I have an original idea, but need guidance with an entire social media marketing plan.
A great concept is to trust no one! But it depends on your idea, as to what can be stolen and how to safeguard it. We are dealing with an extremely delicate situation right now, where we are selling the "concept", without giving away the technical details that would compromise the sensitive information. If your concept is that sensitive, I would get an attorney to provide you with a Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreement for your consultant to sign, before sharing information with him/her. Contact us for further clarification, if you wish.
Ideas are a dime a dozen (I'm sure you've heard that enough times). Ideas cannot be patented so you're left with a choice to execute on your own or share it with guidance.
An immediate action item would be to:
1. Create an NDA (you can find templates of these, just fill in the blanks).
2. Vet the consultant.
Keep in mind, people are working on their own idea and own thing, adding yours to their mix may complicate things and is unlikely to be stolen.
Another point which is super important, execution far exceeds ideas. Knowing what to do with something that you have is a lot more difficult than you think. Listen, don't spend so much time on whether or not an idea will be stolen because you really only have 2 options:
1. Tell someone that can help with a chance for them to steal it or not.
2. Keep it private, which will lead to nothing happening at all.
Hope this helps!
When it comes to idea's, and this goes for every area of life. Unless it is patent or you have some legal rights to the idea or property. I would not recommend sharing it with anyone. Unless it's an individual you were able to build a trust and mutual respect with. If you will be speaking with someone who is not in the same line of work. But can offer you valuable insight that be great. This is something to consider other wise. You can hint at the idea. #1. Break down the vision or idea into certain goals. 2. You can use your goals as a point of focus to speak about instead of the idea in its totality. 3. As you gather information for each goal or point of focus. You can then put the pieces together.
Other wise you can continue doing research, look for someone you trust or know who has done something similar or has related experience in the field. If your information or product is not patent I don't see any guarantees that the idea or product will not be up for grabs. So disclose the information wisely. From your friend and consultant Celso Nolberto. At your service.
Its a risk you take, for sure, but there are ways to limit that risk.
Non-disclosure agreements are the first thing that come to mind but many really hate signing them especially when you're looking for their support.
If you have the funds, patent your idea. Provisional patents are a possibility where the cost of a full patent are prohibitive. Check the regulations in your state.
Research the people you're going to be talking to. Do they have a professional reputation? Are they known to be people of integrity?
Make sure you document every step of the process from concept to every significant discussion that's been had around it.
Start by getting to know the consultant. What is his/her business? Is there a reason they'd want to "steal" your idea? If you don't feel comfortable, move on. Of course, asking someone to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement is a wise course of action. Good luck.
Many people have asked questions like yours, and I've answered a bunch of them. Get an NDA if you want.
But the truth is, most people are too busy with their own pet ideas to bother with yours.
You're in love with it.
We have other things on our minds.
I wrote a blog post with a nifty 2X2 chart in it to explain how, most of the time, you're safe:
If you are looking to do a social media campaign, hire a social media company. Within the guidelines of the contract that you draw up with them, you can protect yourself that way. They are used to dealing with sensitive information and it won't be anything new to ask of them and most likely will be standard int their contract.
If you are needing expert advise from someone inside your industry, find some local group (if you are in a bigger city and have access) or find an online community that caters to the industry that you are in. Most likely you will find people there that have already answered a lot of the questions that you might have.
Now if you've done both of those things, take some time and form a relationship with someone in your industry. Then ask them if they would be comfortable being your coach. Write up an agreement and then pay them something so it' a business deal. You can find all kinds of these type of forms online. That way, you're paying them and have a legal backing to say that you were paying for services. By hearing your original idea (a necessity for the transaction) and them giving you advise you'll have a much easier legal standing than just an NDA would have.
If you are in United States, just make them sign an NDA before the discussion. NDAs work!
Simple. Lay it all out.
"There's nothing new under the sun."
The more you share, the better advice you'll receive.
And, highly unlikely you'll somehow share something that will rock a long term consultant's world.
I've been running multiple consulting sessions, almost every day for decades.
I've never been inclined to steal anyone's ideas, because I'm working on my own...
And if I try stealing someone's idea, targeting some niche or business I'm unfamiliar with, I'll likely waste massive time + fail abysmally.
There's an old saying in 'da woods... where I grewed up...
"Drink from your own well."
Which simply means stay in your own lane, do your own thing, stick with what you feel driven to accomplish, never straying into anyone else's territory...
Because straying is a time + money killer.
Any consultant capable of executing your idea won't be interested in stealing it. They're too busy with their own zone of genius to bother trying to jump on someone else's. Any consultant interested in stealing your idea probably isn't capable of executing it.
Worry more about speed and execution than whether someone is going to take your idea, and you'll end up ahead.