Anatomy of a Product: From an Idea to Reality

What does it take to turn an idea into a product? How can I realize financial gain from my idea? Where do I start? These and many other questions swirl around would-be inventors and entrepreneurs as they seek to bring new products and services to market. The process can seem daunting for anyone making a first attempt and confronting the typical hurdles and roadblocks the marketplace utilizes to cull the field.I look at hundreds of products each year and have done so for almost 30 years. The ideas that succeed invariably consist of the same basic elements.One, an entrepreneur with passion, a realistic view of the opportunity they have created and a flexible attitude to the inevitable critique and changes the original concept will undergo. The world is full of dreamers. Successful entrepreneurs work non-stop in pursuit of their well-designed goals.Two, a new product or service concept that fills an identifiable market niche. The niche can be a completely new product category (think Windows, XM Radio, E-Bay) or a small piece of a vast, mature market segment (Sam Adams Beer, Coach, George Foreman Grille). The Unique Selling Proposition is the element that enables the product to be positioned as an advance, offering different, improved features and benefits. The world doesn’t need another mousetrap, unless, you can prove a method to catch more mice.Three, before running off to a Patent Attorney, display or discuss the opportunity with family, friend’s, co-workers you trust. Would they buy if available? How much would they pay? What don’t they like about the widget? Any improvements they might suggest? This is a form of micro-test market. Also, search the inter-net, United States Patent and Trademark Office, visit stores and diligently study the competition. If you feel confident that the market is not offering anything like your concept then you potentially have a significant commercial opportunity and should seek copyright, patent and trademark advice.There are many ways to proceed. You can attempt to self-market your idea. There are numerous reputable consulting firms that can offer comprehensive services. Many colleges and state and local governments offer small business incubators and can be an excellent resource. A caution, though. The late night infomercial selling patent services that will make you rich is always a fraud. Ask for references and products currently on the market as proof that you are dealing with professionals, not charlatans.The hardest question for many inventors to confront: How to harvest financial benefits from their invention? Licensing, self-marketing the product, funding, partnership, strategic alliance or outright sale of the opportunity are among the options to be considered. Typically, the inventors background, experience, interest and financial realities make the choice more obvious. It is usually good to have professional guidance when weighing appropriate strategies for harvesting income from a project.A working model or a production quality prototype of the piece will be essential in researching manufacturing, costing production and for presentations. Do not cut corners here. Be as professional and thorough as possible in displaying the unique performance benefits and features of the product. You only get one chance to make a strong first impression.A customized Business Plan or Offering Document will be crucial in successfully presenting the product for consideration. Decision-makers typically see many, many products each year. You need to stand out and that requires an exciting plan. Do not buy a Business Plan template off of the inter-net and fill in the blanks. It will not be read. Make the document as exciting as your product.The steps reviewed above typically result in a thinning of the new product herd. In order to successfully place a service or product in this very aggressive, cluttered marketplace no shortcuts are tolerated. Inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses are an amazing breed and a valued national asset. The wealth created and generated by this group of idea pioneers is the American economic difference maker. There has never been a greater time or place to launch that needed new product, and the rewards have never been greater.

The Number One Way to Get Free Traffic and Backlinks (Launching Your Website to Google Page One!)

There is a way to get free traffic and backlinks to your website, launching yourself to the first page in Google organic search results within a very short period of time. But it does take some work, there are no free lunches. With that said, if you are very dedicated and take it upon yourself to make it work by setting a goal to employ this method on a consistent basis, you can compete with and surpass the big boys of the web. The playing ground does indeed become more level.

You’ve probably heard or read that writing articles is a very effective way to get free targeted traffic to your website. Yes, it is, but that is just the start. Writing articles is great, but it is slow going until you give it some oomph! The conventional method of article writing usually requires pounding them out in large numbers (depending upon the competition for your keywords) to pole vault yourself to where you eventually want to be in search engine rankings. Please don’t be disheartened. Anything worthwhile is worth the effort, and you feel better about it anyway when you reach the top of the mountain. Later in this article I Will get to an amazing discovery I recently made that helped buoy me up and not get discouraged with article writing.

In the meantime, I want to share with you one of the “baby steps” that helped me get to the number one search result on Google’s Local Search. It was quite easy for me to even beat a major competitor for my chosen keywords. In just one day I achieved number one (two or three in some cases) in Google’s Local Search for 3 or 4 quality keywords. I ranked number one for an item that is in huge demand right now all across the country. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Local Search, hurry and familiarize yourself with it!

Why is it important to gain exposure to Local Search? Because Yellow Pages is a museum relic. Oh yes, some people do still use it, but most now turn to exactly where you are right now– the internet! They type in something like “furniture Sacramento” (or wherever they live) to get listings of the most popular furniture stores in their locale. It ain’t alphabetical, baby, it’s dog eat dog, just like the rest of the net, and you getting up there in the Local Search Results can really help you.

How I did this, and how you can too, is quite elementary. But I found that not many people in my niche were doing it. I first signed up for Google Local Business Center. Then I walked through the set up process which is pretty self explanatory (it is free, by the way). I didn’t have a physical location so I got a P.O. Box, which is advised to do by Google if you don’t have a location. The part that not many of my competitors were doing was posting pictures (I bought several from off of the internet that were applicable to my products). I also made a short 6 minute video and put it on YouTube. That was quite easy to do also. I just had a friend teach a simple skill that is helpful and pertinent to my niche. I then downloaded the YouTube video to Google Local Search. Besides all of this, I put the web address of a free E-book I found on the internet into the coupon category, stating the coupon was good for one free and immediately downloadable E-Book pertinent to my niche. Get creative like this, and you’ll find many ways to get you traffic!

I hope this helped you think of things you can do to get you further to your goal of mounting the Google mountain. If you don’t think Local Search will help, think again. And then do the same thing for Yahoo’s version of it. Borrow a camcorder if you have to. I think the biggest thing is overcoming the obstacle of doing something you haven’t done before and think might be hard. You have momentum in not having done it up to this point, but you can change that, take a “baby step,” and the momentum you have started by doing these simple things will really get the ball rolling in the right direction!

4 Great Ways to Manage Your Own Product Launch

Launching a new product in any market (online or offline) can be daunting process and launching a new product online, can be even more daunting for a newcomer.

However, if you apply the following tips, you will find that it is not impossible to do and will set you well on the way to success.

1. Create A Buzz

You need to start creating a buzz – do this before you launch – even while you are finishing off the product and getting it ready for launch.

By creating the buzz, you are really building anticipation in your target audiences minds. You want them to be eager to buy what you have – and you can really help create that anticipation.

2. Scarcity

Scarcity is one of those techniques that many of us dislike. That tactic of ‘Hurry! I’m only offering this price for a short while’ often leaves many of us cold however when used correctly, scarcity is great technique.

One way to do that is to openly discuss that you are going to restrict the total downloads to a certain number or ask for a small number of beta testers or joint venture partners.

3. Video, Video, Video!

People buy from people and what better way to let your prospects know that you are a real person? You can email your list pointing them to your videos that give real value, and then open up comments to facilitate conversation. If people are talking about your product, this will help fuel others’ anticipation.

4. Test Everything – at least twice!!!

Of course you will need to make sure all of your processes are in complete working order. Check and double-check everything, like opt-in forms, squeeze pages, autoresponder messages and product delivery. The critical point about successful launches from the customer’s point of view is a seamless payment and delivery process. Don’t disappoint them.

One great technique I have developed is to get several of my existing clients to test the processes – it’s amazing how the customer experience of the process differs.