You Just Had an A-Ha Moment: Marketing Your Money-Maker

marketing plan start-upTips for entrepreneurs and start-ups on creating a marketing plan to launch and market a new product or business

You’ve just had an incredible idea. You’ve invented a potato that peels itself or a stress-free way to keep your house clean all the time, but sadly, although your idea may be a game changer, you’re afraid that making it a reality will be too difficult and too expensive.

Sadly, that myth has kept many great ideas in the closet. The reality, however, is that there are affordable ways to make your dream into a reality.

Have an idea, create a prototype, then tell the world.

Ideas Are Cheap

Unfortunately, as The Inventor Spot reminds entrepreneurs, ideas are cheap. Businesses may not be willing to pay an inventor for an idea, but in many cases, they will buy and market a product that has already been positively received by the public. Meaning, to get your idea started, you need to do more than just contact a prominent company about it. Rather, take actionable steps to materialize your idea.

Ideally, you should draw your product, write descriptions of it and search for the perfect market for it. The more developed your idea is, the easier it will be to sell.

Concept to Reality

Once you have a handle on how your product should look and which sort of consumers may want to buy it, advises you to make a prototype. Your prototype is what you will show to lenders and licensees as you prepare to sell your product. Once you have the prototype complete, you may want to patent your idea.

By applying for a patent after you have completed the prototype, you ensure that you get all of the inevitable design adjustments included in the patent. If you file your patent before making the prototype, your patent may end up missing some of your critical ideas.

Tell the World

Once your product is ready, it is time to tell the world how great it is. Since the beginning of time, entrepreneurs have had to find novel ways to tell the world about their products. A thousand years ago, this may have meant using the world’s strongest and fastest camel to deliver your ideas to the next village. Twenty years ago, it may have meant hanging up a flyer on the community bulletin board or taking out an ad in the newspaper. Now, however, advertising is an entirely different game.

Creating a Consumer Buzz

Eventually, you may want to find a retailer who wants to stock your product on their shelves, but before you can entice a retailer into buying your product, you need to create a buzz among consumers. Finding buyers for your product may feel like an uphill battle at times, but with the right techniques, you can find clients easily and without spending too much money.

According to, you should make a combination of online and offline marketing efforts. Offline, try to meet potential buyers, sales reps, and retailers at trade shows and consumer shows. You may even want to take an alternative approach with guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing strategies can include anything from graffiti to mob flashes, but ideally, their purpose should be to create a buzz around your idea.

Online, you may want to e-mail potential clients from consumer shows or retailers from trade shows, but you should also focus on efforts that will draw new clients toward you. Social networking sites are a great place to get started. While your initial fan-base may consist of friends and relatives, that group has the potential to grow quickly thanks to how sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn are structured.

Positive Branding

Although the internet is a great place to spread awareness of your product, it can also be a platform for unhappy clients to complain about your product. To protect yourself from bad press, you need to maintain a positive online reputation. Companies like can help you create the online image that you desire.

The world may not know that they need your idea, but once you convince them, you can sit back and watch the money roll in. Before your wallet starts to bulge, however, you will want to take several steps. In most cases, you can start with a notebook and a few ideas, and before you know it, you’ll be contacting companies to help you control your brand’s positive online image.

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With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: and