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Want Ad Exercise Hot Seats

Lesson 18 from: Value Pricing & Business Models for Creative Entrepreneurs

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

18. Want Ad Exercise Hot Seats

Lesson Info

Want Ad Exercise Hot Seats

We're going to do a quick exercise. I'm going to walk you through this exercise and then I'm going to bring some of the in-house students up on stage and we're going to walk through both this exercise and the two questions that we just went through. So that way, you can get kind of some different examples of what's going on here. So the exercise we're going to do which is on page 28 is the Want Ad Exercise, and this actually comes from the Stanford University Design School Bootleg Bootcamp Design Workbook. I highly recommend it. It's a completely free download in Creative Commons, so check that out. This Want Ad Exercise is about combining value, what people want, the change they want to make, and who they are. So the idea here is that you kind of write it like a job want ad. For instance, let's imagine that describing your customer as a frisky, fun dog owner. Alright? Can you come up with a description for you customer that way? Jot that down on your want ad. Frisky, fun dog owner. A ...

struggling, small business owner. Sassy, science fiction babe. (laughing) So come up with any kind of description you want to put there that matches your customer, that matches the answers maybe that you came up with, or the ideas that you came up with when we were answering those customer questions just a minute ago. Well, frisky, fun dog owner here seeks daytime fun for pooch. Alright? So this frisky, fun dog owner's probably working like a nine to five job, they feel really bad that their doggy is at home all by themselves, and they want to, you know, get something involved, have something that gets pooch having some daytime fun. Alright? Again, the goal here is not to think about how we're delivering this value. The goal is to think about what the value is that your customers want. So don't think about format, think about function. Then you've got the opportunity to jot down some more details. You know, if you answered all of those questions about your customers, you've got loads and loads of details about what they're looking for on an even more minute level. So you know, this is kind of big picture desire. These are the details. This is what makes it interesting. This is what reflects their, you know, their unique values, their unique understanding of the world. So maybe rubber balls, squirrels, cuddling. Alright? So our want ad. So this is, we'll say this business is a doggy daytime service. The want ad for this doggy daytime service that they can use to maybe create a new product from is frisky, fun dog owner seeks daytime fun for pooch. Interests should include rubber balls, squirrels, cuddling. Got it? Okay. Alright. We're going to come back to this and we're going to do this exercise with a studio audience, like I said. So if this is not making complete sense right now, hold on, we will get there. Alright? Questions from you guys. Are those interests or values, the rubber balls and squirrels, or? Okay, so (laughing) they're both. So what I was kind of thinking here was activity, outdoors, and love. So those are the values. You're right. These are more like details that reflect the values. You could do it however you want to do it. Always just assume with me there's never a right answer. (laughing) So you know, play around with this. Have fun with this. So yeah. But definitely, these are details that reflect particular values. Lots of activity, being outdoors, and lots of love. The frisky, fun dog owner wants to make sure pup is staying active, getting outside, not staying inside cooped up all day, and getting some cuddles in, getting some love. Alright? Before we move on to hot seats, let's get some sharing going on. Hop on Twitter. Use the hashtag #TaraLive or let us know in the chatroom who's looking for what you have to offer right here, right now? Give us that fun snapshot that you put in your want ad, for example. Who's looking for what you have to offer right here, right now. Just reiterate what the Creative Commons download is you mentioned, because there are a few people asking. Sure. So if you Google Bootcamp Bootleg and Stanford, you'll get it. But it's the Stanford University D School, which is their design school, Bootcamp Bootleg. I don't know why it's called that, but it's a whole bunch of design exercises that you can use which I find super helpful for designing new products. And I'm not a designer, per se, but when I'm thinking about how I can format new products, how I can put new things together and make them really make sense for my customers, I always go back to the exercises in that book. Thank you. Yeah, and it's totally free. Alright. So who's looking for what you guys have to offer right here, right now? Robyn? Jazzy, jewelry designers. Ooh, jazzy, jewelry designers. I love alliteration. (laughing) And should I go through the whole thing, or? No. Why don't we save the whole thing for the hot seat? Okay. But yeah, so jazzy, jewelry designers. Awesome. Shauna? Mindful, pregnant women. Mindful, pregnant women. That's awesome. Not alliterative, but-- It is not. (laughing) I'll get creative. (laughing) A single, smart, overworked female executive in her 30s or 40s who needs a digital detox and to come alive. Okay, cool. Is the seeks the digital detox part? Is the what, oh, seeks? No. I just added that at the moment. Okay, cool. Susan? A worldly, artistic, design-conscious woman. Ooh, nice. Love it. Bridgitte? I'm still working this out-- Sure. So I'm not, like, I'm having a hard time like super narrowing it down. Alright. You know you're essentially volunteering yourself for a hot seat right now. (laughing) We'll come back to you, we'll come back to you. Tiffany? I put stylish businesswoman. Excellent. Brianna. Insecure