Introducing ‘The Hex’
In my other posts, I have been talking about the importance of an ecosystem and how you go about building it. One important part that I will be covering in this video is the content strategy – how do you figure out what you have to say to your audience. I also share a custom framework that I call ‘The Hex’. It’s a set of six questions that will give you clarity on your idea and how to talk about it.
So, let’s get started.
For Best Results
To get best results, I recommend that you go through the whole thing at one go first, and then come back to answer the six questions. This way, you would be able to have a complete picture of what’s in store and how to go about answering each question.
‘The Hex’ & Your Content Strategy
Before we go further, remember: Everything you build out in your content strategy needs to reinforce or be aligned with your answers to ‘The Hex’. You can draw parallels with stories, use your back up points as new points of discussion and even use these answers to decide your tone. Just make sure that you tailor your message according to your channel.
Q1. What is your idea?
This is a pretty innocent question and you should be able to answer it right off the bat. Is your idea a website? A Twitter clone? Is it a platform or a community?
You might say that your idea defines labels, but that’s not the case. The label serves as a starting point for your idea – it works as a frame of reference that your audience can use to make sense of your idea. People are always able to relate to new concepts more easily if they can be explained via an analogy.
Q2. How will your idea make a difference?
Some of you MBAs out there will be able to relate to this as a ‘USP’. In other words, what’s the gap in the market?
Of course, this question could be a little bit more difficult to answer if you’re a copycat entrepreneur – i.e. you’re riding on the success of somebody else’s idea. In that case, usually, the differentiation comes from one of the intangible assets – the soft stuff. This is stuff like quality of service, or your personality, or the customer service or the experience. You get the drift.
In fact, if you’re having difficulty answering this question, perhaps the third question could dislodge some answers.
Q3. Why is your idea needed?
You could also rephrase this question as – why is this idea necessary? To answer this question, look at what your competition is doing – or rather, not doing. If they’re going after maximizing profits, you could consider helping people. If you can figure out a way you can improve on what the competition is doing, then there is definitely a reason why your idea is needed.
There’s a reason why the answer to this question is important. It’s the first of two key components that you need to fix in place before you can make your idea work.
Q4. Who is your idea for?
Who’s your audience? Who are you going to talk to? Who are you trying to help? Who will benefit from the work you’re doing?
Marketers? Housewives? Entrepreneurs? The list goes on.
One tip when you are choosing your audience – simplify. Niche down. Instead of entrepreneurs, say Bootstrapping Entrepreneurs in the tech space. Instead of housewives, say housewives in Bangalore who want to earn additional income. Instead of saying marketers, I chose marketers operating on a budget.
Q5. Why should they care about your idea?
This is a twist on the third question – why is your needed? This question forces you to think from their angle and see things from their perspective.
You should be able to answer why your idea matters to them. How will their life change? Will they have any lasting benefit from listening to you? In short, what’s in it for them?
Another pro tip: Some audiences may need some educating before they’re receptive to your message. So, think about this deeply.
Q6. What’s the transformation your idea causes?
This question essentially outlines how your audience’s lives are affected by your actions. They undergo a sort of metamorphosis. Their lives would be – hopefully – better off after your efforts than it was before.
Most importantly, this question – What’s the transformation your idea causes? is the critical second component you need in place to make your idea work.
Those are the six questions that form ‘The Hex’. Now, you should go back and listen to the questions again and answer them for your product/brand/idea/whatever.
For Best Results with ‘The Hex’
Make sure that each of your answers have a key takeaway. Think of this as a short sentence that packages your answers easily. This could take some hard work, but it’s well worth the effort.
Next, make sure that your answers have additional backup points that flesh out your main idea. Finally, if you can, add in a story or anecdote that explains the answer.
Once you have all of these, you would have a very clear and comprehensive understanding of your idea – and more importantly, a way to communicate your idea to your audience. I did that exercise for ArvindhSundar.com and you can see it my about page.
Coming Up Next
That’s it! In my next few videos, I’ll be diving into two important things: Your home base and your outposts – and how do you go about setting them up. So, stay tuned!
So, till next time, this Gundu saying over and out!