Invention Marketing And Licensing For The Inventor Learn What A Niche Market Is Getting Results From Your Website
There are a lot of less than forthright organizations that allegedly help individuals sell their inventions to industry. In all my years of working as a patent lawyer, I have never come across a single person who ever used one of these organizations to effectively market or sell their invention. However, I have met several who successfully marketed their inventions themselves.
Before you take any steps to market your invention, you should take a few preliminary steps.
Preliminary Patent Search – A preliminary patent search is generally a good first step. A preliminary search of various patent offices can be conducted for a reasonable fee (just contact a patent agent/lawyer), and it is even possible to conduct one for free (see the US patent office at https://www.coolwebtips.com Application – Don’t publically disclose your invention until after a patent application is filed. Publically disclosing the invention before filing a patent application can potentially ruin the chances of ever being granted a valid patent. In fact, many Companies will not even talk to you until you have filed a patent application.
Prepare a Formal Information Package – You should prepare an informative and concise information package describing you, your invention and the potential market your invention reaches. The package should include color photographs of the invention, and a one page executive summary.
Prototype – It is a lot easier to sell a product if potential buyers can see, touch and feel the product. Building a working prototype is often a key step in selling your invention. Of course, some products are difficult to prototype, in which case a non-working mock-up may have to do. In any event, create the most professional prototype or mock-up you can.
Obtain Financing – Building prototypes and filing patent applications require funds. Finding that initial start up funding is often difficult; however, there are two tried and true methods, namely partnerships and incorporations. A signed partnership agreement is one way for a few people to pool their financial resources into a project. If several investors are involved, then an incorporated company is a better method. Essentially, the company takes ownership of the invention and the investors contribute money to the company in exchange for shares. The number and price of the shares can be tailored to suit the particular needs of the project.
Now that we have dealt with some of the preliminary issues, let us look at the mechanics of selling your invention to a company. The actual steps in the process are as follows:
1. Compiling a List of Potential Buyers – Finding a company that is willing to buy the invention is the most challenging part of the process. It begins by generating a list of companies that may be interested in the invention. You can use a business directory to generate that list. Business directories list companies by the products they manufacture (or services they provide) and include basic information about these companies such as their address, phone and fax number, and the name of the president (CEO or owner). Suitable business directories may be found in the business section of the local reference library.
2. Contacting Potential Buyers – Your list of potential buyers may include literally hundreds of companies. You simply call up each company on the list and ask them if they would be interested in receiving a solicitation for a new invention. Then get the contact information about who in the company to send your information to.
3. Presenting the Invention to Prospects – After you have thinned out your list, your next step is to submit your information to each of the companies on the list. This may involve calling the people identified to be the “contact” for new product ideas and telling them that you are sending them an information package about your product. Your package should include a cover letter and a one page synopsis of your product (including a picture). The information must be clear, concise and it must appear as professional as possible. Don’t try to overwhelm the recipient – you want to impress them, not burden them.
4. Follow Up – Do not expect the prospect to come to a quick decision concerning the invention. It may take a prospect many months (even a year or more) to make up his/her mind on a project. You have to be patient. It is important to periodically follow up with the company but do not “pester” the prospect. Remember, the people considering your invention are probably quite busy with several other projects – annoying them may do little to speed the project up and may cause them to drop the project altogether.
5. Negotiations – If you find a company that is interested in picking up the project, then be ready to negotiate the terms of the sale. The key here is to be reasonable. From my experience, nothing kills off a potential licencing deal faster than an unreasonable inventor. Realistically, the most you are likely to get is a good return on your investment. Asking for a smaller signing fee together with a modest royalty is far more likely to generate a signed agreement than holding out for a big payoff.
6. Royalty Amount – I am usually asked the question “how much can I sell my invention for”. I don’t know the answer; however, here are a few rules which can help you figure out a reasonable royalty rate. First of all, try to negotiate a royalty which is broken down in to two parts, an initial signing payment and an annual royalty payment. The initial payment should cover most of your costs of the project. The annual royalties should represent an amount which is sufficient to represent a good return on your investment without being a burden on the manufacturer. The general “rule of thumb” is to ask for a small percentage (1% to 5%) of the net sales of the product. It is also possible, and in some cases advisable, to fix the annual royalty payment to an easily calculated amount (e.g. $1.00 per unit sold).
Selling your invention to a manufacturer is possible but it is not easy. How successful are you likely to be? From my experience, individual inventors are far more likely to successfully sell their invention by themselves then by going through some invention promotion organization. Like any business, the chances of success are a function of your determination, knowledge and willingness to take risks.
Want to make some serious money online? Don’t know what it is that you want to promote? Learn what a “niche” market is, and how to select the one that is right for you.
A “niche” market is a group of people with a common interest, hobby, desire, or need. You want to find a “hot” niche and develop ideas to market to that niche. You don’t want to try to sell an idea to just anyone, so you have to find people interested in your product already. You want to seek out the most popular markets, and make sure there is a large online community that is interested in your niche. Because you want to make money online, you need to target these people in your tactics to drive traffic to your site.
Some pretty popular types if niches include, hobbies, health, fitness, self-help, and money making sites. But one should consider their own passion when deciding which niche it is that they want their site to cater to.
Once you have found the niche market that you are interested in, you need to figure out what would be valuable to the people in that niche market. Maybe you could provide a product, or a service. If it is indeed a valuable service or product, the word of mouth advertising will far outweigh any advertising that you could go out and buy.
