Scott Anthony of the Harvard Business Review did a piece on “3 Ways to Prioritize a Long List of Ideas, which you can read here…
It’s all about how to choose what it is that you should do next, which product to run with, which decision to make and so forth. Of course it’s written with large companies in mind, but the essence applies just as well to the Online Marketer. For example…
When choosing which product to create next, don’t always trust what people say they will do.
Rather, trust what they do. When I survey my readers to find out what they want to buy next, I also take into consideration that they may not know their own minds.
For example, if you ask someone what they want to eat tomorrow, they’re likely to say they want something healthy like a salad. But when tomorrow comes, more often than not they will order the pizza or pasta instead. It’s not that they weren’t telling you the truth; it’s just that people tend to think about the future in one way and act in the present in a different way. They’re certain tomorrow is the day they buckle down and do their work, or go on a diet, or begin exercising. Today? Let’s watch TV and eat chocolate cake.
So when you survey your customers asking what they want to buy, realize that what they say isn’t necessarily so.
Limit studying and planning. Prioritize action.
If all you’re doing is studying and planning so that you can make the right decision, then you’re not acting. And without action, there can be no reward. As Anthony states, visualize success and then figure out what you need to do to get there. For example, if you visualize your next success as selling a thousand copies of your new training program, figure out what you need to do to make it happen, and then do it. If you get stuck on the planning, you’ll never get anywhere.
Look for ideas and solutions outside of the box.
Whatever your niche of choice might be, don’t confine your explorations and learning to just your niche. Explore other avenues outside of your realm to see how they solve problems and how that might be applicable to your niche. Becoming myopic to your own area of expertise to the exclusion of all others can mean you’re missing out on stellar ideas to increase your bottom line.
Here’s a simple example: Angie has her own line of make-up products targeted to women over 50 that she sells exclusively online, and she’s been struggling with lead generation. The other day she received her order of vitamins from a well known health company with millions of customers, and it hit her: What if she asked this company to place a postcard promoting her website in every box that contained one or more products designed exclusively for this target market?
Most online marketers would never even think of this – yet it’s an excellent way to get her website in front of her exact target market. And all it will cost her is the printing, since the health company is taking a percentage of sales as her affiliate rather than a flat fee for inserting the postcards.
Sometimes we find ourselves bogged down while trying to decide what to do next or how to do it – when really all we need are simple systems to keep us moving, and our business growing.