The biggest mistake you can make is beginning a relationship with an ask. Ever get a LinkedIn invite from someone peddling a product? Or an email from a stranger asking for a brainpicking session? Then you've been on the receiving end. Don't do the same thing to others.
The best way to reach people is to serve people with the same needs as they have. If they need what you've got and what you've got is good, then they'll hear about what you're offering - from their peers, not from you.
Meet your audience where they are
Don't wait for people to find you. Set up camp where they are likely to be.
For my new book Bring Your Worth: Level Up Your Creative Power, Value & Service to the World, I collaborated with Creadio to do a series of book trailers, designed limited-edition mugs with my cover artist and my partner, and shared my ideas freely on podcasts and videos.
Today, producer Purple Fluorite and I released the song #BringYourWorth. Yup, it's a song, taking key segments from my book and enveloping them in Purple Fluorite's hypnotic beat. I'm both excited and proud.
People aren't going to catch whiff of your idea and come pounding on your office door. Instead, you want to make sure they can access you as many different ways as possible. And you double down on any positive results, just as I did recently with my email list.
Don't limit your audience's investment
Taking the haute couture route sometimes works: Limit how people can reach you and the idea can feel more precious and valuable. You can also end up snuffing out your own success.
A key piece of advice - perhaps from Tara McMullen's What Works podcast - is to never limit an audience's investment in you.
This has driven my career as of late.
For instance, the original The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur book was going to be digital only. Then, a major news outlet and a serious media influencer wanted to read and share the book - but only in physical form - so I quickly developed the paperback edition in time for launch. Then people started asking for an audiobook. I gave them that shortly after. The book became my third best-seller.
People want to invest in you. Let them. Give them more when they ask for more and, in turn, they will be happy to share your ideas.
Get your imperfect idea out today
In a wonderful conversation with Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat author Samit Nosrat, Tim Ferriss shares how his first book had a glaring error - on the very first page. He didn't self-publish, either: Dozens of people viewed that book galley before the hundred-thousand or so copies were printed.
Still, The Four-Hour Work Week spent most of the past decade on the best-sellers lists and directly made Ferriss' career what it is today.
My app Cuddlr darn near broke after 100,000 users signed up the first week because we simply didn't design the architecture yet to handle it. And yet, we figured it out and, a year later, rode off into the sunset.
Your idea has flaws. It will never be perfect. But it will never impact anyone if you don't let it loose.
And there is no guarantee that people will hear your idea, or even like your idea, but the first step, to bring it out into the world, is always in your control.