Does having a plan squelch your creativity? On one hand, I love to submerge myself in the creative muse. On the other hand, if I don’t have a plan I’ll end up taking an entirely different journey than the one I intended. Having a well thought out targeted result in mind before you start writing will help achieve the results you want even as you allow your creative muse free rein.
A plan sets boundaries
When I create a new information product, I write the landing page first . That helps me make major decisions about the scope of the project and the results I want to achieve. It gives me an opportunity to decide who I am writing to, what they need and want to know and what results I want to achieve with this product.
A plan eliminates idea clutter
When I make the defining choice of writing an ebook on creating an opt in offer that choice immediately focuses the project. It eliminates a big portion of the idea clutter that was present when I began the project. It tells me I’m not going to write about the mini-ecourse in that book. I’ll save that for another book. I’m not going to make a telecourse or a video from this idea, I’m going to write one book on a specific topic for a specific audience. Any idea that is not going in that direction is set aside for another project.
A plan identifies the most important points
An outline is vital. When you start to craft your information product put yourself in the Beginner’s Mind. What do they need to know first, then second? What do you want your readers to understand by the end of this project? How do you help them achieve the promised results? What topic needs a fuller explanation, what do they already know? Keep your ideas in outline form as long as possible so you can recognize the organic flow of the content and make certain it takes your reader on the journey you want them to experience.
A plan helps you get measurable results
When you help people get measurable results they begin to understand that you know what you are talking about and that you can help them. In every project, you need to take your participant through a series of steps that lead to a measurable end result. You need to point out the results they have gotten so they recognize their progress. What measurable results do you want from this project?
A plan can expand your own understanding
A plan helps you capture and organize your ideas. It helps you clarify what you think and what you want to teach. As you explore what you want to offer your community you may see the need for a series that takes them step-by-step through a process. As you create your plan you will see how some ideas can become ebooks or a videos or telecourses. You may explore your core concepts by writing great Cornerstone Content. A plan offers you a place to store ideas that don’t fit into this project while allowing you to keep them safely in mind for the next project. A plan is about making choices and choices clarify your intention and focus the result.
A plan keeps you from feeling overwhelmed
Once you have a plan you can work on it in segments – one chapter at a time, one article at a time, one teleclass at a time. Working in smaller chunks keeps you from feeling overwhelmed. Your plan will keep you on target.
A plan helps you stay creatively focused
As you create your interactive elements, as you add stories to your content, as you come up with more ideas, your plan will help you made relevant choices. A plan makes you look at the end results you plan to create and choose or discard each idea based on its value to that ultimate goal.
A plan can simplify
When you make an outline, it’s easy to see whether you have too much information for the format you have chosen. A plan allows you to break an idea up into a series, or make a beginning and intermediate level of a teleclass series, or write a series of ebooks.
Your product promise
For every project, write a product promise. What you do want to deliver to the consumer of this product? Your product promise guides your plan, it focuses you outline and colors the content. The product promise for this article is “At the end of this article you will understand that creating a solid plan does not take away from your creative freedom, it allow you to communicate in a meaningful manner that will change lives.”
Start with your product promise and design a great plan.
© 2012 Cara Lumen