No more talking ideas to death. Cut straight to the test ✂✂✂

I heard from a reader who, along with some others, wanted to promote her community online. We talked a bit, and I said to test their ideas online right away. 

Start by taking a photo that shows the way you want people to see your town, maybe dress it up in your favorite graphics program, and then post it online. See what people have to say. Encourage others to like and share and pass it around. Then post another one and another one. Keep doing that for a while and see how your approach goes. 

Sounds good, the reader said. We’ll wait a month until after the holidays and then we’ll hold a meeting to talk about your suggestion.  

No! Not another meeting! And certainly no need to wait a month to try something online. Test it now. Go right now and take a photo and post it online. Now. Then another and another and another. See what feedback you get. Pay attention to how people react. See who shares and spreads the word around. Those are your new supporters, and this is Gathering Your Crowd. Keep at it, keep posting, keep spreading the word. Then if you want to get together in person, you’ll have some real results to talk about. 

There’s an offline version of this immediate testing of ideas. You can just talk to people. Jeff from Webster City, Iowa, did this after their movie theater closed. He walked around town and asked everyone, “Do you think we could save the theater? Would you be interested in that?” He got a lot of positive replies from people, and more people got involved because Jeff talked to them. One guy said to him, “You’ve got about a snowflake’s chance in hell of saving that theater.” Jeff said, “Wait a minute, does that mean we do have a chance though?” 

What is one way you could kick off discussion of your project right away? Could you do it online now, today? Who could help spread the word online? Who could go around and talk to everyone, especially the people who aren’t “leaders”? 

Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – Thanks for joining me each week. I’m glad you’re here.