As you know, here at Edison Nation, it is our desire to help inventors succeed, and as someone who has been on both sides (an Edison Nation member and now an Edison Nation staff member) this is extremely near and dear to my heart. So as I often do in my posts on the EN member forums, I’d like to share some advice and have compiled some tips that will Help Us Help You. Members often ask us what is it that they can do to improve their idea, and therefore, improve their chance in a Live Product Search. The goal of this post is to help you do just that.
The tips below are based on trends I’ve seen during the Live Product Search review process that may be hurting the chances for many of your submissions. I hope this post will help you eliminate these mistakes and improve your submissions going forward.
1. Select the correct category.
One common mistake I have seen on submissions is choosing the wrong category for your product. This is important because it could cause your product to miss out on opportunities. Don’t opt into a search just because you can. Opt in because you have read the requirements for the search and your product is a good fit.
2. Make sure your attachments are accurate.
Don’t send materials showing your product/idea as Trademarked, Registered, and Copyrighted or having any other type of certification unless it actually does have that designation and it is current. The same applies to domain names. You want to provide materials that are accurate, so there will be no misunderstanding of what you have to work with as your product is being evaluated.
3. Keep attachments brief and relevant.
When you attach videos, pictures or other materials, make sure it fits the search submission and be sure that is not repetitive information. For example, you do not need to attach copies of your patent if you have already put the patent number in the proper field on the form. Also, please do not attach 35 separate slides when you know that 3-5 will do. Pick your best pictures or video and make sure videos are about the product and showcase the product. A large number of videos we receive are 15 minutes or more in length and only two of those minutes are actually about the product – that is 13 extra minutes of a reviewer’s time that is not being used effectively. That may not sound like much, until you factor in the amount of submissions our team reviews. Please keep all videos under two minutes.
When submitting attachments to your submission:
- Make sure the materials you submit clearly demonstrate your product’s benefits. Don’t submit videos or pictures that have watermarks or banner ads running through them. This distracts from the product you are trying to show. You want the material to focus on your product only.
- We work with everything from ideas submitted on a napkin to those that look like they were plucked right off of a store shelf. The end goal of our staff is always the same, which is to give every submission the best chance possible for success.
- Posting 25 photos in your submission when only three actually show your product is not only a poor use of your time but also a poor use of our review team’s time. Use just enough photos to give us a clear picture of your product.
4. Make sure your idea is truly a fit.
One of the things we can’t stress enough is to make sure your product actually fits the search you are submitting it to. Real people review these submissions, so by submitting something that you know does not fit the search; you are only slowing down our review process for everyone else. No matter how good your idea may be, it will not be considered for that search if it does not meet the search criteria.
5. Keep product information updated.
Please make sure to stay on top of updates to your submission (such as when you get a patent issued on your product). Looking at submissions, I see all the time where it says a person filed for a patent in 2008 and when I contact the inventor they say, “Oh yeah, that issued last year.” We won’t know this unless you update your submission.
6. Keep contact information updated.
Updating your contact information is just as important since we contact a number of inventors every day. If we need to get in touch with you about a question related to your submission, or the fact that we’ve licensed your product, it is all going to be done based on the information that we have on file. We are finding that more and more inventors have changed email addresses, phone numbers or moved out of the state that is listed on file. I recently called an inventor based on her profile saying she lived in South Carolina. I called at 9am eastern time, only to find out she now lives in California and it was 6am there. Thankfully she understood.
I hope you find these tips helpful. I will continue to share additional tips and suggestions from time to time on our blog that will Help Us Help You.
Roger Brown is Edison Nation’s National Sales Manager of Licensing and known for offering his great advice to our community of inventors. Connect with Roger in our member forums for other great tips to help you improve your idea submissions.