Just like it is easy to find groups of people that have a common interest, it is even easier to target them. You can even target individual people on the internet, based on their needs or desires. One can even send them a message at the exact same time that they are looking for the solution that you just happened to be providing. It is more simple than you can imagine to do this, especially with the tools and resources available on the web today.
After you have found an idea that caters to your niche market, you need to make sure that the idea is a good one, by using an inventory engine, such as the one recommended by my mentors. You just enter a keyword, or keywords, and the engine will show you how many times that keyword or keywords were searched for. You can then compare one keyword to another, and get an idea of how popular different markets are. You should do this to make sure that you are developing something that people want. You can also use this information to decide if maybe you want to branch out to other niches, widening your circle of potential clients.
For more detailed information about niche markets, and a step by step guide to finding a good one, use the links found on my own website, at the address below. Register, and I will send you incredible reports, and other cool stuff! Or just click on the links to go directly to these sites dedicated to financial success, as well as personal success! Take action! Go there NOW!
With more than 77% of all American adults now online, and more than 175 million Americans using the Internet regularly, the argument that a website is an essential business tool is resolved before the debate begins. If your company isn’t taking steps and making a continuing effort to maximize its website it is leaving customers and revenue behind (for competitors to pick up).
Some of the hesitancy in developing and maintaining a good website is derived from misunderstandings of what it takes to make a website productive. This article shares 8 things you can do with relative ease to enable your website to deliver better results. They are:
1. Make Sure Your Website is User Friendly
Whether in an offline or online environment, your target market can’t be expected to buy your product if you do not make it easy to find and purchase. Your website can enhance the ease with which information and specs about your products/services can be found, thereby making the decision to buy them easier. Your website needs to (a) open quickly, (b) be easy to navigate and find information, and (c) provide a painless checkout process. If you can meet these three criteria, visitors will enjoy being on your site, and your sales through the site will increase.
2. Give in to Speed
According to some sources, you have about 30 seconds to convince a visitor to your website to stay there and look for what they came to purchase. If your website takes these same 30 seconds to upload, or you have a 30 second flash that is well prepared but devoid of any message (loved by the graphic design folks and marketing people for its creativity and hated by visitors because it takes time and says nothing), then you will lose visitors even before you have a chance to present your benefits and offer. The key to speed is a well designed site hosted on servers that deliver high speed.
3. Know Who Your Site is Targeting
The better you understand your target market the better your website will perform. Keeping in mind that the website is a marketing tool, and that knowing your market is a fundamental of good marketing, it makes sense that your website should be developed with your market in mind. You need to understand how you market behaves not only in terms of buying habits and spending patterns, but also, in the case of effective web development, online. The online behavior of your market will help you construct the site to meet their expectations, needs and preferences. In most cases the market will demand (a) that your site be updates and provide the latest relevant information, (b) that the site enable their inquiries through the latest online technologies, and (c) that the website be convenient to navigate.
4. Know Your Goals
Just as with offline business, “getting more sales” is not a useful goal in that it is vague, overly apparent, and devoid of any market based elements. You need to approach your website with goals and objectives in mind, not only so that the site can be constructed consistent with them, but also so that the maintenance of the site can be executed to support them. For example, the goals of your website could be “present products in an attractive manner that allows prospective buyers to visual their use and benefits”. Another legitimate objective could be “to present information on products and the company so as to educate consumers and broaden our customer base”. In both instances, the goals are clearly defined, and the websites constructed around them will be designed in architecture and appearance to maximize the success of the stated objectives.
5. Develop a Smart Web Architecture
When it comes to the architecture of your website – where the information is placed and the paths visitors take to get to it – the most critical tool you can deploy is common sense. Most people will look for information in the place where it is most logical for it to be. If you get creative, or want to make a point with your navigation (or the names you give to the information links you have) you will find that most people will leave your site rather than try to unravel the brilliance you are showing through your very clever structure. In other words, people are on your site to get to something, the easier you make it for them to get there, the better your website is. Period.
6. Operate According to a Plan
Like any marketing tool, your website needs to be tied into your overall marketing strategy and needs to be reflective of your company, its products, and the message and image it seeks to communicate to the market. Your website needs to have a plan of operation that detail, through a process and in accordance with steps, timelines, and accountability elements, the milestones for measuring performance and success. The plan needs to include (a) processes and timetables for updates and announcements, (b) your web marketing campaign, and (c) how your site will compete against similar sites.
7. Market Your Website
Like every other aspect of your business, if you do not market what you are doing nobody will know about it or why what you are selling is something they should buy. There are many ways to market a website and, as with Tudog’s approach to traditional marketing, we recommend a basket of tactics. These include (a) organic embedding of metatags and other keywords into the content of your website so as to secure a higher natural listing on the search engines, (b) the purchase of select keywords to ensure high search results when these words are punched in, (c) affiliate sites and appearances on other sites, and (d) targeted web ads. These marketing tactics will assist you in driving traffic to your site, as well as serve to raise general awareness for your company.
8. Monitor Your Activities
The Internet offers excellent opportunities to monitor and analyze your activities so that you can be certain that what you are doing is not only working, but maximizing your potential. The web can help you determine how many people are coming to your site, where they are going inside the site, where they came from into your site, and whether or not they made a purchase. You can use this information to determine the efficacy of your navigation, architecture, content, graphics, message and marketing.
Your website, like all other aspects of your marketing, is a window into your company and a reflection of not only how much respect you have in what you do, but also how much respect and commitment you have toward your customers. A professional website demonstrates a professional attitude. Anything less is…well, less..
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