I am traveling the world and working from all kinds of places. At this time I focus on creating projects that teach, encourage and inspire people to change their lifestyle and follow their dreams. Creating products and launching them is not rocket science and I truly believe that every single one of us is capable of doing it.
In this article I would like to discuss the lessons I’ve learnt along the way and share some tips that will help you get started on this path.
Set a clear vision
Having a clear vision is what will guide you through the process from the beginning until the end. There will be hard times when you will want to give up. Reminding yourself why you have started and having a strong cause will help you move forward.
To help you with defining your vision I highly recommend checking Simon Sinek’s talk on TED:
Find out why you are doing what you are doing and why it matters to you, then find out how you are going to do it and finally decide on what it is going to be. People can not see your “Why”, or “How” but they can definitely see your “What”, the final result. People can sense your “Why” from your “What”.
This is why it is important to have a clear vision for yourself that will dictate the way you work, look at obstacles and how you are going to produce the end product.
It may be hard and scary to start working on your dream project all on your own. It certainly was for me. The important thing to remember here is that here are always people willing to team up with you and make it happen.
With my Mobile Design Book I’ve started by checking my network, friends and fellow designers on Twitter. I decided to get in touch with Paula, because she seemed like a great fit for this role. We knew each other for couple years chatting on Twitter and both were familiar with each others work.
I’ve reached out to Paula and offered her to work on a project together. After short discussions we’ve decided to work on the Mobile Design Book. We’ve met for the first time in Prague, Czech Republic when the book was half done.
Working with other people makes you more responsible, motivated and excited. Don’t let ideas die because of your ego.
Have a plan
Actually, let me help you with that a little bit. Here’s a step-by-step guide with the exact steps I used to plan anticipation around my book. Click the big button below to download.
Simply break down everything that needs to be done and make a list of actionable tasks. When building something you need to make a contingency plan. How are you going to achieve your goal even if things go wrong.
Trust me, things always go wrong. Might as well properly plan for it. Make collaborating, sharing your work and making connections a part of that plan too.
Share every day
Sharing your work every day is essential if you want to stay on the radar of your network. You don’t have to share polished and beautiful product every time. Simply share a thought, lesson or a small victory towards completing your goal on social media.
If you are working on a visual project, show people behind the scenes, dirty and rough concepts or a glimpse of what you’ve been spending your day on. Most people don’t want to share the ugly process work and keep waiting until their product is all polished and shiny. Don’t make the same mistake, fuel the curiosity of your followers, otherwise people will lose interest and may even forget about you.
“Stay strong. You never know who you are inspiring.” – Unknown Author
What looks as nonsense or just another day in Photoshop to you, may look like something amazing for the people who are fans of your work. People love idolizing other people. Showing your vulnerabilities will encourage them to create and make them loyal followers. Share your work-in-process to show people that creative process is not as shiny and beautiful as the final polished product.
Make human connections
Whether it’s business or personal life, it’s all about people. Make sure you make human connections whether it’s an office, business networking event or a public event in a park. If you connect with people in a human way, not putting your own selfish needs ahead, you’re going to succeed. Make it about them, find out how can you help them and get interested in other people.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Building credibility is incredibly important. It takes lots of time and effort, but is an absolutely crucial stepping stone to making people believe and trust you.
Ask for testimonials from your influential friends. You better target someone who has lots of friends and ideally has a huge following. You may think that it is hard to become friends with influential people. And you’d be right most of the times, but simply remembering that they’re humans too can help.
Reach out and provide value before asking for anything in return. I’ve contacted some influential designers on Dribbble and offered them a free copy of my book and asked for a testimonial. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a numbers game, so don’t let early failure discourage you.
Write for other brands and organisations. Once again the main goal here is to get on the radar of as many people as possible. Guest blogging is a great opportunity for that, since you’re essentially utilising the existing audiences of these brands to build your own.
This way more people can get familiar with your name and the things you do. Get in touch with publications related to your niche and pitch them some article ideas. This is really hard and time consuming but is totally worth the effort in the end.
Give before you take
Think about why someone should listen to you or even buy something from you. You need to show people that there is value in listening to you. You need to work hard for others to gain trust in your expertise.
There are many ways how you can build this trust: give away pieces of your work, show them something only you can provide. Once people start getting value from you, give them even more. This is where human psychology strikes in and gratitude activates.
If you have helped people, spent your time answering their questions, wrote a free ebook, retweeted their tweets when needed and offered them a hand in general, these people will naturally feel like helping you in return. People you’ve helped will be more than likely to share your work and even buy from you because they are grateful for the things you did for them.
All the difference experiences we have, people we meet and work we do defines when we will succeed. You have to truly love what you do and follow your gut expecting that it’s the right way. To summarize everything: do what you love, don’t settle, be human, share and help as much as you can.
There is no right or wrong way of building anticipation and I wish I could share a checklist with you that guarantees success. But I can do the next best thing – share this step-by-step checklist of things that have worked very well for me and my Mobile Design book.