Why should students promote their creative projects?
You don’t really know how many great projects were abandoned and forgotten just because of the lack of promotion. Sometimes we are too shy to advertise our discoveries, sometimes we just don’t know how to do it right. Sometimes we, deep inside, don’t believe that we will make it for real. But if you really want your creative project to skyrocket – the promotion is a must!
There’s an underlying notion among students that unless something is assigned, it’s not worth pursuing. This mindset will cripple your creative endeavors long after college is over. The time to create is now, not in some abstract time in the future where you’ll be more qualified!
Here are a couple ways to start sharing your ideas with the world, even as a student!
No one knows about your project until you tell them
When we come up with an idea, it might look so natural for us that we forget that no one else knows about it. We may casually talk about our project and wonder why people don’t understand us.
Telling others about your project isn’t actually a promotion, but to make it clear for them you have to prepare a short plan. In your own head, the project is already alive, it exists in reality, has its structure and logic – but expressing this structure to a stranger is a complicated task. Preparing a short speech or an explicit description allows you to revise this structure, solidify it and make your project understandable for anyone who wants to learn about it.
Try talking about it with your closest ones – they are the least strict critics you have. This will be good training for you. They also can give you some advice and you may rest assured that they have only the best intentions criticizing you or guiding you.
“Sell” your project to ten friends and you are ready to sell it for the investor
You may get some support from your friends or even raise some funds on your campus to finish the first phase of your project – but by promoting your project in safe space of your college or university you also get an incredible experience of advertising, public speaking, web sales or whatever you choose to tell the world about your idea.
These skills are essential for a startup founder-to-be, because all the fundraising starts from hard talks with people you are trying to persuade to give their money to you. You should clearly understand the benefits and drawbacks of your project, its limitations and the possibilities to scale and expand. On your campus you are completely free to virtually scale it, starting from yourself and ending with an international company if you want to.
Coming to the real investors with the skills of self-presentation and presentation of your project is a huge benefit. It means that you role-played this situation so much before that your subconscious won’t fear it anymore. Your confidence and readiness to answer all the possible questions will become one of the traits that can possibly be a game-changer for you.
Get your idea tested by “picky customers”
When the first clients, test subjects, partners or whatever of your project are your friends and colleagues, the price of the mistake is much lower than on the real general market. Even the most clever and experienced marketing researchers say that the first wave of customers should more resemble testers: picky, curious and ready to use the minimally viable product.
When you start promoting your product, the first ones who learn about it are usually such people. They are curious enough on the stage of the idea already and they can willingly agree to become your first customers. Such people will provide all the necessary feedback while still staying on your side.
Their feedback will also be more friendly than what you get from complete strangers. While your idea is on the start of its road, you are naturally more vulnerable to criticism, so optimistic approach may be really what you need – even if the people want to share some disadvantages or weak sides of your project with you.
Improve your public speaking
We talked about it before, but public speaking is a separate skill, worthy of mentioning twice. It doesn’t matter if your project finds its investor (of course, it matters, but not in this case) – the skills you will learn while developing this project will stay with you for a long, long time. You will learn how to plan, how to create strategy, structure your work and talk to many different people.
You may test it right now: write a short paper about your project, maybe one or two pages long. Then read it aloud. Then use some suitable software (e.g. Read My Essay from StudyMoose or ask a friend to read it aloud to you. You will see that the same text you wrote recited by you or by someone else will sound very different, with varying levels of persuasion and enthusiasm. What you are saying is crucial, but the way you are saying it is equally important.
Learn to present your project to anyone: your spouse, your friend, your strict boss, a stranger on the street, President or Martians! Use the right tactics with the right people and you will be able to promote any project to any target audience. You will learn the peculiarities of these different audiences and this will become your great advantage. Moreover, train your brain to produce more ideas that will fit your audience’s needs and become even more creative.
You don’t have to wait until school’s over to start creating
Many successful businesses in various industries have been actually founded by students. A couple examples include Green Mobile, Modcloth, Def Jam Records, GXStudios, Give Water, or Napster, to name just a few. Some of them not only bring profit to their founders, but also perform some valuable social functions, like saving natural resources, helping people with chronic diseases or donating to charity.
Green Mobile was founded in 2004, and specializes in repairing and selling used cellphones. Apart from bringing its founders a profit of approximately $500,000, it also helps save natural resources and reduce electronic waste.
Modcloth is a highly successful e-commerce fashion platform started as a humble attempt to sell some vintage clothes which Susan Koger found in her wardrobe. Now the company earns up to $100 million.
Def Jam Records started as a small private record company back in 1983. To avoid extra spending, the company was located in the dormitory of a college where Rick Rubin studied. The record company soon became successful within the hip hop scene, recording top artists such as the Beastie Boys.
GXStudios, founded in 2007, developed and launched an incredibly popular online social game, attracting millions of students, who loved to compete online.
GIVE Water, a bottled water distributor, providing water to major restaurant chains, such as Starbucks, has reached $650,000 in sales within less than two years after its launch in 2007. And not only that, the company donates some 10 cents to a number of charitable causes, including helping malnourished children, people suffering from cancer or helping the environment. A customer may choose a charitable cause by selecting a bottle with a particular color label on it.
Great ideas are born all the time. Why not during your study?
The fact that you are still a student doesn’t matter. You have a viable chance to create something outstanding, something that no one yet discovered. Don’t be shy or embarrassed; don’t be afraid to give it a try. Let others give you clues for developing and growing your idea, but always remember that it is your own creation. You have the right to have it. You have the right to promote it and be heard. You have the right to make it come true.
Your startup project, course, podcast may be a start of a great success story. Or it may not, but you read this post the whole way through, didn’t you? Giving a crazy idea a try sounds better than plainly refusing it and thinking about this missed chance for a long time after.
Phoebe Hart is a Content Manager and Creator at StudyMoose, passionated by writing, editing, reading and interior designing. Believes that society can advance and evolve thanks to our struggle and forces only.