I consider myself a creative person, and yet I can’t always come up with enough ideas.
The challenge is how to come up with lots of ideas.
So often brainstorming is a numbers game. For every good idea you have to come up with dozens of others that you eventually discard.
The best way is to enroll others to help you do the brainstorming. The more ideas you list in the brainstorming process the more good options will come into your awareness.
Traditionally this was done through meeting with a small number of people in person or by phone. A focus group, for example, or even meeting with one other person can be helpful.
Social media and crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is a recently coined term that refers to delegating tasks traditionally performed by a single employee or contractor, to a large group of people.
Social media offers a powerful way to brainstorm through crowdsourcing. You don’t have to organize a focus group, do cold calling or conduct a survey on a street corner to get lots of ideas. You can ask your connections and followers on social media sites to give you ideas. If you don’t have a lot of connections you can ask people you know to ask their connections. You can also find online forums and interest groups that match your target audience and ask there.
Giving an incentive or run a contest can help you get more input and exposure for your crowd sourced brainstorming. I’m thankful to my friend Tom Treanor of Right Mix Marketing for the inspiration to run a contest to name my program (see below).
Two hidden benefits in social media crowdsourcing
There are some hidden benefits to crowdsourcing.
First, market research.
You can learn more about how your target market. They may think differently than you and react to words and phrases differently.
For example, because I went to business school and have years of hands on business experience, the term “micro business” is familiar to me. It usually refers to very small or tiny businesses with less than 5 employees. This distinguishes a tiny small business from big small business. The US Small Business Administration’s definition of small business include some businesses with as many as 1500 employees.
In looking for names for my new program, I learned that some of the independent professionals the program will serve reacted negatively to the term “micro business.” It seemed to convey to some people who had not previously heard the term that I was saying you should have small dreams (“micro”) and that having goals is a bad thing. Oops! I’m glad to know that. At least, if I decide to use the phrase as part of my program name, I know the weakness and that I’ll have to do some education about what the term means.
Second, building anticipation and excitement
Crowdsourcing via social media and asking people to help you by suggesting names for your program gives you a built in opportunity to tell them what’s coming. You can do this when you first ask for input and when you share the chosen name. If you run a contest and give access to the winner, you may even be able to get a testimonial, too.
Help name my forthcoming program
This is where you get to take part, and you could win a prize worth $681.
Help name my new program and you’ll get access, and free 1×1 consulting.
I am developing a new program with a working title of “small business incubator” because it will provide a helpful environment that supports your business growth. Through regular coaching and training calls combined with interaction online with me and other participants the program will provide the timely, affordable advice and help independent service professionals and small business owners need so they can increase their business impact and profit, with less effort.
What’s a good name that will get attention and deliver the message? If you submit a better name that I use, I’ll give you access to the program for 3 months (when it’s ready) plus 2 hours of 1×1 business coaching or marketing consulting. Submit your name by Sunday night in the Facebook discussion
Please share with your creative friends!