...Maybe you need a roadmap
There’s always a time in every project, big or small when we seem to lose the initial excitement and things start to slow down. Depending on how fast we react, these times could mean our numbers will start to go south, sales, followers, supporters, every aspect of our project can be affected. The same could happen when we don’t have a clear direction and all of a sudden we notice the plan is not evolving the way we want because we got lost in the weeds. At MintMe we’re aware of the risks this involves so we want to help you solve this situation.
How do we prevent this from happening? Probably the best way to go is by building a roadmap.
A roadmap is a strategic planning technique that places a project's goals and major deliverables (tasks, milestones) on a timeline, all grouped in a single visual representation or a graphic. Its purpose is to help you keep focused and moving forward to accomplish your short, middle and long term goals. They’re usually built or adjusted for a year and once you have defined what you want to accomplish and how you will do it during this time, you can then build others for shorter periods like a quarter, a month, or even a week.
There are no fixed structures at the time to build a roadmap, it must be adapted to your particular needs, but regardless of being a painter, a musician or a languages teacher, there are some key elements you should include to make sure you’ll always be on the right track:
Define the strategy
Before you start you should be clear about your goals and priorities and initiatives, then determine the needed actions to achieve your goals, and think about how to better use your resources to execute these actions. Each of these steps should be included in a realistic timeline that can be adjusted according to the circumstances, this will help you evaluate and determine what needs to be done when you get unexpected results, whether they’re good or bad. When defining a strategy, always study who your followers are, what they need/want, and how you will go to market with your product.
Review and manage your original ideas and consider any possible demand
When you first had your idea you probably came up with a plan but later when trying to implement it you noticed facts don’t always match what’s on the papers, moreover, plans must be flexible and evolve to adapt to new situations and especially to the shifting supporters’ needs and/or demands. Always try, when considering any possible demand, to score them and establish priorities not only according to the number of people who are making them but also looking at what kind of support they provide for your project (Fan, follower, financial supporter and so on).
Define features and requirements.
This is the time to be more specific about the different aspects of your strategy, once you have defined a couple of big goals to move your project to the next level, you need to find out how you will work to reach them.
- What is it you want to create this year? A new book, a series of videos, album, podcast, line of products?
- Are you planning to do a big event or launch, or would you rather start by several monthly/quarterly small or medium size occasions?
- How much money will everything cost? How much more do you want to make? What do you think will be the major source of income? How many followers, customers or token buyers do you need to reach this amount?
By clearly defining these aspects you will be able to set up the details of the different activities you can perform, always sticking to the main plan.
Organize into releases
Having a well defined big picture you can now set the timing for each of the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Many people will have 2 or more roadmaps to organize better these shorter periods, so besides the one you built including the whole year, you can have an additional one for each month or, in the case of a project with too many details, one for each week. In these, you can add more specific particulars like amount and frequency of social media posts, newsletters, ads, emails, videos, and also season offers, pre-release discounts, special deals for your supporters, creation of new tokens for specific products or parts of the main project, and others.
Choose a view
You have to customize the type of information and the level of detail you want to include in each roadmap you create. To do this you may want to consider some questions:
- What is the purpose of this roadmap? It can mainly be used as a reminder of the main plan and goals, to keep team members on the same page especially in critical times, to help communicate objectives and/or share status updates quickly, or others. Depending on what you want it for, it will require a different set of details or specific information.
- Who needs to see it? When you create a roadmap for yourself you’ll be able to include terms or even symbols that will only have a meaning for you, but this is not the situation when you have to share it with a team, followers or supporters. In some cases you can create one for personal use and others you will share with those who work with you or you will use as a part of your promotions.
- What information will be shown? As mentioned in the answer to the previous question, deciding who needs to see your roadmap will also determine the number of details you can share, some of them, especially those related to financial issues should only be known by you and some members of your team, of course, there are always exceptions.
After you have a well-defined roadmap there’s no time to lose, start working and be confident that it will give you an advantage over your competitors. Just remember to be flexible, sometimes there are things we can’t control, but at the same time try to stick to it as much as possible so that it doesn’t lose its purpose. Finally, please remember to share your experiences with us, other creators will want to hear your success story.