but open minded young female soccer player. I don't know. Okay, awesome. No, that's fine. Anything from online? Who needs what people have to offer right here, right now? We don't have anything coming in yet so please keep sharing, absolutely. Give it a second. Yeah, give it a second. Oh there we are, we've got one person. A guava project. Sassy, professional Latinas. Ooh, I love it. They saw your dancing. That's what it was. That must be what it is. Yeah, I love the specificity there. Alright. That means it's time for hot seats. So we're going to start with that first question. What are your customers looking to accomplish? What is it that your customers are looking to change? Then we're going to go into the second question, which is who are these people? Who are you designing this thing for? And then we'll tackle that Want Ad Exercise. So, do I have a volunteer? Or do I need to go to Bridgitte? (laughing) Alright, Bridgitte, you're up! Oh my god. (audience applauding) Alright. Please pardon my nasty handwriting. I don't know what I was thinking when I decided a whiteboard would be a good idea. Who, and then we'll do the want ad down here. Alright, so I would love for you to just name off some of the things that your customers are trying to accomplish, things that you know you can help them with, maybe questions that they have that they want answers to. And feel free to just keep listing because part of this exercise is just brainstorming and going nuts. Okay. So I can tell you some of the things that people have been coming to me for. Great. So some of that is sort of like work life balance, better self confidence, sort of how to become successful. And then some people have been coming to me trying to figure out their eating habits, also. Okay. They're like the nutrition side of things. You know what? Let's pause. Remind us who you are, what you do, and where people can find you. (laughing) So my website is and my whole mission is around growth and transformation. It's for women who may have had sort of a more difficult past and have had to go through a lot of obstacles and have a story, and are sort of trying to get beyond their story. Okay. I mean, that's my website. Okay, great. So the eating habits come into this because you have the background in the personal chef arena. Exactly, which is what I'm trying to figure out, how to bring it all together. We're going to do that right here, right now. (laughing) Okay, sweet. Yes, no, my radar already went there. Okay, great. Anything else your customers are trying to accomplish? What about changing? Well, we kind of got a little bit of feel. Give me one or two more. Let's get a really good list here. Well, I mean this is a little bit random, but I have a client who's a personal chef and trying to figure out how to move her business ahead also, so I don't know if that fits into this specific thing. Probably not, but let's just put it here because the thing about brainstorming is it's not brainstorming if you don't just throw anything out there. Right. Right. So great, one more. Purpose, finding your life purpose. Perfect. Personal purpose, beautiful. Okay. Tell me more about this person. What are they staying up late at night Googling? What are they telling their friends about? How are they feeling right now? What do you know about her? It's kind of a hard question. I can tell you that they're in their 20s and 30s. I can tell you that they're educated, smart, self aware, introspective, working on themselves, so they value growth and change. The people that have come to me are definitely people that have gone through some stuff in their life. I write a lot about my experiences, and I think that they sort of-- So, personal difficulties? Yeah. They have a story. Yeah. Is there any kind of common threads in what kinds of fields these women are in? I actually didn't put that they're women. That's important. I think the people that have been coming to me are still trying to figure that out. Oh, okay, alright. So a question about where they're going in life. So let's do career question mark. Alright? Let's see, anything else. How are they feeling right now? I think their feelings fluctuate a lot. Okay. So I think they have moments where they feel really sure of themselves, and then I think they have moments where they doubt all of these things. Okay, so probably some self doubt. Okay, great. Let's do your want ad because I see some things in here. This is actually a really great way that we can. This is just such a great example for the want ad. Give us a description of who this woman is. How about, okay. I'll give it to you. (laughing) How about young, questioning, professional woman? Perfect. (laughing) I could not come up with that. That says prou, that's not a thing. Well, it is, but you know. Seeks. I want to pull up the eating habits thing. Yeah. Why? Because it's tangible. Right, exactly. Teaching someone to change their eating habits, super tangible. I can wrap my brain around that, right? Seeks change of eating habits. Okay? And then we need the three interests or three defining characteristics, alright? I would say since she also wants to feel more confident, let's put this self doubt to self confidence in. If you were developing, let's say, just a program. You're developing some offering around changing eating habits, a bit part of the story that I would mention is that we're going to help you go from not knowing what you should be eating, when you should be eating it, feeling less than confident about what you're putting into your body and how that's, you know, actually helping you perform on a day to day basis, and I'm going to give you the tools you need to feel much more confident so that you're not only confident about your eating habits, you're confident about the other choices that you're making in your life as well. Right. Make sense? Yes. Okay. Let's pull up another one. Yeah, so this is when I wish I wouldn't have erased the rest of the stuff. What