Ideas are a dime a dozen, everyone has one and everyone has that million dollar elevator pitch that will reshape the industry. What most miss is the execution to implement their idea or a platform to show it off on. Now in the age of the Internet, where there is a website for everything, it can be hard to stand out. That is where this guide comes in, it's here to make sure that your idea is ready for the big leagues.
Before you start dropping art assets and hyper-linking to your twitter profile, ask yourself a few questions. Are you crafting a reputation that you'll be proud of in the next two years? Does your font convey professionalism or scream amateur hour? You aren't just building another website, you are creating your website. Plot out a persona or credo that you would want to be projected out on the world wide web because first impressions are permanent.
Let's face it people are fickle and in order to stay afloat you're going to have to build a lasting image that your users can identify with. This image lays the standard that is your past and future work and being unique is key. Simply put, people are loyal to brands, sometimes to a fault, that's why turning your persona/business into a brand is a smart move. This is because brands offer a consistent feed of something the end user finds enjoyable. Users can quickly identify and associate the value of what a brand holds thus making them more likely to return to see what you put out next.
Are you starting out from scratch? Learn to network. There is only so far that your voice can travel online. (Coincidentally there is only so much ad-space that you can buy.) It never hurts to know who your neighbor is because referrals and collaborations are the lifeblood for many creative industries. The lone wolf approach can be successful but you might miss out on opportunities for growth on your crawl to the top. Whichever path you travel on, learning from the mistakes and the successes of those also on your path is an easy way to avoid pitfalls and prepare for success.
Collecting cash is great but what happens when you hit a dry spell? Sometimes the clicks/clients/sales slow down and if your prepare for those rainy days your brand can bounce back to do what it's good at, making money. That's where garnering a reputation comes in, if you can land jobs but no one is talking about you then you're working in a vacuum. When people start to talk about your work's quality or are intrigued by your ad that's when you that you're making ripples in oceans. When people come to you rather than the other way around that's when you got yourself an income that can stand for itself. Word travels fast and if you work for work that brings in more work and you'll be on the fast track to building an impressive portfolio.
Alright, here is where things get a bit grim. Let's say that you are trying to break into the dog walking business. A quick Google search pulls up a list of advertisements and locations of people who have spent time and money to compete with you. Don't let that discourage you just know that the battle a foothold in the dog walking market will be hard fought. Since you are in a battle you are going to have to build yourself up to outperform the competition. Will you adapt and become a specialized machine that can not be rivaled in one type of service while your rivals stumble to cover all of their bases. Or will you bring a bigger army and force out the others by outpacing their attempts to branch out.
Don't wake up tomorrow expecting to be the next overnight success. You're going to have to work smart and hard to stay ahead of your competition, deadline, or any other impending doom you have been avoiding. We've gone over the importance of networking, how there are a thousand other people competing against you, and why building a brand is better than just a website but all of these plan hinge on the same factor, time. Take the time to polish every piece of work you produce because all of those gems compound and soon your work will be able to speak for itself. You're going to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your idea and there will be some highs and more lows than you would like in this journey but I have faith in you. You have this guide to help you :)