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Tools: Asking Jumpstart Questions

Jumper Cables

Inspired by Seth Godin’s ShipIt Journal, the following set of questions is a great way to jump start your marketing, whether you’re starting a new business or trying to breathe new life into an existing one.

The purpose of asking these questions is to get you to face the challenges you’re afraid to admit, so you can move forward.

Full warning: Not all of this will be a pleasant experience.  However, if you find the courage to take the time and answer all of these questions honestly and fully, you’ll be stronger and your marketing will be better as a result.

What are you selling?
(Try to look deeper than a simple description of your product or service)

Who is your ideal customer?
(Describe them in detail)

How do they use what you’re selling?
(List as many ways as you can think of)

What are they really buying?
(Hint: it’s usually not exactly what you’re selling)

What other benefits are they getting when they buy your product?
(What feelings/status/etc. do they get from your product?)

Is there anything else they can get as an alternative to what you’re selling?
(Don’t just think about your direct competitors)

Why are you perfect to offer what you’re selling?
(Focus on what makes you special and different)

What are all the reasons why they won’t buy what you’re selling?
(This is where your inner critic comes in)

What are you afraid of?
(When it comes to offering your product)

Why are you afraid?
(Be honest with yourself – you don’t have to share this with anyone)

What does failure look like?
(Describe everything that would happen if your product doesn’t sell)

What could delay or stop you from being incredibly successful?
(Think about all the obstacles you may face)

Is there anything you can do about that?  What could you do?
(Answer for everything that can delay or stop you)

Who is essential to your success?
(It could be suppliers, customers, advocates, employees — list them all)

What do you need to give them to ensure their support?
(Think about this very broadly)

If you were wildly successful, what would things be like 5 years from now?
(Describe this in detail, as well as any milestones along the way)