else was she looking to accomplish? Professional success. Alright. So career is important to her, right? Even if she doesn't necessarily know what that career is yet, career's important to her. So we don't have to teach her how her eating habits affect her career, what we need to do is tie self confidence into her career. When you're more self confident about how you feel, what you're eating, how healthy you are, you're going to be more confident in your career as well. You might also just use this as a way to position the product too, right? So it doesn't matter what the product is, but you put a context around it of this is for professional women, this is for women who are looking to get ahead. You know, the pictures that you use on your site. Maybe you use women in suits or women in an office setting. Just those little tiny details, all those details we talked about yesterday, that's where this kind of stuff can really come in to play. Here's one that's actually affecting our value proposition. Here's one that's maybe just affecting the marketing, and the positioning, and the story that you're telling. It could also be affecting the price, as well. You know, positioning something for a stay at home mom versus a professional working mom, that can affect the price. They're used to paying top dollar for X, Y, or Z. Why wouldn't they pay top dollar for a personal growth program as well, right? Right, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yes, I'm making some generalizations here. That's part of your job as a marketer. I'm sorry to say, alright? It's no offense to anybody. It's part of your job as a marketer. How about one more? One of the other things I talk about a lot is shame and the idea of overcoming your shame from your past. Love that. Alright. That's fantastic. So again, this to me, you're not going to convince anybody that you're going to help them overcome their personal shame with a program on eating habits or with any kind of product on eating habits, but what you can do is create a shame-free zone in this offering. So you know, if it's a group, you start off every group call and you say, "Remember, this is a shame-free zone. "Whatever you're feeling right now is valid. "Whatever has happened to you in the past is valid." And those are the things that we're going to explore to help you make this change. Same thing you can do on your sales page. Same thing you could do in blog posts maybe, or e-mails that are leading up toward you launching this offer. You say, "I understand. "There's all this shame "that comes from not feeling like you know "what you should be eating, "or shame that comes from your past, "or shame that comes from who knows where." So much shame, right? So you make a point of saying this is a shame free zone, and then you're positioning this offer in a way that makes people feel more comfortable and comfortable people do buy, right? Right, right. Does that make sense? So much sense. Okay, perfect. So now what you can do is go back and you know, keep this same young, questioning, professional woman, and fill in a couple different seeks, you know? So you've got this change of eating habits. This sounds like a phenomenal place for you to enter the market. Where else? What other value propositions? What else is this woman looking for that you can help her with? And you can take this exercise and you can do it over and over again. You don't have to do that right now, don't worry. But that's the goal. Good? Super good. Questions? No, this was amazing. Okay, awesome. (laughing) I'm so glad. Alright. Thank you, Bridgitte. Yay, thank you. (audience applauding) Okay, perfect. And Sasha, are there any quirky, alone, day activities you'd like to apprise us of at this moment? People are sharing their quirky, alone, day greetings on Facebook on the global international quirky, alone, day party. Oh, awesome. I bet you can Google to find that or Facebook to find that, correct? Yeah, on Facebook. Awesome. Cool. Quirky, alone day. Yay! Alright, so we're going back to accomplish. Whoops. Yeah, I really should have practiced more with the whiteboard. Skills you never thought you needed. Alright. What are your customers looking to accomplish? Oh, you know what? I just mentioned quirky, alone day, but why don't you tell us who you are, what you do first, and then we'll keep going. Okay. My name is Sasha Cagen and people can find me at I'm a writer and a coach, and I'm starting to lead travel adventures. Awesome, cool. So what do you want to help your customers accomplish? What do they need to accomplish? So in this exercise, I decided to start brainstorming about something new that I'm not doing yet. Wonderful. And so it's very hypothetical. Great. But exciting. Yes. So it's based on this book that I'm working now on on the experiences that I had in South America, and I'm trying to see what could I generalize for someone who had the same problems that I had when I began that journey. Okay. So that's who I'm describing. Okay, great. So what are some of those problems, or the changes that they want to make? Okay, single, sexless, smart, burned out, female executive type. And because of this high end thing, someone who has some money, basically. Okay, so let's get to the who in a minute. First, I just want to answer the two questions. So if they're single, are they looking to get into a relationship? I think they would like to, yeah. Okay, so that's great 'cause that is a very definite change. Sexless, that's easy. (laughing) We'll keep it G-rated and just say sexy. (laughing) So they're burned out, so how do they want to feel? They want to feel better, like more relaxed and more loose, and less addicted to social media, and everything else that has to do with that. Great. Less addicted to social media. And also just feel good in their bodies, like have a better relationship to the body. Feel good in body. Fantastic. And not necessarily through losing weight. It's like not about changing