Congratulations, you have perfected your first invention! As you sit back and bask in the glow of your accomplishment, a question creeps into your mind: now what? Or more specifically, how do you sell this thing?
Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are some options for how to get your invention to market. Check them out, and see which ones pop for you and your unique situation.
Ascertain Your Target Audience
This is where you decide on who would benefit from your invention, and consequently be more likely to buy it. A cat scratching post that automatically dispenses catnip will be of little use to dog lovers, for instance. So first off, pick your audience. By having a direction to take your marketing efforts, you can allocate resources wisely and without waste.
Develop A Website
These days, one of the most effective ways of generating buzz over a new service or line of goods is to hit the Internet. Put together a simple website that fully describes your invention, and make sure you include eye-catching images, and if you can, a video or two. If your video is good enough (or in some cases, let’s face it, bad enough!), it may go viral, and that means the word is getting out there.
Make sure your contact information is prominently featured, and once you get all of this done, promote the site through social media. For that matter, you can create product pages on social networks such as Facebook, to boost your signal.
Patents are tricky animals that must be approached with care, avoiding two extremes. For example, at one end of the spectrum you have over-patenting your ideas, which is not recommended. Not every single brainstorm needs to be patented. At the other end, you don’t want to move too slowly to patent an invention that’s ready (or close enough) to make its debut, lest someone else sweep in and copy your work, and end up securing a patent before you get the chance to.
Consider engaging the services of an IP (Intellectual Property) professional early in the process, and aim at securing a provisional patent for your invention.
Actually Build Your Invention
Whether you’re attempting to market your invention directly to the public yourself, or trying to secure help from a third party, everyone is much more impressed at seeing a flawless, functioning sample of your work, over even the most articulate, detailed description. The answer to “Does it work?” shouldn’t be words, but rather a demonstration of the smooth operation of the invention in question.
Licensing Your Invention
If you decide to license your invention, you give up a measure of owner’s rights, but in exchange, the licensee takes care of manufacturing and marketing your masterpiece. Licensing works because most companies don’t want your good idea; they want your already-created invention, ready to be produced and distributed.
Consider An Invention Help Company
If the idea of marketing your invention seems too daunting, you can always consult a company that will handle the marketing aspects, and in some cases, even help develop a prototype, produce drawings and technical writings, and even logo and website design.
In Idea Design Studio’s article “My Inventions: How To Market Them?”, working with an invention help company ” … means retaining complete ownership of your invention.” But be advised that if you go with an intermediary, make sure the company has a good reputation. The world of the amateur inventor is filled with stories of outright frauds that take your money and offer nothing in return. These unscrupulous companies aren’t even really interested in stealing your idea; no, they just want that quick payday by bilking you out of your money. Visit the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s public forum for information on invention promoters and any comments and complaints associated with them.