Has there ever been a time in your life where you an idea hit you and it turned out to be a million dollar idea? Well, it happened to me and it happened to be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had even though I doubted it at first. My idea was to email successful entrepreneurs and ask them a single question, put it into a collaborative post and publish it. I call it The Entrepreneurs Project.
The start of The Entrepreneurs Project
The Entrepreneurs Project was never a project I planned out. It was an idea I randomly had one day and decided to pursue it. Throughout my time online, I have had the ability to network with some of the greatest minds of online business. I knew those were the people I was going to email first to see if they would be willing to participate in the project.
Here is an example of an email I sent to the entrepreneurs:
Hey first name,
My name is Rob from Robswebtips.com and I’m starting a new series on my site where I ask a question to 30 successful bloggers/entrepreneurs and I will include their response into a post.
I have a highly visited and popular blog, so it would be great exposure to your site as well.
Going to try to publish the post either the 20th or 21st.
Here’s the question if you’re interested:
What was your biggest struggle when first starting your business and how did you overcome it?
I chose entrepreneurs based upon their success and influence online. In order for me to pick an entrepreneur, they had to have influenced thousands of people and play an active role in their community.
As the project grew
I never imagined this project to be where it’s at today. Since launching The Entrepreneurs Project eight weeks ago, we’ve had over 50 entrepreneurs participate such as: Darren Rowse, Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of Zappos Tony Hsiesh and many more. We’ve gotten over 500 total retweets, 200,000+ views and received the support from hundreds.
We’ve been able to brand The Entrepreneurs Project as one of the largest collaborative weekly projects on the web and now we are in the process of writing a book for it.
5 Lessons learned from starting the project
Lesson #1: Relationships are important
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this project is that relationships are the most important asset out of everything. If you start projects only for the money, traffic or popularity then you are going into it for the wrong reasons. Focus on the relationships and the value that can come from working with these people. Starting collaborative projects is a great way to meet new people you would have never met before and an opportunity to make new friends.
Lesson #2: Be consistent & follow up
When your doing a project, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or whatever it may be the most important thing to do is stay consistent. For The Entrepreneurs Project, we keep a very consistent schedule. Post goes live on Monday, questions are emailed on either Wednesday or Thursday.
If you have a project that doesn’t run consistently, make sure you follow up with your participants. The point of following up with them is to make sure they never forget who you are and instead of becoming just another person to them, you become a friend and they won’t forget you.
Lesson #3: Double check your work
In The Entrepreneurs project, each post averages around 20-25 people per post. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of people and a lot of sites and twitter handles to remember. There have been plenty of times where I’ve… forgot to link someones site, spelled someones name wrong, linked to the wrong site, etc… it can be a nightmare. The best thing to do is double check your post after you finished it and again before publishing it.
Lesson #4: Be unique and different
The idea of The Entrepreneurs Project was not to be like every other project that features successful entrepreneurs. The idea of the project was to truly help people and strive to help them more and more each week.
When selecting the entrepreneurs, I closely looked to see which entrepreneurs were helping their community the most. Each week when I came up with an answer, I made sure it was something that entrepreneurs really wanted to know.
Lesson #5: Get the community involved
What truly makes a project a project is getting everyone involved, that includes your community. In a few of our posts, I would make sure I asked everyone who read the post to join and contribute their opinion. This shows you care about what they have to say and it allows you to learn more about the people who are coming to your site and the problems they might be facing.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to set out and start your own unique project to change the world and inspire others.