“You’re not ready”. It can single most difficult and hardest thing to say to someone who pitches me about marketing their product or idea, but sometimes it can also be the easiest.
Some of the pitches I receive are for products which have already been developed, others are for vague notions with no clear concept or even a value proposition, but everyone is sure that theirs is the next million dollar idea.
I’ve turned away potential clients for myriad reasons – your idea is crap (sorry, but it’s true), to people thinking that I’m going to drop everything and devote one hundred percent of my time to an idea which they haven’t even begun conceptualizing. Oh, and I’m going to do it for free.. but hey it’s going to make a million dollars, who cares if I can’t feed my family for the next 18 months while you “explore the concept”?
When I tell you that “you’re not ready” it’s because you’re really not – I’m not just some crazy masochist that likes to turn down money – I have kids to feed (which may mean that I am a masochist, just not a crazy one).
Sure you’ve reached out to me (and no-doubt a bunch of other marketers) but the chances are that you have not taken basic steps that show that you are committed to your idea:
- Basic product / idea validation
- Start a blog or website
- Have a twitter account and Facebook page for your product or idea which you are actively growing
- Start a newsletter
- Make some YouTube videos (if the product can be demonstrated)
- Put together a basic press kit.
The vast majority of this can be done for little more than elbow grease and a time commitment, with the only real financial investment being $14 for a domain if you use a free service to host your blog (tumblr, blogger or WordPress.com).
Not having these things in place raises serious red flags leading me to think that:
- Your idea or product hasn’t been well thought through
- You haven’t done your research before reaching out to marketers
- You are too lazy to market your own product
- You’re not really committed and won’t stick with it
- You are flat ass broke and can’t afford me (c’mon – fourteen bucks for a domain?)
Nobody is going to talk about your product unless you start the conversation, and coming hat in hand, asking for other people to do the work that you could have already started is the quickest way to get turned away and discouraged.
Show that you believe in your concept or project. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but putting in the effort will show that you are willing to put your best foot forward and make a positive impression.