Get in Front of One Million People in the Next 30 DaysApr 22, 2022
If you had to reach one million people in 30 days, what would you do? Never mind whether you think it's possible for you or not...how would you do it? There are a million ways to get in front of a million people...and in this episode I share a simple exercise on how to brainstorm 100 ways to achieve that goal.
In today's episode, I'm going to be talking a little bit about how to get in front of 1 million people in 30 days. To clarify, I'm not going to give you the answer because the way that you can achieve this is going to vary dramatically based on who you are as an entrepreneur, who you are serving, and how you want to get in front of 1 million people in 30 days. What I am going to do is talk you through the process of starting to figure out how you can do that, to give you a little bit of background information and backstory as to why we are even talking about this today.
A couple weeks ago, I was talking with my own business coach, Mary O'Connor, who I will link to below because she is pretty amazing. I was talking about how I was feeling kind of stalled in my marketing and in my lead generation and client attraction efforts. Where I am, I've gotten a system running so smoothly that it's just giving me great, great results, and at the same time, I have scaled that system really as much as I can, which means that if I want to grow my business even more, if I want to bring on even more clients, I have to add something new to the mix. And I was lost as to what that could actually be.
So, she issued me a challenge, which I reluctantly accepted at first. I'm going to talk through what that challenge was, and through my experience with it and how it has helped me move forward. I'm going to talk through the challenge, of course, but also give you some extra tips for completing this on your own. Essentially, she said, “Jacob, I want you to figure out how to get in front of 1 million people over the course of one month.”
I said, “Oh my goodness, Mary, that's amazing and absolutely insane, and that's never, never going to actually happen.” She said, “I want you to sit down and brainstorm as many different ways that you could achieve that result as possible. Try to get 100 ideas out on paper for how you could get in front of 1 million people over 30 days.” I said, “I've kind of thought this through before and done some brainstorming, but I just don't know where to start. I feel like I have a bunch of ideas, but they don't seem realistic, they seem like they take too much work.” And she said, “No, no, no. Don’t worry about that. Don't worry about how feasible they are or viable they are. In fact, just don't worry about how realistic they are.”
She told me this story about a friend of hers who has a business in California. I can't even remember what the business was, but what she did was, in downtown San Francisco, she hired an elephant. I don't know what it takes to hire an elephant. I assume you're probably paying the person who owns the elephant; you're not paying an elephant. But she hired an elephant, according to Mary's story, to walk through the streets of downtown San Francisco with a big sign on its sides that had her business's logo on it. And Mary said, “Yeah, that might be an extreme example, but it's something that she might not have come up with or realized or even had the idea if she hadn't been in that creative thinking space.
So, let me be clear. I'm not saying that the answer for you is to hire an elephant to walk around with a sign on his side. What I am saying is start to brainstorm all the different ways that you could get in front of a million people without really worrying about how realistic it would be in terms of implementation. That's not the point of this part of the exercise. The point is to create what she calls divergent thinking, which is not just fitting it into a process or thinking through how realistic it might be, but just to get going with that creative thinking.
Ultimately, what I did is…well, ultimately, what I did is not hire an elephant. Ultimately, what I did is accept her challenge and brainstorm 100 ways to get my name, my business, in front of 1 million people in 30 days. That's what I did, and what I want to share with you are some of the things that I learned as I was going through that process. The first is that, initially, I had a really hard time getting into that mode of creative thinking. I knew that I shouldn't be narrowing things down or seeing how realistic something is during this process. I knew that wasn't what I was supposed to be doing, but I couldn't really stop myself.
What I did was start with the first 10 items on my list being the most absurd ideas I could think of. For example, talking to a circus manager and getting him to hand out copies of my book at the door, as people were coming into view the circus, right? Things that were absolutely absurd. Ultimately, I'm not going to do any of those things because they wouldn't be smart, but figuring out some just absurd ways to achieve that goal really got my creative mind going and helped me release myself from this idea that any ideas I came up with had to be immediately realistic, or doable, or even smart. It took that pressure off entirely.
The second big thing is that—as I was creating or coming up with these really absurd ideas, the things that I would not implement but that got me moving in the right direction in terms of what could be realistic ideas. For example, getting a circus manager to hand out copies of my book is possible, but it's not necessarily smart, but it got me thinking along the lines of Who can I get to hand out copies of my book, to perhaps add my book as an add-on for their customers who are purchasing something, or to just give my book away as a free gift to their audience?
That got me moving in the right direction because the next question was Who do I know who has a similar ideal client as I do, but who isn't competition to me, who is not someone I would consider competition, or they wouldn't consider me competition? That got me moving in the right direction really, really quickly.
The third thing I noticed is that there is a huge value in committing to coming up with 100 ideas and not saying, “I'm just going to come up with ideas and just stop when I'm out of ideas.” The value of forcing myself to get to 100 brainstormed ideas was that it kept me thinking, even after I initially had the moment of, well, I'm out of ideas. And those ideas, the last 20 or 30 ones that I put down on paper, were actually the best ideas I had out of the entire 100.
That’s really important because, as entrepreneurs, we have to be creative, we have to keep coming up with ideas, and oftentimes, what sets us apart is not those first 50, or first 60 or 70 ideas. It's the last 20 or last 30 ideas that come out of us, maybe pushing ourselves a little bit further. The vast majority of people are not going to push themselves past the initial point where they think, Okay, I'm out of ideas. They'll just end it at that point. They'll say, “I'm out of ideas. Okay, here we go. Here's what we have to work with,” but the place where you're really going to stand out is when you push yourself past that point.
My challenge to you is that if you want to get in front of 1 million people over the course of the next 30 days, sit down today and come up with 100 ideas to help you get to that point—not 20 ideas, not 50 ideas, but 100—and that will get you moving in 100% the right direction in terms of achieving that goal.
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