who you are. It's just about feeling better. Alright, cool. Fantastic. Who is this person? I think that she's in 30s or 40s, possibly 50s, too. Or it really could be 60s, I mean, but we'll say. Yeah, something like that. And she's a woman? A woman. You said she's a professional. Uh-huh. And a lot of the other questions, which is awesome, we actually answered up here. She's feeling burned out, she may be up late at night on or OkCupid, right? So that answers kind of the Googling question. Yeah, so she's probably, if she wants to feel good in her body, she's probably either not really in tune with her body or she feels bad on a regular basis. I would imagine she probably has a lack of energy problem. That's something, I think, that a lot of women deal with, right? So a lot of these answers are a lot of that social information that we need to know about our customers, too. So again, you can start to see how these things are very interrelated. They have to be. Alright, so let's do the want ad part. I'm going to do that down here so I don't run into the same problem I had before. So what was the description you had for your woman? Of what she wants? No, of who she is. Sorry. Let's start with that first. The single, smart, burned out, female professional. The single, smart, burned out, whoops, female pro, seeks? What did you identify as her seeking? Adventure. Okay. Let's leave it at that. Seeks adventure. And then let's put the other three things down here. So no more description here because I love how open ended that is. Mm-hmm. Seeks adventure. That could be anything! Okay? (laughing) So that sets you up, I think, for the most kind of creative exploration of this. Yeah, right. So now, let's add the details in that are going to give you the context that you need to really let your creative brain go nuts, right? So what are some of those details? Feeling like a woman. Okay. Interests should include, yeah, sure. This is not literal, right? I mean the want ad part. She literally does want to feel like a woman. What else? Comfortable in her body. Okay. There's probably something too, I like the shame free zone idea. There's something of like overcoming discomfort with sensuality or sexuality, or something like that. Yes. Can we add a fourth one here because this is a very strong value thing that she wants to accomplish. So can interests include sex? Well, I'm not sure. I mean, yeah. This is where it gets really interesting. You don't have to deliver on this. (laughing) I mean, yeah. As a result of the changes in her life, yes, there will be more sexual energy free flowing in her life. Oh, I like how you say that. Sexual energy. Yeah, it's more about sexual or sensual energy than actual sex. Yeah, fantastic. Alright. So this sets you up really well to start brainstorming about the format of this thing, right? Which I am not going to ask you to do yet. We have one more question to answer before we're even going to start thinking about format, and we will come back to this exercise. But this, this is the context, right, for an immense amount of brainstorming that could be done. What all, how many different ways could you take a single smart, burned out, female professional who's seeking adventure, wants to feel like a woman, wants to feel comfortable in her body, needs a no-shame zone and wants to amp her sexual energy, how many different ways could you deliver this? You could deliver this in a really high touch way where it's a small group of women and they're bonding together over tango in Argentina. But you could also do it in a book, right? Which is what you're doing. And so that's the other nice thing about this. This want ad can help you create a context for many different layers of your business model. This could be one layer or it could be the jumping off point for many different layers. Mm-hmm. Okay? And so let's just. Let me see if there's anything else I want to say about this particular thing. You know, one thing that sticks out to me here and just like we did with Bridgitte, I like to think about the story. I like to think about how you're going to position this even before you come up with the format. I mean, Sasha and I have worked together before and I have asked Sasha before to write a sales page for something before she's even built out the product, right? Before she's decided on the format. And so that's immediately where my brain goes. How are you going to sell this? I don't care what it looks like. How are you going to sell this? So immediately, there's so much feeling here. Feeling like a woman, comfort in the body, sexual energy, that I think what's really important here is that when you're positioning this, you're telling the stories of women that you've helped before and you're telling your own story. And that in telling those stories, you're really focusing on that shift, that big change from how they felt before to how they felt after. So you know, you could bullet point the heck out of the sales page, right? You could tell me, well, you're going to get this and you're going to do that, and you're going to have this outcome, but that's not going to speak to this woman. This woman is a woman who's desperately trying to feel something different, feel something new, maybe just feel more like herself again, or feel like herself for the first time. So what she's going to respond to isn't a list of bullet points, but stories of women who have actually made this change already. Alright? So instead of delivering that really analytical type of sales page, you can deliver something much more narrative here that's focusing on pushing all the right buttons in the right way. Nothing slimy about that, you're telling people's stories, right? And so that can really position this in a way that it's believable, it's trustworthy, and it's extremely compelling. Make sense? Mm-hmm. All that just from this little thing. Yeah, I want a picture of that. (laughing)

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