tame Those Ideas Spinning Around Your Brain.” Guest author Bonita L. Richter has a great set of suggestions for helping you get focus on and prioritize the creative ideas for your business that tend to run wild in your head.

Many entrepreneurs I know aren’t stuck for ideas for improving their businesses, creating new products or services or developing new marketing methods. It’s the other way around: they have way too many ideas and don’t know how to investigate, analyze and compare them. Picking the best one and working on it is the problem.

This is one of the reasons I started writing some posts on product creation/development. There are millions of ideas being screamed at us in articles, videos and ads on the Internet. It’s the same for ideas on marketing. It’s the same for ideas on business structure. And so on. How do you choose among them? What’s the best fit for you? What’s the best timing? Where do you start?

You start by sitting down with pen and paper (or a word processing program), clearing your mind of monkey-chatter and doing some structured thinking. The exercises Richter suggests are a good method.

Try them out.

Another guest article I published yesterday, “3 Ideas for Getting More Coaching Clients,” also helps you focus on developing your business. From the title, it appears to be about developing a coaching services business, but it is actually much more.

Marnie Pehrson tells you how to improve your services business by building related products. Those products can be a less expensive presentation of your helping expertise than your actual services. And some of them can be developed as freebies to introduce potential clients to your services. Any services, not just coaching.

Think about it. Coaching and many other services can be quite costly. Potential clients may want to “try before they buy.” Books, workshops, videos, e-books, and so on can show them what you can do and give you a chance to make money on your promotion instead of spending money on promotion. Win-win, no?

Vampires, Productivity And Performance, Bandwagons And Coattails

Vampires are once again a hot topic for movies, books, television, etc. With the fabulous success of the “Twilight” series of movies and the interest generated by the “True Blood” television series and other media, a new generation has been inducted into the pleasures and horrors of this mythology.

Vampires, science, history and what that has to do with productivity and performance.

I subscribe to Carl Jung’s theory that there is a “collective unconscious” and to a kind of combination of the ideas of “collective consciousness” (Durkheim) and “memes” (Dawkins). It helps me explain to myself why ideas rattle around for a while, waxing and waning for — sometimes — centuries until suddenly becoming the newest “hot” topic.

What made me notice this particular “hot” topic was the arrival in my mailbox of two unrelated science-based publications dealing with vampires within a couple of days of each other. Really. When the first arrived, I thought, “interesting.” When the second arrived, I thought, “too much!” I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Come on. Vampire science? Please and no thank you very much.

But then I read the articles. One was quite a good piece on differentiating “clinical vampirism” or “Renfield’s Syndrome” from other forms of schizophrenia and treating it with psychodynamic psychotherapy. The second was about the discoveries made by scientific, medical and forensic investigators of the probable causes of the many recurring reports of vampire activity over many centuries, in various countries and cultures.

What occurred to me after reading those serious and worthy articles is that the timing of their publication was not coincidental. Right now, vampires are in the public consciousness and anything written on them becomes popular. Might as well grab the coattails of its popularity. Advertisers do it. Politicians do it. Who was it that suggested you should watch which way people are already going and step out in front of the parade?

This is an old, old practice. If you want to promote yourself, your product or your service, attach it in some way to whatever is “hot at the moment.”

Evergreen topics with regularly recurring hotness.

There are some topics publishers call “evergreen.” That means they never lose their freshness. People always want to know about them. For example, articles on weight loss will always get a high readership.

Some topics are evergreen, but are cyclical in their popularity. They have varying levels of interest depending upon what is going on in their relevant culture at the time.

Vampires are a good example. The topic has always had some following, ever since Stoker’s “Dracula.” It’s a staple in books, movies and TV. But right now it’s a fad. If you’ve got a product you can relate to it, you can get attention. On the other hand, there are numerous evergreen topics that only will get the attention of a fan group. Take tandem bikes and motorcycles as an example. They are staple products that sell enough for some to make a good living. There will likely be fans of those for many years to come. But unless something happens to bring them to fad status there’s not much to hitch your topic to.

Jumping on the bandwagon or grabbing onto coattails.

Once a topic is hot, find a way to hitch a ride on the bandwagon. This is high performance self-promotion.

Sometimes it seems there is no connection between your topic (or product or service) and what is of current popular interest. But, if you think about it for a while, a light bulb might go on. I particularly chose this topic to demonstrate that there is actually a connection between the popular topic of vampires and my topic of performance.

If you don’t mind my saying so, I think it was a bloody good idea.