Imagine. You woke up this morning and were hit with a lightning bolt of inspiration.
You have just had the most stupendous idea for a product. You know it is a winner. You believe in it. You just don’t know how the heck you are going to get it from concept to customer!
Well, wonder no more as I speak with Nicole Nagelgast, creator and owner of The Adventure Book, an exciting interactive book designed to be a travel journal, memory keeper and a whole lot of fun on the road. Nicole shares her insights into her journey as an entrepreneur, author and creator and how to make that idea become a reality.
Very early on, Nicole realised that she wanted to take the road less travelled and embrace an entrepreneurial lifestyle. As a teen, Nicole had run her own business with a shop on Etsy, and she enjoyed being her own boss.
After graduating, she started work as a freelance graphic designer but quickly discovered that her business was running her life. Constant client demands, long hours and lack of financial freedom led her to understand that she needed to work smarter not harder.
Nicole signed up to the SFM a program of digital education that would enable her to gain new skills, market a viable product and give her a passive income stream.
She loved being part of the SFM affiliate marketing program, and her creativity and passion were rewarded with an invitation to join the team. Finally, the tail was no longer wagging the dog in terms of feeling weighed down by the design business just as well because Nicole was about to have a brainwave.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go…
It was a globe-trotting friend who provided the inspiration for Nicole’s big idea. After looking around for a suitable birthday gift, Nicole hit upon the idea of a travel journal that would allow her friend to log global travel experiences.
She searched high and low for one, and realised that a book like that didn’t exist!
Understanding that there was a niche waiting to be filled, Nicole started logging her ideas whenever she had free time. If she would like a journal like that, surely others would too?
So began a voyage of discovery. Nicole explains how she got started with her business and highlights her key learning curves.
- Share ideas and get feedback – If you try to do it all yourself, don’t share ideas or outsource, you are cheating yourself. You just keep yourself and your business small. You need a network that you can rely on.
- Ask for help – Look around at what similar producers are doing. Approach people who have a foot in the market because they are a goldmine of ideas, contacts, suppliers and advice. Nicole was able to take advantage of Mastermind sessions with the SFM Import Expert service. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Test out different suppliers – Nicole’s first sample book was produced in China. It was cheap, but it wasn’t the quality and looked that she wanted for herself or her customers. By coincidence, she found a different supplier who was not only closer but had excellent contacts, the quality she was looking for and a price point that she was happy with.
- Don’t underprice yourself or your product – Sure, you want your product to be affordable but have you factored in all the costs? Packaging, storage, websites and all the other hidden extras that are required to get your product out to the market need to work into your price point.
- Get your product out there – Take the time to research your distribution networks. Do their facilities and services match your needs? Can you do some of it yourself? Not only does this give you a good idea of the process and costs, but it strengthens your hand when it comes to negotiating. You know what is involved so you won’t get hit with unnecessary extras
- Going to Market – Choose your marketing platforms wisely. Nicole almost exclusively uses Instagram. Travel, journalling and calligraphy have huge followings on IG and a ready-made audience for her product. Use videos, images and styles that feel native to the platform you are using. Nicole took advantage of her affiliate marketing know-how to create ad content – you can too. Educational programs and tools such as the SFM are available online to provide you and your business with support, advice and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and experts.
- Don’t stop evolving – Don’t fear failure. Find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition and, above all else, always listen to your customer. Encourage people to give honest feedback about your product or service; it’s a great way to fine-tune your product, service or approach.
- Just do it! – Procrastination is the thief of time, and if you wait for perfection, you will wait forever. Start small and build up. If you get the mindset right, you are already halfway there. That translates into increased confidence, a digital business that you can be proud of and a product or service that people are happy with.
The World at Your Fingertips
Nicole says that inspiration is inside all of us. To sit passively and wait for a ‘Eureka!’ the moment isn’t good enough. We must create movement for ourselves. Get up and get out there! Read a book, look at a piece of art, listen to a story and see what flows into your mind. We are all capable of imagining new concepts, re-designing an item or creating new thoughts.
By opening ourselves up to new things, we have potentially millions of creative surges waiting to be acted upon.
Nicole used her inspiration impulse to create a travel journal that allows people to have the world at their fingertips each time they turn a page.
Now, what actions are you going to take to have the world at yours?