If you're a solopreneur it’s highly likely that you often work away on new ideas in relative isolation. To ensure your efforts and good intentions pay off, I’d like to share three key insights with you to ensure that the feedback you receive will be immensely valuable for you.
Don’t design at the whiteboard for too long
In her wonderful book “Playing Big”, Tara Mohr warns us about the dangers of “Designing at the whiteboard”. She is referring to any brainstorming, business building or creative process you do solely in isolation, without feedback from the very people you are developing the idea, products or service for.
Designing at the whiteboard can feel very productive, and it is certainly safe… but it can ultimately end in disappointment if what you develop is not taken up because the concept is not connected with what your Most Aligned Client is seeking.
And so my first tip is to limit the amount of designing at the whiteboard you do – take the framework of your idea and then talk to your intended audience and allow their feedback to guide your next steps.
Ask yourself – is it time to step away from the whiteboard now?
Ask specific questions
When you are ready to share your work with a receptive and relevant audience, make sure you ask questions that you can learn from. Get intentional and specific. I’ve just done this myself, asking very pointed questions to lovely ladies in my Next Chapter Facebook Group about a new mentoring service I’ve developed.
To make the most of this great opportunity for valuable feedback of women in an audience that I know has a great many of potential Most Aligned Clients I had to make sure I did not just seek overall approval. By this I mean, I didn’t ask “do you like this or what do you think of this?”, instead I asked these type of specific questions:
- Do you feel this program could help you?
- What specifically appeals to you about it?
- Is there anything missing/anything you would like to see added to it?
- Does the language/story connect and resonate with you?
- Do you understand how the program works?
- Are there any unanswered questions?
- Is it clear that this program can address business and life self-doubt issues?
- How does the price point sit with you?
- Would you invest in this program at this stage?
Make sure that the feedback you seek, in addition to being specific, is also from a relevant, but neutral, audience. Your partner or best friend may not be your best bet, if they are neither a potential client in your target audience or unbiased about your brilliance!
The feedback I received was from women who are very much a part of my audience and it has helped me decide what, if any, specific changes and additions to the page and program. And that’s priceless.
Ask yourself – who could provide you with quality feedback?
Check in with yourself when you do receive feedback
As a “recovering people pleaser” and someone who has fallen prey to a nasty inner critic on more than one occasion, it was also important for me to be in the right headspace when I went through the feedback. If that’s you, then please take care.
As the emails came flying into my inbox, I reminded myself that I have the power to decide which aspects of the feedback I was going to take action on. It was important to consider and respond to the overall patterns, not to have a knee jerk reaction to one or two replies in isolation. Not to change my copy or inclusions based on a single opinion.
And, most importantly, I needed to remember that feedback can only tell us about the person giving the feedback, it cannot tell you anything about you.
It’s really important for you to understand that you do not seek feedback to confirm or deny your own value, or the value of your ideas. Consider it from a calm and curious place, allowing it to exist as emotionally impartial information that simply lets you know what resonates with your audience, how clearly your ideas are communicating and connecting with them, how your services are meeting their needs.
Your ideas always have the potential to be adjusted, revised and improved but you, their creator, retain your value exactly as you are.
Ask yourself: How can you keep yourself safe when receiving feedback?
Feedback has a very important role to play in our Next Chapter businesses and lives, and when you incorporate these three insights, you’ll reap such rich rewards.